Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Getting the most from your Notes environment

One of the problems with the continual upgrade cycle of computing (--> Connections, Quickr, XPages etc) is that it doesn't make efficient use of your existing environment - it's like buying a new TV when you could improve your viewing by re-tuning the old one.

Notes has been around for 20+ years, and it's distributed nature means users have their data scattered around many locations - Mail, Archives, Discussions, Document Repositories, File Systems, Apps, Quickr etc.

Over time, finding that information becomes more and more difficult - because users need to know roughly where it is. If they forget that, it can take a long time to find, or just not be found at all. It's surprising how much time (and therefore money) is spent looking for information.

The native Notes search facilities (Domain Search or Search Site - don't mention Extended Search) can search a lot of data and present a lot of results, but they don't present it very well or offer many options for using & refining it. They're fast, but navigating through hundreds of results that all look very similar is really just not useful enough, which is why few companies implement them.

It's much more efficient for users to be able to search only the data sources relevant to them, get easily understood and useful results, then refine their search or re-sort the results as necessary. This is slower than the native search methods, but it's much more accurate. This in turn is more useful, less frustrating, saves wasting time, and therefore saves money.

Giving your users tools to use the data they already have - as well as adding new tools such as Connections & XPages - is the best way to get the most from your Notes environment.

For more information, please see our FT Search Manager