Knowledge is power, but time can be our enemy. Remember the last time we spent hours in simply trying to locate relevant data to solve a problem? You know the data exist in the system but don’t always know where to find it. The fact that the business environment is too fast paced and competitive, we don’t find the luxury to search for the data for hours, days or weeks to navigate mountains of data. When you need information, you need it now and you need it in the right context. If only you could search all of your enterprise application data to find what you need, like you do on the Internet. The business workers are typically savvy internet users and with internet, people are now relying more and more on search engines to carry out everyday task and activities since they are easy to understand, easy to use and accessible anytime, anywhere. These influences rapidly changes the expectation among the users when they use their enterprise software during work and expect same level of functionality, transportability and ease-of-use in the enterprise that they experience while using internet. The hard line between consumer software and enterprise software is slowly diminishing.
Enterprise software infact reminds me very much of search engine as the navigation features between several screens is more or less similar to the bookmarks we use to navigate to the internet. The fact that an enterprise is an island of information in the form of single data universe, one can leverage on this database to form a search engine within the application called as Enterprise Application Search. Enterprise Application Search is important mainly because of the fact that enterprise applications are fairly complex and is hard for any one person to have a thorough understanding of even a majority of an application’s functionality. Thus users find the retrieval of proper information from an enterprise application a daunting task. Infact many of them ends up consuming 25% of their planned time in finding right information. One cannot blame enterprise software either for being the culprit as business processes nowadays are becoming more complex and to accommodate them in compact forms is virtually not feasible.
Search solutions for the enterprise can be used to answer questions like ‘Where are the schematic for this part number?’ or ‘What documents satisfy this audit request?’ or ‘How many suppliers have been given quotation for purchase of XYZ part?’. These questions are important to address since they impact individual employee productivity and thus an organization growth indirectly. Consider the example of Enterprise Application Search for a labor intensive industry like airline industry. An airline industry employs huge workforce which is available in different geographies and offers variety of product and services to the customers. Enterprise software like Ramco, SAP etc forms the backbone of Airline industries to carry out their business operations. In such industries the volume of transactions carried out daily is huge. For instance, Honeywell conducts two million transactions per day in their Enterprise software. In order to locate particular invoice or PO’s it usually takes an employee an average of 8-10 clicks to locate to a single item i.e. around 10 minutes. If you multiply this with thousands of employees using enterprise software, it comes up to a loss of thousands of hours per week to locate a single document. The figure is considerably huge knowing the fact that each user has to process multiple transactions in a day. With Enterprise Application Search, such loss of productivity can be reduced considerably.
Enterprise Search Applications like that in Ramco Aviation ERP makes life much easier for end users, which is especially important considering aggressive nature of airline industry. It can increase productivity by making relevant information easily accessible and retrievable. Workers can focus on using information, not on finding, storing and organizing it, gaining the full value of the enterprise’s new search capability. The use of a familiar interface also can reduce the need for training and dramatically increase the level of adoption by the user community. A search solution also can support significant operational improvement and lower IT expenses by reducing dependency on numerous systems and integration points. Once enterprises fully understand the benefits of leveraging search solutions to improve the productivity and effectiveness of their workforce, they can then begin to explore the opportunities to transform the ways they use their information as never before possible.
The winning formula starts right away with Search!