Is a Single Pane of Glass Really Enough?

round window pane

In part two of my blog series, I discussed how the single index is going the way of the dinosaur.  I also introduced the concept of an “In-App” enterprise search experience, which I think is the future.

Even more bluntly, In-App Search is game-changing technology.  It allows users to seamlessly access information spread across multiple data stores, all from within the applications they use every day. It easily integrates into their existing business process. Users don’t need to learn a new application. They just get relevant information faster and easier. Think of it as having an “enterprise internet” and then making access to it available in as many places as possible.

In this blog, I will share with you “In-App” use cases, highlighting the benefits to users and how it streamlines business process.  Enterprise Search is no longer a destination!  It is about making your single pane of glass available everywhere.

So, let’s jump right in.

Per IDC, most information workers access 4 to as many as 11 enterprise applications…just to get their jobs done.  ServiceNow for support tickets.  Salesforce for CRM.  SharePoint Online for document management.  Each system has its own internal search.  But each search engine in each application looks and works differently.  Even worse, the information is siloed.  For example, while working in Salesforce, you cannot search for marketing content stored in SharePoint Online.  You have to go to SharePoint and search there.

This is why “In-App” is an evolution in enterprise search.  And, I am not the only one who thinks this way.

Recently, I was speaking with one of our customers.  In his role as CIO, he was responsible for the company’s enterprise search strategy. The conversation centered around his vision for the future of enterprise search. He told me that having one single pane of glass was not good enough.

His sales team lived in Salesforce and didn’t like using SharePoint.  Leaving Salesforce and having to go to another application to find information they needed was cumbersome and wasted time.  He still wanted a single pane of glass, but with a twist.  He wanted the single pane of glass embedded into Salesforce.  And not just Salesforce, but in every mission critical application.

This CIO wanted a search experience that gave his team access to all the information they needed and that behaved and looked the same way from everywhere.  Or, as we say at BA Insight, “Connecting Knowledge to Seekers.”

Now let’s get back to our CIO’s vision. His sales team spends 90% of their day in Salesforce.

Even though they live in Salesforce, not everything the team needs to access to get their jobs done is in Salesforce.  For example, company marketing material resides in SharePoint Online and customer contracts live in SAP.

The solution to my customer’s problem was BA Insight’s Search for Salesforce.  (We also have In-App solutions available for Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Outlook, ServiceNow, Chrome, and NetDocuments).

With BA Insight, his sales team now has a holistic view of all of their customers’ information.  Before calling a customer, the sales member can quickly review contractual information themselves instead of wasting time calling the legal department.  They can also quickly access the latest product information to share with their customers during meetings.

The streamlined business process improves customer satisfaction, retention, and the company’s profitability.

At BA Insight, we believe in eating our own dog food.  So, let’s look at a day in the life of a BA Insight support engineer and how he uses our technology.

Our support folks live in Microsoft Dynamics.  That’s where they manage our support cases. Using Search for Microsoft Dynamics, the support team now has instant visibility into Confluence, where we host our product knowledge base. They also are empowered to search the product team’s SQL-based custom tracking application.

The support team now has more information at their fingertips without ever leaving Dynamics.  This leads to improved decision making.  More importantly, it reduces support ticket resolution times so that we resolve 50% of customer issues within four days, which leads to happy customers.

Let’s look at one more example of the power of “In-App” search leveraging Microsoft Teams (usage of Teams is exploding, and people are now using it more than Slack).  I will reference a real-world application from a law firm to illustrate the point.

With BA Insight for Microsoft Teams, lawyers now can conduct a search for a pleading stored in their DMS without ever leaving Teams.  For example, a group of litigators are conducting a virtual Microsoft Teams meeting in preparation for trial.  The attorneys work out of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

The lead lawyer in San Francisco wants to discuss one of their motions with his colleagues.  The latest version is in their DMS (Document Management System). With SmartHub, he calls a search bot from within Microsoft Teams, conducts a quick search, and then drags the document into the chat window for discussion by the team.  This is all in real-time, without ever leaving Microsoft Teams, saving valuable time, enhancing collaboration, and increasing attorney efficiency.

These are just a few examples of how “In-App” search improves productivity and streamlines business processes.  Remember, search is no longer a destination.

Stop thinking about one single pane of glass.  Start thinking about making the single pane of glass available everywhere.  Let knowledge shine!

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