SharePoint as a Portal | Searching Documents and Email | BA Insight

Many organizations approach BA Insight about unifying all of their information from multiple silos into one searchable SharePoint-centric knowledge management platform. The thing that was new and different about a recent engagement with a law firm was that it included a large amount of email data that had been accumulated throughout the years, which they wished would also be searchable from within SharePoint. What transpired is a great use case that many organizations can benefit from.

Using Our Connectivity Framework, we connected their document management system and massive email repository into SharePoint, therefore making it searchable.  Searchable is a good thing, but email is different from other content.  Often times you’re looking for a specific email, from a specific person, or you recall that it was received at some time in the past but can only recall emails within a month or two range.  Searching in most email systems won’t work for you because your company archives emails after X months, or because the email system doesn’t make it easy to request, “I want the email from John, but I forgot his last name”.  The BA Insight technology makes it easy; let’s take a look at an example.

You search for the basic words you recall about the email, “financial disclosure” and you see “displaying results 1-10 of 14,350”.  This is definitely too broad a search.  Now you select the item type “email” filter; and you’re down to 6,331 results.  There is a handy filter on the left for “Email From” with a type-ahead edit box.  You know the person who sent the email was John something or other (but you can’t remember his last name) so you start typing, “Jo” and instantly the list shows all the Jo people, John, Joanne… And there he is: John Smith.  You click John Smith and voila, there is that email you were looking for, right at the top of the search results.

Using our Connectors to fully index the content, you can search for content within emails. The Connectors also index all the relevant information (metadata) about the emails, which are then turned into filters. Using the BAI Advanced Filters product enables you to pick and choose, which is nice, but they also enable you to type-ahead just a few characters, and that is very handy. Common email filters include:

  • Who the email was from
  • Who the email went to
  • If the email has an attachment
  • The date the email was sent or received

These tools enabled this law firm’s employees to recall information from their clients’ emails and documents in a fraction of the time it used to take. Everything is searchable from one place. This significantly frees up hours for productive, billable client work.Since so many people use email to store documents and other critical information, having the ability to search email content is essential in finding the relevant information necessary to be effective.

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