Bringing External Content into Office 365

Organizations looking to use Office 365 for intranets, extranets, and portals have struggled to provide a complete experience.  Much of the content users are looking for resides outside of Office 365 – in file shares, line of business systems and various specialized applications both on-premises and in the cloud.

An approach where content from multiple sources is indexed together then accessed from portals using search has proven to be highly effective; it is flexible, cost-effective, and provides remarkably good user experiences.

However, until recently there was no way to bring external content into the Office 365 index. Microsoft provided access to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, but no other content was accessible.

The situation has changed.  Microsoft has introduced a new element called the Cloud SSA as part of a new cloud hybrid search capability; this provides a mechanism to bring content into the O365 index. This white paper shares how BA Insight’s software uses this mechanism to incorporate content from many different sources into a single cloud-based index.