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Enterprise Search: Finding the Needle in the Modern Workplace Haystack

Do you ever find yourself looking for some message you were sent, but can’t remember if it was in an email, Teams chats or a Yammer group?

Don’t worry, we did too. Like finding a needle in a haystack, to coin the old phrase.

And we’re not alone. It’s a daily (sometimes hourly) problem for many people. It’s the unwanted side-effect of having so many useful applications which want to store data in their own way and their own location. We think Office 365 is amazing and offers significant productivity improvements, but finding things can be hard.

Recently, Microsoft released an enterprise search tool which allows you to search for sites and documents, people, groups and conversations. Labelled “Bing for Business” originally and now “Microsoft Search”, it combines results from your company and the Internet within your single browser session and provides a common method to search across Office 365. It presents results separated into the different sources that I listed above, giving multiple smaller haystacks from which you can now locate your needle. However, there is one notable omission: email.

There are more than 270 billion emails sent every day (and I still maintain that a third of them arrive in my inbox) – it is the ubiquitous method of communication for many, many people. It is also the most frequently chosen method for personal communication and that means that a significant amount of what YOU want to find will be in YOUR email. Sure, there will be Teams and Yammer data too – that’s all part of collaboration in the modern workplace (and we LOVE Teams – it’s brilliant), but email is that very personal needle in the ever-growing team communication haystack. As well as personal email, there may also be shared mailboxes and public folders where content is stored – including vast amounts of useful data retained long before the advent of Office 365.

We profiled HOW people search and WHY they search – what are they looking for? We found that email is the most frequently searched asset, with Teams, Yammer and Skype For Business conversations next. They also want to have results presented in an accessible format where they can easily filter, not just on one source, but across all sources. Without lots of clicking around. Or shouting at the screen.

That’s why we, TransVault, leaders in Office 365 migration and productivity, created TeamSearch.

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TeamSearch provides a single place to quickly search all of your Office 365 applications. Your results are provided quickly using TransVault technology perfected over the last 12 years, and can then be filtered in the same place to refine the results and access the item or items you were looking for.

Without TeamSearch, our tests for a simple search string found that data would take up to 90 seconds to locate – opening and searching in multiple applications. That time is magnified if you subsequently need to filter that search to refine the results. Using TeamSearch, that average dropped to 10 seconds for the initial search, with filtering across all sources accessible within a single web page and familiar Office-like controls.

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If you total the time saved for every search across every user in your company, it all adds up to a lot less time spent searching and a lot more time to take valuable action using the results found. Using the earlier analogy, TeamSearch gives every user in your company a magnet to find their own personal needles – wherever they are within the applications supported by TeamSearch. And that’s the next benefit. TeamSearch is built as a platform with connectors to Office 365 but equally can support other third-party applications – allowing your users to search even more of their content from a single place. We have several additional supported applications which we plan to add to TeamSearch in the coming weeks and months.

Needle Haystack

I know what you’re thinking. “OK, that sounds great but isn’t the index to give you that sort of capability going to take a lot of space and time to create?” No! No index needs to be created in TeamSearch for Office 365. TeamSearch is 100% dynamic and will find data almost immediately after it exists. You simply install the TeamSearch managed web app in your Office 365 tenant (so that none of your data ever leaves the boundaries of your business – we’re relentless about data privacy) and grant the relevant users in your company the access to it. Done! It respects Office 365 rights and only allows them to search the assets to which they have access.

We are currently accepting requests to get early access to TeamSearch – a free trial period and an opportunity to help shape the future of team searching with a very personal perspective. So, if you want to search smarter, not harder – TeamSearch it!

Register for our Early Access Program >

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