Chapter 13. Specification and Selection

Now that all the work has been done on identifying user requirements and reviewing the performance of the current search application, perhaps the time has arrived to specify, select, and install a new enterprise search application. In many respects, the processes for selecting an enterprise search application is just the same as for other enterprise applications, but there are some differences.

These include:

  • The company will not have previously undertaken the procurement of an enterprise search application, so there is no prior experience to go on.

  • Even if there are existing search applications, the level of knowledge inside the IT department about how they work and how to evaluate an enterprise application is likely to be low.

  • There is probably no single business owner of search, and yet it is because of the poor performance of existing search applications that the company is now undertaking the selection of a new application.

  • Most of the companies in the business are totally unknown to either the IT department or to procurement.

  • It is not easy for a company to understand the differences between the applications offered by the vendors and by open source developers.

  • If the procurement doesn’t deliver significantly better search performance, the problem will be immediately apparent to most employees on the day it is launched.

This chapter provides advice on how to undertake the specification and selection of an enterprise search ...

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