Conference Notes

Case Study: Find It With SharePoint Search (Mike Brannon, National Gypsum) – Share 2012, Atlanta

The inaugural Share conference in the United States is almost done. There is one final track session, the keynote, and then the SharePint (thankfully there will be Sprite available) – don’t forget the post-conference workshops tomorrow though. I’m attending Mike Brannon’s session on SharePoint search. Mike is the Director of Infrastructure and Security.

Key points:
– National Gypsum is a drywall, cement board. Has 34 locations in North America. 900 employees. More than 10,000 partners and customers. Heavy use of Microsoft products, as well as IBM z/OS and SAP. Key go-to-market strategy: great customer service.
– the situation – information overload, e-discovery (for law suits).
– SharePoint search – do it well, plan for it, manage it
– … SharePoint 2010 is a big step past 2007. Very often, people forget about search. Need to get metadata working well.
– project management considerations
– … there are lots of search options. Work through them, and figure out what to do.
– … collect requirements as part of the solution (what business process does this map to?, what are they searching for? etc)
– … … go for specific requirements, not general ones. “Better search results” means nothing – you need to be more specific.
– … allow time to configure crawled metadata.
– … plan for user adoption and education – so people know how to save it to find it.
– information architecture – bring metadata and search together.
– Mike described some of the search capabilities in SharePoint 2010 – eg., scopes, sorting, advanced search, people matches, and more.
– find ways to set metadata easier.
– key user actions needed to maximize flexibility.
– you get what you measure – are seeking feedback from people. What’s working well?