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10/29/2004
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SmartAdvice: Small Banks Should Use An ASP And Their Agility To Differentiate Service

As more banking moves online, small and midsize banks must use their agility to keep customers, The Advisory Council says. Also, Google has to sharpen its focus to be competitive in enterprise search; and a CIO must develop staff leaders to enhance the business.

Question B: What role, if any, should Google desktop have on enterprise PCs?

Our advice: Locating relevant or actionable information is one of the most pressing problems faced by all of us today. A recent study calculated that 5 exabytes (an exabyte is a million terabytes) of digital information was generated in 2002, while 18 exabytes was communicated between users! Clearly, there are many business and technical opportunities to enable users to do a better job at searching this data.

Google has become the premier search engine on the Internet for two reasons. First is the very clean design of its Web site and search process. Second is its patented method of assigning "ranks" to Web pages. This method has enabled users to zip through the Web and quickly find significant information. Since the Internet has much low-quality information, Messrs. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google's co-founders, helped solve a significant problem.


Related Links
Google Desktop

HotBot Desktop

dtSearch

WizSoft

DolphinSearch
Google is now offering a free desktop search engine that will search files on the user's hard drive. This follows the announcement of the Lycos HotBot Desktop search tool earlier this year.

However, the world of enterprise desktop and intranet search is very different from the Internet search world. Business users are focused on specific needs and not general "search" capability. Mutual fund managers are interested in searching Securities and Exchange Commission EC filings; lawyers are interested in searching electronic evidence; newspaper editors are interested in searching image databases; IT power users and forensic investigators want to search the registry, etc. It's doubtful if Google's ranking method would be applicable in this space. A user in a large consulting company, searching for a previous internal report, would be interested in keyword, synonym, or concept searches, not necessarily how many people already referenced the report. In addition, specific search capabilities already are available for each of these applications and many others. DtSearch is one company that offers both end-user and embedded search applications.

If Google is seriously interested in the enterprise market, the firm will have to create a more significant offering. It will need to offer an internal-network search like dtSearch already does. It should offer advanced concept search capability, like dtSearch, WizSoft, and DolphinSearch already do. It will need to provide a smart interface for vertical-industry business applications. Google has significant search know-how that could be profitably used to create an engine for a vertical-industry search product.

For now, Google is still searching for a compelling enterprise search offering.

--Frederick Scholl

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