Enterprise Search – Impact on how we do business | Knowledge Management

ILTA August 25, 2008 2:30 pm

These are my notes from the program.  [Since I am taking paper-free notes and because there is free Wi-Fi here, I thought that I’d add the notes to the blog.  Disclaimer: my notes are rough, so forgive the typos.]

Chad Ergun, Jeff Rovner, Robert Guilbert, moderated by: Rachelle DeGregory

See the ILTA site for the speaker line up

Jeff Rovner – O’Melveny & Myers – Recommind

  • decided on Recommind –
  • decision influenced by The Long Tail (there are obscure items that collectively make up a great amount of what is stored and searched)
  • modeled after electronic commerce (Amazon)
  • there are many ways to find content [many paths to the top of the mountain]
  • the key is that the content and existing systems allow you to make inferences and create the tags that attach to the content automatically.
  • Aug 2006 to September 2007 launch – 10 months
  • April 2008 – integrated MindServer and firm intranet
  • Recommind as a stand alone application
    • used websites as model for simplicity (FLickr) – called Ommni (“your one source for firm information”)
    • had tutorials
    • used Bloomindales.com as a demo to show how to drill down into jackets.  then went directly into Recommind demo and repeated the exercise with documents [brilliant!!]
  • Integration with Intranet
    • browse-able search
    • has same search box, just adds an intranet tab
    • e.g., find personnel box – includes all of the relevant info about the person, including news stories.
    • has an advanced personnel search – very detailed ability to drill down into what people are looking for.
    • Find Active Clients box- leads to a client page (created a template so the it brings up info for any client)
    • the Client page lists all matters and leads to the matter page.
    • can display all matters liked to a client
  • Intranet has table of contents
    • displays offices, and then the people in those offices (powered by Recommind) with the standard filters.  (just like the Bloomingdales site)
  • A PRactice Group centric page – where you can get all info related to the PG
  • Topic pages – Can do a client matters search associated with topic pages
  • The difference with Recommind is that it is all automatic
  • Recommended book – Everything is Miscellaneous

Chad Ergun – White & Case – Autonomy

  • created matrix listing all vendors and features
  • language independence was # 1 issue due to international practice of White & Case
  • started using Autonomy for enterprise search, then added it to intranet, knowledge bank, DMS, and desktop search.
  • Next phase to turn voicemail into searchable content
  • uses one single search box with tabs across top to drill down if desired.
  • has results drill down on left side (similar to Recommind)
  • The desktop search is like Google Desktop [my guess is that this would be very popular – I used to use it and miss it – I can’t find my emails!!]
  • there is integration with MS word – and the results come up based on words typed into a word document while you type.  It uses a Word toolbar.
  • The voicemail piece turns voice to text and searches them.

Robert Guilbert – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz – Interwoven’s Universal Search (IUS)

  • One office – 235 attorneys
  • Email blasts – “does anyone have any docs related to XYZ…” [i.e. PTI emails]
  • Attorneys wanted one place to look for all information
  • IUS gives them the one search with left side drill down functionality
  • System is very customizable
  • Timeline: August (first introduced) to June (launch) – 10 months
  • Averaging 300 searches a day in week 1  – week 4 was close to 500.
  • User adoption also increased.
  • [This seemed limited to the “what we know” problem – with such a small firm, the “who we know” problem is probably not so much a problem]


  • citation integration?   Jurisdiction – Recommind – yes, but not citations.  Autonomy – they system is not legal specific, but can be “trained” but not out of the box.  IUS can, but relies on adding metadata to the documents.  Thomson integrates with Recommind with their WestKM system.
  • SharePoint – White & Case will be integrating SharePoint with Autonomy later this year.  Recommind crawls SP.  IUS engine searches SP
  • Securtity – IUS respects DMS security and other systems security.  Recommind also respects security and adds ethical walls.  Autonomy does the same – if you have no access you can’t even see the document.
  • Tagging – IUS is coming out with tagging of documents.  Robert says that an attorney has already asked him about the ability to tag.  Recommind is introducing in the next version.
  • Integration with work-product retrieval systems like WestKM and RealPractice – WestKM has deconstructed it and now allows integration with Recommind.
  • What about Google? – relevancy ranking is not adjustable.  It is not really ready for law firms.
Which you choose will depend on the nature of your law firm.
If you’re reading this, you’ll likely be interested in the LinkedIn Group called Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management & Technology for Lawyers and Law Firms

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3 thoughts on “Enterprise Search – Impact on how we do business | Knowledge Management

  • August 26, 2008 at 7:11 am

    It seems to me from this that there is some welcome convergence going on in the enterprise search space, with Recommind and Interwoven Universal Search (powered by Velocity) both currently offering excellent relevancy, guided navigation, access to many different content repositories, and federated search. IUS is ahead in offering social search, and Recommind is ahead in offering integration with the citation-linking features of West KM. Autonomy is a bit of an outlier, valuable for its multi-language capacity.

  • August 26, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Hey David,
    Agreed. There are a lot of similarities among these providers, which indicates that they are getting some things right. I was really impressed with what they are doing at O’Melveny with Recommind. It was nice to see an approach in addition to what they are doing at MoFo (which is also fantastic). I’m also happy to hear that Recommind will be adding tagging in the next version. It seems that people are being careful about their excitement about tagging, but I am all for it and think that it’s going to be the next big thing that really adds value to much of what we do in KM.

  • August 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Excellent post – thanks for summarizing the session so concisely.

    I am also a fan of document tagging. I’d point out that RealPractice has included a similar feature for several years. Users of RealPractice can flag documents for Best Practices inclusion, bookmark for their own sub-collection or attach annotations. I point this out here since it gets to the issue of participation. We’ve found that prior to 2006, lawyers were not terribly interested in using these great tools. Since then, however, there has been great interest. Of course, that is because social tagging became widespread on the internet. This also taught us that it is the internet (not legal research tools) that is the greatest influence on lawyer expectations, which represented a shift.

    Glad to get your thoughts on this.

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