Google's Universal Search for Law Firms & Interwoven | Knowledge Management

Google’s Universal Search for Law Firms & Interwoven  

Presentation on March 12, 2008, Vijay Koduri, Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise and Gautam Malkamekar of Persistent Systems. 

My notes from the presentation:

  • Google Enterprise overview:
    • “mission organize the world’s information…”
    • enterprise information (i.e. info behind the firewall) is 40% world’s information.
  • 600 Google employees dedicated to G Enterprise.
  • 15,000 customers.
  • Google Apps – the suite of apps (now also including Google Sites [see my gripe about Sites here]).
  • 2000 new Apps customers every day!
  • “Search is the starting point to the world’s information.”
  • Knowledge workers (“KWs”) spend 25% of time looking for information.
  • KWs search about 5 repositories looking for information.
  • Expertise location is important 
  • Impact on business is loss of productivity, not optimizing billable hours.
  • What is Universal Search?
    • one search searches multiple repositories
    • the results are delivered without categorizing
    • the results are ranked by relevancy
    • an example of Universal search is Google’s Moma internal knowledge base
  • Universal search allows client access via extranets (security is observed to only give access to allowed material).
  • ROI: increase of billable hours – eliminate some time searching so that billers can spend some of that time doing billable activities (time is money).
  • The Google Search Appliance (GSA) searches pretty much all repositories in the enterprise (file shares, intranets, databases, enterprise apps, content management).
  • “OneBox” – Can make real time queries into various apps (ex. see a snapshot of a regional sales report in the search results – not just a link to the report).
  •  Case Study: Akin Gump (not many details).
    • deployed GSA
    • used it to search intranet pages

Second part of webinar – Persistent Systems & Live demo 

The info here is spare because there were some technical problems)

How Universal Search is “extended” to interwoven

  • Persistent Systems overview
  • Connector Deployment – there is Persistent Systems connector between the Interwoven databases and the GSA (fed via XML)
  • Quick – easy install, simple configuration. 

Live demo of Connector

  • an apparently simple “walk through” set up – it took 5 minutes. 
  • A Google browser is used, allowing to search just public content or public & secure content. 
  • only content to which the user has access appears – demonstrated this feature by signing in as different users with different access credentials. 
  • demonstrated Google OneBox – shows relevant real time information in the search results.
  • They can also connect into other DMS products, like Hummingbird

Q&A:

  • The GSA is a closed box and Google does not share the info with anyone outside of the enterprise
  • GSA can search MS Exchange databases, too.
  • It can search across multiple Worksite servers in different geographical locations.
  • Security is checked
  • The search must originate from the web page, but can be embedded in FileSite, with some custom work.
  • Pricing: based on number of documents in organization.  Starting $30,000 (for two-year license, hardware, software, support) for 500,000 documents.  Can index up to 30 million documents with stacked GSAs.
  • There is a small business version of product “Google Mini” 50,000 documents – $3,000.
  • Application can search Word Perfect, as well as Word and many, many other file types.
  • Information can be compartmentalized so that only certain people can see it.
  • Works with single sign on mechanisms. 
  • OneBox works by doing a real-time query. 
  • Google does not keep your search statistics, but you can keep track of your own search statistics within the enterprise with Google Analytics. 
  • They skipped my question: how many Am Law 100 firms have deployed GSA and how many have deployed the Persistent Systems connector?

Webinar is archived here.

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

Innovation at Google – a day in the life | Knowledge Management

This was a fantastic webinar from KMWorld and Google:

Innovation @ Google: A Day In The Life

On March 11, 2008, Naveen Viswanatha, Sales Engineer at Google Enterprise gave a really great presentation. 

My notes from the presentation: 

  • Broad background of Google and Google Enterprise, touting customer base, etc.
  • Internet Evolution – from information to distribution & communitaction to network & platform.
  • Chronology of how Google evolved with the internet – timeline with their many online products.
  • “Innovation is at the core of Google’s competiveness.” 
  • 70-20-10 Rule – i.e. Google splits its business focus: 70% focus on core business (Search, Ads, Apps); 20% on things with strong potential (blogger, Picassa, News, Pack); 10% Wild and Crazy (offline adds, wifi, transit).   
  • How Google hires people – the hiring process is “painfull.” (See Fast Company article: “Our hiring process is legendary”
  • Google has a relatively flat management structure. 
  • Internal tool called “Snippets” (a nag email: what did you work on last week? – what are you working on this week?) – so you can track your work.  AND it is a knowledge-base tool because everyone else can search all other snippets and get information on what they may be working on. 
  • Google Ideas database – post and review ideas within Google – people can comment on and vet out the ideas.  The ideas might turn into an actual project.  [plus, it records the things that are Google’s intellectual property] – it uses the “wisdom of the crowds” philosophy.
  • Innovation is a collaborative process at Google –  “Innovation = Discovery + Collaboration (+ Fun)” 
  • First day at Google is “like drinking from a firehose”
  • Any questions – go to “Moma” – Google’s internal knowledge base – search of their key knowledge areas. 
  • Can look for experts within the company – Google expert search within Moma – lots of an individual’s information is searchable (including resumes, which they encourage people to keep up to date).   
  • Search results within Moma – you can take notes in the search results (of the things that you are searching) – uses Google Docs [I used Google Docs to take notes for this blog post] – and you can publish the notes — it publishes it out to the people you want (they use gMail, chat, Goolge Calendar – can overlay colleague’s calendars on top of your own so that you can schedule meetings, etc.). 
  • Regarding the notes – others can make changes to your notes (which you created in Google Docs) in real time – you can see the changes on your screen. 
  • It’s all about the “…ability to find and leverage collective wisdom of the organization…” 
  • How are experts are established?  Expert databases are hard to keep upto date.  So they leverage the things that people do already: resumes, blogs, wikis, Snippets, Moma, etc.
  • Are these tools avaiable to the public?  Yes and no.  Search is the key enabler to tap into the repositories that are already in use at your organization (touting Google Search Appliance). 

The event is archived: here  

I really encourage people to check this out.  Especially those who are new to KM.  This presentation gave a glimpse into Google as a company and it shows off some great ways that any organization can approach KM. 

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

Social Network Aggregation (Pull yourself together with Netvibes) | Knowledge Management

“What is Ginger?” you may ask. It’s the new and improved release of Netvibes (the last release was called Coriander – there’s a spice theme going on here).

ginger

What is Netvibes? It’s an “ajax-based personalized [internet] start page much like Pageflakes, My Yahoo!, iGoogle, and Microsoft Live.” (see Wikipedia) It lets you bring in customized widgets and all types of other feeds or streams of information – everything from RSS news feeds to various web applications. The new release embraces social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Last night, I tweeted from Ginger. I know that doesn’t sound good.

The Netvibes folks probably say it best: it’s a

“dashboard that’s updated live directly from all your favorite Web services (email, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, widgets) and media content (blogs, podcasts, video). Everything you enjoy on the Web, available at a glance, all in one place — spend less time surfing and logging in from site to site and more time enjoying your web, your way.”

As Doug at KM Space noted, this is about aggregating yourself (or your stuff) – and this type of thing can be used inside the enterprise. Ginger is yet another way to help you aggregate your stuff – to bring all of these streams into one place to access (and use) the various web applications via widgets.

The killer thing is that Ginger gives you a personal space and a public space – the public space is called your “universe” – and it’s there for all of your Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers (and anyone else you want) to see. There are also universes by companies and news providers, like Slate, USA Today, and others.

In addition to the private and public aspects of Ginger, you can see and “follow” friends’ activities.

I could go on and on, but your best bet: check it out here. Or see what Ars Technica had to say about it.

Here’s a link to the LawyerKM Netvibes Universe. It’s still in its infancy, but includes a feed of the LawyerKM blog, a KM blog search feed, the LawyerKM Twitter feed, and a wall on which you can write. I’m not crazy about the color, which I’ll likely change.

lkm uni

Please add LawyerKM as a friend. Use the Contacts tab at the top of the screen, search for “LawyerKM” and click the icon. On the following screen, click the “Add Friend” button.

lmk uni

Will I replace my iGoogle home page with Netvibes’ new Ginger? Not sure yet. But iGoogle, you’d better get in this game. You’ve been warned.

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

An Open Letter to Google Sites

Dear Google Sites,

Many people have said many things about the Googleized JotSpot. I’d like to say some things, too. But I can’t because you packaged Google Sites with the Google Apps product suite. That means that I can’t register to use Sites with my beloved Gmail address. You require that people “Sign up with your school or work email address.” I don’t have a school email address. And I can’t use my work address for such things. But I do want to collaborate with people and use this really exciting new application. I read about Sites in Scott Johnston’s blog post and I watched his YouTube video.

Please reconsider allowing your loyal Gmail users to register to use Google Sites with their Gmail addresses.

Thanks in advance…

LawyerKM

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_KnC2EIS5w]

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

Google joins the Interwoven party, along with Vivisimo | Knowledge Management

Updated – Registration link added below.

I’ve written (and read quite a bit) about Interwoven Universal Search before, but the more I see, the more I like.  I was impressed with Interwoven’s DeskSite and FileSite products (it looks like they are collectively calling the product WorkSite now?), when I deployed them at my former firm.  I like the matter-centric environment.  But from what I can see, the killer feature is the collaboration with Vivisimo.   To see what it’s all about, check out this self-running demo.  It’s really well done. 

Not to be out done, however, Google Enterprise recently launched universal search for business, and will be putting on a show to demonstrate its Interwoven connector.  There are several shows, but there is one specially for law firms.  I’m looking forward to learning more about this – the demo is on March 12.   Register here.

In fact, Google is doing some very interesting things that might be of value to law firms, like the related web results feature.  I also like the the left (or right) hand search navigation, which is part of Google Experimental Labs project.  Check out a sample search here, and see how the results areclustered on the left (sort of like Vivisimo’s).  The “suggest” feature is not really new–it’s built into the Google search on my Firefox browser–but I like it too.  Try it out here (start typing in a search term). 

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

A Certain Wiki in Plain English (Video) | Knowledge Management

The good people over at Common Craft have published another great video about wikis.  This one is about a particular free wiki from Wetpaint and it is called Wetpaint Wikis in Plain English.  See the other Plain English wiki video by Common Craft here.

LawyerKM likes Wetpaint wikis – they are pretty easy to use and have a nice interface.  Very web 2.0-ish.   IOHO Wetpaint is a better alternative than, for example, pbwiki – which is just confusing. 

We know that there are many, many other free wikis.  Which wiki do you use? 

Let’s be honest… aren’t we all waiting for Google to make JotSpot public and itegrate it with the rest of their online suite? 

LawyerKM:: Knowledge Management for Lawyers and Law Firms 

Google Reader, Meet Google Search | Knowledge Management

Although LawyerKM likes the idea of enterprise RSS, we know that many firms are not ready to go there. Will the lawyers use it? Is it worth the investment? Don’t get us started. Most of us here have resorted to Google Reader, which we love. We often wish that Google would make an enterprise version of it; but, we’re not holding our collective breath.

We’re such big fans of GReader, that we were shocked to see that Google added a search box – the lack of which we always found strange. [PC World agrees] How could Google — the search giant that it is — fail to have a search function in its RSS reader?

Even more shocking is that we didn’t notice that the search function has been there for a couple of weeks now. It has something to do with the fact that we’ve been really busy and also because we all have the Reader on our iGoogle pages – so we don’t really open GReader (proper) very often.

Well, we’re happy to see it. A belated welcome and thank you.

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management for Lawyers and Law Firms

Death by Google Presentations? | Knowledge Management

As we reported back in April, Google had been planning to launch a PowerPoint killer an addition to Google Docs.  Well, they did it.  Google Presentations is the online collaborative slide show application, which launced yesterday.  Here is a good summary of some of the features. 

“Death by Google Presentations” just doesn’t sound as good as “Death by PowerPoint.” (Special thanks to Dilbert): 

But just think, with online collaboration the whole premeditation and conspiracy of preparing slide shows with this killer app may result in federal — if not international — offenses.  

In all seriousness, we wonder if law firms will use a suite of Docs, Spreadsheets, and now Presentations on the web.  Will security be too much of an issue?  Or will we continue to send drafts around via email?  Is there a place for a secure, web-based, collaboration suite so that law firms with multiple offices can feel safe about real-time, online collaboration?  Is anyone doing this? Thoughts?  Please comment and let us know. 

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management for Lawyers and Law Firms

Google Docs in Plain English | Knowledge Management

We really can’t get enough of the Common Craft Videos in Plain English. They just completed Google Docs in Plain English, which is fantastic. Google seems to love them too – they link to the video in their blog. Google Docs is also pretty fantastic. Who doesn’t love the idea of online document collaboration?

LawyerKM :: Knowledge Management for Lawyers and Law Firms