Google announced this morning Cloud Connect for the Google Search Appliance (GSA).  The Search Appliance has been around for years, but Google has had difficulty getting law firm adoption.  The latest version, however, offers some additional benefits that might make it more attractive to all types of businesses, including law firms.

The Cloud, Ground, and Social Search.

Google says that GSA now displays search results from “Google Docs and Google Sites alongside results from more traditional repositories, like file shares and content management systems.”  In addition, one search can show results from blogs, and social media sites, like Twitter.

Who We Know.

Equally important — especially to law firms — is the new People Search feature, “which makes it easy to find experts and contact coworkers.”  Search results for coworkers are included in response to queries.  The announcement indicates that the GSA can index personnel information and includes an LDAP connector, which should make things easier to set up.  The ability to index popular client relationship management (CRM) applications, like InterAction, is unclear.

Important Extras.

Finally, the new GSA includes Dynamic Navigation and SharePoint 2010 support.  Dynamic Navigation “allows users to drill down into search results based on search modifiers for their queries.”  This sort of feature is nothing new;  most of the search tools used by many law firms use it, but is an important addition to GSA nonetheless.   Narrowing search results — rather than executing a new search — is one of the fastest ways to get the information you need.  Google did not elaborate on SharePoint integration, except to say that it supports Microsoft SharePoint 2010 ”content without the need for additional connectors.”  Going forward, tight SharePoint integration will be absolutely necessary given the increasing rate of adoption at law firms.

What are your thoughts?  Will the new version of GSA prompt more law form adoption?

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