Customizing Search in SharePoint – I guess that’s what consultants are for

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Customizing Search in SharePoint – I guess that’s what consultants are for

I am in the process of writing a case study with a client who has deployed our technology. They are a non-profit and have approximately 150 business users. On staff, they have a senior SharePoint administrator. Before deploying our technologies, they took the approach to maximize and leverage SharePoint features to improve search. They did a great job. They ended up using the web analytics search reports, best bets, search scopes and customized tabs, property mapping, and query suggestions.

This whole process took quite a while with only one resource to learn, deploy, and test the new functionality. I guess my point is, it was an eye opener for me (obviously naively) that many organizations do not have the resources to truly customize and manage SharePoint to leverage their investment. But, in reality, many can’t.

This organization succeeded. But how many other SharePoint installations do not succeed? There have been many postings and articles about SharePoint implementation and deployment, if it is a product or a platform, etc. For this organization they did it themselves, over a period of 3 years. Some will hire consultants. Many can’t afford to. And some will use it out-of-the-box and never leverage SharePoint capabilities.

Interesting conundrum. Where do you think Microsoft should go in addressing these middle sized organizations in improving the ability to leverage SharePoint without breaking the bank?

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