The lowdown on enterprise search engines

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What are they? Enterprise search engines perform targeted searches of internal and external data stores, and often analyze and sort the data before presenting it to the user.

Why would I need one? To reduce the amount of time employees and constituents waste looking for information on the agency's Web site or intranet, and, in some cases, to locate information that might not have been found at all.

What are their advantages? They can search documents, e-mail, databases and other types of information, saving time and, ultimately, money for an organization.

Cost? Prices vary for each installation, depending on the number of users and other factors. For a government organization prices typically range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Must-know information? Enterprise search engines do far more than just keyword searches on HTML documents, but you have to make sure their features work on your legacy systems, without a lot of additional customization and constant work to keep updated. It's best to test them first with real users and real documents.

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