Updated: Royal & SunAlliance uses Google search

Insurance firm Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has begun to use the enterprise search application from Google, the search engine giant and fast growing enterprise applications firm.

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Insurance firm Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has begun to use the enterprise search application from Google, the search engine giant that has been fast growing as an enterprise applications firm.

The aim is to improve the use and speed of R&SA's intranet, and comes in response to the firm’s “knowledge management” department receiving regular complaints from employees struggling to locate applications and tools needed for their day to day job.

Tony Brierley, knowledge manager at the firm, told Computerworld UK that the company’s intranet was crucial to finding key data including reference information, guidelines and legal data. He said employees were “frustrated that it was taking minutes to find information” while customers were waiting on the phone.

R&SA researched the enterprise search market and consulted Gartner to discuss the technology that would be best suited for the business. The Google Search Appliance was selected after an assessment of functionality, cost and usability. It is now handling 7,000 searches each day, pulling average search times well below the traditional seven-minute mark for the company intranet.

Brierley said another factor in the choice of Google was its compatibility with the Lotus Notes collaborative email and calendar system that R&SA calls the “backbone” of its operations. The newly integrated appliance is able to search more than 200 types of attachment.

The integration itself went smoothly, Brierley added. “The server worked straight out of the box, it was simply a case of connecting it by an Ethernet cable. We then set up the software with Google’s guidance when it was needed,” he said.

The insurance company recently signed a 10-year IT services deal with IBM, and has a virtual private network contract with BT.

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