Picture this: The crucial information you need to stimulate your company's next big research breakthrough, or to close on that next big-ticket deal, is wrapped up in an e-mail exchange or stuck in a sales proposal from two months ago, and might as well not even exist for all the good it does you.

But what if you could effectively Google your business information? According to Dan Mathews, CTO of global enterprise applications provider IFS, that's the fundamental idea behind a recently released enterprise search tool that gives anyone (with the right data access permissions, of course) the ability to search and sort mission-critical information such as:

Customer and supplier data

  • Manufacturers often have large numbers of customers and/or suppliers, making it hard for users to know the exact name or ID number for the customer.

Dan Mathews, CTO, IFS
Parts information

  • Complex manufacturers can deal with millions of parts, and search gives the ability to use keywords like "bolt rust free 80" to quickly find part numbers.

Document databases

  • Searching for text within anything from engineering specs to quality routines and product documentation puts data in the right hands at the right time.

Fault reports and quality documents

  • While organized fault reporting should be part of any serious manufacturing application, the ability to look for specific problems using natural search can be valuable.

Key business transaction records (e.g., invoices, orders and confirmations)

  • Enterprise search can provide manufacturers with a map for their digital paper trail.

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