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Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Secret Sauce to All Great Intranets

By Mike Marnocha — Director, Enterprise Search Solutions

The digital workspace now encompasses collaboration platforms, task management systems, reporting tools, communication channels, and social features, among others. Amidst this abundance, it's easy for employees to feel lost and struggle to locate the resources they need. While experts advocate for engagement, user-centered design, personalization, and content taxonomy as key success factors, I firmly believe that an effective enterprise search system driven by knowledge and AI stands out as a vital component of a successful intranet. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why enterprise search serves as the secret sauce for creating a remarkable employee experience within the digital workspace.

Woman using the trackpad on her laptop sitting at a table
The Secret Sauce to All Great IntranetsDirector, Enterprise Search Solutions — Mike Marnocha
Woman using the trackpad on her laptop sitting at a table

What is Enterprise Search?

Enterprise search is the process of searching for information within an organization's internal data sources, such as documents, emails, databases, and other digital assets. It is designed to help employees find the information they need quickly and efficiently, without having to spend time searching through multiple sources.

The intranet serves as the sanctioned go-to resource within a company, where employees turn to seek information. When employees are unable to locate what they need promptly, their natural course of action is to rely on the search functionality. Poor search experience is one of the top 3 problem statements we see at Rightpoint during intranet redesigns. If the search does not return what they are looking for, or it is buried in a sea of irrelevant information, employee frustration ensues.

A 2022 Workplace Relevance report shows that 31% of users feel burned out because they are frustrated with not being able to find information. 42% said it made them feel less confident about the quality of work and 16% said it made them want to leave the company.

Many digital workspace owners believe content and tools are key. The problem is that just because you have the content, that does not mean the users will be able to find it or trust that it is the right version. Search experiences must be tuned and trained by users to understand relevance. Relevancy tuning based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is key to adapting to your enterprise needs.

How Knowledge Management and AI Feed the Experience

Knowledge management (KM) is a complex topic, but for simplification I’m looking at KM as the proper harvesting, governance and tagging of content and documents in your organization. Ideally you are using Content AI tools like Microsoft Syntex to model, train and test automating your metadata. I see Microsoft Viva Topics providing great tools to find topics and jumpstart easier ways to connect people to information. With a strong foundation in place, we can tap into that from an Enterprise Search perspective.

AI is revolutionizing the way organizations operate and interact with their employees. By leveraging AI-powered technologies such as Cognitive Search for intelligence and Open AI for the ability to analyze and provide answers to users we are talking about Systems of Intelligence. The intelligent systems open use cases such as chatbots and virtual assistants, companies can provide instant, personalized support and guidance to employees at any time. These AI-driven systems can automate repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and even anticipate employee needs. By freeing up valuable time and resources, AI enables employees to focus on high-value work, creativity, and problem-solving, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling employee experience.

Why Enterprise Search is Essential for Employee Experience

1. Saves Time and Increases Productivity

Employees spend a significant amount of time searching for information, which is frustrating and time-consuming. An effective enterprise search saves time and increases productivity by quickly retrieving relevant information from various sources. This allows employees to focus on their tasks and complete them more efficiently.

Key Outcomes: Cost Saving – via higher self-service, reduced support desk hours. Productivity increase – such as a 100% increase in search efficiency.

2. Improves Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration

Enterprise search facilitates knowledge sharing and collaboration within an organization. By making it easier for employees to find and access relevant information, it encourages them to share their knowledge and expertise with others. This leads to increased innovation, improved decision-making, and better teamwork.

Key Outcome: Increased Employee Connection.

3. Enhances Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

A well-designed intranet with a powerful enterprise search enhances employee satisfaction and engagement. Employees are more likely to feel valued and appreciated when they have access to the information necessary to perform their jobs effectively. This leads to increased motivation, improved job performance, and higher job satisfaction.

Key Outcome: Increased Employee Retention.

ChatGPT Expectations

The enterprise search landscape continues to get more complex with the explosion of ChatGPT, OpenAI, and others creating new consumer expectations on how these tools should work. Users are thinking beyond keywords and desire instant answers to a natural language query. It is critical that companies think about the future expectations when implementing or upgrading search.


In today's digital age, the secret sauce to creating exceptional employee experiences lies in harnessing the power of search, AI, and knowledge management. By integrating these technologies, organizations can empower employees with seamless search functionality, unleash the potential of AI, and foster a culture of learning and collaboration through effective knowledge management. This holistic approach not only enhances productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction but also drives continuous improvement and innovation within the organization. As organizations strive to create a competitive edge and attract top talent, investing in these transformative technologies is no longer an option but a necessity.

At Rightpoint we understand many companies are on a spectrum of enterprise search maturity and have unique needs.

I recommend taking action now and investing in Enterprise Search as an investment in Employee Experience. It should be top priority as an initiative. Reach out for an assessment and we can help you navigate the path forward.