CA Technologies Bridges Big Data Gap with Federation, Indexing

A Coveo implementation at CA Technologies shows that federation of dozens of data sources proves to be an efficient method of dealing with big data, with employees and customers alike reaping the benefits of data availability.

By Vangie Beal
Mon, August 06, 2012

CIO — Big data comes with numerous challenges, and today's geometric growth of data means that one of the biggest problems a CIO faces is how to get the right information every time and for every employee and customer.

Louis Tetu, chairman and CEO of enterprise search company Coveo, says the average organization has two and a half times the number of information sources that it had only 10 years ago. Innovations such as social media and cloud computing are fueling the proliferation of information. In that same amount of time, CIOs have been primarily pursuing data integration—but federation of all data sources is proving to be a more efficient method of dealing with big data.

Getting More Insight from Big Data for Customers, Employees

While some think of big data in terms of volume and velocity, Tetu believes a third dimension—variety—is the key. This includes various data sources such as Web content, email, CRM, databases, ERP and social data. According to Coveo, as many as 65 percent of executives do not combine social data with enterprise content.

To handle big data, Coveo reaches beyond intelligent enterprise search technology. Focusing only on search and the ability to retrieve information actually misses the power of indexing. For Web content management, Coveo enables the complete view of the customer and delivers a contextual customer experience by federating content from multiple systems through the search index.

"We combine Coveo on websites to really assemble the complete relevant information," Tetu says. "When a person hits a website, the company should know if this person called tech support in the last week, when the customer last paid their bill&what products the customer uses and any other relevant information."

Getting meaningful information from enterprise data is critical. This goal is twofold, as the platform needs to service two distinct audiences: internal employees and the external customers. In customer relationship management, for example, the 360-degree view of the customer is a goal organizations try to attain. The problem in the CRM world, for most companies, is that the total view of the customer actually resides in a variety of enterprise systems.

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"By leveraging indexes, we can not only federate but also correlate information by finding customers or find[ing] data that looks alike to serve customers in a much more relevant and efficient fashion," Tetu says.

The enterprise search element of Coveo's platform can be used across enterprise IT and intranets. It goes beyond basic document retrieval to accomplish tasks such as correlating experts through the content. Coveo enterprise search allows you to find the experts—the "people who know something about something" and the "people who know people"—and find the content that is relevant.

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