Monday, August 25, 2008

Interwoven Universal Search

Title and Session Link: Interwoven Universal Search - Business Drivers and Case Studies


Is your firm taking a look at Interwoven's enterprise search product? Listen to member firms discuss the business drivers that led to their purchase decisions and what they're learning during implementation.


Peter Lamb - CIO, Torys, moderating

John Kuttler - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Robert Guilbert - Knowledge Management Architect, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Chris Bull - COO of Osborne Clarke in the UK.

I have seen and blogged about an impressive demo of the social search capabilities of the latest version of Vivisimo's search, which powers Interwoven Universal Search or "IUS." I was very curious to see how any flavor of Universal Search might be implemented by a law firm, particularly, if the "semantic clustering" would fly.


Finnegan is an IP firm with many offices. "Geek lawyers" tend to appreciate a service like enterprise search.

He saw a demo of IUS at ILTA 07, and thought that it would benefit his attorneys. They've had "Google mini." Unlike Universal Search, it doesn't respect security.

On their intranet, they have drill-down into matter and client systems that pull in information from many different systems including IP Docketing, Records, DMS (Interwoven), Financial Systems, and InterAction.

They've done a pilot test with attorneys, and hope to launch mid-September. First collections included DMS, Intranet, public internet, Exchange public folders, client-matter database (numbers and names only); file shares, and their CPI IP Docketing System.

Attorneys need and like both stemming and highlighting hits in context. It shows number of hits per author.

They customized IUS by only displaying client / matter number, and then a mouse-over shows full name.

They haven't turned it loose on people.

He would like to tune the results based on who is doing the searching (esp. with technical searches).


Wachtell is 275 lawyer firm in New York only. Search was driven by poor email search, it was frustrating to waste time looking for information. "I can search Google and find information across the entire internet in seconds...why can't I search within our own domain like that?"

Can sort by each repository. Can customize each data source, to show doc type from DMS and From and To for email.

They chose IUS for its scalability, open results within native applications, ease of setup, and so forth.

They spent three months on a Proof of Concept. The POC expanded from 20 to 100+ attorneys, and they had little choice but to purchase it.

Some rollout delay occasioned by the use of search to find information that was previously and appropriately obscure.

Content searched includes WorkSite documents, email, Client memo databases, firm presentations database, and through federated search, some legal websites.

They went from ~300 searches a day in the first week to ~500 searches a day in the fourth week. Number of users per day also increased dramatically.

Search has "changed the way our attorneys work." Robert feels it gives them a competitive advantage.

The next steps for them are adding in Interaction, web 2.0 technologies like tagging and voting, and role-based searching.


He was involved as a program director, not a technologist. As COO he is responsible for KM as well as IT, HR, and so forth.

Osborne Clarke has 430 attorneys, 3 offices in the UK, 2 in Germany, 1 (small) office in Palo Alto.

They just launched MOSS in July 2008, and had a major KM systems overhaul. Their KM systems were scattered, and search was slow. They wanted to reduce email overload. Search was a critical part of intranet upgrade. They decided not to go with Sharepoint native search, because of the lack of federated search and the lack of integration with WorkSite.

They didn't do a Proof of Concept, although it probably would have sped up the selection process.
They wanted a single, simple search tool. It makes it look like you have a single database. They have 10 Practice Support Lawyers. Part of what they wanted was to get external knowledge from Lexis or PLC. The People and basic intranet search are powered by IUS.

They stripped out the library system. They added the library catalog in to IUS. People hadn't used the native application.

Ranking is really important. The right search results had to be on the first page.
  • WorkSite--includes emails, KM library, and matter workspaces.
  • PLC--external know-how database
  • Intranet
  • Library catalogue
Next steps are Lexis/Westlaw, expertise locator (half finished), Interaction, and Elite.

They've had some issues with the amount of older content. They were able to get its rank reduced. Some people had bulk-profiled email, which wasn't coming back well. It really exposes improper profiling of documents.

"When you can filter as well as you can in IUS, you just have to educate people."

Their intranet has nice clean look, branded as "The OC Intranet." The professional KM practitioners don't like the clusters, everyone else likes them.

Each practice area has its own knowledge page. OC exposes a folder on WorkSite, to cater to people who like to browse.


These three had a very positive view of IUS. It sounds like you can tune and weigh different data sources' ranking to get what you need on the first page. These implementations are especially impressive in the IUS had little to no penetration in the legal market last year, and so the IUS team must have had very little experience on which to draw.

1 comment:

SteveDotNet said...

Interestng post - as a sharepoint developer and the guy who developed OC's intranet I can tell you that the IUS implementation was anything from smooth and the decision to not use MOSS search was, in my opinion taken in haste without proper consideration. IUS integration into sharepoint poses its own problems and involved custom development, as yet we dont have a solution we are happy with. That said Vivisimo is an excellent search engine, with Interwoven involved it makes a very appealing product considering the depth of reliance on their DMS.
The worksite integration into sharepoint for "those who liks to browse" is awesome (a little bias perhaps!), and very popular.