Within KTB, over 10,000 users relied on Google Search Appliance (GSA) to find business critical documents and do their jobs effectively. Mr Komsan Pornchaipimolpan, First Vice President Department Head – IT Innovation lab team at KTB, explains the challenge: “GSA gave us the basic search features we needed. However, when Google announced the end-of-life for GSA, we knew we had to act fast while we had limited time to find and implement an alternative solution. Our search function is business-critical and covers multiple use cases.”
The KTB Technology Design Department, of which Mr Pornchaipimolpan was a department head at the time, turned to Gartner to find out what the market options were. KTB realized that the market was moving towards a software orientated approach to enterprise search. As this would give the potential for additional use cases and functionality, the team explored software-based options. The functionality needed to be comparable to GSA, but with the potential to expand in the future. KTB also wanted a solution that would have local System Integrator support for the implementation, as introducing a software solution would require some customization. Lastly, they wanted to ensure the solution was enterprise-ready and proven with customers of a similar size.
As KTB is state-owned, a full government procurement process was leveraged to find the right solution. Local System Integrator DIS proposed Micro Focus IDOL. This solution is used by many enterprise organizations to facilitate data search and unstructured data analytics on a diverse set of file formats across a large range of data repositories. KTB has a hypervisor-driven virtual IT infrastructure and was pleased to DIS cover that IDOL would seamlessly fit into the existing architecture.
Following a positive decision for IDOL, DIS worked closely with the KTB Technology Design Department to map the user requirements, as Mr Pornchaipimolpan explains: “IDOL was a new product for us and moving from an appliance to a feature-rich platform was a large undertaking for us. We also felt that Thai users might have a different search behavior and so relied heavily on our local partner to guide us through this. DIS was there to bridge IDOL functionality with our Thai user base and make sure that the migration from GSA was as transparent and smooth as possible.”
In the interest of keeping to the tight timeline, KTB aimed for an ‘as-is’ migration from GSA to IDOL. They wanted to ensure users would not lose any search or reporting functionality in the move. The implementation was phased, with the main intranet search going live within three months of starting the project. The remaining sub-systems, including KTB internet search capabilities for its customers, went live over the next 3–4 months.
Now that IDOL is operating fully, the team are discussing potential expansion of IDOL functionality. The team that manages KTB’s data lake and data warehouse, could really benefit from the AI-driven data analytics IDOL can provide.
The aim of an ‘as-is’ migration within a tight timeline was achieved, but the additional IDOL benefits are already clear to KTB, as Mr Pornchaipimolpan comments: “The administration of IDOL is flexible, much easier than the previous solution, and we are able to streamline search workflows and improve the user interface to make the whole system much more user-friendly.”
He concludes: “We have been very impressed with the support provided by DIS and Micro Focus. DIS give first line support, but if anything goes beyond their knowledge, Micro Focus is right there to help us. We feel Micro Focus is as much a part of our team as DIS is, and the joint contribution to the success of this project has been much appreciated.”