Over the years, we have built up expertise in the field of enterprise search and have identified recurring patterns over the course of various projects. In order to share our best practices with companies implementing enterprise search, we have written this blog article. Our learnings are mostly from onboarding with SMEs and can of course vary per company/industry. While our best practices are not universal, they are a good guide to what things to consider. This blog post is a continuation of this article on how to implement enterprise search from a technical perspective.

Phases of user onboarding

The introduction of an enterprise can also be divided into different phases from a user perspective. We proceed according to the following scheme with our customers:

  • Key User Workshop
  • Onboarding
  • First experiences
  • Establishment


In addition to the different phases, there are various stakeholders that need to be considered:

In addition, we usually have the following groups of people in our enterprise search implementations:

  • IT administrators: Responsible for the technical set-up and integration into existing systems.
  • Project managers: Responsible for all organisational aspects, are the first point of contact for questions regarding amberSearch, especially in the beginning.
  • Multipliers: Managers and digital affine persons who act as opinion leaders and enable the rest of the team to get the most out of amberSearch.
  • Power users: Colleagues who use amberSearch a lot in their daily work and thus know all facets of the software and mutate into internal experts.
  • Normal users: Users who use the software to an average extent in their daily work.

Phase 3.1: Key User Workshop & Indexing

The first phase of onboarding for key users actually begins in Phase 2: Indexing & Key User Workshop (see blog article for more information). The key users are allowed onto the system for initial tests and first feedback can be collected.

Phase 3.2: Onboarding

In general, we recommend to let users access the software step by step in order to be able to make appropriate learnings and to be able to refine if necessary.

In onboarding (30 minutes online) itself, we briefly explain to our users or the multipliers how amberSearch works and allow them to test amberSearch once and ask questions. Afterwards, all employees receive an onboarding email with the most important information and further instructions. In this phase it is important that the employees consciously get to grips with the software and understand the “search logic” of the software. This includes in particular:

  • Making software visible in one’s own everyday work and IT set-up
  • Build understanding of the different functions
  • Sharpening the search and applying filtering options.

This will be easier for some people than others. It is important that there are exchange opportunities in which experiences and learnings are made visible.

It has also proven beneficial to set up a regular jour fixe between the project manager and amberSearch’s customer support in the first few weeks so that any queries or customer-specific problems can be resolved directly.

Tip: After onboarding, make a team channel available for questions about amberSearch. In addition, have colleagues report on their success stories in jour fixes in smaller teams in order to arouse further interest among initially sceptical users. This is especially the task of the multipliers.

Phase 3.3: First experiences

Relatively quickly, besides the project manager, some power users will emerge who will quickly build up a deep know-how about amberSearch. The know-how of these power users can be used to answer questions of other users in the team channel quickly and efficiently.

Tip: Encourage users to talk about challenges and successes in internal channels to make them visible to other users. Also promote the development of expertise among power users.

Phase 3.4: Establishing it in everyday working life

What we have seen with our previous customers is that when amberSearch is well integrated into everyday work, it is also talked about more often in everyday life and meetings. This contributes to further consolidation in everyday life and is a good indicator that amberSearch is successfully established.

If amberSearch is not completely rolled out from the beginning, it may well be that other departments become aware of amberSearch and express interest in using it.

Best Practices

In almost all software implementations, a large part of success is making success visible. The following best practices (possibly adaptable depending on the size of the company) have emerged that lead to success in the introduction of an enterprise search:

  • Consider all user groups and stakeholders
    Different departments have different needs. These should be considered and taken into account through the lessons learnt from the first phases of the introduction
  • Start small
    We recommend starting with a few departments of 50-100 people before rolling out to the whole company.
  • Market the roll-out internally
    Market the roll-out internally and get people “fired up” so they can mentally adjust to the change ahead.
  • Include national subsidiaries
    If you are active internationally, also involve the other national companies. The managers there will know the situation best and can give you more tips. Moreover, they are your multipliers and you should definitely have them on board.

Critical success factors

From our experience we know that there are some measures that contribute significantly to the success of amberSearch. Your task as project manager or multiplier is to enable the normal user to make the best use of amberSearch or the selected Enteprise Search. These are our learnings:

  • Make amberSearch visible in everyday work and integrate it into existing systems to ease the transition of everyday work. (see above: Phase 3.1)
  • Actively engage users with the solution and discover use cases (see above: phase 3.2)
  • Talk openly about amberSearch and make successes and learnings visible. (see above: Phase 3.3)

Create an internal community

Who the personas of the internal community are was explained in the chapter Phases of User Onboarding. So what is the advantage of an internal community?

  • Questions, some of which are specific to the use cases in your organisation, can be answered by you and other colleagues.
  • Employees have the opportunity to find questions that have already been asked, so they don’t have to ask them again.
  • In addition, colleagues can exchange information in a familiar environment and do not have to directly overcome the “hurdle” of contacting someone external or unknown.
  • In addition, best practices and positive experiences become visible and motivate other colleagues to integrate the software more into their daily work.

An internal community leads to your team becoming even more successful with Enterprise Search and achieving desired usage.