Information is increasingly distributed in a decentralised manner, making it more difficult for employees to find internal know-how quickly and easily. To make decentralised information quickly accessible, companies can use enterprise search software.

What is enterprise search software?

Enterprise search software is an application that makes it possible to search internal company content across different data sources and formats in order to find relevant information quickly and efficiently. It helps companies to break down data silos and make information accessible, which can increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

When should you use enterprise search software?

The problems that enterprise search software solves are ones that almost all companies have. There are more and more data silos and a lot of knowledge has accumulated in companies over time. Even today, employees spend almost 30 minutes a day on internal research. Some studies even estimate up to 1.8 hours a day. This is a figure that has risen by 77% in recent years and will continue to rise with the exponential growth of data.

For employees, this not only means a lot of time wasted on internal research, but also a lot of frustration and poorer decisions, as decisions are not made on a completely sound basis.

Typical enterprise search software works primarily on unstructured data; handling structured data is often not the core application. It is therefore about the unstructured knowledge that is distributed across various documents and data silos.

Another aspect that should not be neglected is the role of such software in mitigating the shortage of skilled labour and demographic change. The baby boomer generation is currently retiring and it is therefore becoming more important to make the already digitised internal know-how accessible to the next generation of employees.

Added value of enterprise search software

Above all, companies that use enterprise search software can significantly reduce the time that employees spend on internal research. Our customers tell us that search time can be reduced by up to 40%.

In addition to the pure time savings, enterprise search software can significantly increase employee satisfaction with their own IT infrastructure and reduce frustration. Better decisions can reduce errors in the company and increase efficiency.

A major point that is often only realised at second glance is the potential of enterprise search software for the onboarding of new employees and the significantly earlier increase in productivity of these same colleagues.

Structure & connectors

In principle, there are various ways to set up enterprise search software:

  1. Federated Search

Federated search involves building a user interface and utilising the search algorithms of existing data silos. This means that a user’s search is simply passed to the connected data silos. The results returned by the enterprise search software are evaluated and displayed based on various factors.

  1. Keyword-based search

In a keyword-based search, the software builds its own index. A search query is searched for keywords and the relevance is evaluated based on the frequency and positioning of the words in the text. A keyword-based search is often extended by various natural language processing techniques in order to increase the quality of the results.

  1. Semantic (LLM-based) search

Ideally, a semantic search is based on a large language model and enables the search for semantic relationships and takes the context of information into account. A vector index, rather than a normal index, is built for this purpose. The best quality results are obtained with an LLM-based search. However, the hardware requirements are also the greatest here.

Further information on the various search technologies can be found here.

In order to be able to connect the internal systems, however, connectors to the various systems must be available. Ideally, these can not only index the internal content, but also take into account the access rights of the various data silos.

Enterprise search software and generative AI

Many companies ask themselves how they can use their internal expertise to build an internal chatbot. The hype surrounding generative AI, which has been sweeping through the tech world since the 4th quarter of 2022, makes this a very relevant question. Enterprise search software is the perfect basis for an internal chatbot, as by definition it already taps into a wide variety of data silos and takes existing access rights into account. Ideally, a retrieval augmented generation system should be considered for the technical implementation.

At amberSearch, for example, we have fully integrated generative AI into our enterprise search software solution in compliance with the GDPR. The biggest differentiating factors of our solution are that, on the one hand, we can integrate our solution into an existing and evolved IT infrastructure via various standard connectors on both the front-end and back-end side. On the other hand, we offer a German solution that can be operated completely independently of third-party providers.

Intranet vs. enterprise search software

One discussion that arises when considering the introduction of enterprise search software is the discussion about an intranet. It is important to understand the purpose of both solutions:

  • Intranet

An intranet serves as a place where employees can exchange information and where relevant information (sometimes simply “knowledge”) can be uploaded. Intranets are usually managed editorially, so they are never completely up to date. Furthermore, operational knowledge continues to be stored in project management tools, e-mails, etc. Accordingly, intranets are another data silo.

  • Enterprise search software

An enterprise search is designed to make internal expertise quickly and easily accessible – no matter where it is located. From an IT architecture perspective, an enterprise search is not a separate data silo but an add-on that gives employees a centralised overview of the information in the various data silos. It is therefore not possible to upload data, but the enterprise search pulls the data from the various connected systems. Enterprise search software is therefore naturally also a knowledge management solution.

Enterprise Search Software for companies

Figure 1: Enterprise search software can be used by users to find information from different data silos. An intranet is used so that employees can store important information there.

How do you successfully introduce enterprise search software?

The successful introduction of enterprise search software is based on the fact that interested companies are aware of the 3 most important key points


In particular, the requirements include the use case and the resulting technical requirements for such software.


Enterprise search software will only help employees if they have access to the most important data. Accordingly, you should be aware in advance which data silos are to be connected in order to get the most out of the software.


The introduction of enterprise search software is done for the employees. This is not software that acts in a more “covert” way and automates processes, but is intended to be used by employees on a daily basis. A high level of user-friendliness (UX) and good integration into existing IT systems (such as intranets, teams, desktops, etc.) are therefore a must-have to ensure sustainable integration into day-to-day business.

In order to take all points into account, we have created a comprehensive checklist for the introduction of AI, which can be viewed here.

How to buy enterprise search software?

There are various options for purchasing enterprise search software – each with its own advantages and disadvantages, of course.

Basically, the first decision to be made is between make or buy. You can often quickly build the first small “MVPs” or minimum viable products yourself. However, continuous further development, operation, support, etc. should not be underestimated.

With amberSearch, for example, we are building a product that can be integrated directly into the existing IT infrastructure as a standard system with little effort. This means that companies don’t need to worry – we have standardised the integration effort to such an extent that an IT administrator can connect our solution to their own systems in just a few hours.

We have written down all the relevant requirements for selecting an Enterprise Search here.

If you are considering building such a solution yourself, you can of course build on existing frameworks and use them as a basis. The disadvantage is that this requires a lot of expertise and resources.