Business Issue 

The New York Power Authority (NYPA), officially the Power Authority of the State of New York, is the largest state public power organization in the United States. NYPA operates 16 electricity generation facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

NYPA had implemented two primary software products for capturing and storing its enterprise content: OpenText Content Server and Microsoft SharePoint. Over time, NYPA had accumulated large volumes of content in both systems. Unfortunately, NYPA staff had difficulty searching this content because it lacked accurate and reliable metadata and subject tagging. Browsing was also difficult because of the large number of file folders and complex folder hierarchies within the two systems.

NYPA asked Iknow to develop a unified enterprise search solution that could achieve more accurate search results. They wanted the search application and interface to incorporate advanced search and navigation features, be supported by standardized taxonomy and metadata tags, and be intuitive and easy to use for NYPA employees.

Approach 

Iknow started the assignment by developing a NYPA-specific enterprise-wide taxonomy. Specifically, Iknow worked with NYPA’s staff to develop an enterprise subject taxonomy by using a combination of techniques, such as a review of prior internal classification schemes, an assessment of relevant external taxonomies, and the analysis of user search logs.

A second important work stream was user interface development. Iknow worked with the NYPA staff to understand their business-driven use cases and search requirements. Based on these findings, Iknow developed wireframe concepts for the presentation of various types of search results.

Iknow recommended the purchase of Smartlogic’s Semaphore suite of metadata management software products. Iknow and Smartlogic implemented the software suite to apply the new taxonomy in sophisticated autoclassification functionality to achieve more consistent content categorization and metadata tagging. Iknow also leveraged Semaphore’s ontology management and search enhancement features to offer NYPA users improved search relevancy and the ability to discover related content.

Iknow worked collaboratively with the NYPA staff in content management, IT, and several business functions to define the overall solution architecture, which included defining the business process workflows and the technical infrastructure requirements for metadata enhancement and autoclassification.

The new enterprise metadata management and search solution was implemented in NYPA’s software development and production environments.

Lastly, Iknow provided training for NYPA staff so that they could maintain the enterprise search and taxonomy platform in the future. The training included the installation and configuration of the Smartlogic Semaphore software and the development of the autoclassification rules.

Results 

NYPA launched the improved search functionality and users saw significant improvement in the quality of the search results. NYPA plans to extend the content enrichment and search experience to other internal content repositories in the future.