Microsoft has officially recognised local Gold Partner and application development specialist Mint's skills in enterprise search by awarding it the Search Specialisation Competency.
Microsoft recently introduced this specialisation in its Information Worker Competency listing due to the growth the search market is experiencing worldwide. The market for enterprise search solutions has an annual compound growth rate of 16% according to the IDC, and is expected to total between $1,7-billion and $2,1-billion this year.
One of the reasons for this growth is another IDC finding that "employees may lose up to a quarter of their time just trawling for information". (IDC, "The Hidden Costs of Information Work", April 2006.). The goal of Microsoft's search technologies is to empower customers to quickly find the information they need, when they need it, without a drawn-out process that takes people away from their jobs.
"Microsoft's search solutions are designed to help customers make sense of complex environments where the amount of available data is growing exponentially and is being stored in a diverse number of locations," says Grant Hodgkinson, director at Mint. "To be productive, workers need to be able to effectively and efficiently conduct complex searches in an instant.
"These searches need to consider information stored on desktops, servers and the Internet, from a single interface and deliver relevant results. The technology must also assist companies in making sure their information can only be accessed by those members of staff with the appropriate authorisation."
To be recognised as a search implementation and consulting partner, Microsoft expects organisations to be able to assist customers in making the most of its Office SharePoint Server and Windows Live Search technologies. The ability to seamlessly integrate search into Microsoft's enterprise platforms has been a strength of Mint for a number of years.
Hodgkinson adds: "Microsoft's recognition of Mint's expertise is a formal acknowledgment of the work we have been doing for a long time in the search arena. Mint has always considered search a critical part of the solutions we take to customers and this puts an official stamp of approval on our capabilities."