To continue highlighting some good chemical company case studies, I've included a case study on how Monsanto - the agricultural company - implemented enterprise search using Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007. Click here to read it, and thanks to Monsanto for sharing their story.
A couple of quotes from Monsanto employees are very interesting and had me thinking. One is from Greg Evans, who says "We consider the way in which we work together as one of our competitive advantages" and one if from Lou Clark who says "Recent accelerated growth and acquisitions within the company, and a higher level of interaction from customers and partners, drive the demand to better connect people and share information."
These dynamics are very common in the chemical industry as new manufacturing and research & development relationships are being established (JV's, collaborative partnerships and the like), companies are bought and sold, and companies become more global. Knowing where to find the information and knowledge you need, and who the experts are is a very powerful - and necessary - capability for the workforce.
Adding the ability to include people in search results has been a very powerful feature for our customers who have deployed SharePoint. Even if you don't completely understand the value of this when you are evaluating the product, you will the first time you search on a topic and you see the names of people associated with the topic as part of your search results.
Now, let's take this scenario one step further: You see the person responsible for this process, and because you have deployed our presence capability through Office Communications Server, you see that person is online and available. While finding a written document defining a process best practice is very useful - how useful is it to find the person responsible for the document and see that they are online and available? This gives you some really neat options - you can send an instant message, phone them from your client, or you can see their phone number and use your landline if you are old-school. This is very powerful stuff.