Home Android Microsoft pegs savings from Edge, Office 365 search as high as $43M

Microsoft pegs savings from Edge, Office 365 search as high as $43M

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Companies that use Microsoft Search, the Bing-powered search platform designed to sniff out internal corporate information, can save between $15 million and $43 million over the course of three years, Microsoft claimed.

Microsoft made this assertion – backed by analysis conducted by Forrester on Microsoft’s dime – earlier this year, but reinforced it this week when it cited the research firm’s report after it made search one of the five reasons that purportedly gave Edge a, well, edge over Chrome in the battle for best corporate browser.

“Previously, if your organization wanted to standardize on a single modern browser for use across all platforms, your only option was Chrome,” Brad Anderson, the company’s top executive in its Microsoft 365 group, wrote in an Aug. 4 post to a company blog. (That admission-of-sorts was remarkable on its own, as to Computerworld‘s knowledge, Microsoft has not ceded such before.) But the new Edge, the one Microsoft released in a stable form only in January, has five advantages, in Anderson’s eyes, over Google’s über-dominant browser – even when both were built atop a foundation laid by the open-source Chromium.

One is “improved internal search.”

Baked into Edge, Microsoft Search – which requires that Bing be designated as the browser’s default search engine – lets users look up company information, internal documents stored on OneDrive or SharePoint, for example, from the browser’s address bar. Other components of Microsoft 365 (or its poorer cousin, Office 365) are also searchable, such as text-based chats from Teams, items on Outlook calendars and the organization’s personnel.

Millions saved through the miracle of search?

Forrester based its calculations, as it typically does, on interviews with a number of real-world enterprises – firms of different sizes in different fields of business – and then, with that data, creates a mythical company. Based on the information gathered during the interviews, Forrester’s analysts introduce variables, assumptions and even educated guesses to arrive at a dollar amount. That last can be derived from labor costs or infrastructure costs or software costs – or all – with savings gained through “wasted” time turned “productive” and capital expenses unspent.

Not surprisingly, most of the savings came from reclaimed worker productivity.

“Typically, users would conduct search within a certain product, such as OneDrive or Outlook, and give up if they could not find what they were looking for within the first few results,” Forrester’s report said of the interviewed companies pre-Microsoft Search. “Not finding answers could lead to more extensive search within other products, reaching out to colleagues for help, or giving up on search entirely.”

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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