Navigating the Transition to SaaS in Financial Services Enterprise Search: Insights from Sinequa
In a recent podcast titled “Making the Move to SaaS in Banking,” Sinequa’s Vice President of Cloud and SaaS, Adrien Gabeur, shared insights on the journey towards adopting SaaS Financial Services Enterprise Search in the highly regulated and traditionally conservative banking sector. Adrien joined Emerj CEO and Head of Research, Daniel Faggella, to discuss Sinequa’s journey from a solely on-premise solution provider to introducing a cutting-edge Software as a Service (SaaS) platform called Workplace Search.
The Imperative for Change
Like many other industries, the financial industry faces increasing pressure to innovate and adapt to changing customer expectations. Customers now demand seamless digital experiences, and competition is fierce. To stay competitive and relevant, banks recognize the need to modernize their operations, and SaaS has emerged as a powerful tool to facilitate this transformation.
Transitioning to SaaS
Sinequa’s creation of a SaaS enterprise search offering involved taking the long-standing self-managed enterprise platform and repackaging it to a more agile SaaS platform, now known as Workplace Search.
Adrien said, “So we’ve had the enterprise platform product for years, self-managed, designed to meet the needs of the large organization. We are now repackaging that technology into a SaaS platform [Workplace Search], which can reach a larger audience as well as smaller, medium-sized customers. The journey we’re on is going as an organization from a mono-product to a multi-product company because we intend to keep our self-managed platform. The software as a service is an addition.”
With change comes many cultural adjustments required during this transition. Adrien acknowledges that the shift involves changes in various aspects, including product development, sales motion, operations, and support. While Sinequa’s customer-managed platform focuses on meeting a specific customer’s needs, the SaaS approach necessitates developing a more generic product capable of serving many customers.
Motivation and Technology
There were numerous factors that gave Sinequa the confidence to leap into SaaS and its Workplace Search solution. Adrien cites the adoption of cloud computing and the development of infrastructure as code as critical enablers. The shift to cloud-based deployments made SaaS more viable. Combining these technologies allowed them to operate as a complex enterprise platform and a SaaS model.
To paraphrase The Network Effect, the value of a given technology is based directly on how many connections it has, and while that law was initially written to describe telephones and computer networks, it’s also true when accessing data with search technology.
The technical challenges of building connectors for various data sources and the opportunities they offer to Workplace Search were not lost on Adrien. He explained that Sinequa offers over 200 data connectors that integrate with different systems and adds up to 40 new connectors annually based on customer needs. Adrien also highlights the powerful Software Development Kit (SDK) that helps build and maintain connectors.
Breaking Down and Unlocking Data Silos with Financial Services Enterprise Search
Breaking down data silos is crucial to an organization’s triumph, and Adrien emphasized that Workplace Search is a critical solution to aid in this success. Workplace search enables organizations to break down silos by connecting to various data sources, indexing the content, and making the information instantly searchable and accessible to users securely.
Adrien points out that companies need to understand who should access what data. Workplace Search can help users find information they can access while respecting pre-existing access controls. The data source owner typically decides who should have access, and Sinequa advises and assists in this process.
The transition to SaaS in enterprise search comes with challenges but is ultimately driven by the need to break down data silos and provide users with a unified, secure, and accessible information platform. Sinequa’s journey showcases the importance of cultural adaptation, technical innovation, and a customer-centric approach in this evolving landscape.