Monthly Archives: July 2014

Enterprise Search Using Google Search Appliance

One of the pain points for companies these days is how difficult it is to find relevant information inside their corporate network. I often hear people complain that it is easier to find any information on the Internet using Google or Bing rather than inside the enterprise.

Well, Google has been selling their Google Search Appliance (GSA) for many years. GSA brings Google superior search technology to a business corporate network. It even has the familiar look and feel that people have been accustomed to when doing a search on the Internet.

GSA can index and serve content located on the internal websites, documents located on file servers, and Microsoft Sharepoint repositories.

I recently replaced an old GSA, and quickly remembered how easy and fast it is to deploy. The hardware of the GSA is a souped up Dell server with a bright yellow casing. Racking the hardware is a snap. It comes with instructions on where to plug the network interfaces. The initial setup is done via a back-to-back network connection to a laptop, where network settings such as the IP address, netmask, gateway, time server, mail server, etc are configured.

Once the GSA is accessible on the network, the only other thing to do is to configure the initial crawl of the web servers and/or file systems, which may take a couple of hours. Once the documents are indexed, the appliance is ready to answer user search requests.

The search appliance has many advanced features and can be customized to your needs. For instance, you can customize the behavior and appearance of the search page. You can turn on or off the auto-completion feature. You can configure security settings, so that content is only available to certain people that are properly authenticated, and many other features.

Internal search engines such as the Google Search Appliance will increase the productivity of corporate employees by helping them save time looking for information.

Leading Several Toastmasters Clubs as Area Governor

There are many leadership opportunities in Toastmasters. One of those opportunities is serving as Area Governor – where one leads and oversees several clubs in a geographical area. I have been honored and privileged to serve as Area Governor of Area 53, District 31 (Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island) in the past Toastmaster year (July 2013 to June 2014). I am proud that during my tenure, my area has earned the President’s Distinguished Area award.

Area Governors help clubs succeed. They visit the clubs several times a year, determine the clubs’ strengths and weaknesses, create club success plans with club officers, encourage members to finish their speech and leadership projects, and help the club obtain new members. In addition, area governors facilitate area speech contests – one of the most important tradition in Toastmasters.

As Area Governor, I have encountered many challenges but the time and effort I spent has been well worth it. I met and worked with various people, learned to work with different personalities, and nurtured relationships. I guided a struggling club to become a great club. I have strengthened my leadership skills in the process, and learned how to truly motivate and inspire.

There are so many opportunities in Toastmasters to learn and lead. You just need to step up.