People Search Leveraging Socialcast and Google

|   Mar 8, 2012

Do you have an Expert Finder at your company? Are you integrating your most powerful enterprise tools to yield maximum impact?

At VMware we have seen a significant growth in our work force – going from around 7,000 to over 11,000 employees in the past couple of years – resulting in teams and organizations spread around the globe. While being a global company is vital for VMware’s growth, it also comes with challenges.

I have seen many attempts at various organizations to create an “Expert Finder” allowing employees to locate specific expertise within the organization through keyword search. At this point, I have not seen anything as comprehensive as the route we have taken at VMware. Powered by Google’s Search Appliance (GSA), we have integrated a People and Expert Finder into our enterprise Search. The GSA crawls and indexes Socialcast user profiles and has access to LDAP user data (e.g. name, job title, email, phone number, organizational unit) which is pushed into Socialcast. In addition, the GSA pulls user generated data, such as expertise, skills, hobbies and interests. And finally, dynamically generated data based on user conversations within the community is pulled as well.

User Sample: A search for “database virtualization” would result in Documents and Pages that match this key word, but will also result in a People search with respective key words from their Socialcast User Profile. Let’s say I am a database virtualization expert but may not have uploaded any documents, with GSA integrated, you would still find me as my profile will have database virtualization in the details listed as my skills or interests.

The combination of static, user maintained, and user generated data paired with a powerful search engine has brought VMware a giant step closer to offering a fully built out Expert Finder.

What are your challenges and solutions around finding experts in your company?


  • This is a great case study for folks looking for examples of how social technology can help their org. Thanks for sharing!

    Commented on March 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

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Author Spotlight

Marc Fenner
Marc Fenner Senior Business Analyst View full bio

What is Socialcast?

Socialcast by VMware (NYSE: VMW) is a social network for business uniting people, information, and applications with its real-time enterprise activity stream engine. Behind the firewall or in the cloud, Socialcast enables instant collaboration in a secure environment. Socialcast is headquartered in San Francisco, California.