Why Enterprise Search Software Is Essential for Your Team (And 6 of the Best)

Unlock the power of efficient information retrieval with our comprehensive guide to enterprise search software. Discover how cutting-edge solutions streamline data access, enhance productivity, and revolutionize knowledge management for businesses of all sizes.

Why Enterprise Search Software Is Essential for Your Team (And 6 of the Best)

Information is everything, and getting that information is all about two things: speed and accuracy. Digging through digital piles of documentation to find what you need is painstaking and inefficient. Luckily, enterprise search software that leverages the latest advances in artificial intelligence can do both, and more, at lightning speed.

Here’s your full guide to this essential software—with six of the best options out there.

What is enterprise search software?

Enterprise search software (ESS)—sometimes called corporate search software—is used to make your company’s information easily accessible to employees and other internal users. It’s a search engine for your internal data. The best tools build upon the example set by Google: plain language searching, detailed filtering, intelligent result ranking, and advanced search options. Above and beyond that, these tools come with other AI-driven tools and features, making them so much more than just “Google at home.”

Features to look for in an enterprise search software:

  • Handles multiple types of information sources, data types, and file formats.
  • Low-code or no-code. No-code comes at the cost of customizability, often feeling restrictive. Low-code gives you the flexibility to tailor your solution to your needs.
  • Connectors to integrate your existing data sources.
  • Intuitive and comprehensive interface for both users and administrators.
  • Definable user permissions for protecting sensitive information.

How do enterprise search tools work?

Enterprise search software works like other types of search engines. The process from search query to result can generally be broken down into three steps:

  1. Exploration or collection: The engine uses a crawler to explore your company’s directories and data, pooling it for the next step.
  2. Indexing: The collected data is sorted into a queryable database or index. Depending on the software used, there may be other steps taken here to further organize the collected data or expedite and improve future searches. 

Searching or querying: The end goal. With an organized index, users now have quick access to whatever they need (provided they have the required permissions).

How to choose the right enterprise search software

Each tool in this list puts its own spin on the core concepts above. They offer unique combinations of features with certain use cases in mind. Some of these tools are specialized for specific use cases or industries while others are more do-it-all solutions that solve several problems on a unified platform.

Not so long ago, AI-assisted searching was just a convenience, but it’s now an expected feature. All the tools below leverage AI to improve the speed and accuracy of queries. Each also provides additional AI-driven features like security insights, smart notifications, and other user or industry-specific features. It is these additional features that will determine which one’s best for your needs.

There are two key questions to answer to determine what you need:

  • Does the software integrate with your existing tools and resources that you need to be able to search?
  • Does this tool overlap with any existing software you already use?

Beyond these, make sure to have a clear goal in mind for what you want to achieve with an ESS and make sure the tool you choose will meet that goal.

The 6 best examples of enterprise search software


If you want a platform that can do more than just serve as your enterprise search software, PixieBrix is the perfect choice.

PixieBrix is a low-code platform for customizing the websites you use every day, automating manual work, and helping your team be more productive. You can also use it as enterprise search software, pulling from databases you've created in tools like Notion, Confluence, Google Drive, and more. With the PixieBrix Marketplace, you get access to pre-built blueprints for doing this without any engineering help. With a focus on customizability, you can create your solution for just about anything.


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AlphaSense merges enterprise search and market intelligence onto a single platform. Aiming for tech and finance enterprises, they offer two fantastic industry-specific features: “Wall Street Insights” which presents market data in their customizable UI, and “Expert Insights”, a network that provides rapid access to market experts either through direct consulting, searchable transcripts, or articles. These complement their Market Intelligence features by providing rapid access to numerous sources that make it easier for users to keep pace with their respective markets and competition, as well as access to expert commentaries and analyses.


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Coveo’s platform is built on nearly two decades in software, and a decade of work in AI. Coveo offers eleven AI models tailored for specific industries or applications within a company, such as ecommerce, service, and workplace, all from its single platform. What this means for end users is the ability to choose the right tool for the right job. Rather than a one-size-fits-all solution, or the need for multiple software for different needs, Coveo provides a flexible solution for numerous challenges.


Glean is an AI- and enterprise-forward entry in the ESS world. Glean’s AI is “permission-aware”, meaning that it will use existing permission structures from connected tools to limit user access to information as opposed to needing its own permission structure. 

Alongside natural-language queries, the AI also provides more detailed and personalized results for the end user, based on what they’re working on and the data they’re working with. It will even make suggestions and recommendations based on team activity, such as placing documents that other users in your team have accessed higher in your search. On the security side, they provide a suite of detailed discovery, compliance, and review tools. Glean is a standout for industries where data security is essential.


Guru is a three-in-one enterprise AI search tool, Intranet, and wiki. Their website claims Guru “works with all your favorite tools and might replace a few too”, and it boasts an impressive scope of integrations to back that up. Guru can use its search access to create a single source of truth that stays in sync with all your data sources automatically. The service is generally industry-agnostic, but possibly at the cost of specialization. With a bit more mid-market reach than pure enterprise tools, Guru delivers a flexible do-it-all platform for three crucial use cases.

IBM Watson Discovery

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IBM’s Watson Discovery takes their Jeopardy-winning AI and aims it at your organization’s documentation. Watson’s standout feature is its visual model. It doesn’t just read the content of your documentation; it evaluates the way it looks, too. With training on only a few pages of a document, Watson’s Smart Document Understanding (SDU) learns to identify the formatting parts of your document, such as headers and tables, and indexes them accordingly. The advantage of Watson being a Visual model is that it can identify and evaluate images, allowing you to include them in your searches with no extra work. This accelerates data retrieval, improves the relevance and accuracy of results, and broadens your search scope to include visual content.

When getting the right information on time becomes a challenge, ESS is the solution. Which platform you choose to do this will depend entirely on your unique challenges. With a better of the features and capabilities that are available, you can find the solution that’s best for you.