Oct. 19, 2020

Tom Humbarger


4 min. read

In our latest Customer Case Study, see how Calix uses Managed Solr and Site Search with Adobe Experience Manager to provide a better search experience for their users.

Editor’s Note: Managed Solr is now SearchStax Cloud. Site Search is now SearchStax Studio. These are the same great products, with SearchStax Cloud supporting Solr infrastructure and SearchStax Studio making website search easy.

Search is Critical to the Calix Website Experience

Calix is the leading global B2B provider of the cloud and software platforms, systems and services required to deliver the unified access network and smart premises of tomorrow. Innovative communication service providers rely on Calix platforms to build next generation networks.

Search is an important part of the Calix website experience. The vast majority of visitors to the Calix website are service providers who need to be able to quickly find documents, software downloads or support issues in the user community. Calix has a large and diverse portfolio of advanced technology, so finding content as quickly as possible is essential for a great customer experience.

The previous version of the Calix website used the Google Search Appliance to handle the search needs for their Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) website. The Google Search Appliance was a local rack-mounted device that provided document indexing functionality for their website. When Google announced a phaseout of their search appliance in 2016, Calix needed to come up with a new search solution to go with their planned AEM upgrade. 

With less than a year until support for the Google search appliance was sunsetted, the Calix team had to quickly identify potential vendors and solutions. After an exhaustive search for new solutions, the Calix team decided to implement the SearchStax Managed Solr solution with AEM.

Why Did Calix Select SearchStax?

The Calix team decided to transition to Solr search due to its power, flexibility and API access – and for Solr’s ability to work with Adobe Experience Manager. After deciding to use Solr search for their upgrade, Calix came up with a short list of three vendors and selected SearchStax and their Managed Solr solution for their AEM upgrade. 

The Calix team was impressed with the SearchStax Solr expertise and felt they had the  knowledge and best practices to implement Solr compared to what the other vendors offered. They also liked the fact that the SearchStax solution automates most of the mundane tasks and provides an easy-to-use admin portal to review the deployment details as needed.

“We are not search experts and were looking for a vendor to provide expert guidance to our team. We felt that SearchStax was the right vendor to fulfill that need and give us the solution confidence we were seeking.”

Micah Ruge, Director, Customer Enablement at Calix

Calix Implements SearchStax Solutions in Two Phases

Due to the size and complexity of the AEM and search upgrade, Calix broke the upgrade project into two phases.

Phase 1 was completed in 2018 and consisted of the AEM website upgrade plus replacement of core search functionality with the SearchStax Managed Solr solution.

Phase 2 included refinements to search including federated search to combine results from both their website and from the community platform which is on a separate platform. Other enhancements to provide a more satisfying search experience include faceted search, typeahead input on searches, restrictions to gated content and the ability to toggle between most relevant and most recent search results.

Phase 2 Improves the Search Experience with Faceted Search and the Ability to Sort by Most Recent or Most Relevant

Another key component in Phase 2 was the implementation of SearchStax Studio – the SearchStax site search analytics and experience management solution. SearchStax Studio’s Search Analytics will provide visibility into what users are searching for on the website and gives the Calix team the ability to finetune their search experience in real time. The Search Feedback feature of SearchStax Studio will also be available for users to rate their search experience and provide comments.

Calix will use the SearchStax Studio Search Feedback to gather insights from their users.

Calix Results So Far

With SearchStax Managed Search, Calix now enjoys high-performance and high availability Solr infrastructure for the Adobe Experience Manager website. The Calix team can focus on making changes to their website without having to spend time on the operational details of their Solr infrastructure. 

The SearchStax Studio solution will provide Calix with valuable information on what users are searching for, what searches don’t return any results and where clicks occur on the search results. Armed with this information, the Calix team will be able to make adjustments to search, boost fields to change the search rankings and promote content to improve the user search experience.

“Search is critical to our user’s experience, and SearchStax Studio will make it easier for us to provide a better search experience and help them quickly find the content they need.”

Micah Ruge, Director, Customer Enablement at Calix

By Tom Humbarger

Senior Product Marketing Manager

“…search should not only be for those organizations with massive search budgets.”

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