A day in the life of a Sirius Open Day

The date is Friday 20th July 2012 and the Sirius open source enterprise search day is finally here! With this being the first of a series of open days, we have kept our fingers crossed all week for the sun to show its face and it seems like luck is on our side. Rivermead looks picture perfect in the sunshine next to the Wey canal. All set for the arrival of people keen to learn about enterprise search; the refreshments and warm croissants are ready to be consumed, so lets begin!

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There is a great buzz in the air as we welcome our guests from various companies such as Selex Galileo and Basis Technology. As they arrive, they are offered refreshments and given their Sirius welcome packs.

It's 10am and guests are seated in the conference room. Time for Sirius' CEO Mark Taylor to welcome everyone and give details of the open day competition.

  • 1st prize is a free half days consultancy from Sirius and Flax who are hosting the open day together.
  • 2nd prize is a bottle of Sirius wine; an award winning Bordeaux, and
  • 3rd prize is a Sirius goody bag.

All they have to do is fill in a simple multiple choice questionnaire based on enterprise search. Simple as that.

The first presentation is from analyst Mike Davis. Informing us that he is not exactly feeling his best due to flu, he explains why enterprise search is important and how organisations can benefit from this. Whilst also informing us of how organisations can accommodate to the ever changing market.

Next we have Charlie Hull and Tom Mortimer from Flax, who specialise in Search. Their presentation is focused on the types of open source search software, including Apache Lucene and Apache Solr. Just before we break for refreshments, there is an in depth talk of how content is acquired, processed, indexed and searched, along with some excellent case studies and recommendations.

It's time for a quick break and as a few grey clouds begin to appear we're staying optimistic for the Sirius BBQ lunch.

Drinks refilled and competition forms almost complete, it's time for our final presentation from Sirius' very own CTO Andrew Savory who talks about the Apache project and bringing enterprise search into the organisation. With the completion of a Q&A session, now is a chance for the guests to see how it all works behind the scenes at Rivermead. They have the opportunity to meet the Sirius support team and are also able to get their hands on a number of demos which they can test out themselves. Lunchtime is here and it's also an opportunity for Mark Taylor to get the Sirius barbecue fired up.

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With burgers, kebabs and sausages sizzling away it gives an opportunity for everyone to mingle and hand in their competition forms before the winners are announced. As the suspense builds, the 3 names are picked randomly out of a hat by Mark. 3rd prize goes to Leonard Anderson from Socitm Consulting who arrives to collect his goodie bag. 2nd prize, the bottle of Sirius wine goes to Steven Frith from Selex Galileo and finally 1st prize, the free consultancy session goes to Richard Crump from Ordnance Survey. A big congratulations to the winners and rest assured there will be plenty more prizes to give away at our next open day.

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It has been an extremely busy and eventful day. Receiving excellent feedback, we look forward to hosting our next open day on Identity Management on Friday 17th August, which has already proven to be very popular however there is still time to register. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon!