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2008 KMWorld Promise and Reality award winners

This article appears in the issue November/December 2008, [Vol 17, Issue 10]
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Throughout each year, KMWorld is introduced to the best and the brightest of the suppliers and the practitioners in the trade. We conduct dozens of interviews, hundreds of briefings and review probably thousands of press releases and e-mails.

Then ... we have to pick the best. Each year the magazine’s editors choose its "KM Promise and Reality" award winners from among many nominations, and from the editors’ own personal market knowledge.

The recipients of these awards come from each side of the "value" continuum. On one side is the inventive, technological spark that frequently ignites new and long-lasting trends, marking our industry as central to the advancement of information management thinking and action.

On the other side is the pragmatic, practical application of that "innovative spark" by a practitioner that recognizes the value in thoughtfully and creatively deployed technology tools and sound business practices.

The KM Promise Award goes to a vendor who has risen above the noise enough to make our editors take special notice. The KM Reality award goes to an organization that has applied KM practices and technologies in a unique and special way.

The Winners

KM Promise
The Promise Award winner is Attivio, an enterprise software company composed of 28 engineers and subject matter experts, who are powering the next generation of information access by integrating enterprise search and business intelligence and by combining structured data and unstructured content in one universal index. In doing that, this company affects business processes when it matters, at the convergence of business decisions and actions. The analysts call the work "information infrastructure," "information fabric" or even "universal information access."

Attivio offers a suite of products for different applications (e.g. information portals, site search, discovery, information portals, content ETL) that are all based on a common underlying Active Intelligence Engine (AIE) platform. AIE enables enterprises to blend their structured data and unstructured content without compromising the richness of either, offering the precision of SQL and the fuzziness of search by "mashing up" search and business intelligence/data warehousing (BIDW) capabilities.

A sampling of Attivio deployments illustrates AIE’s diversity:

  • A "city search-like" Web site uncovers a city’s up-and-comers from all walks of life. The site is a positive search experience for its customers, specifically matching their interests and connecting them, to increase stickiness and loyalty.
  • A globally recognized specialty membership association now provides answers to members’ questions (e.g. rule clarifications) at point of request, especially the handset (BlackBerry and iPhone). Answers are derived from both structured and unstructured data sources. A key component: the ability to actually answer the question with the relevant information from the index, rather than providing a link to where the answer might be.
  • A government agency "connects the dots" between people, places and things (e.g. weapons) by examining and exploiting associations and common behavior patterns. AIE indexes the entire database and provides a discovery environment emphasizing fuzzy search to find variations in proper names and descriptions, and connecting content together through rapid JOINs. (JOIN is a command in the SQL language for relational databases that correlates data from multiple tables.)

KM Reality
The winner’s of the KM Reality award is JetBlue Airways for its deployment of KANA’s suite of solutions. The system was implemented in 2002 and updated in 2008.

JetBlue wanted to ensure a friendly, helpful and knowledgeable customer service experience on its Web site. To meet that goal, the company implemented KANA’s e-mail response management system as part of a larger rollout of the KANA suite and achieved a 77 percent accuracy rate in addressing its customers’ needs in real time.

Michelle Hanson, manager of customer feedback for JetBlue, reports the next phase of the rollout included the implementation of KANA’s intelligent knowledge management solution. As the company grew in size and reach, JetBlue invested in the KM solution to support its mission and continue differentiating itself through the delivery of exemplary customer service.

KANA’s knowledge solutions help JetBlue capture and analyze customer feedback over three-month periods to identify emerging "Voice of the Customer" trends that ultimately impact company policy and decisions. KANA’s solution is used to disseminate information in real time across all channels to increase accuracy and responsiveness throughout JetBlue’s customer service organization. It also provides agents and customers with immediate answers to critical inquiries, giving the airline the opportunity to deliver excellent service to a growing customer base without proportionally adding expenses and headcount.

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