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2004 KMWorld Promise and Reality Finalists

This article appears in the issue November/December 2004 [Volume 13, Issue 10]

Pouring through the nearly 100 nominations we received this year is likely the best snapshot one could get of the current state of knowledge management. That said, selecting the finalists was no easy task (even harder is selecting the winner, which, at the moment, is still at hand), and I, alone, am responsible for selecting the finalists. (Thankfully, I will be able to share the load of selecting the winner with the other judges.)

So, here you go, and I'm sure you'll all feel these organizations deserve recognition. A special nod should go to The Royal Ministry of Modernization in Norway, which submitted an interesting nomination that didn't quite fit into either category. You can see that complete entry, along with those of all the finalists, on our Web site after we go through the required approval process. Keep your eyes peeled.

KM Promise Award

Many companies promise that their technology is the best knowledge management solution. One of the greatest challenges for organizations purchasing those technologies is to determine which of them will deliver on that promise. This award is given to the organization that is delivering its promise to customers by providing innovative technology solutions for implementing and integrating knowledge management practices into their business processes. The award-winning organization demonstrates how it goes beyond simply delivering technology to working with clients to ensure that both the technology and knowledge processes are imbedded into the work processes. In other words, it helps organizations realize positive business results.

KM Promise finalists

Appian

Appian is a business process management company whose offering combines process, knowledge and analytics capabilities in an integrated software suite for deploying business solutions that enhance enterprise agility and performance. The Appian Enterprise business execution framework, which includes portal, KM, collaboration and BPM applications, allows customers to achieve visibility and control over cross-functional business processes.

Factiva

Factiva iWorks brings all the currently updated sources from the Factiva content set (9,000 global sources) to the desktop, including newswires, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, selected Web sites and pictures. iWorker technology further refines the source parameters behind the scenes to improve relevance by restricting the source set in a search to the most relevant publications. Hence, search doesn't retrieve all the articles written about a subject, only the most relevant articles. Webmasters can integrate Factiva iWorks into their portal and give users an easy way to search Factiva. Installation of the module is straightforward—typically taking less than a couple of hours. Factiva is then automatically a dropdown option in Research Pane. Users can search Factiva from the toolbar within a browser. The Factiva Toolbar installs quickly and provides users with an easy entry point to global content.

First Consulting Group

First Consulting Group provides life sciences organizations with customized R&D content portals that help to better manage intellectual capital (internal and external) and thus, reduce time to market. FCG content portal systems take a strategic approach to content and knowledge management—via universal access, personalized interface options, intelligent search capabilities, easy collaboration and stringent security measures.

FormScape

FormScape's Covus for Financial Operations is a document process automation solution that includes inbound, outbound and storage capabilities combined with prepackaged processes and best practices for integration with PeopleSoft, SAP, Oracle and others. Covus integrates documents, processes and ERP systems to drive faster action through easy access to information. Using document imaging, document output and storage, Covus document process automation targets operational inefficiencies to help customers improve working capital management, advance customer-supplier service and ensure better control.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird Enterprise 2004 - KM provides individuals and teams with the ability to fuse information repositories with sophisticated information retrieval and content analysis tools. It bridges structured and unstructured content; provides a single point of access to corporate knowledge as well as information outside of the corporation; integrates into a knowledge worker's workspace; locates relevant information when it's needed; creates and manages taxonomies; and offers a means to manage, access, analyze and organize corporate information.

ISYS

Now in its sixth generation, ISYS:desktop is easy to install, use and maintain; includes feature-rich, intuitive tools designed to quickly connect users with the information they seek; and presents mature technology with a well-established history of success. A simple Windows-client installation can be downloaded from the ISYS site or installed via a CD. Once installed, users follow a step-by-step wizard for creating an index. Depending on how much data customers wish to index, they can be ready to search their information within minutes from the time they initiate the download of ISYS:desktop. The product offers multiple methods for querying data, including natural language processing. Users can rely on ISYS:desktop's Menu-Assisted Query, which enables customers to add Boolean and proximity operators with a few clicks of the mouse.

Ixiasoft

Ixiasoft's TEXTML Server was designed from the ground up to manage XML. Because of its extensive set of APIs, which cover all server-based functionalities, solutions developed using TEXTML Server are easy to implement and integrate with existing systems. TEXTML Server does not alter the original XML file. Documents are stored in their native, unmodified format. When a document is inserted into TEXTML Server, it is parsed and indexes are built according to the structure of the document. As a result, users are not required to associate specific DTDs or schemas while storing documents in TEXTML Server—enabling the storage of multiple document structures in a single environment. TEXTML Server search engine enables fast retrieval of content within any element or attribute of XML documents. TEXTML Server delivers the ability to search metadata and the full-text of documents by allowing users to query the server using multiple indexes simultaneously.

Kanisa

Kanisa's knowledge management philosophy acknowledges that knowledge is created, nurtured and stored in a variety of places and must be modeled in a way that preserves this diversity while still providing a consistent support-related interface. The Kanisa system also addresses key requirements of support knowledge management, including the ability to integrate multiple knowledge sources, drive optimized diagnostic scenarios based on each specific case, and provide rich feedback on trends and issues to maintain the knowledgebase.

KnowledgeBase Solutions

KnowledgeBase.net is a multiuser system that replaces traditional documentation, procedure processes and information sharing. It provides a comprehensive system for self-help, customer support tools, help desk knowledgebase, FAQ management, policies/procedures sharing, document management and product and project documentation. KnowledgeBase.net delivers a true KM management solution that an entire company can leverage to increase knowledge sharing, productivity and efficiency with both internal (help desk, support agents) or external (customers, partners) users. Customers' average time to deployment runs between two days and two weeks.

KnowNow

KnowNow solutions are specifically designed to address the challenges and complexities of event-driven application integration by providing real-time information to business users. KnowNow offers non-disruptive, publish/subscribe solutions to integrate into the extended enterprise securely, through firewalls over native HTTP. The company provides integration software that connects systems, applications and databases to people quickly and easily, providing immediate visibility into business-critical information as it changes. It eliminates traditional boundaries of integration by using publish-subscribe over HTTP(S) to deliver the relevant information to the people who need it—whether that information is delivered within databases, to a desktop or mobile device.

Onfolio

Onfolio supports the knowledge process by allowing users to collect, organize and share information, such as Web research, in a number of ways—through e-mail, by creating custom reports or through blogs. Knowledge workers can use Onfolio as a personal publishing tool to help the dissemination of knowledge through an organization. Additionally, the simplicity of blogs encourages filing and annotating things that were previously left unfiled. This structure of hyperlinks and free text and the absence of imposed hierarchy makes it possible to archive items that could not be organized well in file systems. Blogs also give more context to the information stored and lets it be more easily retrieved. Tightly integrated with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Onfolio delivers tools for collecting a full range of Web content including links, snippets of text, documents and full pages. From within the browser, users can organize the captured items, add comments and share the content through e-mail, reports, documents and Web sites.

Stellent

Stellent's Universal Content and Process Management features comprehensive enterprise content management with document management, Web content management, digital asset management and imaging applications, all supported by collaboration, compliance and records management, as well as business process management services. Its architecture enables organizations of all sizes and industries to manage the entire spectrum of unstructured content, from active content, such as documents, graphics and Web pages, to fixed content, including scanned images, e-mail and records. The Stellent system provides a scalable platform that enables customers to rapidly and easily deploy multiple line-of-business applications—such as Web sites, call centers, accounts payable, compliance processes and dealer extranets—as well as enterprisewide content management initiatives. In addition, its ease-of-use ensures all employees, regardless of technical ability, can use the system.

Thomson Elite

West km from Thomson Elite utilizes the artificial intelligence CaRE (categorization and routing engine) technology to automatically classify law firm documents, which allows firms to leverage their best thinking and experience by collecting and reusing their intellectual assets. The offering delivers secure classification, search and retrieval of a firm's internal work product with the trusted legal resources of Westlaw. West km further provides an additional level of confidence by applying KeyCite to internal documents, alerting users if citations are no longer good law. At the same time, users can see whether archived firm documents discuss a particular legal issue when viewing a Westlaw resource. Thomson Elite is a business within The Thomson Corp.

TripleHop

TripleHop MatchPoint can index any source of content and simultaneously federate searches to any underlying search engines, thereby making available the entire body of non-crawlable content that cannot be reached by traditional enterprise search engines, such as online subscription services, password protected Web sites, legacy applications, etc. MatchPoint also searches desktops, some 250+ text formats, and can also handle audio and video files through its speech to text and phonetic indexing capabilities. MatchPoint's clustering capability enables users to quickly navigate and understand their list of search results and zoom in immediately on the most relevant documents.

Vivisimo

Vivisimo's clustering solution categorizes content at the time of delivery of results and requires no preprocessing, changing the dynamics of providing organized search results and bringing the capability within the reach of enterprises of any size. It's simple to install, requires no training or maintenance, is up and running in hours or days instead of months and is less expensive than many traditional categorization solutions. By adding an enterprise search engine, Vivisimo offers enterprises a complete information retrieval solution that allows them to crawl their internal content, crawl any relevant external content and licensed feeds, meta-search all content with a single query and present results organized into subject folders—within days and without any special IT expertise.


KM Reality Award

In many organizations, knowledge management is just rhetoric. This award recognizes an organization in which knowledge management is a positive reality. The recipient of the KM Reality Award is an organization demonstrating leadership in the implementation of knowledge management practices and processes by realizing measurable business benefits. The knowledge management program will have:

  • been in place for a minimum of two years,

  • demonstrated senior management support, and

  • defined metrics in place to evaluate the program and its impact on organizational goals.

BC Hydro

BC Hydro generates and distributes electricity to more than 1.6 million customers in an area containing more than 94% of British Columbia's population. Prior to evaluating CM solutions, BC Hydro had already created a large knowledgebase of some 3,000 customer service information items stored entirely as HTML. The organization needed to better manage that rapidly growing body of sophisticated content, both on its external Web site and its internal intranet.

The utility wanted to gain control of its Web site and intranet content, implement template-based designs and increase the overall efficiency of its online publishing. Those improvements in efficiency would enable its small staff to handle much higher knowledge volumes and more frequent content changes, and would allow BC Hydro's non-technical staff to more easily author and manage content.

Once its customer service knowledgebase was converted from HTML to a CM system from Percussion Software (percussion.com), the amount of content managed soon quadrupled and has continued to grow.

Cardinal Health / Pharmaceutical Technologies & Services

The Pharmaceutical Technologies & Services group of Cardinal Health has grown largely as a result of more than two dozen acquisitions in the past several years. For the organization to realize its value proposition, that is, providing integrated, enabling technologies and services that bring quality products to market faster and deliver greater value for customers, it needed to assimilate those businesses, facilities, capabilities and cultures into one company.

The organization created a portal with the guiding theme of connecting, collecting and collaborating. Cardinal Health uses a common foundation and set of processes to improve transparency by making it easier for customers to take full advantage of its services--including drug development, drug delivery, manufacturing, packaging, marketing and logistics--by providing a single electronic interface through BroadVision technology, whether the customer is working with one or many of its business units.

DoubleClick

DoubleClick develops the tools that advertisers, marketers and Web publishers use to plan, execute and analyze marketing programs. Those technologies have become leading tools for enterprise marketing management, online advertising and e-mail delivery, direct marketing, marketing analytics and data management.

DoubleClick's Global Technical Services group, comprised of about 220 worldwide professionals, is responsible for front-line customer support, professional services, service escalation issues, and courseware and training for all products and services. After examining customer data, the team determined that its high-cost telephone support staff was solving repetitive issues time and again. Through deployment of Knowledgebase.net (knowledgebase.net) Enterprise Edition, the team was able to decrease inbound support call volume while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and establishing a central repository of information, offer highly strategic support to some of its largest customers by creating personalized knowledgebases with account-specific articles and information, and share product knowledge with customers in a manner more closely integrated with the company's Web-based product environment.

Emerson Process Management

Emerson Process Management is a global supplier of products, services and solutions that measure, analyze, control, automate and improve process-related operations. In 1998, the company recognized it needed a more efficient process for managing and providing access to its business documents, which are created in a variety of file formats. It also wanted to reduce—and where possible—eliminate the distribution of paper across its organization. To support those initiatives, the company began looking for a Web-based system that could be implemented quickly with minimal ongoing support from the IT staff.

Through deployment of Stellent's Universal Content Management, Emerson was able to bring a higher degree of efficiency to its content management and distribution processes, reduce costs, increase revenue and improve employee productivity; improve access to company and product information for external audiences, including customers, suppliers and vendors; and create an expansive infrastructure of intranets, extranets and public-facing Web sites to support various business applications across the enterprise.

Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, provides clients with solutions based on financial, transactional and risk management knowledge in the core services of audit, tax and corporate finance. Ernst & Young's formal KM initiative began in 1993 and resulted in knowledge sharing on a vast scale, making it easier to quickly disseminate new concepts, methods and techniques across global practices. Practice offerings such as supply chain projects and enterprise risk management implementations also are integrated more easily, resulting in more value-added services for clients.

From a people perspective, staff retention has improved across core practice areas because knowledge transfer enables the growth of individual skills and competencies. A stronger incentive to join Ernst & Young also exists because practitioners can tap into existing knowledge to more quickly develop their skills and careers.

GSA

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) secures the buildings, products, services, technology and other workplace essentials federal agencies need. GSA Advantage is the online shopping and ordering system that provides access to more than 6 million products and services from more than 12,000 vendors. The site logs an average of 125,000 searches every workday.

Under that immense volume, GSA's former search technology proved slow and ineffective, forcing customers to sift through as many as 1,000 results for some queries. The site deployed Verity K2 software, which returns relevant results quickly, allowing customers to drill down easily to the desired product. GSA Advantage has shortened the time it takes to retrieve the most reliable results to less than two seconds. Since Verity has been deployed, GSA Advantage has nearly tripled sales from $86 million in fiscal year 1999 to $220 million in fiscal year 2003. In fiscal year 2003, GSA Advantage set a new single-day revenue record of $5.2 million.

HP

The combination of different product hierarchies from pre-merger Digital, Compaq and Tandem caused difficulties for HP in analyzing customer purchases in similar product groups. It was difficult to find all of the products in past invoice histories. SAS Text Miner was used to combine the product descriptions at various hierarchies and then create a classification model to determine which product part number belonged to a logical product group such as desktops, high-end servers, portables, etc.

McAfee

McAfee creates computer security solutions that prevent intrusions on networks and protect computer systems from the next generation of blended attacks and threats. With Kanisa Support Site, McAfee has created a single unified knowledge platform that integrates and autocategorizes disparate knowledge repositories from across the enterprise. That knowledgebase enables customers to easily access information regardless of where it resides. Kanisa's "guided diagnostic search" experience puts the larger universe of valuable support content at customers' fingertips

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

In an organization the size of PricewaterhouseCoopers, finding the right specialist quickly to help with a client issue is a key requirement. It is often the conversations, not the documents, which enable the firm to provide its client with outstanding business advice. As a result, the organization developed its PeopleFind application in 2002. It was implemented in the United Kingdom through 2003, is being implemented in Europe and the United States in 2004, and will launch to the remainder of the firm globally in 2005.

The deployment improved responsiveness and agility, increased companywide collaboration, improved operational efficiencies, deepened and broadened the staff's understanding of the firm's structure and served as a valuable "getting up-to-speed" tool for new hires.



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