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Gather ‘round and see what we learned at AIIM

This article appears in the issue May 1999 [Volume 8, Issue 5]

KM round table discussion leads to thoughts on the market

AIIM’99 last month in Atlanta was the scene of a meeting of the minds. Those minds, a group of invitees selected by AIIM International and KMWorld, began a community discussion about technology and its role in knowledge management. The goal: to discuss the market, the customer and the challenges. From that meeting and follow-up, KMWorld will report the findings of this community. Enter, part one, the market.

When it comes to the market for knowledge management solutions and technologies that enable KM, a question posed at the opening of the meeting provided this input.

How important has knowledge management been to you so far and how important do you expect it to be in the future? The present ranked as a six and the future an eight on a scale of one to 10.

While KM attracts the attention of senior executives, challenges for the market include: creating a common vocabulary for KM, developing knowledge management success stories; realizing that technologies like imaging and document management are part of KM, but not its sole ingredients; and perhaps most importantly, tying KM to a value proposition.

Here are some market-related comments from the table round:

Learn from the past

From a market perspective, "document management was a failure, imaging was a failure"said Tom Jenkins, CEO of Open Text (www.opentext.com). "Knowledge management is not a success yet.Ó

A new way of looking at it

"Knowledge management is a different lens to put on solving some of the same types of problems,"said Rian Gorey, director of knowledge services, Arthur Andersen (www.arthurandersen.com).

Show me the money

"If we can’t tie a value proposition to (knowledge management), we’re not going to sell anything,"said Tom Wilson, president and COO of Treev (www.treev.com).

From on high, with caution

"Knowledge management helps us to get the attention of high-level executives,"said Alan Turner, VP of marketing for Altris Software (www.altris.com). "But we need to be careful not to overhype it as a panacea for all information management ills."

In other words

"Without a common vocabulary, we’re saying the same things with different words,"said Scott Cooper, general manager of knowledge management products for Lotus (www.lotus.com).

When prodded to describe the difference between knowledge management and document management, Cooper said document management is part of an overall knowledge management system, but only a part until you do more like include information about the authors (the expertise in your organization) and put content to work.

The community

  • Dan Bolita, KMWorld
  • Scott Cooper, Lotus
  • Jay DeWalt, Unisys
  • Priscilla Emery, AIIM International
  • Rian Gorey, Arthur Andersen
  • Kim Hawley, Input Software
  • Tom Jenkins, Open Text
  • Ronni Marshak, Patricia Seybold Group
  • Pat Martel, Eastman Software
  • Andy Moore, KMWorld
  • Mark Pyatt, BancTec
  • David Silver, Kofax
  • Bruce Taylor, KMWorld
  • Alan Turner, Altris Software
  • James Watson, Doculabs
  • Tom Wilson, Treev
  • Bill Zastrow, Tower Technology

AIIM’s new board: forged in the fire of controversyBy Andy Moore, KMW editor in chief

Capping a half-year of divisive controversy at the highest levels within AIIM International (www.aiim.org), the 1999-2000 board of directors was elected Wednesday, April 14, during the AIIM’99 conference in Atlanta.

A last-ditch referendum effort, a surprise nomination at the final moment and the resounding censure of a vocal and critical sitting board member made the elections a few notches more melodramatic than others in recent memory.

"The tumult within AIIM is now over ... hopefully,"said John Mancini, AIIM’s president, the morning after the surprising election results and the previous evening’s induction ceremonies for the incoming board of directors. AIIM has weathered a difficult year--great transformation within its industry, expansion outside of North America, a merger with another association (Europe’s IMC).

This year’s controversy, ignited primarily by board treasurer Robert Smallwood, led to an unusual departure from standing AIIM rules at the election meeting.

According to AIIM bylaws, in order to accept a nomination for a board position, the nominee is required to submit a proposal, position statement and a list of accomplishments 30 days in advance of elections. Smallwood, vying for the vice chairman position, did so. But soon after opening the meeting, members moved, seconded and accepted the motion to waive that requirement.

Next item: accept the nomination of Jordan Libit, former VP Marketing of FileNet (www.filenet.com) and currently an independent consultant. The nomination was accepted, and upon voting, Libit emerged as the winning vice-chairman candidate. The vice-chair position of AIIM is, according to bylaws, an automatic path to AIIM chair the following year.

Smallwood no longer holds any position on the AIIM board.

Highlighting the AIIM board elections was the (expected) ascendance of John A. O’Connell to the position of chair. O’Connell’s election is welcomed by many within AIIM for multiple reasons, not only his reputation as a thoughtful corporate leader, but because his European connections helps solidify AIIM’s credibility in the international community.

Other "new blood"on the AIIM board is viewed by most as positive motion. The election of Jamie Popkin, well-regarded analyst from Gartner Group (www.gartner.com), and Jeffrey Miller, CEO of Documentum (www. documentum.com), are widely expected to add interesting and fresh dimensions to the organization. And the merging of IMC and AIIM boards into a single unit--there were some early unfruitful attempts to create separate North American and European AIIM boards--adds variety and reach to the overall group that would be difficult to achieve with separate boards.

The 1999-2000 AIIM Board of Directors

Chair:

  • John A. O’Connell - Staffware Group

Vice Chair/Chair Elect:

  • Jordan Libit - Consultant

Directors

:
  • Michael R. Alsup - Align Solutions
  • William J. Devine - Prudential Insurance
  • Michael K. Howard - Xerox
  • Dennis L. Kempner - Biels Information Technology Systems
  • M.S. Lee - Houston Fearless ‘76
  • Brian H. Marks - Eastman Kodak
  • Jeffrey Miller - Documentum
  • Royce Murphy - PeopleDoc
  • Richard Noffsinger - Microsoft
  • William S. Parks - CITGO Petroleum
  • Charles A. Pesko Jr. - CAP Ventures
  • James M. Popkin - GartnerGroup
  • Suresh V. Shenoy - Information Management Consultants
  • David S. Silver - Kofax Image Products
  • Clifton W. Sink - Lanier Worldwide
  • Douglas A. Switzer - Switzer & Associates
  • Norman Thomas - US Xpress Enterprises
  • Patrick Van Loon - Agfa

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