Vote Now for the KMWorld Readers' Choice Awards !

Gathering, organizing, distributing info

This article appears in the issue April 2000 [Volume 9, Issue 3]

Portals empower KM for corporations

You know a "word" has gone mainstream when you start hearing it on Headline News. Now, for the TV masses, the word "portal" is applied to all Web applications. In financial reports, you often hear Yahoo.com described as a portal. Well, the word originally referred to user-specific info feeds, sort of a porthole view of the ocean of information on the Web and corporate nets. Yahoo is not a portal; it's a Web site, or more precisely a Web index. Likewise, Infoseek is a Web search site, not a portal as you sometimes hear it described.

Another so-called portal on Headline News was directed at the billion or so Spanish speakers on the planet. Now, that audience is a bit too broad to be referred to as a portal. It narrows it down a little bit from Yahoo and Infoseek, but corporate users define the word "portal" more narrowly than an audience of 1 billion users: It's a customizable user interface to organize access to multiple sources of information, knowledge-enabling a relatively small web of users with related interests.

A Web portal does three things: • gathers info from many sources--agents, robots; • reduces labor to find info in large networks; • offers mass customization.

This article presents a sampling of portal solutions, all of which gather, organize and disseminate information. They are designed to automate the management of knowledge, to serve as focused portals to enterprise-essential info, available 24/7 to those who need it. The solutions described are business-to-business (B2B), person-to-person (P2P) or even computer-to-computer (C2C). Automating access to complex sources of knowledge is the thread that runs through all of them.

AlphaBlox offers Web-based analytical applications, going where all the liberal arts and marketing majors refuse to dare. Statistics analysts: This is the package you should look at for starters. Sign up for a Web demo of AlphaBlox Analysis Suite.

Autonomy's Portal-in-a-Box is using a unique information retrieval technology to analyze files and form relationships among files. Autonomy can watch multiple info feeds and provide on-the-fly ability to categorize, profile and create hyperlinks from new documents to every interested user. For more, see IDC's white paper on Autonomy.

Cognos Upfront is a classic example of a high-end push portal--a customized view of valuable competitive data from Cognos. As a pro forma "rifle shot" portal, this approach offers specific ROI basis for evaluating info. Free analyst reports are available.

Cypress Web offers secure document management functionality over currently deployed office files and software environments. It looks both inward and outward, simultaneously offering secure intranet features with archival functionality in DocuVault, combined with e-commerce hooks for outward-facing access. Click here for a white paper on "Managing and Delivering Knowledge in Spite of Disparity".

Datawatch Monarch/ES Report Portal gives online users easy, transparent access to valuable legacy systems data. With average implementation times advertised at two weeks, the portal offers promise for getting at legacy system data without huge conversion projects. Register here for Web demo.

EnCommerce getAccess offers the financial backbone of the industry. The product is used by customers like Chase, Prudential, Bank of America, AT&T and other e-commerce pioneers. The reason enCommerce pop ups in an article on knowledge management is to acknowledge that financial hardware and software for e-commerce is rapidly falling into place, ready for the explosive market growth of the next few decades. Take tours of the personalized portal services.

Enigma CommerceSight is the mass-market roll-out of the market-leading content management powerhouse. Enigma has built a market base in critical business document automation in such life-or-death markets as aircraft design and support. Enigma ESP Architecture is a pioneer in online business transactions, with digital catalogs and custom orders. Request a free CD demo.

Experts Exchange is a rich resource on the Web, with more than 2 million valuable postings from 50,000 experts and 300,000 highly motivated power users. In such a sizable database, you should have a better than Web search chance of finding seriously useful information. Try asking a question on JavaScript, NT Networking, ASP, etc.

Hyperwave Information Portal leverages Hyper-G technology to combat user resistance to KM automation. Based on breakthroughs from the University of Graz in Austria, Hyper-G presses the envelope in investigating payback in KM automation by streamlining the process of organizing and refreshing info sources. Take a portal tour of a fictional example.

Icarian Workforce eServices offers a portal that is made to be home-sweet-home to fellow portal makers, risk takers, code breakers and others engaged in the dot.com gold rush. In the manufacturer's words, this is a B2B Web site for talent transactions. Click here for an overview of Icarian Workforce suite.

InfoImage Freedom is a corporate portal that provides online education resources. InfoImage seeks to educate workers and provide the means to support increased productivity through training. Every worker in the company can have access to world class training and education, and can advance to their highest capacity, with the least amount of bureaucracy and cost to the enterprise. Read about first commercially available digital dashboard in InfoImage and Microsoft news.

Inovie TeamCenter has delivered core functions that would be expected of any portal for KM, namely 24/7 collaboration features where many people can share everything from meeting notes to proposals and designs. TeamCenter concentrates on the nerdy details of pulling disparate elements together, and its customers in the world of info-brokers could not be happier. Take a guided screenshot tour of Team Center or read a white paper on "The Future of Work" at Inovie Preview Form.

OnDemand is a classic portal package with built-in goodies like direct mail output to contact the real world, custom printing, mass-customized Web learning and other techniques for automating knowledge sharing with both internal and external customers. Take a tour on winning channel mindshare.

PM Boulevard provides a reliably vast and dispersed project management backbone for Northrop Grumman's B-2 Division. By making accessible resources like project management check lists, resource deployments and updated online information, the software offers enhanced KM access to lessons learned and best practices. For more, check out PM Boulevard's Virtual Project Management Office.

Sagewave EIP Browser from Sagemaker integrates more than 4,000 external industry-specific information resources with in-place corporate systems. Critical knowledge sorting and categorization functions can be outsourced to SageWave experts for rapid implementation deployments. Check out the SageWave resource guide.

Tony McKinley is director of sales at Captiva Software, 610-647-5570, e-mail tmckinley@captivasoftware.com.


Search KMWorld

Connect