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KMWorld & Intranets 2003 review: The KMWorld Awards—Celebrating knowledge management

This article appears in the issue January 2004 [Volume 13, Issue 1]

Presented at the KMWorld & Intranets Conference in Santa Clara in October, the KM Reality and KM Promise awards are designed to recognize an organization successfully implementing a KM initiative and a vendor whose offering(s) show tremendous potential.

KM Reality

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, (missingkids.com)

NCMEC was established in 1984 as a private, nonprofit organization to provide services nationwide for families and professionals in the prevention of abducted, endangered and sexually exploited children.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  • serves as a clearinghouse of information about missing and exploited children;

  • operates a CyberTipline that the public may use to report Internet-related child sexual exploitation;

  • provides technical assistance to individuals and law enforcement agencies in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and treatment of cases involving missing and exploited children;

  • assists the U.S. Department of State in certain cases of international child abduction in accordance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction;

  • offers training programs to law enforcement and social-service professionals;

  • distributes photographs and descriptions of missing children worldwide;

  • coordinates child protection efforts with the private sector;

  • networks with nonprofit service providers and state clearinghouses about missing-person cases; and

  • provides information about effective state legislation to help ensure the protection of children;

Computer Associates' software technology, Web hosting, graphics and design, and engineering support NCMEC's Web site and network. NCMEC developed and maintains the heart of its Web site, a multilingual database of images and information on missing children, utilizing CA's Ingres database. Through that network, NCMEC is able to transmit images and information instantly to law enforcement throughout the United States and to other countries around the world in each one's native language. NCMEC's Web site, missingkids.com, receives more than 500,000 hits per day.

NCMEC's increased success is a direct result of additional human resources; technological advancements; training workshops; program development, research and evaluation; and aggressive private, public and community partnerships. Due to the enhancements in those areas, NCMEC has intensified its efforts in locating missing children and in fighting child sexual exploitation. NCMEC has also increased national and international efforts in the areas of prevention, education, case management and analysis.

CA and NCMEC are now exploring a way to use experienced-based reasoning to do more powerful searches of the free text in its database of leads on missing children. The goal is to find patterns with abductions and attempted abductions and discover trends to help find missing children.

KM Promise

epeople.com

ePeople, founded in 1997, is a provider of knowledge solutions for companies that sell enterprise products and services. ePeople's mission is to help companies leverage their expert knowledge to achieve breakthrough customer results. Understanding that markets beyond customer support can benefit from unlocking hidden best practices and knowledge throughout the enterprise, ePeople expanded its target markets to include IT helpdesk, strategic account management, team selling and outsourced service management.

ePeople's flagship offering, Teamwork, takes a knowledge-centered approach to the problem resolution process by capturing knowledge as it is created during resolution, making knowledge capture and reuse a seamless part of everyday workflow instead of separate tasks that require extra effort. It also expands the scope of reusable information to include data about what people know, what content is helpful, and which processes have worked, instead of just cataloging simple answers to frequently asked questions.

In addition, ePeople Teamwork minimizes the effort required to keep knowledge timely and fresh so that resources aren't wasted editing and polishing content unless it is truly useful. That provides a low-risk/high-reward approach that makes it easier to achieve and sustain the rewards of increased customer satisfaction and reduced labor costs that result from effective knowledge sharing. ePeople says Teamwork reduces resolution times while building knowledge faster by:

  • Managing expertise throughout the organization. Understanding who knows what within the organization is a critical element in reducing resolution time and getting high-quality answers. ePeople Teamwork's Expertise Manager allows the support analyst to bring together the right team of advisers.

  • Facilitating a team-based resolution process. Once the right team is assembled, they need a productive work environment in which to efficiently resolve issues. ePeople Teamwork's Solution Center creates a work space for each customer issue, providing a place where every member of the team can get a common and persistent view of the issue, and communicate and share information. Workspaces can be launched from the case tracking or CRM system, from the e-mail invite or through the ePeople Teamwork Web interface.

  • Automatically capturing knowledge for immediate reuse. When support analysts first enter a customer issue, they immediately have access to time-saving information captured from similar issues that have previously been resolved. That includes visibility into the process used by the issue owner, the team of advisers who contributed, what pitfalls to avoid and how the actual issue was resolved. Users have access to the rich and comprehensive knowledge immediately after an issue closes, eliminating the time delay associated with authoring and approving knowledge articles.

Best in Show

For the first time, we decided to also award a Best in Show to the exhibitor that attendees voted as best meeting their needs. Voted entirely by attendees, we asked them to: assess each exhibitor in terms of its understanding of their needs and how they can be met with a precise solution. Also part of the judging process was a determination of the exhibitors' reliability, trustworthiness and competence to provide effective business solutions. All voters were eligible for a drawing for a 20G Apple iPod, which was won by Rita Iorfida (pictured) of Lafayette, Calif.

Not surprisingly, each of the nearly 40 exhibitors received at least several votes, but the ultimate winner was TheBrain Technologies, followed closely by Convera, Entopia, ePeople and Inxight.

In the iPod drawing, Rita Iorfinda's ballot was randomly selected from the more than 200 ballots. She found that ePeople offered her organization the most compelling solution. She say, "ePeople demonstrated a real-life example of how technology solutions are helping organizations make information from a wide variety of sources valuable within the context of day-to-day business processes."

What they say about TheBrain, selected by visitors to KMWorld & Intranets 2003 as "Best in Show."

"I particularly liked the visual aspect of the organizational capabilities. The ability to rearrange items based on what you are currently working on would be very helpful. Seeing the areas of interest that may be affected by creating a new document or process would be beneficial to our huge organization, where policy is top down and issues percolate from the bottom up. Seeing the interconnectedness of items would facilitate communication within the enterprise and allow us to cover all the bases when producing content. We are developing a knowledgebase that pulls financial and policy information from many different sources and this product might help us sort out where we are as we change the course of "this big ship."— Deborah Jindra, technical writer/service management, USPS


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