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KM reality and promise

By Hugh McKellar, KMWorld executive editor

Just as we did last year at this time, we awarded two prizes at the KMWorld conference to members of the knowledge management community—one to a vendor for KM Promise; the other to a practitioner for KM Reality. And like 2001 it was brutally difficult to select only two “winners” from the scores of compelling KM stories. For KM Promise, the award is given to the organization that delivers the promise to its customers of providing innovative technology solutions for implementing and integrating knowledge management practices into its 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 embedded into the work processes. This year, the award went to Kamoon.

At the heart of Kamoon's sophisticated expertise location system is its patented, context-sensitive Enterprise Expertise Management Engine, which controls the entire process. Explains Kamoon, the requestor can direct the question to a specific group, determine if one or more answers is needed and specify the length of time before an unanswered question is escalated to another level. For their part, the experts have extensive controls on their profiles and can specify which type of queries they will or will not answer, how many they will answer in a given time period and what sort of time frame. In an upcoming issue, KMWorld will profile Kamoon and its Connect product and describe its deployment at Unisys as a core component of its enterprisewide knowledge management infrastructure for 35,000 employees.

The KM Reality Award recognizes an organization in which knowledge management is a positive reality. The recipient must demonstrate leadership in the implementation of knowledge management practices and processes by realizing measurable business benefits. The knowledge management program must have been in place a minimum of two years, demonstrated senior management support, shown defined metrics to evaluate the program and its impact on organizational goals.

The recipient of the 2002 KM Reality Award is Wipro Technology, a full-service IT consulting group based in Doddakannelli, India, and a division of Wipro U.S. Wipro's KM vision was set by the CEO to be an organization where knowledge capture and sharing is a way of life, offering customers speed-to-deploy as well as innovative products and services focused on their needs. In return, this approach creates for the employees an environment of continuous learning and productivity improvements that would have been possible only through vigorous KM practices and processes. Wipro also acknowledges that people are its primary assets, and that it is necessary to capture and leverage people's know-how. Its program increases the transfer of knowledge from the individual level to the organization level and links people who have requisite tacit and explicit knowledge with those who need it. Plus its program brings the right information to the right people in a context that addresses their business needs. Wipro strongly emphasizes increasing collaboration opportunities and sharing best practices across the enterprise, so that the entire organization can learn from failed efforts and provide a platform for knowledge reuse and innovation.

Keep your eyes peeled for feature profiles about these companies in upcoming issues. Plus, we’ll post some of the most interesting nominations for KM Promise and KM Reward on our Web site, so make sure you visit kmworld.com

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