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2003 KMWorld Promise and Reality finalists

For the third year, KMWorld is acknowledging vendors and practitioners that best exemplify the promise of KM technology and the value gained by the successful implementation of a KM solution.

This year's crop of nominees is especially impressive, and we've decided to highlight the 10 finalists in each of the two categories. The winners were announced at this year's KMWorld & Intranets Conferences and Exposition in October and will be featured in our January issue. What follows is a brief description of the finalists for our KM Promise and KM Reality awards. More extensive content from all the nominations will be posted at KMWorld.com after publication of the January issue. Keep your eyes out for it.

KM Promise

ClearForest ClearForest describes ClearResearch and ClearTags products as the only truly comprehensive metatagging solution available. Unlike other products, which provide tagging only on the document level, ClearTags produces the full range of tags--both document-level tags and inner-document tags. ClearTag's intelligent tagging automatically classifies pertinent entities, facts, events and relationships. ClearResearch automatically integrates the tagged content and delivers visual, interactive summaries, enabling companies to quickly synthesize vast amounts of data and draw insight into business intelligence that would otherwise be lost.

ePeople ePeople Teamwork takes a knowledge-centered approach to the problem resolution process by capturing knowledge as it is created during resolution. That makes 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. 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.

iManage The iManage WorkSite application enables businesses to capture, store, reuse and leverage organizational knowledge, best practices, proven methodologies and competencies. WorkSite provides sophisticated, unified concept searches across all iManage repositories, and internal and external information sources. iManage also brings together content management, collaboration, workflow and KM in an integrated portal with an intuitive user interface. The application has been built from the ground up on a single platform that integrates those components and, hence, enables quick deployment.

Inmagic CHECK THIS WEB SITE Inmagic recognizes that local content managers are domain experts. Therefore, its CM solution is designed to empower the local content manager to provide the kind of highly relevant knowledge and information that will most benefit his or her constituency while providing a content-capable infrastructure that integrates within the overall enterprise technology strategy. The offering allows its customers to: build and maintain a corporate portal, intranet, extranet or Web site; update and edit databases via a Web browser; import and index information from a variety of data sources; and share content between applications with XML and SOAP protocols.

Intelliseek Developed over six years, from in-house development and multiple acquisitions, Intelliseek's proprietary Content Intelligence Platform comprises the Content Discovery Services and Content Mining Services. It is a robust, scalable and automated, unstructured data discovery and mining solution that can take any type of unstructured data in and generate business intelligence reports as if they were generated from traditional structured data. Intelliseek products bridge the gap between knowledge management and business intelligence. The technology helps leverage the unstructured content, within and outside organizational firewalls, to generate real-time insights.

ISYS/Odyssey Development ISYS search software offers an out-of-the-box solution designed with the user in mind. Used worldwide by government, legal, financial services and other organizations, ISYS offers everything from personal search tools and workgroup solutions to enterprise search suites and a software developer's toolkit for custom integration of search into third-party applications. Further, ISYS offers tactical deployments for the small to midsize enterprise.

KnowledgeBase Solutions KnowledgeBase.net, the company's flagship product, is a feature-rich knowledgebase application that provides an environment for companies to quickly and cost-effectively create a companywide knowledgebase to store and index documents and accurately search answers to user questions. KnowledgeBase.net combines KM with document management, a smart FAQ system and an answer/search engine with customized Web portal technology.

SupportSoft Specifically designed for service and support environments, SupportSoft's Knowledge Center Suite deploys patented personalization technology based on the user's context by automatically determining such parameters as PC environment or Web site location, in order to present only the most relevant information ranked by effectiveness weighting. Further, it can intelligently automate complex tasks via one-click fixes, freeing the user from manual and error-prone tasks. Other knowledge automation benefits include streamlined knowledge creation for analysts and the ability to filter knowledge based on the specific information needs of individuals or groups within the enterprise. It's designed to enable both users and support analysts to have fast access to a knowledgebase to retrieve or create personalized, automated resolution to problems.

TripleHop TripleHop's MatchPoint uses both statistical and semantic search functionality, as well as the context of the search and the user performing the query. MatchPoint is automatically embedded into the customer's work process, taking into account the context of the task being pursued to understand, "disambiguate" and expand user queries and search results. For example, the query "price list" is understood by MatchPoint differently based on the employee initiating the query. MatchPoint delivers the correct results if a price list is posted by an employee in the purchasing department looking for supplier pricing--or if the same query is posted by a sales representative looking for pricing for a proposal.

West Designed for the legal industry, West km from West, a Thomson business, fully automates analyzing and indexing documents to a universally accepted classification system, substantially improving the accuracy of legal research retrieval. West km 2.0 uses West's proprietary CaRE (Categorization and Routing Engine) technology to classify law firm documents, such as briefs, memoranda and depositions, to the 10,000 legal topics of the KeySearch hierarchy. KeySearch is a concentrated version of the West Key Number System, which, with more than 100,000 topics and categories, is a sophisticated and complete taxonomy of American law. The ability to categorize to an existing and proven taxonomy means that law firm documents can be indexed consistently to the same system that has been used to organize the universe of legal information resources for more than 125 years.

KM Reality

American Superconductor American Superconductor collects nearly one gigabyte of data per month from its field units. Data is received in binary format and can be converted to ASCII, but is difficult to interpret on a point-by-point basis. A method was needed to provide useful access to the data because different groups across the company had different needs and uses for the information. Also, because information presented with images is better understood and retained, the system had to generate good graphics. The KM system was developed to provide graphical and formatted table access to the data without having to view individual data points.

Key business from the system ties directly to the stated objectives of American Superconductor: improving costs, efficiency and customer service. Some important business results include the ability to graphically show the customer an event and the company's response to that event; better and faster analysis of customer events; organizational improvements, including an e-mail and text messaging notification system that sends alarms from anywhere in the world within minutes of an event; improved response time to alarms; a more thorough understanding of the data available for analysis; and the ability to cross-reference data on the same graphical format at the press of a button.

Bank Leumi Le-Israel Founded 100 years ago, Bank Leumi is Israel's oldest international banking group. Its KM initiative was sparked by the bank's interest in improving its competitive advantage. The initiative also created an opportunity to address challenges that arise in the constantly changing financial environment.

The KM program's primary goal is to effectively manage the bank's knowledge resources to advance its business objectives. To achieve that goal, various banking "content worlds" and processes were chosen. A KM action plan was developed for each content world to achieve specific objectives and resolve identified needs. At the employee level, the knowledge management initiative was aimed at improving performance by providing workers with information relevant to their jobs and enabling them to quickly locate and retrieve the required updated knowledge just in time.

The Boeing Co, Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power Rocketdyne has supported the design, development and operation of human and robotic space vehicles since the beginning of the space program. Key programs at Rocketdyne include the Space Shuttle main engine, International Space Station (ISS), Upper Stage Propulsion and other advanced propulsion systems. With the aerospace market in a downturn, it was even more critical for Rocketdyne to invest in and implement knowledge management processes and practices, not only to manage its knowledge and skills, but also to maintain market leadership.

Rocketdyne wanted to facilitate interactive knowledge sharing to reduce risk in the product life cycle; consistently deliver competitive, high-quality products to its customers; and manage its intellectual capital. KM became a strategy in the business plan, and a cross-functional team was put in place to provide solutions to manage intellectual assets and improve cost savings and cost avoidance. The strategic business focus involved people-to-people, people-to-media, media-to-people and media-to-media knowledge sharing. Rocketdyne deployed AskMe (askme.com) technology extensively to accomplish its goals.

Cap Gemini Ernst & Young In May 2000, Cap Gemini, Gemini Consulting and Ernst & Young Consulting combined to create Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (CGE&Y). Each of the three former consultancies had its own legacy knowledge management systems and processes. Well before the merger took place, CGE&Y leadership recognized the need to quickly and efficiently unite the three separate knowledge management systems for the benefit of its consultants and clients.

As a global consulting company, intellectual capital is CGE&Y's primary asset, so it wanted a complete KM system that would allow its consultants to leverage industry best practices, previous experiences and the most current information available to deliver high-quality, accelerated results for clients. The primary goal of the newly combined system was to create a comprehensive knowledge management architecture--integrating the best practices of the three predecessor organizations along the dimensions of people, process, technology, content and culture.

Defense Logistics Agency The Automated Material Tracking System (AMTS), built by SabiOso (sabioso.com), handles all parts movements between the Defense Logistics Agency and U.S. Air Force (af.mil) depot system worldwide. The system manages the in-transit tracking of more than 1.8 million parts per month. AMTS captures more than 13 million data points per month in addition to the huge amount of metadata the system creates internally. The daily value of that in-transit inventory is $42 million. The system supports all Air Force weapon systems at the complex level of depot maintenance, as well as 1,300 direct users and 55,000 indirect users. The DLA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (dod.gov).

Factiva Factiva, a Dow Jones & Reuters Company, faces competition from similar online providers of business information. However, its harshest foe might be the widespread belief that information is free, universal and easily accessible. Therefore, Factiva needs to constantly demonstrate where it is adding value.

As the combination of two different entities, Factiva faced a twofold business challenge. It inherited from Reuters a largely manual process to categorize the metadata attached to all of its content. The process was expensive, and its cost was bound to increase as the information to be processed grew exponentially. Dow Jones relied on a rule-based engine to code each story with no manual coding. Editorial intervention was focused on managing the rules. Factiva was concerned that continued reliance on a rule-based system would prove expensive and possibly inflexible.

Factiva licensed Inxight's (inxight.com) categorization solution to automatically analyze, code and classify text data according to Factiva's taxonomy, Factiva Intelligent Indexing. Similarly, Factiva has licensed Inxight's entity extraction technology to identify and extract information, such as company names, from documents and group them by categories. Factiva carefully designed the integration of Inxight's classification software in the current architecture and closely monitored the implementation.

Maxtor Maxtor is one of the world's largest suppliers of hard disk drive storage. New knowledge practices and processes were developed to support a flexible manufacturing architecture. Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing and distribution require tightly coordinated business activities between Maxtor and its parts suppliers, factories, warehouses and customers throughout the world. However, the manual sharing of information and the unavoidable delays that resulted from working in different time zones worldwide created a 24-hour lag in receiving business-critical data. That delay prevented Maxtor from maximizing the efficiencies and economies of JIT manufacturing and distribution.

Maxtor's solution was to implement an integrated ERP and analytic platform that would move data more reliably and in real time throughout the global organization. Once the company chose SAP (sap.com) as the ERP platform, it had to make the classic buy vs. build decision for the analytic platform. Maxtor chose the former, opting to implement an integrated analytic environment: Business Objects (businessobjects.com) Data Integrator as the ETL tool and BusinessObjects for the analytic architecture.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) was established in 1984 as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to provide services nationwide for families and professionals in the prevention of abducted, endangered and sexually exploited children.

It serves as a clearinghouse of information about missing and exploited children and operates a CyberTipline that the public may use to report Internet-related child sexual exploitation. Further, it provides technical assistance to individuals and law enforcement agencies in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and treatment of cases involving missing and exploited children

NCMEC assists the U.S. Department of State (state.gov) in certain cases of international child abduction in accordance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It also offers training programs to law enforcement and social service professionals and distributes photographs and descriptions of missing children worldwide. It coordinates child protection efforts with the private sector, networks with nonprofit service providers and state clearinghouses about missing-persons cases and provides information about effective state legislation to help ensure the protection of children. To coordinate those efforts, NCMEC deployed the CleverPath portal from Computer Associates (ca.com).

PricewaterhouseCoopers PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is the world's largest professional services organization, providing assistance in the areas of accounting, auditing, tax, controls, security and risk assessments, transactions and legal services, and business advisory. A global network of firms that are legally separate, locally owned and locally managed, PwC deployed the Next Generation Knowledge Management initiative firmwide within its Assurance and Business Advisory Services line. Existing knowledge practices were revised and new ones begun within PwC as part of the broader Next Generation initiative, which is a internal change program designed to consolidate and build PwC's position in the audit and assurance marketplace.

Scott County, Minn. The increasing demands from employees and county residents for timely access to information prompted Scott County to search for a content management solution that enables it to cost-effectively deliver and manage content via the Web, where multiple parties can easily retrieve it.

Objectives for the content management implementation included: improving access and availability to public information; reducing Scott County labor time spent addressing questions, issuing and collecting forms, and entering data from hard-copy forms; and developing a convenient and efficient resource for the public to use in conducting routine county business.

To power its e-government initiative, Scott County uses Stellent (stellent.com) Content Management as the foundation for its public Internet site and employee intranet. The system provides the county with a number of knowledge/content management competencies and capabilities that enable the organization to efficiently manage and share information with internal and external audiences.

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