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2010 Promise and Reality award winners

The winners of the KM Promise and the KM Reality awards were announced in November at the 2010 KMWorld Conference in Washington, D.C. The Promise Award winner is delivering on the promise of an innovative technology that helps users realize positive business results, and the Reality Award winner is an organization that has made knowledge management a positive reality.

The 2010 KM Promise Award winner is:

Darwin Awareness Engine
Darwin Ecosystem

Unlike most KM solutions that require semantic analysis, pre-defined taxonomy or manual contextualization driven by known enterprise processes, Darwin’s technology shows the emergence of unstructured information patterns through the use of chaos theory principles.

Darwin allows the information to self-organize according to the interest of its user and increases the user’s awareness and discovery process by delivering a correlated context while displaying the content of interest. The unique content visualizations provide a significant productivity gain. Additionally, companies with a large investment in collaborative technologies, such as Lotus Domino, SharePoint and other Web 2.0 solutions, can now observe the pulse of the organization’s efforts. Not excluded from that benefit is the integration of the Web’s content.

Darwin’s technology (the Darwin Awareness Engine) is used by KETC, the St. Louis PBS affiliate, to monitor the trends and topics emerging from immigration matters on the Web. It uses that information to prepare a television program dedicated to immigration. KECT is now able to build a baseline of issues and measure the impact of the program and its brand. It is also able to discover the key bloggers who blog about such issues, and contact them. Additionally, KECT uses Darwin Buzz Tape to observe in real time what topics have accelerated from both the formal media sources and the blogosphere related to immigration and KETC.

The 2010 KM Reality Award winner is:

United Parcel Service Shared Services Department
Deployment of an Appian (appian.com) BPM system

In 2007, UPS Shared Services had a wide range of challenges that it sought to resolve as part of an organizational focus on maximizing efficiency, productivity and quality. Those issues included identifying and quantifying precisely “what its people do,” modeling and automating existing Web-based repetitive processes, identifying and eliminating process choke points and revitalizing and consolidating work-driving forms.

Shared Services needed a method to clearly measure existing processes. While service level agreements (SLAs) were in place, there was no consistent method for ensuring that they were met. A new solution was needed to help Shared Services deconstruct the siloed approach of the past, where individual groups focused on process development and management without looking at the “big picture,” and there was no end-to-end ownership as processes crossed groups.

Further, the team required real-time analytics and reporting to standardize the metrics for measuring process performance and people effectiveness. Its search for a solution led the group to investigate BPM technologies. However, an immediate roadblock became apparent because most technologies UPS looked at required heavy outside services involvement due to the complexity of the platforms.

Because UPS intended to internally own all solution development, deployment and management without the aid of any vendor professional services capabilities, extreme ease of use quickly rose to the top of the requirements list.

Shared Services deployed a business process management (BPM) system as a pervasive platform within IT to develop, deploy, measure and manage shared services delivered out to the business. It also created a cross-functional governance group/BPM center of excellence (CoE) to lead team and organization process and technology training, foster a “process” culture and support organizational adoption.

UPS has calculated a $28 million cost-savings from process efficiency gains, user self-service and data error eliminations through the more than 100 BPM process applications deployed to date. In addition, the team has identified an additional opportunity pool of $23 million through better alignment of incident management processes. It is anticipated that this assessment will lead to further significant cost reductions. 

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