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A market comes of age

Exhibitors span the KM spectrum

Maturity of the knowledge management market will be undeniable at KMWorld’99 Conference and Expo (www.kmworld.com/99). As exhibitor Randy Clark of Enigma (www.enigma.com) has said, "The debate is no longer whether knowledge management exists, but rather which applications will enable users to build an effective KM solution."

A diverse selection of products, services and technologies will be on display to educate attendees interested in creating customized and comprehensive solutions.

"We want to see knowledge management applied to real-life solutions and to discover how today’s technology really delivers on the knowledge management promise," said Input Software’s John Stetak.

Attendees will find just that on the show floor in Dallas Sept. 21 to 23.

Here is a sampling of exhibitors and their offerings:

Aptech Worldwide (www.aptech-worldwide.com) intends to profile case studies on the development of corporate portals and performance improvement. CEO Ganesh Natarajan elaborated, "Aptech’s knowledge management practice bridges the gap between enterprise portals and virtual learning to create unique performance improvement solutions for competitive organizations in 24 countries worldwide."

Compaq’s (www.compaq.com) message involves showing attendees how to "maintain competitive advantage by delivering its NonStop EBusiness solutions, which enable effective use of knowledge assets in an extended enterprise," in conjunction with software tools from Lotus (www.lotus.com), Microsoft (www.microsoft.com), Novell (www.novell.com) and others, said Dennis Cannon, Compaq’s KM applications manager.

An important goal for Cannon at the show: "Innovation. I’ll be looking for those applications and solutions that add value beyond the simple indexing and categorization of document contents. I’ll be looking for those solutions that help companies identify information that is valuable to the organization before they realize its value."

Enigma (www.enigmainc.com) will feature its E-publishing solutions for authoring, management and publishing--Insight and Xtend--which move beyond traditional tools and practices. As Randy Clark, VP of marketing at Enigma, explained, "Content providers historically have been faced with the challenge of building end-to-end systems for authoring, management and publishing. While new levels of efficiency and automation have been achieved with this document-centric approach, the new opportunity is to link the document systems with enterprise Web-based applications such as online ordering, training, field maintenance and customer support."

Excalibur Technologies‘ (www.excalib.com) retrieval and digital asset management software solutions will be profiled. Excalibur RetrievalWare 6.7 features a full complement of new KM capabilities, including the new Knowledge Categorization feature, which enables contextual understanding of data based on word meanings and associations.

Excalibur will also demonstrate a new Power Search Plug-in for Lotus Notes, which provides a single point of access to enterprise assets from within Notes; groupware support for FileNet Panagon and Documentum products; RetrievalWare WebExpress; and Screening Room 2.0, for delivery of video over the Internet.

Input Software (www.inputsw.com) will demonstrate how its family of information capture products provides real-life solutions. "Input Software will be putting special focus on applied information capture solutions to show just how far information capture technologies have gone beyond the limited concept of imaging in the past," said John Stetak, VP of marketing.

"In order for customers to deploy technology today, they need to see that it will do three things," continued Stetak. "Improve their business practices (empower regional sites with better access to more accurate information); address the key issues that drive their business and give them competitive advantage; and be cost-effective, by increasing productivity and reducing the costs of labor and storage."

Kirk Tyson International (www. ktyson.com) specializes in business intelligence and competitive intelligence. The consulting company anticipates that attendees will be looking for not just the technical side of KM, but also at the people and process issues involved.

VP Todd Kuciunas classifies Kirk Tyson’s approach as holistic: "Over the years, we combined technology with our consulting and process expertise to assist clients in developing enterprisewide business/competitive intelligence functions and systems."

KnowledgeTrack (www.knowledge track.com) will display its enterprise corporate portal solutions for centralized access to business information. Features include scalability, security, personalization and self-publishing features.

Microsoft’s (www.microsoft.com) presence at KMWorld’99 Conference and Exposition reflects the company’s position in the KM market, as provider of the platform for developing KM solutions. "Microsoft solutions enable knowledge management," said Donna Conner, industry manager for KM solutions.

Microsoft prefers to spotlight the ISVs who are building KM solutions using Microsoft development tools. In recent presentations, Microsoft VPs Bob Muglia and Jeffrey Kratz made it clear that the "Digital Nervous System" and "Digital Dashboard" are not end products. The Digital Nervous System is rather a platform that allows the creation of solutions supporting knowledge management, while the Digital Dashboard exemplifies the use of such tools in extending a corporate intranet.

Orbital Software (www.orbitalsw .com) will announce the availability of a new people-centric solution that will essentially provide an organization with "Corporate Knowledge Radar." That competitive advantage tool from the expertise tracking software company locates the individual whose skills and knowledge can best solve a given business problem.

Orbital’s tools enable knowledge map creation, or a collective view of the organization’s skills and expertise, and provide universally accessible and dynamically maintained corporate knowledge.

Quantum Research & Technologies (www.qrt.com) will introduce Book Mark 2000, its new electronic document management, imaging and workflow system. The network information storage solution maintains multiple repositories, can be deployed across multiple platforms--from optical systems to CD-ROM and WORM devices--and is intranet and Internet accessible. A departmental workgroup version is also available.

Semio (www.semio.com) will unveil the next generation of products that build on Semio Builder, Semio Taxonomy and SemioMap. Solutions organize Internet and intranet content using mapping and taxonomy technologies.

Sybase (www.sybase.com) will showcase Next Generation Learning (NGL) Solution. Initially created to meet the needs of a changing education market, the NGL Solution answers the need to customize training and deliver enterprise data throughout organizations, by providing the architecture and services.

Other knowledge management vendors and solutions at the show include: Authentica Security Technologies’ (www.pagevault.com) network security offerings; Autonomy’s (www.autonomy .com) content categorization, hypertext linking and tagging technologies; Dataware Technologies’ (www.dataware .com) Web-based solutions; Lotus Development’s (www.lotus.com) collaboration tools; Microsystems Technology (www. microsystemsonline.com) forms processing; Navigator Systems’ (www. navsystems.com) consulting services for business intelligence, E-commerce and enterprise collaboration; and Transaction Information Systems’ (www.tisny.com) E-business and ERP solutions.

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