Trend-Setting Products of 2003
By Hugh McKellar, KMWorld executive editor
We’re all doing more with less these days. Vendors cite their customers' “decreasing IT ‘bandwidth,’ ” euphemistically referring to less in-house technical staff and support. They’re designing their products with the user in mind, reducing the level of expertise and programming required for their offerings to deliver peak performance.
So, to assemble this list, we talked with colleagues, analysts, vendors and users, and we all agreed that usability, flexibility, adoption rate and total cost of ownership should be criteria for inclusion. And because we view knowledge management as an attitude rather than an application, we scratched our heads a bit to identify technology “spaces” to highlight. Coming up with business process management, collaboration, content management, document management, portals and smart enterprise suites as the areas we wanted to address was hard enough because the lines blur in so many instances. Then we placed the products into the categories, further muddying the waters. One thing that is perfectly clear, though, is that these products deserve special mention. But any list such as this can be longer—or shorter, even.
Just as is the case with our annual list of the KMWorld 100 Companies that Matter, these are not the only trend-setting products—rather, the ones our informal panel agree upon. And not all were introduced this year; some gained traction in the marketplace and experienced wider adoption.
So in the end, I’ll take the heat for omissions or miscategorizing, but spend some time on these companies’ Web sites to learn more about the software we’ve identified as likely ahead of the pack.
Business Process Management
Integrates processes such as strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting and reporting.
DSTDST—Automated Work Distributor (AWD) Comprehensive business process management, imaging, workflow and customer management system.
Epicor—Epicor for Service Enterprises Based on .Net Web services, offers enterprise service automation at an enterprise scale at midmarket total cost of ownership.
FileNet—FileNet Business Process Manager—based on FileNet P8. Standards based, flexible and customizable to a wide range of industries; quick deployment; and easy scalability.
Uses case-based reasoning to emulate the human brain.
Softheon—Business Process Execution Framework Targeting financial services and healthcare vertical markets, allows customers to integrate companies, lines of business and customers, as well as optimize new business, claims and customer support functions.
Ultimus—Business Process Management SuiteTrue pioneer in workflow, e-process and BPM.
Vitria— BusinessWare 4
Comprehensive BPM capabilities needed to automate the long-lived, multistep business processes common to companies and their value chains.
80-20—80-20 Enterprise Retriever
Search tool that encompasses e-mail folders, archived e-mail and local or network file systems.
Analyzes, reviews, understands and acts on any internal communications including telephone calls, e-mail and instant messages to ensure that business communications meet codes of conduct and comply with industry regulations.
Intelligent auto-tagging application for identifying and automatically tagging relevant entities, facts and events buried within large textual repositories, producing richly tagged XML.
A single, integrated platform that categorizes and organizes all content including unstructured text, image, video and paper assets, as well as a variety of structured data sources.
Indexes and organizes content found in multiple sources, regardless of where the information resides, through a unified interface.
A unified virtual metadata repository that connects users to information, people and resources across the enterprise.
Concept-based searching for legal teams, searches and organizes unstructured information by mapping relationships between each word and every other word in large sets of documents.
Intelliseek—Enterprise Discovery Suite
Enables mining and extracting data from disparate sources—the Internet, extranets, intranets, internal company documents, management systems and databases, as well as external research and subscription sources, publications, the media, online and Internet discussions.
Incorporates tools such as categorization, taxonomy management and entity extraction management.
Legato Systems—ApplicationXtender Solutions for Information Lifecycle Management
Content management, e-mail management, workflow and enterprise report management delivered along with Legato's storage management and data protection solutions.
Mercado—Enterprise Search and Navigation
Represents all information in native XML and designed from the ground up for Web services environment.
Cost-effective, multichannel content delivery, with features such as decoupled delivery, intelligent relationships and active assembly.
Primus—Primus Answer Engine
Quick, relevant answers to plain-English questions by bringing widespread corporate knowledge to support agents, customers, partners and employees via the Web.
Centralized control of site architecture, navigation and presentation; decentralized ownership of the actual development, deployment and ongoing management of the sites; and the ability for business users to add, modify and approve content within the context of those sites.
Stratify—Discovery System 3.0
Combines transparent search, integrated categorization and entity recognition (such as people, locations and organizations) with taxonomy management capabilities.
Perform concept (vs. keyword) search, provides universal search capabilities—access to all information sources both internal and external--through interface.
Venetica— VeniceBridge 5.0
Content integration tool that enables applications to quickly integrate with multiple, disparate content repositories and business processes
Designed for small- to medium-sized business and departments with emphasis on enhancements for ease of use and administration.
Web-services rich, with open, extensible architecture, offers extended wireless capabilities and hundreds of downloadable portlets.
Brings all of the collaborative elements, such as presence awareness, change awareness, discussions, file-sharing, notifications, online/offline use and instant messaging, etc., into a single unified user interface.
Web- or e-mail-based interfaces that facilitate the transfer of emerging expertise and valuable organization information to others, helping drive enterprise transformation to meet project deadlines, shorten sales cycles, etc.
Allows sharing structured team workspaces without requiring workers to leave the familiarity, ease-of-use and ubiquity of existing e-mail clients.
Increases the platform capabilities (content, productivity and infrastructure services) used to create Intraspect’s solutions for project delivery/PMO, financial services, high technology and portal collaboration.
Enables government agencies to respond quickly to mission-critical initiatives by identifying, locating and deploying the most appropriate personnel resources to any given event, such as homeland security and incident response.
Centralizes control, but separates site design, architecture, content and functionality to enable designers, business managers, content providers and IT staff to effectively collaborate and contribute to an organization’s entire Internet strategy.
Embeds quick knowledge collection within existing business processes (documents, Web browsing, e-mail, spreadsheets, etc.) by extending the reach of knowledge beyond the confines of the office (Web, PDAs, wireless, phone, etc.).
Sitescape—Enterprise Forum 7.0
Robust collaboration platform with choice of SQL databases; collaborative tasks, reminders and bookmarks; new document management features; real-time meeting integration; enhanced portal support; workflow.
Locates people, initiates and manages collaboration, and coordinate activities automatically with those of other people across the enterprise.
Designed for sharing and collaborating with large amounts of information, collapses the time to resolution of mission-critical goals by delivering the right information, in the right context, when employees need it.
Smart enterprise suites
Integrated content, applications, component services, search and navigation, with collaboration and workflow.
Integrated document, KM, records management, business intelligence, collaboration and portal applications
Suite of modular knowledge management/e-learning applications incorporating content and document management, search and retrieval, workflow, collaboration and audio/video conferencing.
Offers self-service customer support, a help-desk knowledgebase, FAQ management, document management, contact center KM and product/project documentation.
Based on Cognitive Processor technology, offers knowledge segmentation, audiences and language features; out-of-the-box BI reports; e-mail response management system; chat; SOAP adapter and more.
Combines business process workflow with integration services, content, collaboration, portal offerings and analysis.
Captiva Software—Digital Mailroom
Amalgamates all communications through a central “mailroom” to manage the receipt, analysis, routing and delivery of information.
Web-hosted document management solution, offering financial service companies the benefits of going paperless without heavy up-front investments of time and money.
Enables applications to access content regardless of how or where it is stored, even across disparate repositories.
Integrated document management product suite designed for U.S. financial institutions, providing comprehensive information management.
Tower Software—TRIM Context
Integrated document and records management solution capable of managing the full range of corporate information—from electronic documents and records, through content management to the management of hard-copy records and documents.
Action Technologies—ActionWork 5.0
Decision-process management solution that incorporates the elements of human interaction in the model. Decision processes require your team to negotiate, collaborate, invent and make decisions rather than follow clearly defined, repetitive tasks.
Documentum—Documentum Enterprise Records Management Edition
Enables compliance achievement with regulations and statutes such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, SEC 17a, NASD 3010, the U.K. Data Protection Act and others, as well as with requirements imposed by corporate policy or industry standards.
Said to be the first storage solution designed from the ground up to solve the challenges associated with managing and storing fixed content or unchanging data, such as document images, e-mail, X-rays and medical records.
Robust indexing and search facilities while providing “bring-forward” capabilities for records accountability, total management of record centers, provision of cost center charge-back and extraordinary use of barcode.
Sophisticated customer identification and risk assessment (CIRAS) application, specifically designed to addresses the “know your customer” aspects of anti-money laundering required by financial, legal and related organizations.
Information system designed to meet the needs of e-government, providing solutions for paperwork elimination; collaborative casework; compliance with records management regulations; and Web-based, self-service access for the general public.
Several companies were inadvertently left off of our Trend-Setting Products of 2003 list. Also, Entopia's K-Bus should have been included under content management not collaboration. We regret the errors.
Trend-Setting Products of 2003 redux
Information management system that allows customization capabilities for the creation of applications, easy integration with portals and other software packages, and dynamic Web publishing.
Liberty IMS— LibertyNET
Enables management of files in a variety of formats and databases through a browser-based interface.
West— West km
Allows law firms to integrate their own work with Westlaw research through either a document management system or standalone document collection.