The knowledge management specialists behind Imaginatik (news, site), quietly released version 10.1 of their platform this month, as well as some handy new add-ons. SharePoint fans and analytics kids? This one's for you.
Idea Central 10.1
In case you're not familiar, Idea Central is a platform that essentially makes sense of an organization's loose data via collaborative idea management. The tool takes the collective brain power of employees and funnels it toward strategic business objectives, streamlining the innovation process:
Idea Central 10.1 extends Imaginatik's vision with a handful of key new features:
- Additional e-mail configuration and new custom workflow alerts
- An Activity Monitor for real-time visibility into the latest event activity
- Event Analytics for tracking action with three different visualizations of author activity
- Full integration of the Idea Central Mobile module
"We tried to make it easy to understand as well as identify gaps," said Imaginatik's Bryan Mahoney of the Event Analytics addition. "If your authors are doing better in one area, or lacking in others, having a good sense of analytics in front of you helps you see what's going on."
Mahoney added that Imaginatik is taking a sharp turn towards monitoring and reporting in general. The new Portfolio Monitor module, for example, keeps track of the entire creation process from beginning to implementation. This way, by the time a CEO is needed for some executive-level input, he or she could review the development of the idea from its seedling status.
Further, it's seemingly also about doing as much work as you can without leaving home base. Enter the new SharePoint integration, which does exactly that through a few notable capabilities:
Web Services API
The Web Services API lends the ability to call Idea Central content over the web and return it in XML, which can then be turned into HTML, CSV, JSON or plain text. This allowing users to comment or vote on ideas from within SharePoint. (IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, SAP, and Oracle can also deploy this feature).
Ideas, profiles, comments, reviews, and conclusions created in Idea Central may be included in SharePoint enterprise and federated searches:
Searching Idea Central within SharePoint
Meanwhile, single sign-on makes it easy to move between the platforms, and Web Parts can be used to add tools directly to a SharePoint sites. These tools pull in and display information from Idea Central such as lists, profiles, metrics, etc.:
The Future of Ideation
Pulling together ideas from across an organization is crucial--this we know. But it's fast becoming quite clear that going above and beyond idea collection is also important. Unfortunately, knowledge management platforms traditionally stop at collection.
"This makes it harder for innovation leaders and executives to understand the implementation costs and return of a given idea," said David Greenfield of ZDNet. "It also complicates the process of identifying those individuals whose work have contributed the most to the idea's creation."
It looks like Imaginatik's solutions thoroughly solve that problem with their near end-to-end review of each idea, and we expect this trend will pick up in the coming months. For now, check out Idea Central and posse here.