Open Text, the largest provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, has announced a solution for fostering online "communities of practice". Communities will bring together people in an organization with similar responsibilities or interests.
The solution allows, for example, marketing professionals or purchasing managers to connect in ways they couldn't before, providing a forum where they can share information and best practices, and improve processes.Called Livelink for Communities of Practice, the solution provides a central workspace in Livelink where members can publish relevant news, share documents, participate in member Weblogs, arrange online meetings and hold Webcasts. The solution also tracks the contributions of participants to help members identify experts in the community on specific subjects.
"Open Text's communities solution identifies technology and knowledge experts based on their recent contributions, and brings them together through a platform of focused collaboration," said Eric Slaghuis, Information Manager: Collaboration for Sasol, a global provider of chemicals and liquid fuels, which has adopted the solution.
"Large organizations want better ways to connect people to each other and to the information they need to be productive," said Anik Ganguly, Executive Vice President of Products at Open Text. "Livelink for Communities of Practice goes to the heart of that challenge by unifying groups of professionals in a dynamic, daily exchange of information. The result is more knowledgeable, more productive workers and a constant effort to improve critical processes."
With Livelink for Communities of Practice, each community workspace offers a newspaper-like front page with syndicated headlines and content sections, where interesting patterns and trends are "bubbled up" for the community.
Key features include:
- Weblogs offer a simple and accessible platform where members can publish content such as articles and opinions.
- A "frequently asked questions" or FAQ publisher provides a way to collect important questions and answers, and publish them directly from forum topics to a community FAQ.
- Tools for expert identification designate subject matter experts and distinguish frequent contributors wherever they are referenced in the community. The solution also provides a mechanism to rate and provide feedback on contributed content.
- Forums provide a platform for threaded conversations among community members on any subject. Forums display the business cards of participants and allow you to view or print complete topics.
- A community library stores a wide range of information relevant to community members, and a community calendar lets users post milestones and upcoming events. Calendar entries can be added to Microsoft Outlook with a single click.
- Wizards & templates make it easy for users to design community spaces and add members.
- Role-based permissions simplify access control and offer the ability to have different front pages based on different roles defined in the community.
Livelink for Communities of Practice is available immediately and works with Livelink version 9.2 or higher.