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Knowledge Management News & Analysis

A 3 Point Plan to Preserve Institutional Expertise

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Social learning ranks high today among the priorities of learning and development professionals in businesses large and small. It’s easy to see why -- studies have found that informal knowledge sharing among colleagues is responsible for 70 to 80 percent of the information employees learn on the job.

But how does the increasingly popular trend of social learning differ from the more established practice of knowledge management?

At their core, these activities are two sides of the same coin: both are concerned with information sharing among employees to drive greater productivity, collaboration and the preservation of institutional knowledge. It’s the way in which these two practices accomplish their goals that sets them apart.

Modern Customer Service: Are You There Yet?

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Although most executives think they’re doing a good job in delivering the best service to their customers, there is plenty of room for improvement.

A new Forbes Insight study reveals many executives are missing the mark on just how valuable customer service can be for strategic initiatives such as brand differentiation, competitive positioning, new customer acquisition, improving their product offerings and even employee satisfaction.

In fact, only 38 percent of those surveyed named customer service as an organization-wide strategic goal.

Sponsored by Oracle, the report, Modern Customer Service: Are You Outpacing Your Executive Peers? (registration required), includes 38 pages of insight from 415 executives about the focus of their customer service organizations, their use of knowledge management tools and channels, and their customer service challenges.

3 Tips to Power Your Knowledge Management Initiatives

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With so much emphasis on how organizations need to be more human to connect with and satisfy their customers, a new report reveals insight around a Gartner prediction that’s decidedly unhuman: "By the year 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of the enterprise customer relationship without ever interacting with a human."

Quoted in the report, The State of Knowledge Management, the prediction sheds light on the growing self-service economy, while illustrating the importance of knowledge management (KM) across the enterprise.

However, the report, developed by thinkJar Research and sponsored by IntelliResponse, also notes 44 percent of organizations still don’t have a KM initiative in place. Further, it shows that 83 percent of customer experience professionals polled understand knowledge management concepts and tools, but still need to learn more and improve.

The End of Knowledge Management is Already Here

Despite what people think, the end state of knowledge management is already here. All future things are uncertain and that is not going to change no matter how much information, or how many artifacts, you have at hand. Entropy dictates that the problems of uncertainty multiply with the increase of information or artifacts.

Build Better Knowledge Management

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Long before Google Glass wearers made the news (and became pariahs within San Francisco-area coffee houses and restaurants), research projects at huge companies like IBM and Microsoft sought to bridge the gap between the capture and storage of corporate knowledge and intellectual property, and the difficult-to-archive individual narrative that attempted to make sense of this important, yet mostly disconnected content.

The effort of transcribing a personal experience or individual learning in context to our projects, business initiatives and other corporate artifacts (e.g., presentations, documents, spreadsheets) is incredibly difficult to accomplish in a way that can then be utilized by our knowledge management systems.

The problem with knowledge management (KM) is not a matter of data infrastructure -- whether your data resides on premises, in servers that you manage versus out in the cloud is irrelevant (to some degree) to the argument -- but with a user experience that fails to align the needs of the complex, non-linear playback mechanisms of the human brain with our systems of record.

Big Pictures, Micro-Moments: Takeaways from #KMWorld

Big pictures start with small parts. At last week's KMWorld conference in Washington, DC, we were given a taste of both.

Lee Rainie, director of Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, explored a utopian vision of knowledge sharing in the future during his Thursday keynote.

A day earlier, Dion Hinchcliffe, Chief Strategy Officer at Adjuvi, shared success stories: examples of how knowledge management works in businesses that have successfully implemented and integrated social collaboration, both internally and externally.

The lessons became more granular in individual sessions: How contextual awareness in the workplace can help deliver relevant information to employees. Individual storytelling as a pathway to organizational narrative. The importance of the url for a successful search in SharePoint.

How Documize and ThreadKM Approach Knowledge Management

It's a good time to be in knowledge management. With the push to consumerization, new tools are released on a regular basis which simplify and help solve business problems, without negating the value of previous technological investments. Let's take a look at a couple newer releases that might fit nicely into your KM tool box.

Law firms and internal law departments have a well understood definition of the term "Knowledge Management." ThreadKM is a new legal focused KM tool that was launched earlier this month.

We've previously discussed the many intranet use cases that remain for simple web publishing of text based information. Good information sharing is the basis of a knowledge management strategy. Documize is a very different tool from ThreadKM, blending lightweight, templates-based structured authoring with a wiki based approach. Documize is in late beta and will be released soon.

Intranet Search: Where Documents Go to Die or KM Enabler?

2014-23-September-Lost-and-Found.jpgOrganizations look at search, its use, management and funding in different ways. My colleague who runs our organization's corporate intranet noted that although he isn't the business owner of “enterprise search” for the organization, employees go to the intranet, see a search box and assume that the intranet team is responsible for search.

Social Signals, Social Noise and Knowledge Management

2014-10-July-Train-Signal-Noise.jpgSocial information is very different from traditional documentation. We've grown accustomed over the past few years to referring to documents as “unstructured data.” But even PowerPoint is neat and orderly compared with the wild frontier of enterprise social.

Hashtags, "likes" and abbreviations are all part of users conveying information. Almost all organizations with enterprise social deployments turn to it after traditional documentation, but in many cases, social knowledge management is an afterthought -- if it's performed at all.  Yet information theory shows us that enterprise social is much more likely to contain meaningful enterprise knowledge than traditional documentation. 

How should we approach knowledge governance in social streams?

Social Ideation Finds Ideas Worth Pursuing

2014-03-June-sticky-notes.jpgKnowledge-based companies have been driving much of the economy, especially in the United States and Europe. Information technology, media, biotech and pharmaceutical, financial services companies and many more are based on the ability to generate good ideas, turn them into technology and, eventually, products. The “business” of these companies is intellectual property (IP) -- basically an idea that has value. Even companies that don’t make money directly on IP have to worry about it.

IP is not only a product idea. It may also be a better way of doing business, a price model that offers a competitive advantage, or a way to achieve operational efficiencies.

What the NSA Can Teach Us about Finding Documents: 6 Tips on Metadata

NSAmetadata.jpgHow come the NSA knows who I spoke to last Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. and for how long, yet I can’t find the phone number of a colleague I called last night?

It’s simple -- metadata.

Citrix Buys Framehawk to Extend Mobile Productivity

Citrix Snaps up Framehawk to Ensure Mobile ProductivityCitrix has bought virtualization provider Framehawk, a technology company that delivers desktop applications to mobile devices over Wi-Fi and cellular connections.

Apigee Acquires InsightsOne to Bring Predictive Analytics to APIs

Apigee Acquires InsightsOne for Predictive AnalyticsAPI management company Apigee has acquired predictive analytics firm InsightsOne, and the merger brings the killer app to the world of big data, Waqar Hasan, InsightsOne founder and CEO said in an interview.

A Look Back: Social Business Trends from 2013

A Look Back: Social Business Trends from 2013

Social business tools, enterprise social networks, portals and intranets are helping companies break down the internal silos that keep workers from the information they need at their fingertips. In 2013, it was a big year for many players in this space, including Microsoft and Salesforce. Both the Yammer and Chatter social networks took dramatic new shapes this year.

As we enter 2014, we took a look back at the 2013 social business trends that drove the industry.

Dell, Puppet Labs Team Up on IT Automation

Dell, Puppet Labs Team Up on IT AutomationAfter Dell founder Michael Dell took the company private early in 2013, the company made a move to acquire Quest Software for $2.5 billion. This acquisition is now getting bolstered by an integration with Puppet Labs. Puppet Labs is an IT automation provider, and it will be integrated with Dell's Active System Manager for helping customers do things like deploy workloads and allocate server and storage resources on demand.

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