Jan 272012

KM in specific industriesOver the next few weeks I will examine several industries in which knowledge management (KM) is making an impact. I will take a brief look at Customer Service Centers, Research Institutions, Talent Management, Legal Institutions and the Military.

In this blog post I will take a look at what’s happening with KM as it pertains to Customer Service Centers.

Customer Service Centers are looking to leverage their knowledge assets, KM processes and tools in order to get knowledge to the customer service rep to convey to the customer or directly to the customer in a timely manner. The KM concepts of collaboration through live chat, content management and search as well as KM workflows and expertise locators to enable the “right” resources to solve customer problems are being deployed.

Used properly, knowledge assets with the proper KM tools will enable the customer service centers to not only answer customer questions and solve problems but also increase sales and customer satisfaction through an improved customer experience. KM being leveraged at Customer Service Centers achieve the following:

Lower service cost by reducing repeat calls, call handling/resolution times, and brings down the cost of agent training

Better Quality of Service, Customers are more likely to receive the right answers faster

Consistency in service, with the right KM processes, procedures and tools in place KM ensures that customers with the same question receive the same response, regardless of agent as well as interaction channel or mode

Speaking of tools, some of the tools being utilized for KM in Customer Service Centers include salesforce.com, Kana, and SharePoint. In considering the use of these tools organizations must understand first their knowledge management strategy, how such tools fit within the KM strategy as well as their specific requirements for using one or more of these tools. Keep in mind that if multiple tools are being used to deliver on the KM Strategy your organization should look at ways to integrate the tools in order to deliver consistency in response and service to the customer.

For those organizations leveraging KM or want to utilize KM as part of your Customer Service Center solution I want to hear from you. I look forward to knowing more about what is happening at your Customer Service Centers.

Mar 202011

km toolsContinuing our conversation about building a better search using taxonomies, ontologies, content types, and metadata; the following represents a few tools to consider if we every hope to not only find information on our knowledge repositories but to provide solutions to our inquiries.

Knowledge Management Suite for SharePoint 2010 from Layre2 is focused on improved content tagging and discovery. Although this product has not been rated with any reviews it promises to deliver many features that a taxonomy structure will be able to take advantage of. These features include:

  • Tag Suggester: While tagging an item or document, display a suggestion list based on given Term Store taxonomies, tagging rules, item properties, context and document content.
  • Auto Tagger: Tag items and documents in background without any user interaction, based on given Term Store taxonomies, tagging rules, item properties, context and document content. Auto Tagger could be helpful for initial tagging, e.g. after content migration from any system to SharePoint 2010, as well as for daily background operation.
  • Taxonomy Manager: Manage the Term Store with additional managed metadata properties (e.g. tagging rules, related tags), export and import, change management, workflows.
  • Tag Navigation Web Part: Provides collaborative tagging by using the SharePoint 2010 managed metadata taxonomy tree directly for content discovery and navigation.
  • Tag Directory Web Part: Render the SharePoint 2010 managed metadata taxonomy tree as flat A-Z directory category index directly for content discovery and navigation.
  • Tag Cloud Web Part: Navigate the content by its importance using a familiar taxonomy-based tag cloud.
  • Related Content Web Part: Automatically display related content in a given context using managed metadata.

By the way Layre2 provides shareware (free) version of there Knowledge Management Suite.

Word Map Taxonomy Management Software
Wordmap’s software enables organizations to develop classification schemes or taxonomies, upload and store documents by reference to them, then publish rich information resources for their users to search and navigate. Using taxonomies and classification schemes enables the Taxonomy Management Software to provide structured to content enabling precise and relevant answers to searches quickly. Some World Map Taxonomy Software clients include AstraZeneca and the Harvard Business School. The complete product set can be deployed standalone – or easily integrated to improve the performance and consistency of existing systems. Learn more about the Word Map Search Integration Framework and how it connects enterprise applications such as SharePoint & Endeca to centralized taxonomy management.

Data Harmony: Expert Knowledge Management with Powerful Semantic Tools and Intelligent Design
Data Harmony software indicates that it provides knowledge management solutions to organize your information resources by applying a taxonomy/thesaurus structure. Data Harmony’s software tools enable you to construct a logical framework of topics, reflecting the vocabulary of your business or subject area – and then apply these topic terms to your resources precisely and consistently.

Data Harmony tools include:

  • Thesaurus Master – Taxonomy and thesaurus construction and management
  • M.A.I. (Machine Aided Indexer) – Automatic indexing or editorial aid in indexing
  • MAIstro™ – Combine Thesaurus Master and M.A.I. for maximum efficiency in both automatic indexing and taxonomy construction
  • Additional Knowledge Management Tools – supplement the abilities of these primary products for even greater power in knowledge management.
  • Integrates with numerous content management systems, including Microsoft SharePoint
  • Exports taxonomy files in XML, OWL, SKOS, and 11 other formats
  • Handles taxonomies in virtually all languages
  • Uses concept categorization for precise tagging and smarter search

Smart Logic provides an ontology software tool to build and manage complex ontologies. This software package is their Ontology Manager: The tool is designed for anyone with a basic knowledge of taxonomies and information science to develop ‘models’. A business analyst can use the tool to assist in the process of building a model. For Information Scientists and Information Architects, the tool conforms to industry standards and has the flexibility and functionality they need to develop complex models.

Some of the features include:

  • Creates the model of links and structure between language elements that can drive a new user experience
  • Holds any term ‘metadata’ to drive or enhance connected applications.
  • Ontology Manager is designed to allow multiple users to create, enhance and browse several types of semantic model which include Lists, Controlled vocabularies, Taxonomies, Thesauri and Ontologies.

If anyone has experience with any of these or other tools I would like to hear more from you!

Mar 012011
dude wheres my car searchHave you ever experienced a situation when your search just did not return that document on your content management system you were looking for? You may have known part of the title or what some of the contents were but you couldn’t put your finger on it. You executed the latest search mechanisms on the site and you had to weed through several pages of content searching for that elusive piece of information. Then finally after a period of time (who knows how long) you either find it (OH Yea!) or give up in frustration (@%#&#^#).

A possible cure for your dilemma, as well as mine and countless others, is to implement a taxonomy and/or ontology into the information architecture of your intranet, SharePoint, or other orgainizational content management/knowledge repository. You now may be asking yourself, what in the world is a taxonomy? Or ontology?

Taxonomy and ontology explained

Simply put, a taxonomy is a hierarchical classification or framework for information retrieval. Ontology is a classification/specification of concepts (see more on ontology). For you SharePoint users out there, leveraging Content Types and Metadata along with a solid taxonomy will greatly enhance your search to return what you are looking for, while leveraging an ontology will provide another level of search accuracy – leveraging concepts, or conceptual searching. Taxonomies are the basis of classfication schemes and indexing systems in information management (see more on taxonomy).

There are many tools and possible solutions available to solve our search dilemma. Therefore, over the next few weeks I will be looking into the various solutions and finding out what folks are doing to address our search dilemma. So, once and for all we can answer the question: Dude Wher’s My Car?