Last week, I had the pleasure of giving a TED-style talk on the future of knowledge management at the Technology Services World (TSW) 2013 Best Practices conference in Santa Clara. The event provided an enlightening forum to discuss the future of customer service, including how new technologies and approaches to knowledge management can empower individuals to become more informed and effective workers.
I had the chance to share our thoughts on how we need to transform knowledge management with the audience, but I also wanted to share them with you.
We’ve been brought up to believe that knowledge acquisition comes through repetition and practice. It’s a key component to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, where he says that it takes 10 years to become world-class at one thing. And yet, most of us don’t have 10 years to devote to something with the amount of focus it requires to become world class. And we don’t have to, because we’re learning that knowledge is not sequential – it’s personal. The future of learning and knowledge management is not about practice or process – it’s about access and interaction, enabling people to follow their own paths through information based on their own levels of knowledge and experience. Read more and comment…
I grew up (professionally) in Call Centers.
I did all the jobs there were to be done at one time or another: answered phones, played supervisor, managed people, planned for growth, interfaced with business users – and many more you probably don’t want to know or do (if you ever are asked to upgrade a cabling plan, run fast). Back then tools and systems were almost non-existent; certainly not as advanced as today’s solutions. The most dreaded part of working the front line was always (well, when you get past the bad people who like to yell) doing wrap-up notes.
These are the notes we had to write in the customer record following a call to summarize what happened, what they said, what we said and did, and the result. The idea was that if the customer called back we knew what happened. The advent of recording and the evolution of CRM solutions that pull in information from everywhere and automatically record everything the agent and the consumer do across all channels creates loads of transactional, operational, and even feedback information. The wrap up note is a thing of the past (I know they are still being done in some places, but the number of interactions that demand them is minimal compared to every one of them in the past). Read more and comment…
We’re a third of the way through 2013 and the Big Data buzz has yet to show signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s become even more evident that the need for companies to glean insight from their data is imperative. However, a recent survey by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 58 percent of respondents feel that moving from data to insight is a major challenge. Sounds like what these respondents need is an insight solution.
In my last post, we talked about how to get started with your insight solution deployment and the importance of establishing an enterprise-wide center of expertise for Advanced Enterprise Search. This, along with our other best practices, aims to prevent you from making common mistakes in your deployment that could delay the return on your investment.
The next thing to be aware of during your deployment is the “Requirements Peacock” (pictured below). Let me explain. Too many people consider their insight solution deployment as just a technology project. Yes, technology is definitely a very important piece, but there are certainly more elements to be addressed in order to increase the success of the project.
Gartner recently issued its 2013 Magic Quadrant for the enterprise search market. We’re pleased with our positioning – high on both vision and ability to execute – particularly when you see where we are compared to other enterprise search providers. Very large providers.
According to Gartner, our position shows that “They understand that chasing the ‘Google experience’ is not sufficient, but that providing search features that allow for better collaboration, application development, and innovative means of finding and working with content is particularly valuable.”
We’ve always understood that the Google experience is not ideal for enterprise customers. That’s why Coveo goes way beyond the traditional perception of “enterprise search” and instead provides companies with highly advanced, Indexing and Insight technology which we believe is the best way to transform knowledge management initiatives and to get the greatest return on knowledge (ROK). Read more and comment…
We live in an era where organizations are collecting more information than ever before, making it difficult to harvest its value. To cut through the clutter and find that value, companies should consider the following questions: Does this information have a lifecycle, and if so, in relation to what? Is all the information valuable? How do I quantify how much knowledge I have?
Given the nature of information – spread across multiple systems and silos in a variety of formats – many organizations skip an important first step: to look at the stewardship of content creation and usage. Advanced indexing technology allows organization’s employees to see across all of this information in a single, consolidated view that is relevant to the user’s context. By giving your entire organization this access, it will become evident which information is useful and what is not.
So what are the benefits of monitoring your organization’s content creation and usage? Read more and comment…
We have grown up in an era where knowledge was considered power. If you had the best marks in your class at school, then you must be smart. If colleagues come to me to get answers, then I must be important – and on and on.
This behavior has created “knowledge hoarders” – those who view individual knowledge as a personal source of power and influence. This might have been ok if you were vying for $1 million on the popular game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” or were a contestant on Jeopardy – but if you look at it from an organizational perspective, this goes against all entrepreneurial principles of using all available resources for the growth of the enterprise. If you were in retail, you would be looking at, “what is my inventory turnover.” if I were in manufacturing, I might be looking at, “what’s my raw material turnover” or “how quickly am I consuming and turning my resources into valuable assets.”
Why is this not true for knowledge? How often does your company reuse knowledge that was generated by you, aka “an asset?” We hire people into our organizations and train them for a period of time to make sure they are productive at some particular function. Yet there are still haves and have not’s when it comes to knowledge. I would be willing to bet that in most organizations, there are those people that are top performers in terms of reliability, knowledge and the ability to get the job done. On the other hand, there are those that seem to struggle to do the same tasks. We are very quick to make up excuses: “we did not train them enough” or “they need more hands-on experience,” for example. Read more and comment…
It’s an exciting time to be in the business of knowledge management and access. In a new age where access to collective knowledge can power real transformation, we’re inspired by our customers who use search and insight technology to better serve customers, personalize website experiences or collectively innovate and produce at new levels. The technology is easier, faster and more deployable than ever before.
We’ve come a long way to get here. I vividly remember the first time I was exposed to what happens behind the scenes when someone clicks on that now common “Search” button. It was as if I had just discovered a secret passage to a parallel world where everything was similar to the things I knew, but also so different. The more I became exposed, the more I realized my understanding of enterprise search was very superficial, and, like many, I had made many wrong assumptions about how it works. I am still learning something new every day.
Deploying enterprise search software is never trivial. No two deployments are the same – not because the product deployment itself is complex – that part, at least with Coveo, is easy – but because of the organizational and knowledge-driven changes these connections enable after deployment. This is the first of three Best Practices for Enterprise Search posts that will examine what to do—and more importantly, what not to do—to ensure the return on your search investment is immediate. Read more and comment…
- Big, unstructured data, fragmented across an ever growing number of sources, is overwhelming organizations, requiring them to find new ways to access information in order to stay competitive, better serve their customers and bring more innovative products to market, faster.
- At the other end of the spectrum are customers who are increasingly knowledgeable and demanding a greater degree of immediacy and relevance towards their needs.
Hidden inside streams of structured and unstructured data are information relationships that answer questions employees haven’t even thought to ask, but which may hold the key to your company’s differentiation and its ability to serve customers with higher value. This is the challenge of knowledge management today: putting knowledge to constant reuse by each and every employee and each and every customer.
In fact, Gartner has predicted that enterprise data will grow by 800 percent in five years, with 80 percent of it unstructured. As this data grows, so does the problem of knowledge access.
In business, knowledge is what keeps organizations competitive and innovative. It is a true asset and hence should be treated as such. It is imperative for it to be accessed and shared across teams and geographies. Knowledge is useless sitting in repositories where no one even knows it exists; it is only valuable when it is accessible and reused as often as possible. But making it accessible is much easier said than done and employees waste precious time trying to find and correlate it.
Take for example the results from an IDC report, which found that knowledge workers spend anywhere from 15 to 35 percent of their time searching for, assembling, and unfortunately, recreating information that already exists. Just think of the time and money lost when employees at your organization don’t know where to look, or how to ask for what they are seeking – or better yet, don’t even know it exists. The explosion of Big Data only exacerbates this challenge.
To overcome this challenge, companies must look to harness their data, garner better insights and increase return on what is arguably the greatest asset they possess: Knowledge. Return on Knowledge (ROK) may be the next big differentiator and source of wealth creation for companies in today’s Big Data world. Helping your employees – and your customers – find answers to the questions they haven’t thought to ask can move your business forward by leaps and bounds.
Check out our latest eBook to learn how you can gain greater Return on Knowledge – and let us know how you’re judging the success of your knowledge management initiatives.
In the knowledge management for customer service industry, we have an ever-present problem – a recent Argyle study of customer care executives found that only 15 percent of organizations had access to the information they needed to solve cases faster and more efficiently. Knowledge, knowledge everywhere… and not a drop to understand.
Switch gears: Paul Greenberg is an industry analyst and ZDNet blogger whose CRM Watchlist is an annual roundup that recognizes companies that are changing the future of CRM technology for the better.
We were honored to be named to the Watchlist for the second year in a row. Read more and comment…
Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) had a knowledge management challenge in its field service operations. It was costing the worldwide leading provider of high-tech semiconductor equipment worldwide up to $80,000 a month in lost and duplicate knowledge.
Comprised of more than 500 engineers, TEL’s North American field service team services a highly diverse array of six distinct product lines. Retrieving critical engineering and service information was a daunting task, as field engineers had to manually normalize and extract information through decentralized and disparate systems, just to serve a single customer – while in the field, onsite. Lengthy data retrieval times and inefficient dissemination of important product knowledge throughout the team was rampant. The $80,000 does not even include corresponding impacts on customer and field service representative satisfaction levels. Read more and comment…