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Gilbane Conference 2013: Imperatives for enterprise search success

Posted by Diane Berry on December 3, 2013

The Gilbane Conference kicks off this Tuesday in Boston. In addition to attending the event (Coveo is a sponsor), I’ll also be speaking on a panel about “Strategic Imperatives for Enterprise Search to Succeed.” This topic ties closely to how Coveo works with its customers to ensure the success of their knowledge management initiatives.

In the session, I’ll be joined by fellow panelists Urban Hedström, founder of Findwise, John Felahi, Chief Strategy Officer of Content Analyst Company, LLC, as well as Lynda Moulton, principal at LWM Technology Services, who will be moderating the panel. We’ve worked with Lynda for many years.  Together we will examine the findings of a recent Findwise survey, which uncovered a disconnect between the expectation and execution of enterprise search.

To reach the expectation of your own organization — employees and customers — enterprise search must be leveraged strategically so that the right — meaning relevant — content finds the right person at the right time. Otherwise, the result is irrelevant, and users lose trust.  Our session will ultimately look at the challenges organizations have with their enterprise search strategies, why they have them, and what they can do to ensure that relevant content is found when needed.  I plan to discuss the next evolution of search technologies, where we present that relevant content into the context of the user—whether that user is an employee, a customer, or just a website visitor. Read more and comment »

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Thoughts from KMWorld – Without Relevance, Knowledge is Useless

Posted by Diane Berry on November 11, 2013

Or, why companies are evolving beyond the Google Search Appliance

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at KMWorld 2013, one of the leading events for knowledge management professionals, and I’m happy to say that it was by far the best KMWorld event I’ve attended.  The level of discussions – the collaborative sharing of information and the sophistication with which attendees are approaching the challenge of better leveraging knowledge within their organizations—were all truly outstanding.

If there’s one main key impression I took away from this year’s show, it’s that companies have matured in how they look at knowledge management and access. They’ve implemented knowledge bases and enterprise search tools—the iconic Google Search Appliance, in many cases – in the past and they’ve found that these tools are not sufficient to leverage the collective knowledge available to most organizations.  They are still drowning in information but unable to leverage collective knowledge. Read more and comment »

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Bridging the M&A Knowledge Gap

Posted by Diane Berry on October 17, 2013

As those of us in the technology industry know, mergers and acquisitions are a prevalent part of the business. M&A activity happens in this market every day, and the latest forecast projects an increase in activity this quarter.

But what happens after the deal closes? What happens to productivity in the coming months, when two businesses merge into one – or become components of larger entities?

Having been a part of a roll-up strategy in the past, which involved many acquisitions, I know that every situation has different financial, staffing and cultural nuances. But there is one key problem that occurs after all deals – the knowledge gap that impacts the workforce when two or more entities join together. Read more and comment »

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When “Undercover Boss” Comes to Customer Service – A Knowledge Management Challenge

Posted by Ed Shepherdson on October 8, 2013

Many within customer service know the knowledge management challenges that service agents face on a daily basis. But oftentimes, these challenges don’t make their way to the executive level.

If you’ve seen the TV show “Undercover Boss,” then you’ve seen this disconnect before: executives go undercover within the operational levels of their businesses, only to find that the principals touted from the corporate HQs are far removed from ground-level operations. The bosses find themselves shocked by the lack of execution, leading to widespread organizational changes.

With that framework in mind, I issue a challenge to customer service VPs of support, services and success – spend more time on the floor with your people. Read more and comment »

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Why Knowledge Management Should Matter to the C-Level

Posted by Diane Berry on October 2, 2013

Why should executives care about knowledge management, when it’s been relegated to a discussion of document management, metadata tagging, content curation, libraries, databases, thesauruses, etc.?  Because it is possibly the greatest source of differentiation, competitiveness and value creation for organizations today.  It is an asset that is underutilized and under-valued because knowledge management has been confused with information storage.

Knowledge is not information, nor is it data. Knowledge is a human ability to take action in the face of uncertainty. It cannot be stored, and moved, and integrated into a knowledge base. That approach has proven to fail, over and over again, for reasons we will explore in an upcoming blog post—the headline is that knowledge is everywhere and can’t be housed in a system.

The sum total of a company’s knowledge—yes, some of it stored in repositories; some of it being generated by customers and other constituencies in social media and communities; and much of it existing in the minds of employees —must be better connected and leveraged for much more powerful performance, company-wide.  This incredible asset only generates a return when employees and customers can access the most relevant information and experts based on their context, in real time. Until now it’s been impossible to integrate fast enough, process information, find experts, correlate information with the work being done.  However with the advent of contextual content—made possible via search & relevance technologies, this is now possible. Read more and comment »

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