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Cloud Computing: Knowledge Management as a Service

Industry SaaS Offering - Part 7

SaaS / BpaaS Adoption
This is a continuation of my series of Articles on Industry SaaS. This term ‘Industry SaaS' can be interchangeably used with BpaaS (Business Process as a Service). However the term ‘Industry SaaS' meaning a Software as a Service meant for a specific industry need is stressed for wider attention, as the term BpaaS has yet to mature with a clear definition.

Knowledge Management
Most enterprises need a Knowledge Management Portal that allows various employees to share best practices, ‘How To' Documents and other knowledge-related content and ensure that the knowledge obtained by a few employees is kept in a common repository. The following are the typical components of an enterprise knowledge management portal.

  • This front end will be enabled with a web portal accessible to the employees based on standard authentication options.
  • There will be an option to load the content in various standard formats.
  • There will be a workflow to validate the content and approve the content to be usable for a large audience.
  • Depending on the needs of the organizations, the search features could vary.
  • At a simple level of implementation, searches could be allowed based on document title or internally generated numbers.
  • However, if integrated with enterprise search engines, the searches can be customized with:
    • Providing a taxonomy of attributes for the search criteria
    • Advanced Search Options like, Auto Correction, Thesaurus expansion , Stemming, Primitive term and phrase lookup, Did you mean, proximity search, phrase search
    • Searches can be ranked based on a relevance ranking algorithms
  • Advanced Social networking features like Sharing, tagging and other features can also be part of it.

Fitment of Knowledge Management to Cloud
As identified in my earlier article about Enterprise Search in Hybrid Cloud Computing Model, this particular use case of knowledge management is a natural fit for a cloud platform. However, the following aspects are aligned to the Cloud model.

  • Knowledge Management systems may have large storage needs and can utilize a cloud storage model
  • Search patterns may vary and may experience sudden spikes and better to be supported with an elastic computing model
  • Most of the knowledge management workflow and search capabilities are generic in nature and a SaaS application can easily fit that for a majority of enterprises
  • Knowledge Management Access Patterns goes well with BYOD ( Bring Your Own Device) strategies of large enterprises as an enterprise knowledge worker may access the information at any point and from anywhere.

Players in Knowledge Management as a Service
Office 365 and SharePoint Online

Ever since the announcement of the familiar Microsoft Office collaboration and productivity tools delivered through the cloud in the form of Office 365, we see a great increase in the utilization of Cloud Based Services of this platform.

Office 365 allows with anywhere access to email, web conferencing, documents, and calendars. It includes business-class security. Office 365 provides easy-to-use, cloud-based management tools in a single location. Through the administration user interface IT staff can set up new user accounts, control access to features, and see the status of all Office 365 services and tools in real time.

Microsoft SharePoint Online, which is part of the Office 365 offering, provides out-of-the-box facilities for implementing Knowledge Management as a Service for most enterprise needs. Microsoft SharePoint Server technology delivered as an online service makes the power of the cloud work for your organization. SharePoint Online lets you create sites to share documents and information with colleagues and customers.

I have already stressed in most of my earlier articles that Microsoft has a lead in this space and enterprises can benefit from the same. In my earlier article on Why Microsoft Is Ahead in Enterprise Collaboration, I have outlined why this offering is a good value proposition for enterprises.

Further information about the offering can be obtained from the vendor site: http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/office365/sharepoint-online.aspx

Salesforce Knowledge Management as a Service
Salesforce.com's knowledge management software as a service lets you build a central repository of expertise and tried-and-true solutions. With this superior knowledge management tool at everyone's fingertips, the result is consistently stellar service and higher customer satisfaction.

Knowledge management software as a service from Salesforce.com makes it easy to capture, review, catalog, and access information, so agents can find what they need when they need it.

As evident, we don't even need to stress a SaaS offering from Salesforce, who are probably the pioneers in this space for providing enterprise class business processes as a service. Further information about the offering can be obtained from their site: http://www.salesforce.com/crm/customer-service-support/knowledge-base-system/

BMC Knowledge Management as a Service
BMC provides a powerful knowledge content search engine that not only helps service desk analysts find solutions to incidents, but also provides users with access to resources for resolving their own issues.

BMC Knowledge Management as a Service is part of the BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite. This offering delivers cloud-enabled service desk, self-service, inventory, and basic knowledge management capabilities hosted on the Cloud Platform.

Further information about the offering can be obtained from the vendor site: http://www.bmc.com/products/offering/Knowledge-Management.html

Summary
As mentioned in the beginning of this series of articles, the aim is to identify the areas within the ‘enterprise business process life cycle' that can be served using a SaaS/BpaaS Model.

Already the following articles have been created under this scope:

It's always difficult to cover every other offering under Knowledge Management as a service in one article. Also the aim is not to rank the providers. If any other important offering under this service is missing please write to me about covering them in the coming articles.

Please feel free to discuss any other offering in BpaaS / Industry SaaS space in my group, ‘Industry SaaS (AKA BpaaS) Directory & Interoperability' on Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4189060

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).