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Article

Knowledge Management as a Service - More Players

Industry SaaS Offering - Part 8

SaaS / BpaaS Adoption
This is the continuation of my series of articles on Industry SaaS. This term ‘Industry SaaS' can be used interchangeably with BpaaS (Business Process as a Service). However, the term ‘Industry SaaS' meaning a Software as a Service that's meant for a specific industry need is stressed for broader 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 relevance ranking algorithms
  • Advanced Social networking features like Sharing, tagging and other features can also be a part of it.

Fitment of Knowledge Management to Cloud
As identified in my previous 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 with 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 it would 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.

More Players in Knowledge Management as a Service
Unified Knowledge Platform from RightAnswers :

  • Unified Knowledge Platform provides tools for the complete life cycle of knowledge management.
  • As we mentioned about Enterprise Search as part of knowledge management, this system provides various search options like Enterprise Search, Public Search, Search Portlet, Knowledge API and Web Services to integrate search features into the knowledge management solution.
  • Knowledge Explorer is another tool that provides integrated search of the knowledge content.
  • For creating the knowledge within the enterprise this offering has the following features:
    • Solution Manager which helps to get started with pre-built templates for common problem types like ‘How To,' ‘Error,' and ‘Problem'.
  • In talking about offering a BYOD approach, they offer mobile access with the fully authenticated experience you get on the web.
  • One of the good features of the offering is the concept of ‘ Knowledge Paks' that provide a prebuilt knowledge base of over 150,000 solutions covering 300 of the COTS software applications. This enables enterprises to concentrate on their core values and not waste their efforts on already known facts.
  • RightAnswers is providing the above features of Knowledge Management as a Service with its cloud-based offering.
  • The vendor pledges support for private cloud implementation of their service too.
  • While the technical and pricing aspects of this service is not readily available on their site, they can be obtained by contacting the vendors directly through their support options. For further information contact the vendor at http://rightanswers.com/solution-knowledge-management-to-the-cloud.htm

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

As we started this series on SaaS, BpaaS offerings it's encouraging to see more players in the space. We request that the enterprises contact these providers directly and evaluate them as per their processes.

Already the following articles have been created in this series:

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

Please feel free to discuss any other offerings in the 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).