Posts tagged "knowledge management"

Knowledge Management and Content Management in Enterprise 2.0

Stéphane Croisier, open source visionary and Product Strategy Manager at Jahia, shared some interesting thoughts about The Rise of Personal Content Management (PCM): The Next Shadow IT? He explains that everyone knows about Personal File Management, the collection of documents either stored in your local hard drive or in a private directory available as part of a shared network drive. However, we are seeing the spontaneous rise of a new generation of “Cloud Content Management” with the fast growth of DropBox and similar offerings. When you combine these document-oriented applications with other note taking and web scrapping utilities and personal social decks, the result is “an explosion of personal productivity tools.” These Personal Content Management (PCM) and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) tools are being downloaded and used by the millions. They include:

  • Personal Storage and Backup on the Cloud
  • Web-based groupware, email, mailing lists, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Page Ripping / Web Scraping
  • Personal Note taking
  • Personal Wikis
  • Personal Blogs
  • Feed Readers and Aggregators
  • Personal Social Decks
  • Instant Messaging

These tools are clearly not limited to personal usage or the sharing of personal data with family and friends – they are fast becoming an integral part of daily business life. They foster a bottom-up approach to knowledge management, as opposed to the traditional top-down approach.

The author then asks, are these tools “not rapidly becoming the next shadow IT? Are they a danger for your business organization? Should they simply be forbidden (knowing … [how hard it is] to forbid the use of an iPhone in your offices)?” He answers that these applications have already proved useful to business, and the ECM/CMS industry has no choice but “to deal with it.”

Croisier goes on to discuss several problems raised by PCM/PKM within the corporation including privacy concerns, lack of control over data, data portability and integration, legal issues re content reuse, and the ownership of personal data. He concludes:

“There are high risks that all these enterprise social networks fail if they do not first better manage ‘Individual Intelligence’ before trying to address the ‘Collective Intelligence’ one.”

So the question you should ask yourself is: “Will the next E2.0 initiative succeed without a proper PCM/PKM approach?” The answer is probably no.

The incentive for successful integration is that PCM/PKM-oriented productivity tools offer much greater added value to your employees than other costly knowledge systems. Therefore, PCM/PKM tools should be included in your next E2.0/Intranet 2.0 project, and PCM needs to be an important part of your Enterprise Information Portal.


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Integrating SharePoint and Social Knowledge Networks

Inmagic has come out with a new version of Presto, a social knowledge network solution, that integrates tightly with SharePoint. Just another way to share all the information stored in one of the most popular collaboration platforms.

Social Knowledge Networks

Knowledge Management is always a big topic in organizations. Social knowledge management (SKN) is probably an even bigger one considering the number of social software solutions available today. 

Inmagic has come out with a new version of their SKN: Presto 3.3 that provides a number of improvements in the areas of productivity, usability, security and, of course, integration with SharePoint.

Some of the improvements include:

  • Profile customization and personalization, and making the People content type searchable
  • Improved RSS feeds such as customizable display
  • Federated search adapters can be created to access external content sources
  • Cloning of Home Pages allows administrators to easily manage a SKN and users

Presto SKN

In addition to these changes, Inmagic also improved deployment and performance capabilities.

Integrating with SharePoint

What's even more interesting is the tighter integration with SharePoint. The use of SharePoint within organizations today means there is a lot of content that may need to be shared in communities — communities not offered with SharePoint 2007. With Presto, organizations can set up communities to share knowledge that includes content residing in SharePoint document libraries and lists.

The integration revolves around the searching of content.

Presto - SharePoint integration

Presto offers a number of web parts that reside within SharePoint, allowing users to search the Presto SKN and display results within the SharePoint environment such as the Presto Search Web Part. In addition, you can search across SharePoint sites from within Presto directly.

Presto is designed to support organizations who have large knowledge management requirements. And while it does integrate with SharePoint, it is a standalone application.

You can learn more about the Presto SKN by visiting the Inmagic website.

How Document Management Has Evolved in SharePoint 2010

It’s always useful to get some kind of insight into the thinking behind the development of features in new software, particularly when it comes to SharePoint 2010 (site).

In a recent entry on the Microsoft Enterprise Content Management Team Blog, Adam Harmetz, Lead Program Manager for SharePoint Document and Records Management, explains how new features in SharePoint 2010 build on SharePoint 2007 and what we might expect in the future.

The first thing he says is that many of the key document management infrastructures were introduced in SharePoint 2007, which was the first time that SharePoint enabled users apply structure and management to their document libraries as opposed to using it principally as a collaborative tool.

Those features and their integration with Microsoft Office client applications enabled users to create high-value knowledge repositories that were easy to interact with and were generally positively received by users.

SharePoint 2010 document management is built off the success of that and around a number of principal ideas including:

  • Managing unstructured silos
  • Use of metadata
  • Browser as document management application

Managing unstructured silos

Looking at the way users were using document management features in 2007, Harmetz says they noticed that SharePoint was being used to pull unstructured silos into realm of enterprise content management.

Users were using traditional document management features on collaborative sites and using them to apply policy and structure as well as gathering insights from unmanaged places.

This lead to the development of many new SharePoint 2010 document management features. In this respect Harmetz cites the idea of a document set, which allows users to group related documents, share metadata, workflows, homepage and archiving processes.

The feature was designed with dual purposes:

  • To manage very rigid processes (regulatory submissions, for example)
  • Informal process management where teams need to combine a number of file types in same process.

Extending the document set feature to enable its use informally extends the SharePoint ECM value for users, Harmetz says.

Use of metadata

In establishing how metadata would be used across SharePoint 2010, they combined the use of both structured taxonomies and keywords, and applied both to SharePoint 2010 repositories.

SharePoint 2010_document management_navigation.jpg
Instead of navigating by traditional folders, a user filtered the library to the virtual folder that contains just sales materials about Contoso’s tent products.

With SharePoint 2010, users get consistent metadata management with the result that any SharePoint site can hook into that metadata with virtually no effort.

There are two key principals in the use of metadata:

  • Use and application of tags: It’s easy for a site to use enterprise wide tags and taxonomies, and easy for users to apply them.
  • How SharePoint 2010 uses tags: The document library can be configured to use metadata as a primary navigation pivot.

Combined, it means that easy metadata entry enables users to tag items which in turn drives navigation. And because users need the metadata to navigate the repository, this encourages them to tag the items.

Browser as a document management application

SharePoint 2010 pulls together two features that SharePoint is best known for:

  • Website and page creation
  • Collaboration on, and management of documents

In the interests of efficient knowledge management, SharePoint 2010 applies the principal that the browser is the key to best managing documents — not just for document downloads but also for interaction with the document.

In this respect, users will now be able to interact with the document as well as having access to document context including metadata, wikis pages related to the document and related documents.

SharePoint 2010 enables this in a number of ways including:

  • Office Web Apps: The default click for the document library can be set for automatic document upload into the browser.
  • Content Query web part: Used to roll up all the documents related to a particular topic.

The result is a combination of wiki and traditional enterprise document management repositories.

There are a lot more document management features to SharePoint 2010, but Harmetz gives some context to it and suggests that future developments will be based along the same lines. He will be addressing other features and other document management issues over the coming months.

However, if there are particular issues in relation to SharePoint 2010 and document management that you would like him to discuss, leave a message on the blog, especially if you’re one of those that have downloaded the Beta version and are having problems on the test drive.