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Strategic Knowledge Engineering

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

The nature of work has evolved towards service and knowledge related contexts; in this scenario we need intense focus over the processes and frameworks that would define on how we harness and leverage information that is generated over all processes for driving more value. Organizations seeking to extend themselves into this critical area of analytics needs to focus on shaping the process and the people; the vital components. Organizations should be aware of the characteristics of its relative business knowledge and its sources, features and usability. It needs to shape methods that can collate data from extensive source area, link disparate data sources for a collective sense. There needs to be a governing process that evaluates, merges, researches, develops,  the data and comes out with options for business optimization.

Splitting the stages into functional units tied down to specific goals.

1. Knowledge Sourcing
2. Knowledge Abstraction
3. Knowledge Framing
4. Knowledge Warehousing
5. Knowledge Engineering

Knowledge Sourcing can be described as the identifying and acquiring historic and real-time data that are available from varied sources in the annals of any given business process. Data usually is available in the databases, files, logs, documents and they hold information transactions. The data is accumulated over time and the stores swell with size; all the while presenting an opportunity to present intelligent or informative analysis that could drive a stack of benefits. Other than the normal reporting structures built to mark the progress over Production, Quality and all in between; specific insight is never sought. The inference – insight that can be extracted remains an opportunity and for long. This data stacks and repositories are analyzed and identified as channels / sources; this source is the feeder for the analytics and the outcomes, process of source identification and data acquisition needs to be clinical.

Knowledge Abstraction helps in framing the insights and is completely skill dependent; this human skill is at an expert level on the domain of choice [SME  – Subject Matter Expertise] and the process relies heavily on the understanding and knowledge of the people resources. The data set is categorized based on the business case or the problem statement, data and information framework built here are weighed and categorized in order to support the reasoning and outcomes. The frame is built over an objective where the entire pursuit of intelligence is architected. All information here is bridged, connectors, the domino effect and factoring are all part of this abstraction process. Abstraction has two distinct process loops; one

Knowledge Framing ensures that abstracted data is further developed and refined through higher process routines to achieve anchoring over statistical data. The anchoring is vital as this builds the entire exercise over reasoning, analytics and recommendations on numerical realities. There effort here is predominantly built over mining [drilling down] data blocks to identify patterns, strings, values  to build neural relation that will help garner deep insight into all the facets.

Knowledge Warehousing comes in as the vital next step where the structured information and knowledge is stored into prescribed data structures that acts as the foundation for all the processed data. These individual ‘marts’ contain data stacks that are structured  over certain perspectives. Here the data stacks are linked, merged, to evolve and position the data for all analytics and intelligence extracts. This warehousing of the structured knowledge is done using enterprise warehousing applications, there is also a process layer to help drive Data reporting based on rule engines and business case.

Knowledge Engineering Analytics is the function where we have all the analytics process and frameworks deployed to extract intelligence out of the data warehouse. There is a lot of factor building, dependency tracking, correlations exercises that are done over analytics suites that help understanding all the different perspectives from an analytics standpoint. Causes, factors, symptoms, diagnosis, recommendations, solutioning are all the indispensable next steps that add a tremendous value to business and business operations.

Jesu Valiant

Service & Analytics recommendations:
To initiate a SKE – Strategic Knowledge Engineering for any of your data stacks, there is a comprehensive solution stack shaped over a decade of analytics at the CSS Knowledge Engineering & Research Labs.

Email: enterprise.ke@csscorp.com

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Valuation – The Worth of an Idea

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Entrepreneurs have a steady stream of thought and they keep generating ideas. There is a lot of work however with these idea machines as they need to develop the capability to sift through these ideas and freeze in over the opportunities. Opportunities are best described as the value generated for which there can be a given financial transaction made; with repeatability and room for enhancing the value. The opportunity should offer a good yield and capable of generating revenue that’s more than the unified expense for the opportunity.

Core Value: If the opportunity is long sustaining and if business can exploit the platform and evolve better profitability, the more comprehensive the solution is. The market need to see ‘value’ in the solution, the value need to be visible when viewed across varied perspectives. When the market scans for a value stack in a solution, the strength of the solution should excite the prospects. The solution stack should be a ‘Fit Gap’ over needs and when evaluated from an internal and an external perspective; internally the solution should address minimal investment, expanding existing capabilities over technology, operations, resources. Externally it needs to address needs of the market at large as a bundle.

Evaluation: The value of the idea and the impending solution can be evaluated by performing
1. Market centric Valuation – taking into consideration the Market Need + Solution Fit + Value Derivations.
2. Technical Feasibility Study of the solution – Performing a Technical feasibility study scrutinizes the need for the technology indulgence of the idea before its maturity and during market adoption, the ease + the scalability + the interops + simplifications, all counts.
3. Commercial Capability study – Evaluating the commercials will be done over two perspectives, the internal returns over expenses, ease of formulation, leveraging of existing business and the markets value for purchase scaling up performances or driving optimizations.
4. Competition Analysis – Positioning and Strategies – Complete landscape analysis over competition + Postioning + Market differentiator services offering be performed to ensure that the best strategy is drafted.

Jesu Valiant

Enterprise Collaboration & Knowledge Management

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

In a focused [or] applied environment i.e., [domain specific and task intensive] where the core function revolves around a knowledge intensive processes, there is a strong need to invest efforts in Capturing, Processing, Leveraging knowledge. Our products, services, and environment are more complex than ever before. Workforces are increasingly unstable leading to escalating demands for knowledge sharing / consumption. Knowledge management best practices are evolved after continuous exposure to a whole assortment of challenges addressing varied communities and supporting the end to end ecosystem of businesses. With new genre frameworks and process controls engineered in-house, we do see an opportunity across the industry spectrum to build knowledge management process that addresses the knowledge workflows, knowledge structures, knowledge categorization, content management, content evolution, instructional design, and a whole host of process blocks. With a robust knowledge base and a matured process, businesses get the opportunity to evolve a strong benefit stack.

Global economy has migrated from an Industrial Economy [Commercial Products] to a Knowledge Economy [Expertise based economy]. With new services and expertise that are in high demand in the marketplace, any organization needs to cultivate within its employee base a practice of Knowledge Sharing and collaboration. Every organization needs a logical long term plan for the intellectual assets, people are skilled and they address it as a commodity when walking in for an interview. This valuable commodity needs to be captured, it can be from individuals, groups, domain teams, etc.,Knowledge Management practice attempts to create strategies to ‘source – classify – warehouse – analyze – leverage – reuse’ knowledge with communities. Knowledge management and collaboration completely depends on the community and hence community leaders within the organization are key to drive this practice. With rewards, recognition, learning, sharing, collaborating opportunities; we would have woken up to a new reality.

Successful collaboration and strong knowledge management structures are essential to any well-functioning business enterprise, and information technology has become one of its key enablers. For establishing and enabling collaboration within the layers of organization or community there are methods and process centric, application suites structured over web 2.0 standards pre configured to handle specific enterprise workflows addressing access control, content management, intellectual property and security requirements.

Accelerating journey towards Enterprise 2.0

> Integrated social media solution for businesses that enables organizations to build communities.
> Encourage Interactions, monitor reactions, take feedback and comments, process solutions.
> Promote Information Exchange from among communities or between organization layers & community.
> Knowledge accumulation and usage is a key to business success.
> Create thriving online spaces that deliver measurable value.
> Separate your company from the competition by giving yourself tremendous credibility.
> Presents a free, fair, open & transparent culture; helps gain value.

A Product recommendation:

CSS Corporation presented the EDGE collaboration and knowledge management system.

http://www.csscorp.com/news&events/news-read.php?NID=139

Email:
enterprise.ke@csscorp.com

Web 2.0 has transformed the way we look at online community behavior and the possible implications of collective, collaborative knowledge management models. The power of the Web 2.0 model has been universally recognized, however, the implications for enterprise adoption suffer from a lack of immediate consensus. The CSS EDGE platform creates a working model for transforming the enterprise support function by providing a governance model for integrating internal and external communities or groups.

EDGE has been architected using open source components, configured to handle specific enterprise workflows and enables the enterprise to harness the power of Web 2.0 to drive customer loyalty, drive marketing and product management, as well as provide collaborative environments for promoting ideas that drive continuous innovation.

Jesu Valiant

Need to Diversify | Extending Organizational Competencies

November 3, 2010 1 comment

Realigning the focus and diversifying has its distinct advantages in any situation and in any market. Diversification from the core provides an opportunity to create additional value to consumers and brings revenue opportunities without much of an ado. Diversification = Growth Strategy.

Market Realities: Organizations have evolved their practices and processes around native offerings; over years of exposure they accumulate strengths to further drill deep into the niche they offer. The vertical bore brings out more quality of service and matures business value. In such a space there will be  many a competitor in the same eco-system with much deeper strengths and maturity; Consumers are spoiled for choice among this competition. Business are cost leaders, have strong brand names, share customers, share characheristics, operate similar, compete nect to neck, share management techniques etc., The candidature sway can only be attributed to external factors like ads, verifyable case studies, consultant backing, customer referrals etc., and not really on ‘whats on offer’ as everyone offers almost the same with very little between. Prolonged existance and anchoring of organizations over the same service vertical will not be wise in the face of growing competition and the thirst to increase revenues.

Framework: Visual Verbatim to be appended

Diversifying from the Core’: When strategies are draw over diversification, there is always a choice. The choice of choosing to build based on your core competency and extend the diversified idea as an offshoot [or] get into a hyper mode by jumping from the native skin adapting in a different landscape altogether. Service companies can diversify from core and feel accomplished as risks are absolutely negligible, there is a strong possibility to utilize native resources over people and infrastructure. Investments and expertise can be applied across establishing a strong backup and support, vital to any new inception. Grade A corporate rung will have the choices to make when diversifying, anywhere down the ladder there is a strong pressure applied over GTM and Operational strategies which will in turn reflect upon exploiting existing relations rather than gearing to launch an all-out open market campaign. Tapping into existing relations will yield good results if you offer solutions and services extensions from the current anchoring. It makes great sense selling and in the conversions.

Pre-Requisites: Diversification can be successful if our core services are at the pinnacle of excellence. We would never want to look at getting caught with poor performance results over our core services; the focus then need to shift back to stabilize the platform from where bread is knead. Selling these ‘Value’ services will be done on the current ‘performance’ platform. Diversify for revenues, diversify over current excellence, when diversifying from core.

Success Factors: Product branding, selling – BD, strong process map, strong service delivery routines, open – case studies, clear engagement routines, leadership awareness.

Case Studies:
1. GE – Jack Welch transformed GE from a purely manufacturing company into a more diversified company. As a result of GE’s corporate strategy and complex diversification, in 1996, GE Capital Services earned US$4 billion. In 2005, GE services agreements increased to $87 billion, up 15% from 2004. In particular, financial services revenues increased 12% to $59.3 billion.
2. ITC – ITC’s non-cigarettes businesses continued to grow at a scorching pace, accounting for a bigger share of overall revenues. “The non-cigarette portfolio grew by 37.6% during 2006-07 and accounted during that year for 52.3% of the company’s net turnover,” an ITC release said. ITC was known for its Tobacco products predominantly, the decision to diversify boosted revenue.

Jesu Valiant

Unified Communications – Solution Opportunities

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

The Unified Communications landscape is defined by two major evolving fronts 1. The Voice Communications leaders and 2. Application [Desktop] Communication leaders. What the opportunity one can have in a domain thats already has seen the fiercest of competitions in the landscape and competitions in the billions across multiple logos and strategies that change every day? Well.. thats the opportunity. There is a huge spectrum of varied products & solutions, but there is a lack of services that to address the complexities. More than two decades have gone by since IPFX – NL came up with its presence solution but nothing major has changed the UC landscape. There is yet to be any full fledged ‘solution’ that can sweep the market.

UC Implementors: Many seek to cater to this service and drill deep in this massive market, seeing the opportunity within and around. There are already a huge assortment of services companies who have jumped into this fray to make the most of it. Data indicates that enterprises are preferring to buy their UC services from Telco’s or Network Providers rather than IT Services Companies. The reality contrasts as most of these Telco’s and Network providers have their Service partners who run the regional errands; having to focus more on the core competency they seldom undertake ‘service’ ventures. These errand companies are mostly a Tier 2 player in that region.

Challenges: There are a host of core technical issues and market issues that hound this practice of Unified Communications. With hounds abound in the form of Interoperability issues, Storage issues, Security issues, Challenges in deployment, Challenges in FMC. With these issues in the open, companies get  something if not everything, muting the true experiences of unification.

Selection of a UC Services player: Only a few IT Service Companies are well placed to address this Gap; these companies are either Technical Support, Managed Support  partners, Professional Services partners to 1. The Voice Communications leaders and 2. Application [Desktop] Communication leaders who ‘field’ the collection of skills from the skills reservoirs.

Ushering the “Open” wave: The steady growth of Open Source has brought in a range of Open API’s and bridge bundles that users in betterment of the choice for the market. From IP telephony, conferencing, IM, UM, the stacks have challenged may proprietary products. Seeking strengths on this area whilst searching for a true type services company will further augment strength of the solution you want to implement.

An Approach: 1. Any company wanting to adopt Unified Communications needs to understand their landscape and the proposed, 2. Identify areas of Technology convergence and bucket the product stack they stare into at, into these categories, 3. Services are expensive and not all address our specifics; hence identify the right IT service providers who may be Technology Partners, Solution Partners, Professional Services Partners with credibility [Case Studies, Best Practices, etc.,], 4. Ensure strip bare competition for varying bids among the best identified and always settle for the expertise rather than cost.

Jesu Valiant

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