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Oh’s and Woe’s – Identifying Innovations.

Innovation is the root of any business success; all business need to come up with something original and new. Even if the business model addresses traditional lines of ideas; the packaging, the application, the tuning being unique can still be an innovation. Today organizations get caught in the web of ROI, P&L and addressing ongoing PGM routines that innovation has become a negligible and in most cases a rejected case. Lets leave aside the ecosystem for nurturing innovations; these days organizations do not have the capability to differentiate between a successful innovation and a stale drummed up rhetoric. So dismal is the stance that everything that does a workflow with few colors is deemed as an innovation.

As business and organizations evolve, innovation is becoming a key driver of performance. Firms striving to maintain high rates of innovation need a continuous flow of new ideas. Innovation is like field that has to be set right; for the seeds of ideas from key personnel fall and sprout into a worthwhile result. The organization not only need the supportive environment where the birth of an idea happens; it also should be ready with the cradle and life support for the idea to evolve into an innovation.

Woe to the organizations that do not have the capability to differentiate. The breed of intellectuals are a rarity; their ideas and practices if leveraged and nurtured well can help build new channels of business expansions and value. Organizations that cannot innovate or build environments to breed innovation cannot survive in the market. Lets first look at how Innovations can be identified; what can actually be termed as Innovation?

Innovation_Simple_Wordle

 

Identifying Innovation:
Well, that’s what organizations struggle with. When you say organizations, we relate to the people in flesh and blood who hold offices that across the leadership stack. Innovation happens under the radar; unless your organization boasts of having the wherewithal of setting and managing an innovation management COE – center of excellence.

Lets now dive deep on how we can identify an innovation. With the many ways of identifying innovations the following DND approach can be one of the ways you can identify and value an Innovation.

DIFFUSION:
Diffusion is the way in which innovations spread, through market or non-market channels, from their first micro implementation to different consumers, countries, regions, sectors, markets, and firms. Without diffusion, an innovation will have no economic impact. We look at the diffusion in many aspects; we gauge using audience excitement, value generated, market segment addressed, market size, idea investment and ROI, value impact analysis.

NEW:
A product, process, marketing method, or organizational method can already have been implemented by other firms, but if it is new to the firm (or in case of products and processes: significantly improved), then it is an innovation for that firm. An innovation cannot be termed new if for example a product is purchased off shelf and implemented true to its features in a business practice to achieve the features therein and thereby terming it an innovation. NEW to the Organization, NEW to the Market.

DISRUPTIVE:
An innovation that creates ripples and impacts a market and thereby upsetting the existing norm and creating new value chains; change the structure of the market, create new markets, or render existing products obsolete. Disruptive innovation focuses on the impact of innovations as opposed to their novelty.

Effects of Successful Innovation [DND-E]:

* Increase or maintain market share
* Enter new markets
* Increase visibility or exposure for products
* Reduced time to respond to customer needs
* Achieve industry technical standards
* Reduce operating costs, increase margins
* Increase operational efficiency
* Improve communication and interaction among different business activities
* Increase sharing or transferring of knowledge with other organizations
* Increase the ability to adapt to different client demands
* Develop stronger relationships with customers

Copyright © cran.edge/@jesuvaliant @valiantblogs

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Edge Business Solutions Framework

October 28, 2012 Leave a comment

EDGE has been structured to handle specific enterprise workflows addressing access control, content management, intellectual property and security requirements. EDGE 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.

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 model has been universally recognized. However, the implications for enterprise adoption suffer from a lack of immediate consensus.

Jesu Valiant – The Major Service Industry Trends

With the above trends shaping the services industry; there is a need to address the ever-increasing gap with a solution from a technological and logical perspective that would stand to evolve with the dynamics of the service industry. We tend to get attracted to terminologies in the services industry ‘use case’ like KCS, Social Media, Collaboration, Analytics, etc., forgetting that these idea bundles do not have a tested platform with observable data that can be adapted in similar environments, providing the same yield. With such a dearth of proven solution models; here I am looking at replicating the models of successes and to present the entire solution in a concise logical framework for global comprehension.

Introducing the Edge Business Solutions framework; I address the technology components, logical functions, ongoing support and evolution to the ‘services’ business dynamics. This is a working  solution model adapted by a few organizations; there is a mapped platform, defined process set, metrics & measurements and a visible ROI.

The Edge Solution Framework

Jesu Valiant_Edge_Framework

Edge new market solutions are designed to address a wide range of challenges and help users increase performance levels and streamline operations. Lean is in Edge Solutions DNA, this DNA ensures that we structure and deploy specific enterprise workflows addressing access control, content management, intellectual property and security requirements. EDGE framework enables the enterprise to harness the power of BPA-BPM and Analytics like never before; having a direct bearing on ROI. Solutions help drive customer loyalty, drive adoption and better product management, as well as provide collaborative environments for promoting ideas that drive continuous innovation. Edge Solutions have helped transform the way we look at Business Process Management and the possible implications of collective, best practice models.

Key Solutions:

  • Knowledge Systems
  • Data Collection & Capture
  • Online Collaboration
  • Learning Management
  • Social Media Solutions
  • Document Management
  • Enterprise Wiki
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Analytics + Reporting Dashboards
  • Scorecards & KPI Management
  • Self help / DIY Solutions
  • Survey Management
  • Process Tracking & Scheduling

The range of Edge solutions and services are powered by a native Edge applications framework also named Edge; structured to handle three challenges: the intensive deadlines, the stringent checklist of flexibility & security, and a predefined set of functional classes written by experienced Web developers. Edge application framework lets us build high-performing, thoroughly flexible, deeply secure, elegantly designed, Web applications quickly.

Edge web application framework is a high level PHP framework that encourages rapid, expandable,  inter-operable, web applications. There are predefined modules addressing core functions of workflow, charting engines, access controls and the likes that augment any build and deploy scenario rather quickly.

For more information please feel free to reach to me at my business email address at jesu.valiant@csscorp.com.

Copyrights – Jesu Valiant 2012

CRM’s in 2011 – What the Market needs?

April 14, 2011 4 comments

CRM applications have traditionally helped in issue tracking, tasks management, accounts management and have all their product feature appreciations over the decade. All such enhancements have addressed feature extensions and few rare cases of interops with other applications. In today’s scenario the CRM features are being looked at from multiple perspectives with the advent of newer engagement models and transaction channels. The market does have its share of feature packed systems but features have only looked at addressing the legacy use cases and have not looked at widening the visions over next generation market needs and emerging solution areas. With a late awakening we now see an activity spree in the market that does signal that product companies are trying to make the most, by way of new pursuits and with a load of investments.

Here we take a look at ‘What the market needs today?’, the product stacks prescribed by analysts and how they hold good against the needs.

Gartner in its MQ for 2010 lists the following set of product companies.

Leaders & Challengers per GMQ 2010
-Oracle Siebel
-Salesforce
-Microsoft Dynamics
-RightNow
-Pega Systems
-SAP
-Amdocs

Lets see what are the overall Gaps that are abound in these products with regards to the realities and engagements of today and tomorrow.

1. Integrated E-Support:
With high levels of adoption over self service modules and real-time on-line support systems growing in demand, many CRM’s in the market have not the ability to provide an integrated E-Support Module. E-Support will be the set of functions or features that will help in rendering real time support that will be part of the CRM, i.e., an extension. The functionalities does not end with ‘Incident Tracking’, ‘Data Captures’ and ‘Account details’ but goes on to provide a real time engagement console with the transactions being recorded. Features like ‘Create my Case’, ‘Chat now’, ‘Click to Call’, etc are opportunities to be pursued by CRM companies. There however has been few market leaders who have built capabilities on these lines but much of the market needs here remains to be addressed.

2. Process Automations & Management:
Every Product TAC, Sales & Marketing Teams, Engineering & Design Teams, and almost all the functional arms of any product company plays host to a wide variety of processes and procedures around the tracked CRM entries. There are numerous processes that are covered manually with the reports that are extracted from the CRM databases. CRM here typically functions as a storehouse of data and performs case captures, beyond that all processes are manually managed by the varied functional units within and organization. They have Excel based macros that process data outside CRM, they have audit screens done over third party applications, they utilize web based tools to automate other process and work-flows complimenting the data capture done by the ‘expensive’ CRM.
Here is an opportunity to fill the Gap and make available process / work-flow management functionality as part of the CRM to position product as a market differentiator.

3. Social Web Interoperability:
The last couple of years have seen the emergence of Social media, with direct identification of the individual profiles and engagements globally, this new medium demanded immediate attention from all of the enterprises and corporations. In the wake of Facebook, Twitter, third party forums & wikis, Collaboration platforms, there was an immediate need to listen, manage, engage, analyze these data streams that are out there. The negative impact that can be caused due to mis-management of this medium with its virality over comments and posts posed a very high risk proposition. Many CRM’s today fall absolutely short of capabilities to address this widening gap, however there are a few market leaders who have in the past months frantically went on an Acquisition spree or a partnership spree to add this strength. Salesforce & Raidan over Service Cloud 3, Lithium acquisition of Scoutlabs are few of the attempts made to address this gap.

4. Social Analytics:
With much said and more done over Social media on providing tools capable of listening, capturing, monitoring, engaging of conversation over the Social Web and third party portals and forums, there emerges the strong need to analyze these in line with the few key business cases and identify, get insight,  pursue opportunities, [Social Media Analytics features]. This key feature set is not offered by many in the market. There are only a few product based solutions that currently have tried to build capability here, this area is yet to evolve and the critical aspect of providing Business Intelligence over Social Media is an open opportunity for all the CRM’s out there. With the complexities and lack of analytical cases to pursue and render value there is whole lot of ideation and product features that sprout here with no comprehensive solutions. Again a very strong opportunity for CRM product manufacturers to set their pursuit on.

5. Data Reporting & Analytics:
Much of the CRM’s data reporting revolves around volume driven reporting and rule engine based reporting. Across all the CRM’s that are being adopted there exists a huge gap over data analytics and advanced reporting. We have modules on CRM today that provide the advanced users the ability to query the backend data stacks to procure reports and a very low level slice and dice capability. This gap here to run Analytics and Engineer Insightful details is a Grey area. Although the reporting capabilities have matured, the gaps are huge and every CRM user community over all the product pursue a separate MIS and Data analyst functions outside the CRM process. The market will lap up opportunities here and this can be a huge market differentiator for CRM product companies if they address this glaring gap.

6. Integrated Knowledge Solutions:
Based on an analysis performed over enterprise technical support customers, I could see exponentially at least 15% of customers demanding DIY kits – Self help systems for them to drill down into the solutions. There is also the tremendous gap between the product and its relative documentation that can be ‘called upon’ even by agents who work on incidents and tickets. Both for the customer to assist in better adoption of service or product and for the engagement teams to arrive at a solution to help in better and quicker closure the backend process of Knowledge creation, management, references, knowledge pushing, archiving, etc., remains much to be desired even with the market leaders and the challengers. Solutions over this can be a tremendous value.

Jesu Valiant

Developing Social Capital – An Approach

March 15, 2011 1 comment

Its all about building a soul into the spirit of the community, Social networks have been in existence for centuries; yes… its certainly true. Human communities settled and formed communities on river banks for thousands of years and were united as a social group with goals structured around food & hunting, shelter, security, mutual support, farming, etc., these communities grew big and formed distinct civilizations. In today’s world we try doing the same over a virtual platform, things can be so basic and simple provided right insight and approach is formulated.

The key in building social communities lies in the understanding the basic constituents. Every community and social grouping has fundamental units of functions [SFU] – Social fundamental unit,  addressing and enabling these units to function is key to the success of building community and social groups. Like in the real time communities there are some fundamentals that needs to be imbibed while forming communities.

1. Community Bonds among Individual elements.
Bonding within a community is very important, to create the bonding there needs to be goals defined and all in the community inadvertently pursue these set of goals. Its like floating a forum for users of one product series who want to achieve better product adoption and usage across as a group commune together. Some publish articles, some post questions, some answer, some pool in external references, etc., This is the key , build tools and work-flows around these goals to ensure that there is always an opportunity to debate, share, compliment, report, reference, etc., These help building relationships and bonding within a group. There is always Cohesion and Inclusion and no Confrontation or retributions.

2. Community Bonds between Groups of Elements.
Having these all out functional groups there is the next level of collaboration in the form of inter group bonding; in a community business support environment users will need each other strengths to collaborate for a solution. An example is a product buyer comes with an issue on the product compatibility with another brand over certain feature sets; he posts a question over the forum, over FB wall and possibly tweet too. Here there is an opportunity for this reported cause to get viral and many to see it for the good and for bad. There needs to be a response and this can be addressed by the Individual elements or Other Groups of Elements. There can be a technical support team that can respond; if an user reports an issue with much complexity like an interoperability then is not in the control of the support team, they can very well invoke the design & engineering team to advice and action. This is community supporting community, build bonds between groups of elements; this is also called as community support.

3. Platform as a Component.
With the complexities of real life engagements moving into a social application based interaction and responses, there needs to be a strong platform and governance model that helps in bridging the gaps between monitoring, responding, evaluating, enabling, analyzing etc., from a product manufacturer perspective. It also needs to take care of applying work-flows that will support knowledge sharing, collaboration, ideation and support, best practice mapping, etc., There are many a systems at play in the market there are a few that have listed below. These platforms offer the facility and functionalities to support most if not all of the above.

Social capital means the intensity, virality, capability of a Social community. The more the cohesive strength and collaborative spirit the higher the capital. Better Social capital translates to the following benefits for a Product & Technology Manufacturer.

1. Reduces transaction costs
2. Provides vivid and direct avenues for revenues
3. Provides a competitive edge
4. Social Capital with the best practices provides market differentiation
5. Social Capital with the right systems enable conducive collaboration environment
6. Helps build openness and transparency
7. Community Involvement Builds Social Capital
8. Promotes Accountability
9. Product and Logo Loyalty
10. Community Satisfaction & Delight
11. Direct channel with customers

Jesu Valiant – 2011

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

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

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