Informal Poll - What system/tool/platform do you use for KM #poll #tools


Maureen Mason
 

Hello Collective Wisdom

Currently at my company we are using a mixed bag of internal tools to manage our knowledge. I am starting to evaluate 3rd party options too see how they compare to our current suite. What I would love to hear from this group is, 
1. The Tool or Platform your organization uses
2. How much development support was needed for set-up? What IT resources are needed ongoing?
3. How many other systems does your KM tool integrate with? and what? i.e. Directory or code base etc
4. Your favorite feature of your knowledge tool(s)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Maureen   


Susan Ostreicher
 

Hi Maureen, 

I'd love to hear other answers to this question, so I hope others will weigh in too!

1. The Tool or Platform your organization uses
We're a global team of ~1500 people. We use Confluence for internal knowledge management. The main uses are as a wiki (mostly centrally managed) and a discussion board. 

2. How much development support was needed for set-up? What IT resources are needed ongoing?
We started on Confluence Cloud 2 years ago, which required no development setup. After about a year, we migrated to Confluence Server, with help from an IT admin. Ongoing IT support is minimal (mostly upgrading when a new version is released). 

3. How many other systems does your KM tool integrate with? and what? i.e. Directory or code base etc
Our site is integrated with Active Directory for authentication. It's integrated with an internal support portal on Jira Service Desk. Atlassian does have other tools for software development (e.g. Bitbucket), but we're not using these. 

We also use Google Drive for document management, and we use macros in Confluence to embed file and folders in various pages. I wouldn't call this a full integration because the search in Confluence doesn't search inside documents on Google Drive. It's more of an easy, user-friendly way to display links. 

4. Your favorite feature of your knowledge tool(s)  
I love that it's intuitive to use, because it means we don't need a lot of IT support. It's also easy for end users to contribute and update information, which helps everything stay fresher. 

On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 4:53 PM Maureen Mason <toastersam@...> wrote:
Hello Collective Wisdom

Currently at my company we are using a mixed bag of internal tools to manage our knowledge. I am starting to evaluate 3rd party options too see how they compare to our current suite. What I would love to hear from this group is, 
1. The Tool or Platform your organization uses
2. How much development support was needed for set-up? What IT resources are needed ongoing?
3. How many other systems does your KM tool integrate with? and what? i.e. Directory or code base etc
4. Your favorite feature of your knowledge tool(s)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Maureen   


Maureen Mason
 

Thanks for your response Susan!!! 


Stan Garfield
 

This is a request for additional replies to Maureen's informal poll. Thanks for your help!


Jasper Lavertu
 

Hi Maureen,

We are a Dutch shipbuilding company with facilities throughout the country. There is a lot of technical knowledge and engineering data to manage. We are also using a mixed bag of tools.
1. The Tool or Platform your organization uses
  • Mainly, we have two tools: Siemens Teamcenter as a platform to manage our engineering data and we have set-up digital libraries in SharePoint.
  • We also use MS Teams to collaborate and work on documents, but we publish/share them via SharePoint libraries.
  • Some of the largest facilities have their own intranets (in SharePoint or Confluence), where they manage specific knowledge tailored for their needs.
2. How much development support was needed for set-up? What IT resources are needed ongoing?
  • We had an external consultant helping us to implement SharePoint.
  • Since we upgraded to O365 (in the cloud), we also transferred tasks from IT to the site owners (e.g. managing access rights) so IT can focus more on the technical architecture behind the tools.
  • We also got rid of third party and custom made functionalities to make us less dependent on external consultants (we experienced difficulties in the past for example when upgrading and some of the functionalities were broken, resulting in lots of effort/money to fix it).
  • For Teamcenter we have a couple of dedicated people (internal) who are managing that full-time.
  • In addition, there are several engineers who act as 'key-users' for a tool. They are partly employed just to bridge the gaps between users and the tool and to make improvements.

3. How many other systems does your KM tool integrate with? and what? i.e. Directory or code base etc
  • many, e.g. tooling for HRM (Real_HRM), internal service management (Topdesk) , time registration (TIMEnterprise), Active Directory, Some O365 apps like Teams and Streams

4. Your favorite feature of your knowledge tool(s
  • Our company has a rich history and, as I mentioned, there are several facilities. We all have our own legacy systems and knowledge (and tooling) is - to be honest - still quite fragmented and siloed. Recently we developed and implemented a group-wide digital library and I hope this will be the start of breaking down the rest of the silos that still exist. So this library is my most favorite feature at the moment. 


Andrew Gent
 

Hi Maureen,

I'm not sure how useful my input will be since I work at a very small company (50 people) but for anyone interested in KM at a startup...

1. The Tool or Platform your organization uses

Internally we primarily use a wiki (Confluence), Slack, and email (Gmail).  I would say the wiki is 95% engineering, Slack is 70% engineering, 30% everyone else (sales, marketing, mgmt). Email is everyone, although engineers tend to go to Slack first.

Externally, marketing has used a variety of CMSes: hubspot, drupal, workpress. Not sure which one we are on now. Engineering manages it own external resources as source. Engineering uses a public slack and stack overflow for KM and zendesk for support (this is newly implemented).

For external training, I created and managed a certification program using Adobe Captivate and Moodle as an LMS. We replaced Captivate with a custom-built delivery framework because Captivate was far too cumbersome and time-consuming to update content. 

From a marketing perspective, they use GoToMeeting to host live webinars and have used a series of services to post video content (including the webinars after the fact): vimeo, brightcove, and vidyard. I suspect from this that there was no clear winner in terms of cost/benefits.


2. How much development support was needed for set-up? What IT resources are needed ongoing?

Internal IT/support tends to be ad hoc, done by various engineers (including myself as UX person). both for set up and ongoing maintenance. Set up was minimal and as a result has had mixed results (more on this later). 

Externally, marketing uses outsourcing for the website. Not sure of the size or cost.

I might add, engineering originally used a forum (vBulletin) for external interaction. However, we found managing spam -- even with a paid plugin catching 70-80% of it -- too costly in terms of time and resources. Which is why we switched to hosted, generic services.

The other item that has caused significant support effort has been Crowd for account management.

3. How many other systems does your KM tool integrate with? and what? i.e. Directory or code base etc

The Wiki and slack are not really integrated.  Since we are engineering-heavy, using github for code mgt, the key integration is JIRA and github. The second most important integration is email for notification from JIRA, github, wiki, etc.

4. Your favorite feature of your knowledge tool(s)

I'd say my favorite feature -- and this plays into another recent question on SIKM -- is the structure of our internal Slack. Our wiki is, as most wiki's, only lightly structured.  As a result finding anything in it usually requires search, not browsing. On the other hand, when they set up slack they created several channels. Most importantly, Engineering, General, and Random. There are a mess of other channels, most of which are dormant. But the big three have served to produce two benefits:
  • Self-Organization: I don't remember a single reply saying "post to the other channel". Everyone seems to understand the purpose of the three channels and posts appropriately.  In my experience, that is a remarkable feat.
  • Work vs. non-work: As a direct result of the self-organization, everyone seems to realize that Random is the catch-all for non-work related discussions. So if you don't care about Boston-area sports (HQ is in the Boston area), bear sightings, and other non-work related trivia, you don't need to read that channel or even subscribe to it. I only wish email had such a clear filtering capability....
Andrew Gent
UX Architect
VoltDB, Inc.


Maureen Mason
 

Thank you everyone for all the wonderful posts. And taking the time to write out detailed responses, this has been really helpful for me. 

I'll answer my own questions to contribute to the conversation. 

I'm at Dropbox, which is about 3000 globally but I primarily support just our Engineering, Product and Design org which is about 1500. 

1. The Tool or Platform your organization uses
as I mentioned we have a mixed bag. For documentation purposes we use Dropbox Paper, which is searchable but not browsable. As a solution a hack was created that allows is too 'bind' together Paper into collections, which are searchable within one collection but again limited cross searching and while I built a 'master' site browsing is limited. We have implemented Jira as task manager, and we also have our code repo's. There is an intranet but that serves more of a purpose for comms.

For communication, Slack is the primary choice for EPD but every team/service has a channel so finding which one you need and getting a response can vary between fast and painful. 

We also have old wiki's that I need to sunset. 
2. How much development support was needed for set-up? What IT resources are needed ongoing?
Not much dev needed for set up as we dogfood our own product. IT on going is challenging as you has to go to the product teams with problems or feature requests. And for our hack tool we have no dedicated eng support, I have to beg and borrow time
3. How many other systems does your KM tool integrate with? and what? i.e. Directory or code base etc
None specifically. You can do embeds and create links but that is it
4. Your favorite feature of your knowledge tool(s)
That people do use it...we don't have a problem of creation. More a problem of creating the right pieces and not duplicating what you can't find. 

Again Thanks everyone! Hope to see a few more responses. Seeing what others are using and how they are leveraging in complicated environments is super helpful. 

Maureen

-M


On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 6:56 AM Andrew Gent via Groups.Io <ajgent=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Maureen,

I'm not sure how useful my input will be since I work at a very small company (50 people) but for anyone interested in KM at a startup...

1. The Tool or Platform your organization uses

Internally we primarily use a wiki (Confluence), Slack, and email (Gmail).  I would say the wiki is 95% engineering, Slack is 70% engineering, 30% everyone else (sales, marketing, mgmt). Email is everyone, although engineers tend to go to Slack first.

Externally, marketing has used a variety of CMSes: hubspot, drupal, workpress. Not sure which one we are on now. Engineering manages it own external resources as source. Engineering uses a public slack and stack overflow for KM and zendesk for support (this is newly implemented).

For external training, I created and managed a certification program using Adobe Captivate and Moodle as an LMS. We replaced Captivate with a custom-built delivery framework because Captivate was far too cumbersome and time-consuming to update content. 

From a marketing perspective, they use GoToMeeting to host live webinars and have used a series of services to post video content (including the webinars after the fact): vimeo, brightcove, and vidyard. I suspect from this that there was no clear winner in terms of cost/benefits.


2. How much development support was needed for set-up? What IT resources are needed ongoing?

Internal IT/support tends to be ad hoc, done by various engineers (including myself as UX person). both for set up and ongoing maintenance. Set up was minimal and as a result has had mixed results (more on this later). 

Externally, marketing uses outsourcing for the website. Not sure of the size or cost.

I might add, engineering originally used a forum (vBulletin) for external interaction. However, we found managing spam -- even with a paid plugin catching 70-80% of it -- too costly in terms of time and resources. Which is why we switched to hosted, generic services.

The other item that has caused significant support effort has been Crowd for account management.

3. How many other systems does your KM tool integrate with? and what? i.e. Directory or code base etc

The Wiki and slack are not really integrated.  Since we are engineering-heavy, using github for code mgt, the key integration is JIRA and github. The second most important integration is email for notification from JIRA, github, wiki, etc.

4. Your favorite feature of your knowledge tool(s)

I'd say my favorite feature -- and this plays into another recent question on SIKM -- is the structure of our internal Slack. Our wiki is, as most wiki's, only lightly structured.  As a result finding anything in it usually requires search, not browsing. On the other hand, when they set up slack they created several channels. Most importantly, Engineering, General, and Random. There are a mess of other channels, most of which are dormant. But the big three have served to produce two benefits:
  • Self-Organization: I don't remember a single reply saying "post to the other channel". Everyone seems to understand the purpose of the three channels and posts appropriately.  In my experience, that is a remarkable feat.
  • Work vs. non-work: As a direct result of the self-organization, everyone seems to realize that Random is the catch-all for non-work related discussions. So if you don't care about Boston-area sports (HQ is in the Boston area), bear sightings, and other non-work related trivia, you don't need to read that channel or even subscribe to it. I only wish email had such a clear filtering capability....
Andrew Gent
UX Architect
VoltDB, Inc.


Arthur Shelley
 

Hi Maureen & forum members,

 

Just a few relevant comments beyond the tools themselves...

I have experimented with a range of tools since 1999 (does anyone remember Plumbtree portal before SharePoint?)

Truth is nothing is perfect, but there are many adequate tool combinations - including some free ones.

One tool fits all requirements is an ideal, but regardless of which you choose many people prefer something else for some actions.

 

So the challenge is getting your people to work in the smallest number of tools as possible to keep as much of your interactions and storage in common places. Often this means rules around where certain content & activities live (like ALL conversations in Slack or Teams and all content in Google drove or SharePoint- with tags). As long as people know where to look and this is reliable it is workable.

 

It comes down to the discipline of the people we serve. If they keep their “homes” tidy & consistent everyone is more productive, informed and less frustrated.

 

A quick word on free tools. They change all the time. The last 20 years has seen a plethora of fun tools that can be very helpful. It is inevitable that they leapfrog each other from time to time - try to stay with a consistent minimal set and beware investing too much in the trendy new tool as it may not be here in 2 years:

Remember Google Wave and many of the wiki tools that are no longer with us…

Remember Yahoo Groups, which served this forum very well for over a decade...

 

Explain these things to you people and why consistency enhances knowledge flows (not JUST storage) and they are more inclined to collaborate to achieve shared benefits. As usual with humans - we are only as good as we behave (together towards common outcomes).

 

Arthur Shelley

Founder, Intelligent Answers

Producer Creative Melbourne

@Metaphorage

+61 413 047 408

 


 

SIKMers
I have worked with companies (mostly here in Silicon Valley, but also on the east coast) on
1. Helping identify and select tools
2. Supporting the effective adoption and engagement with the tools in a variety of knowledge work contexts
3. Helping executives and communications professionals understand and apply the use of those tools in their management and communications workflow
4. Evaluate and recommend remediation strategies and tactics when adoption and engagement does not meet the aspirations and expectations of the initial rollout

There are several categories possible mis-steps or mis-apprehensions when KM tools are selected and rolled out
1.  A lack of careful consideration of the different collaboration, knowledge sharing and content creation modalities that would influence both the selection of tool and adoption and engagement strategies.   Often there is some overlap in functionality and features of various tools, and without attendant thoughtful guidance and governance, users can become confused.
2.  Lack of clarity of business context: important to both tool selection and adoption guidance.   Some tools are best used for broad organizational communications and knowledge sharing, others best for team connection and workflow awareness.  I recall a diagram from the Real Story Group that was a useful tool to evaluate those business contexts.
3. Corporate guidance on tools to use is important - i.e., some tools are best for light messaging, others for sustained "in context" knowledge work, others, for co-creation and publishing.  Also important establishing comments practice among teams or groups.  Write and publish clear guidance and reinforce regularly.

Here a blog post with a couple visuals that might help.

Sometimes people feel a bit "overwhelmed" with the tools and they may miss the impact of the continuous awareness and knowledge building that happens.
Slide 22 and 23 in this deck might be helpful

Catherine Shinners



CATHERINE SHINNERS

DIGITAL WORKPLACE for Business Transformation

650.704-3889 mercedgroup.com Silicon Valley USA   

catherineshinners@...

 

digital workplace | communications  |  knowledge management | community management | Prosci certified change professional






On Sat, Nov 23, 2019 at 3:04 AM Arthur Shelley <arthur@...> wrote:

Hi Maureen & forum members,

 

Just a few relevant comments beyond the tools themselves...

I have experimented with a range of tools since 1999 (does anyone remember Plumbtree portal before SharePoint?)

Truth is nothing is perfect, but there are many adequate tool combinations - including some free ones.

One tool fits all requirements is an ideal, but regardless of which you choose many people prefer something else for some actions.

 

So the challenge is getting your people to work in the smallest number of tools as possible to keep as much of your interactions and storage in common places. Often this means rules around where certain content & activities live (like ALL conversations in Slack or Teams and all content in Google drove or SharePoint- with tags). As long as people know where to look and this is reliable it is workable.

 

It comes down to the discipline of the people we serve. If they keep their “homes” tidy & consistent everyone is more productive, informed and less frustrated.

 

A quick word on free tools. They change all the time. The last 20 years has seen a plethora of fun tools that can be very helpful. It is inevitable that they leapfrog each other from time to time - try to stay with a consistent minimal set and beware investing too much in the trendy new tool as it may not be here in 2 years:

Remember Google Wave and many of the wiki tools that are no longer with us…

Remember Yahoo Groups, which served this forum very well for over a decade...

 

Explain these things to you people and why consistency enhances knowledge flows (not JUST storage) and they are more inclined to collaborate to achieve shared benefits. As usual with humans - we are only as good as we behave (together towards common outcomes).

 

Arthur Shelley

Founder, Intelligent Answers

Producer Creative Melbourne

@Metaphorage

+61 413 047 408

 


Nick Milton
 

As a bit of input to this debate, I published a blog post last week, https://www.nickmilton.com/2019/11/should-you-use-single-technology.html, which showed data on this question, with survey answers from 270 people world wide.

 

Among other things, the post shows that

 

  • 63% of respondents use more than one technology platform for KM
  • Which is not surprising given that there are multiple functions required from KM technology
  • The three most common technologies in use are SharePoint, “Other” categories (of which there are a myriad), and tools developed in house
  • 62% of organisations that use only one technology use SharePoint

 

The fact that SharePoint is so popular is shown by the data but should not necessarily be considered an endorsement. There are many things it does well, but there are many other KM functions where other technologies surpass it.  The answer, as with all technologies, is first to define what you need it to do for you,  then choose a technology suite that delivers the required functionality. And in nearly two thirds  of cases, that’s more than one technology tool.

 

Nick Milton
Knoco Ltd
www.knoco.com

www.facebook.com/knoco.ltd

www.linkedin.com/company/knoco-ltd
mobile +44 (0)7803 592947

email nick.milton@...

blog  www.nickmilton.com

twitter @nickknoco

Author of the recent book - "The Knowledge Manager’s Handbook"

 

"Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land." 
--Mark Lee

 


Robert L. Bogue
 

Nick –

 

Normally, I’d let this flow by but the seriousness of the mischaracterization warrants a response.

 

Before responding directly, I’ll wholeheartedly agree that there are other platforms that are better than SharePoint in nearly every single category.  I have no desire to say that SharePoint is “best” for everything because it’s not.  It’s important that you (and everyone watching the conversation) realize that I’m quite happy to point out issues with SharePoint at both a micro and a macro level as I’ve done repeatedly in conversations with Microsoft, in conversations with clients, and publicly on my blog.

 

The article that you quote is fundamentally flawed.  While it reports that SharePoint search doesn’t work well for documents, it fails to acknowledge that really we’re down to two engines for internal search (SharePoint and SOLR derivatives).   It further fails to recognize that the problem with search isn’t search.  The problem is poor user behavior that makes it impossible to find content. I’m not implying the poor user behavior is intentional – far from it.  However, if you placed the same content in another engine, you’d have the same problems.  It’s a problem of not doing equal comparison.  It’s anecdotal responses “I don’t like it” – and that’s almost useless.

 

In terms of people search, we all know that people search is hard beyond the problems that SharePoint solved a decade ago regarding phonetic spelling.  There’s the greater KM issue that employees just don’t fill out their profiles – and once they do they fail to update them.  Microsoft several years ago introduced the Microsoft Graph which they surface through Delve.  The graph now informs Microsoft Search to help shape the relevance of people results.  There’s no one else in the market that has the capacity to leverage this intelligence for people search.  They simply don’t have the signals to convert into the edges of a social network analysis/graph.  While Delve is poorly conceived, the underlying Microsoft Graph technology is right and can help us find what we’re looking for.

 

So why is there this prejudice against SharePoint?  I believe there are two key reasons.  First, it’s a product with a long history and people have long memories.  It didn’t work well at Acme corporation a decade ago, so it’s still bad.  Second, it’s easy to implement (turn on) and so many people implement it without thought about how to organize it or derive value from it’s implementation.  The second one is more interesting.  You make a product that’s easy to use – and therefore easy to misuse – and so it, over time, develops a reputation for being hard to implement, difficult to use, etc.  Other platforms which require implementation teams don’t suffer from the same problems – not due to technical limitations – but as an artifact of the implementation process which the cheap product never got.  I’ve seen this dozens of times with clients.  They didn’t implement SharePoint with thought so they need to replace it.  They replace it with another system but resist the guidance from their experts to fix the structural issues and they land in the same boat.  The expectation that the “easy” product should be “easy” over time will pull down the feedback.  (We measure against expectations not a fixed point.)

 

From my point of view, this is a natural problem in the market of anything – but it doesn’t mean that as professionals we should continue to purvey it.  As professionals, I believe, we have a responsibility to move the practice forward rather than fall into the same traps that others are prone to falling into.

 

Getting back to the key point, you state “The fact that SharePoint is so popular is shown by the data but should not necessary be considered as an endorsement.”  I’d disagree. Sure it’s not an endorsement that it will be the best solution for your situation – however, it’s validation that it’s a viable option.  In truth, no one can tell us that a product will work in our environment, the best that we can hope for is that there’s broad validation that it’s been helpful for others.  So for me, endorsement isn’t the point.  Validation is.

 

This issue hasn’t changed in 15 years.  I wrote “A single Goliath or best of breed” in 2005 for Tech Republic.  The conversation hasn’t substantially changed since then.  (And I wasn’t talking about SharePoint back then.)

 

Rob

-------------------

Robert L. Bogue

O: (317) 844-5310  M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects.com/blog

Are you burned out?  https://ExtinguishBurnout.com can help you get out of it.

 

From: SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io> On Behalf Of Nick Milton via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 5:43 AM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Informal Poll - What system/tool/platform do you use for KM

 

As a bit of input to this debate, I published a blog post last week, https://www.nickmilton.com/2019/11/should-you-use-single-technology.html, which showed data on this question, with survey answers from 270 people world wide.

 

Among other things, the post shows that

 

  • 63% of respondents use more than one technology platform for KM
  • Which is not surprising given that there are multiple functions required from KM technology
  • The three most common technologies in use are SharePoint, “Other” categories (of which there are a myriad), and tools developed in house
  • 62% of organisations that use only one technology use SharePoint

 

The fact that SharePoint is so popular is shown by the data but should not necessarily be considered an endorsement. There are many things it does well, but there are many other KM functions where other technologies surpass it.  The answer, as with all technologies, is first to define what you need it to do for you,  then choose a technology suite that delivers the required functionality. And in nearly two thirds  of cases, that’s more than one technology tool.

 

Nick Milton
Knoco Ltd
www.knoco.com

www.facebook.com/knoco.ltd

www.linkedin.com/company/knoco-ltd
mobile +44 (0)7803 592947

email nick.milton@...

blog  www.nickmilton.com

twitter @nickknoco

Author of the recent book - "The Knowledge Manager’s Handbook"

 

"Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land." 
--Mark Lee

 


 

I am more interested to know about the open source system that works good for a small or medium organisations which can not afford to pay for sharepoint or other such services.

----
Deependra Tandukar
http://deependra.tandukar.net

A 'TEAM' is not a group of people who work together, rather it's a group of people who 'TRUST' each other.

-------- Original message --------
From: "Robert L. Bogue" <rbogue@...>
Date: 11/25/19 18:30 (GMT+05:45)
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Informal Poll - What system/tool/platform do you use for KM

Nick –

 

Normally, I’d let this flow by but the seriousness of the mischaracterization warrants a response.

 

Before responding directly, I’ll wholeheartedly agree that there are other platforms that are better than SharePoint in nearly every single category.  I have no desire to say that SharePoint is “best” for everything because it’s not.  It’s important that you (and everyone watching the conversation) realize that I’m quite happy to point out issues with SharePoint at both a micro and a macro level as I’ve done repeatedly in conversations with Microsoft, in conversations with clients, and publicly on my blog.

 

The article that you quote is fundamentally flawed.  While it reports that SharePoint search doesn’t work well for documents, it fails to acknowledge that really we’re down to two engines for internal search (SharePoint and SOLR derivatives).   It further fails to recognize that the problem with search isn’t search.  The problem is poor user behavior that makes it impossible to find content. I’m not implying the poor user behavior is intentional – far from it.  However, if you placed the same content in another engine, you’d have the same problems.  It’s a problem of not doing equal comparison.  It’s anecdotal responses “I don’t like it” – and that’s almost useless.

 

In terms of people search, we all know that people search is hard beyond the problems that SharePoint solved a decade ago regarding phonetic spelling.  There’s the greater KM issue that employees just don’t fill out their profiles – and once they do they fail to update them.  Microsoft several years ago introduced the Microsoft Graph which they surface through Delve.  The graph now informs Microsoft Search to help shape the relevance of people results.  There’s no one else in the market that has the capacity to leverage this intelligence for people search.  They simply don’t have the signals to convert into the edges of a social network analysis/graph.  While Delve is poorly conceived, the underlying Microsoft Graph technology is right and can help us find what we’re looking for.

 

So why is there this prejudice against SharePoint?  I believe there are two key reasons.  First, it’s a product with a long history and people have long memories.  It didn’t work well at Acme corporation a decade ago, so it’s still bad.  Second, it’s easy to implement (turn on) and so many people implement it without thought about how to organize it or derive value from it’s implementation.  The second one is more interesting.  You make a product that’s easy to use – and therefore easy to misuse – and so it, over time, develops a reputation for being hard to implement, difficult to use, etc.  Other platforms which require implementation teams don’t suffer from the same problems – not due to technical limitations – but as an artifact of the implementation process which the cheap product never got.  I’ve seen this dozens of times with clients.  They didn’t implement SharePoint with thought so they need to replace it.  They replace it with another system but resist the guidance from their experts to fix the structural issues and they land in the same boat.  The expectation that the “easy” product should be “easy” over time will pull down the feedback.  (We measure against expectations not a fixed point.)

 

From my point of view, this is a natural problem in the market of anything – but it doesn’t mean that as professionals we should continue to purvey it.  As professionals, I believe, we have a responsibility to move the practice forward rather than fall into the same traps that others are prone to falling into.

 

Getting back to the key point, you state “The fact that SharePoint is so popular is shown by the data but should not necessary be considered as an endorsement.”  I’d disagree. Sure it’s not an endorsement that it will be the best solution for your situation – however, it’s validation that it’s a viable option.  In truth, no one can tell us that a product will work in our environment, the best that we can hope for is that there’s broad validation that it’s been helpful for others.  So for me, endorsement isn’t the point.  Validation is.

 

This issue hasn’t changed in 15 years.  I wrote “A single Goliath or best of breed” in 2005 for Tech Republic.  The conversation hasn’t substantially changed since then.  (And I wasn’t talking about SharePoint back then.)

 

Rob

-------------------

Robert L. Bogue

O: (317) 844-5310  M: (317) 506-4977 Blog: http://www.thorprojects.com/blog

Are you burned out?  https://ExtinguishBurnout.com can help you get out of it.

 

From: SIKM@groups.io <SIKM@groups.io> On Behalf Of Nick Milton via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 5:43 AM
To: SIKM@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Informal Poll - What system/tool/platform do you use for KM

 

As a bit of input to this debate, I published a blog post last week, https://www.nickmilton.com/2019/11/should-you-use-single-technology.html, which showed data on this question, with survey answers from 270 people world wide.

 

Among other things, the post shows that

 

  • 63% of respondents use more than one technology platform for KM
  • Which is not surprising given that there are multiple functions required from KM technology
  • The three most common technologies in use are SharePoint, “Other” categories (of which there are a myriad), and tools developed in house
  • 62% of organisations that use only one technology use SharePoint

 

The fact that SharePoint is so popular is shown by the data but should not necessarily be considered an endorsement. There are many things it does well, but there are many other KM functions where other technologies surpass it.  The answer, as with all technologies, is first to define what you need it to do for you,  then choose a technology suite that delivers the required functionality. And in nearly two thirds  of cases, that’s more than one technology tool.

 

Nick Milton
Knoco Ltd
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Author of the recent book - "The Knowledge Manager’s Handbook"

 

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Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Hi,

Things that I see & hear here in Sydney:
- Office365 is everywhere. However in many organizations, it is basically an expensive cloud email platform as the other functionality is not being used. This is starting to change altho too often this is led by IT depts. So there is a broad spectrum of usage.
- GSuite is used a lot by smaller businesses.
- The suite of Cisco products is used (esp. in web conferencing). There is a bit of turf war between Cisco and Microsoft (and their respective champions within corporates) at the moment.
- Slack is used a lot (esp. by techies).
- The Jira/Confluence combo is used a lot (esp. by techies).
- Zoom is popular (because it's less hassle to set up than Microsoft Skype or Cisco so managers buy it on their credit cards).
- Box & Dropbox are used for file-sharing.
- Facebook Workplace is used a fair bit (esp. when corporate comms is run by the marketing dept).
- Knowledge managers in law firms use specialist document management tools like iManage.
- Knowledge Centred Services folk seem to use SalesForce or the knowledgebase module of their call centre software (e.g. Verint).

Many employees feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of systems available and the overlap between them. In part, this has always been the case but in the last decade, it has been exacerbated by the growth in SAAS-based shadow IT and the growing footprints of individual vendors ("hey, we can do everything too!")

Regards,

Matt


Aprill Allen
 

I'm in Melbourne (and a Knowledge Centered Service folk) and agree with a lot of what Matt has said. I move in a couple of different scenes: enterprise IT, where the clear majority are using ServiceNow, but I'm also hearing Ivanti Service Manager more often than I used to; and startups and digital native business where Slack, Zendesk, Jira/Confluence are all common. But there are some new names coming up that are worth a mention. Elevio is contextual in-app help that integrates with SaaS helpdesk platforms like Zendesk, Helpscout etc. And another one is Guru, which is a SaaS knowledge base that integrates with Slack and helpdesk platforms. 
I tend to stay around customer service/support/success functions, so I have very little to do with Sharepoint.

cheers,
Aprill 


James Robertson
 


On 26/11/19 9:25 am, Matt Moore via Groups.Io wrote:
Hi,


Many employees feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of systems available and the overlap between them. In part, this has always been the case but in the last decade, it has been exacerbated by the growth in SAAS-based shadow IT and the growing footprints of individual vendors ("hey, we can do everything too!")

Regards,

Matt

I agree completely with your observations Matt!

What's really scary is when larger organisations have *both* Office 365 and Workplace by Facebook, the former being deployed by IT, and the latter by internal comms.

This leads to a staggering level of overlap between Yammer/MS Teams/Workplace, even before you add the other tools such as Dropbox, etc...

The gap that we're seeing is the absence of an overarching purpose (or purposes) for going down the path of these cloud-based tools. Without clarity on the 'why', the 'how' very quickly devolves to a fairly useless 'what to use when' diagram...

Cheers,
James


    
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Step Two James Robertson
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