2Know Magazine: Sharing KM Knowledge
2Know: Sharing KM Knowledge
April 2016 - Magazine No. 199
April 2016 - Magazine No. 199
Written By (Staff)

Computing clouds enable users to access information stored in cloud servers from anywhere and using any means of access: PC/laptop, tablet or Smartphone. Users (both business and private) rent from suppliers a service which provides them with a computing force accessed from distance (usually via the internet) thus sparing the user/business from purchasing and managing the computing software and hardware this requires.


There are different aspects to using computing clouds:

  • IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service): In these cases, computing cloud suppliers supply infrastructural elements such as: physical computing resources, location, data partitions, rating, security and backup.
  • PAAS (Platform as a Service): in these cases the suppliers offer a developing environment for application developers such as: an operation system, an implementation system- programming language, databases, internet servers. Application developers can develop and operate their software solutions on a cloud platform minus the cost and complexity of purchasing and managing the required hardware and software. Examples of these platforms are: Microsoft Azure and Google App Engine.
  • SAAS (Software as a Service): In these cases, computing cloud suppliers enable users to operate software and application from any location minus the need to manage the platform on which the application operates. This option eliminates the need to install software and operate the application on organization computers as well as the need to manage the platform in which the application operates. This simplifies the organization's need for physical maintenance required for using the application. The pricing model for SAAS applications is usually a fixed monthly or yearly fee for each user.





Utilizing computing clouds in the field of Knowledge Management:

Computing clouds have been found to be a useful tool for KM in organizations, namely through SAAS services which meet the needs of KM-related elements.

  • Document sharing and management: Google Drive, for example, enables saving files and folders which can be accessed from anywhere. Furthermore, this service enables sharing files with other organization workers as well as joint work on files minus the bother of merging versions.
  • Portals, Databases, websites and knowledge communities: It is possible to use computing cloud services in order to create knowledgebases and websites and adapt them to organizational needs: to create information architecture that is relevant to the organization and to establish applications suitable for the database. For example, the SharePoint 365 platform in the cloud environment enables setting up portals, websites and knowledge communities both for intra-organizational needs and for the establishment of external websites. This service also enables small and medium-sized organizations to set up intra-organizational websites which do not involve the cost and knowledge usually required in order to install and utilize SharePoint in the organization.
  •   KM solutions service center: in a KM solutions service center solution in a cloud environment one can use content templates and page presentations for organizations with similar organizational structures and responsibilities such as authorities of sorts. Thus, an authority based on a cloud KM solution can quickly set up a directory by sharing and using another authority's templates based on the same solution. For more on the subject click here.



 Source: http://www.mendelu.cz/dok_server/slozka.pl?id=57208;download=97661



In conclusion, cloud services provide small organizations the possibility to access their required organizational information from anywhere regardless of their ability to invest in the required technological infrastructure.








 Knowledge Management deals with the flow of knowledge in and between organizations. A substantial portion of this knowledge is concealed in emails.

This is a seemingly positive finding since the email protocol is an excellent knowledge conveying channel. It is available and familiar; it is simple and comfortable; it instantly bridges over gaps of culture, time and distance. Even the harshest of critics admit its superior appliance. Yet this simplicity is precisely the fly in the ointment since for the last two decades it has caused the catastrophe of email overload; this is perhaps the most painful aspect of the data overload issue. In this brave, new world created by the internet, people waste their time and energy desperately attempting to empty their email inbox; besides the harm to cognition, creativity, organizational efficiency and general quality of life, this everflowing stream of incoming emails harms Knowledge Management. This vast amount (a daily 100 incoming  emails is typical) can hardly be read by its reciever; this turns the inbox into a knowledge quicksand, a black hole in which knowledge disappears. The biggest problem is that senders aren’t even aware of the unfortunate fate of their messages. One sends and forgets, the other receives and ignores.

It’s not that receivers don’t try to read their emails; but with limited time on their hands, they open only the most urgent emails, even if they are not the most important ones. Emails containing lots of data are usually regarded as “important yet not urgent” and slip into the virtual abyss.

Furthermore, knowledge retainment in retrievable form is very difficult since search tools featured in most email applications are too crude to be considered a solution. There are few organizations that implement advanced and expensive tools that enable a comprehensive search throughout the entire organization. These tools are relevant for structured organizational knowledge; this does not apply to emails. In short, an enormous untapped pool of knowledge scattered between users which is inaccessible even to its holder.

Some suggested solutions are methodological: several approaches recommend sorting incoming mail in order to empty the inbox more quickly. These solutions are insufficient and can be analogized to one trying dry up a river using a spoon being offered a ladle. The flow will rage on; there is a limit to how many emails one can consciously manage each day. I believe the solutions requires accepting the fact that the current situation does not allow users to read or answer all emails. The next stage is suggesting solutions that involve detecting and prioritizing the emails deemed worth a read or response. It is easier to accept that workers treat only a small portion of emails when we know that these are the most important and relevant emails at the moment.

AI software solutions are being currently developed. They will probably feature the following abilities:

  • Analyzing messages and comprehending their meaning and relevance in current work context, while considering the relationship between the different parties as well as the time the receiver has on his/her hands and the subject of the correspondence.
  • Studying the user’s manner of conduct in different situations overtime.
  • Tagging mail for future treatment (notifications scheduled for relevant date only).
  • Context-sensitive search engine that prioritizes messages vital for the user’s current needs. This is a possible solution for the second problem I mentioned  (identifying and retrieving emails “buried” in the system).

These tools can solve the dissonance between email and KM: users know that this flood isn’t going to stop anytime soon, yet due to the ability to prioritize emails according to current personal priorities they can intelligently approach the right data at the right time according to each worker’s goals. The computer gave us email overload, it is only right to exploit it for solutions.


Oded Avital is the vice president of Knowmail which develops software addressing email overload in organizations. For further details, contact Oded at oded.avital@knowmail.me

Have you ever noticed the vast amount of messages and notifications you receive via your Smartphone on a daily basis? You probably have.

Nearly all applications or mobile-adapted websites send “push” messages displayed on browsers’ screens throughout the day, especially during periods in which he or she isn’t actively utilizing the app/website. This can be viewed as a sort of immediate, personal and mostly polite way to say “hello”.

Many adjectives can be used to describe these messages: bothersome, relevant, interesting, etc. They are however definitely not ignorable.

Most people report that that they would prefer to opt out of receiving these notifications as they are a nuisance and a distraction. However, studies indicate that those who do not turn off these messages actually become more connected the app/web and use it for longer periods of time.

Anyone who views these messages as a powerful tool that can contribute to involvement and direct communication can benefit from the following tips.

Think: what is the “correct” amount of messages for your website/application. The most common mistake in the field is to send more notifications than the user can handle. Customize the amount and frequency of messages according to app/web type. Messages from a social network such as Facebook is quite different than being notified that your Pou is hungry/thirsty (if you don’t know what a Pou is, go look it up!)

Study your users and send them messages relevant to them. Don’t send them messages just because you can. Taylor each user’s relevant message and consider his/her browsing properties and preferences. Customized content is a critical component in transforming messages from annoying to enjoyable.

Make sure you limit both the amount and length of messages and keep the content friendly and concise. Send messages when users are most likely to be available to both read and act upon them. Work hours, for example, are less preferable. When not dealing with substantial urgency, send messages during the evening or late afternoon. When dealing with users from various countries, remember to adapt this tip according to the relevant timelines.   

What else?

  • Make sure you get the user’s consent before sending him/her messages.
  • Present the user the advantages of receiving these messages.
  • Emphasize the fact that you’ve adapted the content to his/her preferences.
  • Allow users to choose to join later and/or easily cancel at will.
  • Equally important is reviewing the messages before contacting the user. Review both content and technology in order to ensure that the message, once sent, indeed attains its goal.





Written by Rom Knowledgeware
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