Tuesday, January 23, 2007

IBM Connections and knowledge mapping

A couple of days ago IBM annouced their new collaboration suite: IBM Connections. It's planned to be shipped in the first quarter of 2007. What's in it?
"The IBM package includes five applications: profiles, where employees post information about their expertise and interests; communities, which are formed and managed by people with common interests; activities, which are used to manage group projects; bookmarks, where people share documents and Web sites with others; and blogs, where people post ongoing commentaries. "The business market is showing a lot of interest in using social networking tools to improve productivity. It's about helping people find experts and the information they need to get their jobs done," says Steve Mills, the general manager of the software group at IBM (IBM). The commercial version of the package is to be delivered in the second quarter.
(...)
During an IBM demonstration of Lotus Connections, it was clear that the product is easy to use and potentially powerful. Rather than relying on employees to load their work files into an old-fashioned knowledge management program, the new technology allows them to quickly attach electronic tags to important documents and interesting Web pages, and have them collected and updated behind the scenes by the software."
This packaging is interesting, and IBM is clearly going head on with Microsoft (Sharepoint). I'm curious what Connections looks like and how it works. (I couldn't find an IBM webpages that gives me more insight at the moment. So, we'll wait a while.)
I do have a question up front: the issues in knowledge mapping has not been: can we build/offer a tool in which we can share our expertise/hobbies? Lots of tools offer that. I think the issue is: how can we fill those tools easily and, most important, how can we keep that information up-to-date? Furthermore, my view on my knowledge/expertise is interesting to share, but it's even more interesting to know what others think of you? My expertise/knowledge is not only based on what I thing about it, but what my place in the social network looks like. E.g. do others know and experience my expertise in a certain area? I'm curious how Connections addresses these issues.


Samuel

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