The concept of Knowledge Management was first introduced over two decades ago. Knowledge management (KM) is the process of capturing, developing, sharing and effectively using organization’s internal knowledge. Mostly all organizations have aligned some resources for knowledge management, as a part of managing the business strategy, information technology and majorly for HR management department. Knowledge management efforts typically focus on organisational objectives such as improved performance,competitive advantage, innovation, integration, and continuous improvement.

One of the leading solution for Knowledge Management is SharePoint technology. SharePoint is an industry-leading document management system, making it very good at storing explicit knowledge in the form of files, lists and user based information. This type of knowledge can be stored in a variety of formats which can be categorized with metadata. Content can easily be searched, and secured with the fine-grained SharePoint permission model.

Same way Office 365 is also having the potential to be very powerful platform for Knowledge Management, instant messaging, web, video conferncing, document storage, intranet / extranet portal. Previously there was only one way of sharing document within team/department and that too file sharing via FTP (large files) or mail (Small files). Office 365 gives you various options of sharing a document. You can share a document via team site, share your document from OneDrive for Business, use a group or create a post in Yammer.

The problem with knowledge management (KM) is a user experience that fails to align as the complexity of requirements increases. Users cannot relate their thinking mechanisam with the system of records. Whenever a new tool is released for knowledge management for our work, we have asummed that this is the right tool and we were changing and amending our work process according to the tool. At initial stage, Knowledge management concept was very narrow and with limited approach. Most of the tools were used just to create team site for document management or create community site for internal users.

Now, it’s time to change the technology as per our requirement and as per our work process. Yes, technology is getting better and enabling us to do more, faster, and definitely with fewer customizations. However actual implementation of Office 365 is more challenging. Office 365 comes with many features; it can be confusing to say how and when users should use each feature. There are certain features which will definitely meet the users and department need without major hiccups but still correct use of the new feature is very important. Hence training and implementation of the new technology like O365 must be done by the professional team to avoid such problems.

Office 365 allows employees to be mobile, providing access to information from any device while they are on the go which means they don’t have to be in the office with their desks. Office 365 users can see which of their colleagues are online, contact them immediately and ask for the information whatever they need. It’s just like sharing a physical office with co-workers where you are discussing matters in the meeting room or lean over cubicle walls and ask your co-worker a quick question.

To have these benefits, Office 365 integrates the following forms of communication:

  • Primary form of communication in most of organizations is Email (Exchange mailbox).

  • For storage, sharing and searching of document use OneDrive for Business

  • For video calling, conferencing and instant messaging use Skype.

  • For effective ongoing discussion thread which improves transparency and promotes open discussion within an organization use Yammer.

To build the powerful and strong KM platform, we need to implement following solutions:

  • Knowledge distribution should be improved and it should be quick

  • Define and refine knowledge, content, metadata or tags for search engine

  • Based on the refined knowledge search engine should provide accurate result.

  • Use hybrid patterns to avoid legality and security issues.

Search is a combination of relevance, refinement, and people. Search tools have become advanced, they are integrated with the different engines and leverage knowledge graphs, linking content, data, applications and functions through flexible connectors. O365 gives facility to customize the search experience for users. This customization includes defining searchable managed properties in the search schema, identifying high-quality pages to improve relevance, managing query rules and result sources, and removing individual results. You can also evaluate any changes by viewing reports about usage and search

Next generation of SharePoint technology will be very powerful. There will be more opportunities as workload will be distributed between on-premise and cloud which helps to become more focused on each and every area. This will avoid redundancy and it will give us better governance model for knowledge management.

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Posted by Ravindra Satpute

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