Knowledge management software (KM) is used to manage the way that information is collected, stored, and retrieved within an organization. Enterprise-level knowledge management systems enable companies, schools, and hospitals to reduce customer support costs, improve employee productivity, and streamline disparate information systems. With call-center applications, knowledge management software may be used by both customers and technical support personnel. For example, customers can review frequently asked questions (FAQs) while technicians access more detailed information archives. Other businesses may also use knowledge management software to share company documents and procedures among employees at one or more locations. This information architecture replaces traditional email and network fileservers, and ensures that all users can access the same version of a document at the same time.
Knowledge Managment Types
Knowledge management software ranges from software packages for personal use to highly-specialized enterprise solutions for large numbers of employees. Products for personal use include brainstorming software, a type of knowledge management software for capturing ideas. Enterprise-wise applications are used by hospitals, corporations, schools, and universities. Features may include a text editor, data imports, custom fields, document versioning, scheduled publishing, data recovery, and custom reports. Some knowledge management systems require a personal computer (PC), a software license, and an operating system (OS) such as Microsoft Windows. Typically, these applications feature client-server architecture. Web-based knowledge management software is also available. These systems do not require machine-based software licenses and offer access from multiple workstations. Knowledge management software differs in terms of specifications and features. With Windows-based applications, system requirements such as Windows version and random access memory (RAM) are the most important specifications to consider.
Knowledge Management Operation
With regard to features, products with publishing capabilities allow users to share documents, typically from a Web browser. Lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) integration provides a standard for querying and modifying directory services. Some knowledge management software allows users to email attachments, search for information based on metadata or custom fields, select themes or document templates, and print finished documents. Other knowledge management applications feature reporting and statistical analysis capabilities. Typically, such reports indicate the frequency with which customers, employees, and other personnel use the knowledge base.