Lotus and its parent company, IBM, yesterday announced at the Lotusphere user conference in Florida this week, that they had formed a research consortium to build and deploy knowledge management products.
The Institute for Knowledge Management (IKM) is sponsored by its members, which include General Motors, Xerox, the World Bank, and Boston and Stanford universities. Membership is open to any interested parties prepared to pay the fee of $75,000 a year.
IKM will be managed by Chris Newell, director of the Lotus Institute, Laurance Prusak, managing principal of the IBM consulting Group in Boston, and David Smith, a knowledge management consultant for IBM Global Services.
Prusak said the organisation had been set up to respond to the dramatic rise in interest among IT executives for capturing and capitalising on the knowledge management base in their organisations.
"In the emerging economy, a firm's only sustainable advantage is its ability to leverage and utilise its knowledge. But there has been a distinct shortage of knowledge management research and resources available to corporate IT executives to date," he explained.
"While many technology tools and product sets have emerged for knowledge management, basic prerequisites to successful knowledge management implementations have often been overlooked, including fundamental first steps such as analysing social context and setting a sound knowledge strategy," he added.
Newell also said that the IKM's research agenda would be set by executives from among its corporate members, who would participate in the ongoing research as sponsors, test site hosts and reviewers.
In return they receive IKM research reports and the opportunity to collaborate with fellow members on knowledge management issues and developments.
The first IKM meeting will take place at the end of this month in New York.
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