Universitetet i Oslo

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6 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 7 μέρες)

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Universitetet i Oslo

Institutt for informatikk


INF
5190
-

SPRING

200
4




Knowledge
Management
.

Analytical Project
.

Fast Search and
Transfer




Balkaran Singh

T. Helge Heldre

7. november 2013








2


INTRODUCTION

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...............

3

M
AIN
L
INE OF
I
NTEREST

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...

3

HISTORY AN
D BACKGROUND OF FAST

SEARCH AND TRANSFER

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..............

5

PRODUCTS
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5

INFRASTRUCTURE
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6

KM ROUTINES

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7

M
ANAGEMENT

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7

T
OOLS

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................................
.

8

MS SharePoint

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8

Knowledge
-
system for recording experiences with customers

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.......

8

Web publishing

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8

Seminars an
d Webinars

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................................
.

8

P
ROCESSES AND

ENABLERS


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9

TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE

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................................
.

9

T
ACIT KNO
WLEDGE

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...........

9

E
MBEDDED KNOWLEDGE

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...

9

CONCLUSION

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10


3

Introduction


FAST search and Transfer

(FAST)
, which is
the company’s full name has been in
contact with many of the key players of information gathering or retrieving.
Cooperation’s like IBM and Reuters are just two of businesses that demand the
extraordinary of its partners. Therefore FAST is a great choice o
f modern Norwegian
businesses to look into.


We have looked into both the company FAST and the Enterprise Search Platform
(ESP) solutions, which is FAST’s main product. We wanted to look at FAST’s modes
of business. The reason for this is the company’s str
ong position as a knowledge
business within Norway. They have a strong profile and have been one of the
survivors of the e
-
death.


We have read up extensively on the information on their website and have talked to
one of the senior managers at their site
in Oslo.


The main difficulty of FAST and other creators of ESP as we see it is to convince of
the necessity of search engines as a part of a company strategy. While

this
is
apparent

to some actors like Reuters
,

it is not often so obvious for smaller actor
s in the

market.
While this was our view
, we believed that FAST’s solutions could be a good tool




Main Line of Interest


FAST Search and Transfer have developed a search engine to counter different
problems faced by organizations while searching for info
rmation. Their products also
help organizations to assemble and analyze relevant information. Their main fields
of interest are:


● Regulatory & Compliance

F
or efficient, centralized storage of information
.

Rapid and
intelligent
retrieval of information. N
otification when
compliance goes out of line.


● Database Performance

T
o offload read
-
only queries from existing

systems to impr
ove
transaction performance

and dramatically reduce costs.


● Financial Services Industry Applications
-

D
etecting and preventing money laundering activity.


● Law Enforcement Applications

F
or catching child pornographers and other types of criminals.



4

● Ph
armaceutical Product Development Applications

T
o accelerate the pipeline.


● Maximizing Sales

I
n competitive e
-
Commerce environments.




5

History and background of FAST Search and transfer


FAST
(Fast Search a
nd Transfer)

is
one
of the leading computer orie
nted
technology
organizations in

the whole of Scandinavia

today. T
hey are

also

rapidly
acquiring
both international acumen and goodwill
.


Founded

in 1997, FAST is the outgrowth

of academic research and development
from the Norwegian University of Science
and Technology (NTNU). With over 30
PhDs on staff, and over ten years of R&D,
they
are academics and technologists who
live to tackle seemingly insurmountable search challenges.

1

The purpose of such an
alli
ance has been to help clients and partners in yie
lding revenue by means of FAST
integrated search an
d real
-
time filter te
chnologies.

They enlisted their company in
Oslo Stock Exchange in 2001 and have not looked back since.



They
create
,”

the real
-
time search and filter technology solutions that are b
ehind the
scenes at some of the world's best known companies with the most demanding
search problems.

FAST's flexible and scalable integrated technology platform spans both Internet and
enterprise customers, and elevates search to unprecedented levels. FA
ST closes the
gap between information and action, connecting people to the relevant information
they seek regardless of medium, in turn driving revenue and reducing total cost of
ownership by effectively leveraging IT infrastructure for our clients and wor
ld
-
class
partners.

2



Products


FAST Enterprise Search Platform
(
ESP
)

is the only enterprise
search platform that
gives companies a single point of access to all of their enterprise information


in real
time, regardless of data format, structure, or loca
tion. As a result, organizations using
FAST ESP gain a complete 360° view of their enterprises, giving them the perspective
to make better
-
informed, more effective decisions that, ultimately, drive their bottom
lines.


FAST ESP is the underlying technology

of the new portfolio of FAS
T Data Search

solutions, which are specifically formulated for high
-
value enterprise functions that
can directly impact revenue. Among these are:


F
AST Data Search for Site Search

delivers speed, relevancy, accuracy, drill
-
down

options, international scope, and enterprise
-
specific taxonomy and lexicons to
organizations with public
-
facing Web sites.




1

FAST’s history
is taken from
their site at
www.fastsearch.com/us/company/fast_facts


2

This excerpt is taken from
FAST’s site at
www.fastsearch.com/us/company



6


FAST Data Search for Compliance

helps organizations comply with data
-
intensive
regulatory mandates by providing a single access po
int to find and retrieve
documents, transactions, e
-
mails, and instant messages pertinent to a specific subject
without the time and expense typically associated with this crucial and necessarily
exhaustive task.


FAST Data Search for eCommerce™ offers online retailers the ability to quickly
provide their customers with the most relevant product information. Brand and
business managers maintain complete control over the response dynamics of search
results through th
e use of FAST’s Business Manager’s Control Panel™. Analyzing
interaction records with built
-
in

LiveAnalytics™ capabilities also enable

business managers to better understand
customer patterns and adjust or create greater revenue opportunities.


FAST Data

Search for Intranet™ creates and continually maintains an instantly
searchable index of the entire enterprise collection of structured and unstructured
data within an organization’s Intranet.


FAST Data Search 360™ presents organizations with the most co
mplete search
solution for retrieving highly relevant information from their enterprise, be it from
any number of global databases, their intranet, or the Web.
3


A real interesting side to the search engine has been the development of a white
-
washing disc
overer, which they hope is going to use within the banking sector,
among others.



Infrastructure


The company is divided into many sub units across the globe. Their main offices are
in Oslo and Boston. The main developing unit is in Brevik. Apart from the
se three
they have offices in Tokyo, Western USA, Munich; which is developing or rather
fitting products for the customers and sales. Sales only offices are situated in London,
Washington, Chicago and New York. They also have representatives in Italy.


Num
ber of people is divided by tasks
,

so Oslo, Brevik and Boston have the main part
of the approximately 200 employees within FAST.

The other offices support from 2 to
10 employees. The company language is English, which all communication is based
upon.





3

Info
r
mation about FAST tools and products has been taken from

their web site
.


7

With
in the company, offices, and infrastructure for the employees are
important
,
and

they take advantage of digital networks for their day to day business. All employees
have computers at their desk, with a supplementary
laptop for most.


The company’s main fo
cus of information flow is the intranet, witch all employees
has access to at any computer within the company. Within the intranet again, they
can access the repository, application tools, own tools, and discussion forums.


Although the
company is

a knowle
dge based company, dedicated knowledge
positions do not exist within the company. They have instead divided the
responsibilities of knowledge gathering an
d

management to all staff members with
specific responsibilities for the project managers.



KM Routin
es


Management

Information management is considered of the utmost importance in the organization.
Both human and technological resources of knowledge are deemed essential for the
purposes of knowledge retention and sharing.


In FAST, employees have an int
ernal network (intranet) to seek and convey
information and knowledge to their colleagues.


FAST also employs an information repository


a database where information (both
technical and
other relative
) is stored.

This repository is mostly used for the pu
rposes
of software storage.


As most products (programs) are developed by a number of programmers or
software engineers, there rises a need to store the assembled code at one place. And
as each programmer completes his code in parts


giving in each part
as it is
completed;

each set of code hand
ed in is controlled and verified

by the programmer’s
respective project manager
.

The sole purpose of the presence of a project leader or
manager is to maintain order in the repository and the assembled code, and not

to
bring negativity, ill
-
feeling and paranoia among colleagues and employees.
The
programmers though do not have the privilege to store the code by themselves
, and
the code has to go through a project manager to be added to the work
-
in
-
progress
.

It
is lik
e constructing a building


adding block after

block and storey after storey.




8

Tools

MS
SharePoint

MS SharePoi
nt
facilitate
s

collaboration within an organization and with partners and
customers. Using the combined collaboration features of Windows SharePo
int
Services and SharePoint Po
rtal Server 2003,
4

users in the
organization can easily
create, manage, and

build their own w
eb sites and make them availa
ble throughout
the organization, and in this way helping create a more cooperative organization

where kn
owledge and information of each employee is
put
forth on his internal site,
and can be accessed

by colleagues when they require information
.



Knowledge
-
system for recor
ding experiences with customers


Due to diversity in th
eir clientele, FAST use a knowledge system for recording
experiences. MS SharePoint is going to be put to use later on in 2004

for such
purposes, but as per today knowledge and experiences are noted down in the
information repository.

E
ach employee who is
and has been in contact with a client
posts his experiences with that client
at the repository. In these customer descriptions
the personal side of the client, his requirements and his
presentation are described.
These postings are also marked with the tim
e, the validity of the posting and the
employee who posted it. These postings are helpful in rendering information to other
employees who want to prepare themselves
before meetings with the respective
clients.



Web publishing


FAST uses tools like Wiki fo
r the purposes of publishing on the web.
Wiki is a piece
of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using
any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has simple text syntax for creating
new pages and cross links betwe
en internal pages on the fly.

They also use
EasyPublish for web publishing

and editing web pages
.


Seminars

and Webinars

Regular knowledge enhancing seminars are held for employees to attend and get
updated in their respective fields as to where developmen
t in both FAST and the
market
stands

the knowledge that already exists or that is to be gained for future
dealings.


Another form which is very commonly used in the organization for the purpose of
conveying knowledge is Webinars. A
w
ebinar is a session or

a seminar relayed on
the web


both internal and world wide. The benefits of this
kind of seminars are that
they are accessible from the comforts of ones home and office, and these Webinars
can be stored for the purposes of later viewing and reference.




4

Formal information about MS SharePoint has been t
aken from
www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/



9



Processes and “enablers”

The major clients are assigned at least one manager who deals with the specific and
special requirements of client assigned him. He is aware of the needs of that client
and has a relatively better (intimate) relationship with the
workings of his client. His
job is to convey those needs and requirements to the product
-
developing team, and
to see to it that the final product is an approximation of, if not exactly what the client
demands. He can be placed with the client too.


Miles
tone meetings with the clients are held to track detours and get feedback on the
product. This feedback is conveyed to the lower level developers to maintain the
requirements of the client.



Types of Knowledge


Tacit knowledge

FAST being a technology comp
any
, means it

depends on the technical ability of its
employees for most of the knowledge and informa
tion. The resources are
mainly the
employees i.e.

their memory
of algorithms and programming languages
.

But tacit
knowledge does not stop at that, the beha
viour and the out of the ordinary routines
that the employees follow during their day to day working are also something

that
the employees gain out of experience, and this experience is not explicitly put down
and stored somewhere for future reference.




Embedded knowledge

Storing an
d

maintaining data is as described mainly done through the intranet and
the repositories.
In the future also MS share point will be used to store information.
As all information at this point is gathered within the comput
ers of the salesmen, the
upcoming use of Sharepoint will have a large effect of information share within the
sales area. The intranet with the repositories and webinars all have the potential of
gathering the necessary information and knowledge from the ke
y workers
using

it
.
Storing the information is also being done for future reference. Although this is great,
the use of FAST’s
own platform for search across different digital media
, could have
been done in a more extensive way
. The use of multiple kinds o
f software and
hardware will be easier incorporated with the ability to search the embedded
knowledge regardless of form.




10

Conclusion


FAST Search and Transfer have a

good concept of
the existing knowledge within the
company. However
good their
understand
ing

of the knowledge
enclosed in the
company,
we feel that there are some aspects which they do not take into
consideration that could help them preserve the knowledge within the company
rather than within the individual.


Generally, o
ne of the key aspect
s of
why knowledge incentives do

not
work

is that
the
finances are

not in
order, or that the company is not behind the effort. This is two
sides of the same coin, to induce motivation for the effort is important,
and

to more
readily do so, employees must h
ave some factors in order.


First people will
be
most likely motivated by positive and negative factors, but this
being a mind effort, negative motivation will not work that well. Positive rewards are
however going to motivate.
Negative motivation comes i
n form of for example peer
pressure, negative critique and fear of getting fired. Negative motivation will sooner
make the individual regard his own interest sooner than the firms
,

making the whole
process stagnant and possibly misdirected.


Things like mo
netary
rewards

and new positions within the firm are
substantial
positive motivational factors
. These are good
solutions

for rewarding the knowledge
sharers within the company, but a simple acknowledgment within the intranet or a
price for best knowledge sharer/stealer can be equally effective.
The other side of
this is that all employees need to feel that it is ok to share

their information rather
than sit on it. Knowledge hoarding as it is called will eventually strangle all
knowledge
efforts of the company
,

making it impossible to work fluently
,

and if the
knowledgeable people quit... all information is gone.


Secondly pe
ople within the firm must feel that it i
s not only ok to share but to a
c
quire
information. Here FAST has good experience with employees taking on new tasks

which make them update their own
knowledge. This is also connected to knowledge
hoarding, if knowled
ge is freely shared among the staff, the company’s knowledge as
a whole will increase,
making

it far more resilient towards loosing knowledge
personnel.