- Four P’s of Marketing
In a paragraph, relate B2B to the four P’s of marketing (product, price, placement, promotion). Then, describe a B2B exchange and identify how it demonstrates the four P’s. Prepare your response in 200 words and respond to two other learners.
- BtoB Magazine
- Knowledge Management
- Read Case 6.1, EC Application – Knowledge Management at Infosys Technologies. Identify the knowledge management cycle, found in exhibit 6.6, in this case, applying each entity such as create, capture, refine, etc. to the case and briefly explaining each one. Then, explore the broader question of how knowledge management is related to e-commerce. Prepare your response in 200 words and respond to two other learners.
CASE 6.1 EC Application: KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AT INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES
Infosys Technologies, a global software services company based in India, is a worldwide leader in outsourcing. With over 23,000 employees and globally distributed operations, Infosys develops IT solutions for some of the largest corporations in the world. During the past 10 years, Infosys has experienced annual growth of 30 percent. Infosys faced a challenge of keeping its large employee base up-to-date, staying ahead of both its competitors and clients, and ensuring that the lessons learned in one part of the organization were available to its consultants so they could reuse the knowledge accumulated in the company. The company’s motto is “Learn once, use anywhere.” The company’s vision is that every instance of learning within Infosys should be available to every employee. But how does an organization turn such a vision into a reality?
Infosys Technologies’ effort to convert each employee’s knowledge into an organizational asset started in the early 1990s and extended well into the first decade of the 2000s.
In the early 1990s, Infosys launched its bodies of knowledge (BOK) initiative, which involved encouraging employees to provide written accounts of their experiences across various topics, such as technologies, software development, and living abroad. These experiences were then shared in hard-copy form with all other employees. This early effort ballooned into a full-fledged KM effort supported by e-mail, bulletin boards, and various knowledge repositories. In 1996, a corporate intranet was developed to make BOKs, in HTML format, easily accessible to all. In 1999, Infosys began an organization-wide program to integrate the various knowledge initiatives. A central knowledge portal was created, called KShop, and although the KM group developed the technology infrastructure, local groups were encouraged to maintain their own content on KShop.
The content of KShop consisted of different content types—BOKs, case studies, reusable artifacts, and downloadable software—each with its own homepage. Content was carefully categorized by the KM group to ensure that as the amount of content increased, it would still be possible for people to quickly find what they needed.
236 237In early 2000, Infosys appeared to have a very functional KM system, and yet patronage by employees remained low. The KM group therefore initiated a reward scheme to increase both use and contribution. The scheme gave employees who contributed to KShop knowledge currency units (KCUs) that could be accumulated and exchanged for monetary rewards or prizes.
As you can see, KM initiatives are much more than the implementation of technology tools to allow employees to create or document knowledge. Infosys’s KM initiatives involved processes to organize knowledge, to categorize knowledge, and to rate knowledge usefulness, as well as strategies to encourage knowledge sharing and reuse.
Within a year of the introduction of the incentive KCU scheme, 2,400 new knowledge assets had been contributed to KShop by some 20 percent of Infosys’s employees. However, as the volume of content increased, so, too, did problems relating to finding the needed information. Moreover, the heavy growth in contributions taxed the limited number of volunteer reviewers, who served an important quality-control function. The KM group therefore modified the KCU incentive scheme. It developed a new KCU scheme that rated the usefulness of knowledge from the perspective of the users of the knowledge, rather than the reviewers. And, to increase accountability, the KM group requested tangible proof to justify any high ratings. Finally, the KM group raised the bar for cashing in KCU points for monetary awards.
- 1. Why are consulting organizations interested in KM?
- 2. Identify the KM cycle in this case.
- 3. Why is a reward system beneficial? Compare the old and new reward systems.
- 4. Why was using a single portal beneficial?