Salesforce® in Knowledge Management
Sudarsan R, Consultant
Salesforce® in Knowledge Management
“Today Knowledge has Power, it controls access to opportunities and advancement”
What makes an Organization effective?
This question is yet to be answered. Technology, Human Capital Management, Financial Management and Resource Management can be only a fraction of the truth; the true effectiveness of an organization can be achieved through Leadership and key-decision making Mechanism, leveraged by Knowledge management.
Before going in to that, let’s define Knowledge and how does it differs from Data and Information. Data is just a set of facts, concepts and statistics. When data is processed, categorised, analysed and structured, it becomes Information. Knowledge is the combination of Data and information combined with experience, expert opinions and skills resulting in a valuable asset and this knowledge will drive Decision making in the Organisation.
What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge is a potential energy and an energy should be utilized and applied to get the desired outcome, thus Knowledge needs to be channelled properly through the hierarchy of an Organisation. Hence, Knowledge Management came into existence. Knowledge Management is the art of transforming information and intellectual assets into enduring value for an organization’s clients and its people. The key pillars of Knowledge Management are Learning, Leadership, Organisation and Technology.
In today’s world, the Organisation is ready to improve and the culture is into learning and development. The leaders are creating the vision and working with subordinates to achieve them, but the key missing factor is the technology. The Knowledge can only be utilized if “the right information is given to the right people at the right time in the right way”. This is where the Knowledge Management fails.
What’s the role of technology in Knowledge Management?
Technology is an instrument in a collection of processes that govern the creation, dissemination and utilisation of Knowledge to fulfil organizational objectives. In order to make Knowledge Management effective, the system must support easy sharing, upload, access and retrieval of data. The data must be secure and the data visibility should be based on the user and the department he belongs to. The information should be tagged with the necessary data for validation. The system should have good user interface and experience and should make the data more interactive, i.e., options to present it in a graphical content.
All the requirement demanded by Knowledge Management Systems come as a Standard functionality in the world’s leading CRM provider, Salesforce. Salesforce is cloud-based platform, making the information available everywhere and at anytime. It is very secure and can be accessible from any part of the world – even in mobile phones with a simple internet connection. As it is role based, the access to the system is restricted, so right information for the right people.
Chatter, the built-in application in Salesforce, which allows the users to connect with people and share business information securely and in real-time has features: Feeds, Profiles, Groups, and more to share information, collaborate and keep up with the latest updates, both inside the Organization and with the clients.
In order for a Knowledge to be effective, it needs to be continuous and complete, right from its origin it should be mapped, which in Salesforce is Out-of-the-box feature where data with its meta data will be captured in the required chronological order.
A Knowledge Management System should have the capacity to reach a wider audience while still being secure. Knowledge Base in Salesforce is built from knowledge articles, which are documents of information. Articles can include information on process, people, workflows etc. Experienced peers and internal writers’ articles can be published to a range of channels: internal database, customer and partner communities or public websites. Where and what information is published is based on the access given to the users, keeping the information secure and available to the right people.
Also, it’s important that before planning a Knowledge Management System, one should consider a company’s needs while developing a strategy for capturing and publishing your expertise. With a robust knowledge base, sharing can be faster and even give rise to knowledge of its own.
Thus, setting up Knowledge Management System is like “choosing your Organization’s own adventure”. There are many features and options and it’s up to the Organization to decide which ones are right for them. So with Salesforce, the Knowledge Management System becomes easier, cheaper and effective.