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So, roughly speaking, you can divide the exhibitors at KM Europe into two categories:

1. Search engine vendors
2. Content Management vendors (in all flavors as ECM, WCM, DM, DAM, DRM, etc.)

There are some specialized vendors like service providers, syndication / publication companies and so on but this is a minority.

Category 1 (search engine vendors) are e.g. FAST, Verity, Autonomy, Google and others. Main focus for those is to restrict the number of hits the user is exposed to to the most relevant ones. Clever linkage between information and finding all kinds of relations between documents are key.
Also popular are of course connectors into all kind of content sources – mostly provided by partners that take care of the connector maintenance.

Category 2 (content management vendors) are e.g. EMC/Documentum, FileNet, Opentext/IXOS and others. Focus in here is providing a complete suite for Enterprise Content Management that should hold all of your unstructured information. In addition, most vendors provide connectors to other content management systems to get this content into their ‘grip’ as well and make it available to the user in the frontend of the respective solution.

So, how and what is SAP doing in this space ?
Well, SAP has a variety of solutions and components that do play in this area:
The SAP Enterprise Portal, Knowledge Management with its embedded search engine TREX and the Collaboration capabilities of SAP NetWeaver are surely the most prominent components that come to mind. Since for some attendants (see first part of the blog series from Mon, Nov 8th) KM is even a wider scope, SAP Business Intelligence or SAP Learning Solution are also drawn into the picture.
SAP DMS (for heavy-duty document management) and SAP Records Management (for records and cases) complete the picture.

Key take-away from KM Europe:
Managing knowledge in organizations is still a pressing issue and companies are dealing in different ways with it. Some hit it from a technology perspective only, others focus on ‘soft factors’ like company culture. Sustainable knowledge management in organization has to cover both of these aspects.

In addition, many speakers and customers highlighted that it is a MUST-HAVE TO EMBED KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGIES INTO BUSINESS PROCESSES AND BUSINESS CONTEXT.

Since SAP in many companies is THE backbone for those processes and context lines, this is something to watch out for the future – both for SAP and its partners / customers.

That’s it from KM Europe 2004 in Amsterdam. We’re gonna hit the road in a couple of hours and hopefully will avoid the weather chaos that obviously seems to happen at the other side of the border.
Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Cheers,
Joerg

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