RealTime IT News

KnowNow Targets Enterprise InfoGlut

Few companies complain about not having enough information; most are up to their necks in it. But getting the right information to the right people at the right time is an ongoing challenge.

According to research firm IDC, the average enterprise employee spends 9 to 10 hours per week searching for information but is successful less than 50 percent of the time.

Looked at in dollar terms, IDC said a typical enterprise with a 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week ($2.5 million per year) due to an inability to locate and retrieve information.

Enter KnowNow. The Sunnyvale, Calif. company said its "KnowNow Live" system, announced today, makes it easier to stay current on a wide range of enterprise content including email, blogs, intranet, the Internet and traditional ERP and database systems.

KnownNow Live is a browser-based dashboard that provides multiple windows with drop down menus as entry points to different information sources from the Web and instant messaging to CRM and ERP systems.

KnowNow's software layer persistently monitors both internal and external information sources to bring the latest changes or new information to the fore based on criteria set up by the user or IT staff.

A private beta of the service is being released this week to qualified enterprise customers who can apply at KnowNow's Web site. The final commercial version is set for release by late this summer.

Analyst Mike Gotta with Burton Group said KnowNow Live will compete with RSS services from companies such as Attensa and NewsGator, but he credits KnowNow as having a strong understanding of the complexity of back-end systems and the security and data management issues.

"If you look at these services that provide information feeds, they get users out of email and it's a productivity pitch," Gotta told internetnews.com. "But the ROI isn't that great, management wants to know if it helps sell more widgets."

Gotta said KnowNow Live can bring key operational data from CRM , ERP , HR and financial systems, which can help employees make better decisions. "The data follows them, so it's out of the enterprise portal and important changes and events gets noticed," he said.

KnowNow Live builds on information management products the company has offered to corporate clients for years. AMD , Cognizant, Hewlett-Packard , IBM  and Wells Fargo were among the customers KnowNow said it worked with to refine the products usability.

"We've engaged a half dozen large customers and they are ecstatic about the interface," KnowNow's CEO Todd Rulon-Miller told internetnews.com. He said the interface is an example of the growing consumerization of enterprise software designed to make access easier than traditional enterprise apps.

The left side of the KnowNow Live screen shows the information sources you subscribe to while the right side shows the information being pushed out to you, which can include content such as topical headlines and e-mail through Microsoft Exchange. "Each window is like a tap into the data silo," said Rulon-Miller.

The system is compatible with the Google Gadgets format so those Gadgets can be used within the KnowNow interface. The company said KnowNow Live can access any data type including RSS. It also offers "complete alerting and collaboration functionality."