Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blogging at ILTA's conference

While I had a few posts from the ILTA conference, some seemed to be surgically attached to their PC while in sessions. It's amazing to see the amount of information spewing out from bloggers like David Hobbie, Doug Cornelius, and Monica Bay. I think folks providing near real-time posts are great for the industry. Daily headlines from Sean Doherty also let those not able to attend get some of the major highlights of the conference. Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Enterprise Search, uncovered and revealed

John Alber's recent article titled, "Search at the Foundation of the Enterprise", does a really nice job of explaining the business issues solved by enterprise search and goes on to discuss, in depth, the various types of underlying search technology used today. It's in plain English, so even I can understand it. John was nice enough to include pictures and charts to help explain set-theoretic models, algebraic models, and probabilistic models. Understanding these principles helps provide the basis for which John explores the pros and cons of search products like Autonomy, SharePoint and Recommind (which is what his firm uses). He finishes the article talking about how enterprise search technology can be best utilized within a law firm and a few plugs for Recommind :) A great primer for those embarking on enterprise search technology.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Live from ILTA

So far, things are pretty interesting. KM tracks yesterday were well attended, so perhaps there is hope for KM, despite my earlier post ;)

Today the buzz is about OpenText's announcement around their SharePoint strategy. I was not in the session, as my firm is an Interwoven shop, but here is what I heard from others that attended:
  • There will be the option to have SharePoint become the main store for documents
  • OpenText is looking to extent beyond DM to more full blown matter/document lifecycle management, using Sharepoint to accomplish this.

The feedback around the show is mixed. Some are very excited by the news, while others wonder what this means in terms of their investment in OpenText's current product architecture.

Both DM vendors seem to be scrambling to respond to the product offering from StarLaw, which purports to have a more comprehensive solution for document lifecycle management (DM, RM, etc.), or as they put it an "intelligent Enterprise Information Management system".

Friday, August 17, 2007

Is KM Dead?

That seems to be the question on the minds of many these days. Or more softly put, how do CKOs ( or other KM types) fit into a world with strategically minded CIOs and other IT folks. Technology has also gained a solid footing in the KM space and while there is debate as to how far technology can be taken to replace people (especially in PSL roles) it's certainly established itself as an important tool. I'm speaking at the Law Tech Summit in Australia this September and the Ark Group KM Conference in Chicago in October, and in both cases these concepts have been thrown around a lot. While I won't address this topic at length here, I do have some starting points.

While there are certainly both operational and strategic elements to what IT and KM do, there are different types of opportunities for each group. This idea was illuminated recently on a call with my friend (and idol) John Alber at Bryan Cave, one of the more innovative folks in the business. Furthermore, we might stop calling it KM and start calling it something else. All one needs to do is look at the titles of people performing relative degrees of KM duties these days:
  • Director of Practice Innovation
  • Director, Consultant Services/Client Advocacy
  • Director of Professional Services
  • Director of Practice Management
  • Director Professional Development
  • Director, Legal Business Systems
  • Director of Practice Systems
  • Director of Practice Support
  • Chief, Practice Systems & Services
  • Director, Legal Information Systems

Notice something missing from these titles? How about the word 'knowledge'? Personally I like the Director of Practice Innovation the best, very fitting. If someone were really bold, Director of Practice Enhancement might also be apropos, although it could lead to some interesting dialog with Partners who might not feel their practice needs 'enhancement'.

In any event, I look forward to seeing everyone at ILTA next week and stay tuned as we talk about this topic more in the months to come.