• March 30, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Consona Releases Upgraded Knowledge Management Solution

Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services provider Consona yesterday released version 8.0 of its Consona Knowledge Management solution.

KM v8.0 includes more than 40 new features that focus on enhancing usability for administrators and knowledge authors/editors; providing better tools for the internationalization of knowledge content; and further supporting the solution's alignment with Knowledge Central Support’s (KCS) standards and best practices.

KM v8.0 is the first Consona release of the knowledge management software technology it acquired from KNOVA Software in 2007. “This is a release that is more than three years in the making,” says Tim Hines, vice president of product management at Consona. “This is taking version 7 of the product and making it enterprise-ready with greater stability, performance, and scalability.”

According to Hines, version 7.0 and successive releases of the product were groundbreaking in the knowledge management industry, but they had issues with performance stability. Those issues, he says, have been addressed in this latest version of the software.

Key changes to the solution's architecture include:

  • adding spring containers for added performance and stability;
  • consolidating the relational database management system (RDBMS) access layer;
  • redesigning database tables for better performance; and
  • changing intra-process communication from extensible Markup Language (XML) to Remote Method Invocation (RMI).

New features in v8.0 include:

  • support for new client and server environments, including Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Oracle Database 11g;
  • logging and system monitoring tool improvements for enhanced operational manageability;
  • expanded content viability tools for more comprehensive user feedback and a better user experience;
  • content authoring feature improvements to better align with KCS;
  • improved internationalization capabilities; and
  • CRM integration improvements, including a new self-service user experience and expanded capabilities to drive efficiencies and user adoption.

Consona serves more than 4,500 customers worldwide and across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, financial services, healthcare, technology, and government. It worked with 15 of those customers to benchmark the performance and scalability of the new architecture and provided their knowledge, search, and user interface (UI) resources, which were deployed on multiple versions of Consona Knowledge Management within Consona's test labs.

The result, according to Hines, is a product that brings together the best of search, database, and analytics technologies, combined with workflow management and other improvements. “Version 8.0 also improves customer support sites exponentially to provide a level of support that is incredible,” he says.

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