The Knowledge Center

Cutting-edge automation software will eventually put the traditional help desk out of business, says Hal Sadowy, national practice executive at consulting giant IBM Global Services. Sadowy's bold prediction took a step closer toward reality this week when partner and software developer SupportSoft unveiled Knowledge Center, a suite of self-service tools aimed at helping employees and customers find answers to questions on their own. Knowledge Center utilizes patented knowledge-optimization technology for quickly authoring, managing and distributing static and active content, according to Redwood City, Calif.-based SupportSoft. It's a real-time workflow environment for solving urgent problems -- a one-click fix -- the company claims. Knowledge Center supports more than 140 file formats, including video. Analytic tools inside the suite show which solutions offered by the virtual help desk are working or not, as well as assign dollar values to certain solutions. Knowledge Center products will be available in Q3 this year. Karen Smith, research director at Aberdeen, is already impressed. "Whether it's empowering users to solve their own problems with enhanced knowledge automation or helping IT analysts to gain insight and the ability to improve support response time, solutions like SupportSoft's new Knowledge Center streamline even the most challenged support processes and keep end-users productive and satisfied," she says. IBM Global Services has been working with SupportSoft over the last couple of years, developing a portal and integrating the vendor's automation software. IBM Global Services offers up a customizable solution to clients. "It's still relatively new, innovative technology and probably at the front-end of the [adoption] curve," admits Sadowy, adding, "But it's a no-brainer."
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