Inmagic provides Presto, a comprehensive knowledge management and collaboration application. I have covered them before here (see Inmagic Offers Social Knowledge Networks with Presto 3.3). Recently, I spoke again with Phil Green, CTO, and Mike Cassettari, VP of Marketing, about their latest moves with the release of Presto 3.5. Presto enables business users to create and manage KnowledgeNets™, Social Knowledge Networks (SKN) that are tied to a specific business objective.
I told Phil and Mike that I really like that Presto is designed to support task focused collaboration. When I was involved with the early days of knowledge management I never saw a successful implementation that was not aligned with business processes. I think KM lost some of its promise when it strayed from this goal and became more general content repositories. With enterprise 2.0, we have also sometimes lost the business task focus, especially as tools for the consumer Web are applied within the enterprise.
The new release of Presto provides enhanced functionality that includes discussion forums, which facilitate topic-specific collaboration, extended single sign-on (SSO), which authenticates third-party applications, and improved overall performance optimization for large enterprises. There is also increased metrics with the Integrated Report Writer. You can set up reports to see such social metrics as top contributors, content ratings, etc. A sample report screen is shown below.
The discussion forums connect collaboration activities (e.g.: commenting, rating, tagging) to a specific process or topic, (e.g.: proposal development, sales enablement, competitive analysis), and retain discussion details, unlike email. Much of the important conversations within an enterprise get lost in email so this allows for a transparent archive to make this valuable content accessible. You can post a comment, create a reply, and tag it for easier access. Below is a sample forum screen.
The enhanced security comes through what they term “Social Security” through extended SSO. It provides striated levels of access to information based on user authorization and privileges, creating cohesive security across KnowledgeNet repositories.
There is also improved search performance for large organizations with substantial repositories (>1M records), and ingestion performance is improved for enhanced data loading. Content can come in immediately and then the metadata is added in background processing. Enhanced content relations establish a one-to-one or one-to-many relationship between Presto objects (e.g.: a contract may reference and link to multiple P.O.’s). This allows for easier content curation.
After reviewing the new capabilities within Presto 3.5, we looked at a client case example, HRPA, a Canadian HR association. Inmagic has found a great acceptance in associations and this case makes it clear why. HRPA wanted to provide greater service to its members through enhanced access to content so they set up a Resource Centre enabled through Presto. They also wanted to create a greater sense of community. Both goals are being accomplished as they have empowered users to be more actively engaged in gaining content and deciding what content is provided. HRPA was receiving massive email requests for content and operating in a reactive mode. Now they can make this content accessible through the Resource Centre, making the process more efficient for both the association staff and the members. You can see the Centre below.
HRPA staff monitors requests and adds the most common ones to the content repository. They can also offer fee-based customer research generating more revenue. Now they are looking at organizing forums around practice areas and launching subject matter expert blogs. The Centre was launched in September and the members have seen very excited about the new developments.
I like the improvements with Presto 3.5, especially the ones that address the social side of content management. With enterprise 2.0 we are seeing an increasing integration of collaboration and content management capabilities. Presto 3.5 is a great example of this trend.