Knowledge-management (KM) software start-up Objective has landed a modest deal with Cable & Wireless Optus (C&WO), which for the first time sees the carrier outsource an enterprise KM platform through Objective's ASP KM service.
Objective will implement and host the service for C&WO's professional services group, which manages large IT outsourcing projects in the communications and data fields for IT, telecommunications and government businesses.
"When C&WO performs major projects for partners, it generates enormous amounts of unstructured data on Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, PDFs and Web pages, for instance. The information needs to be managed in terms of content and because of contractual requirements. We provide the collaboration solution," Tony Walls, chief executive of Objective, said of the deal.
C&WO chose an ASP model for KM software implementation as KM was not part of its e-solutions group's core line of business. "We needed to find a KM application solution without having to build one," said Robert Holloway, national manager of C&WO's professional services group. "Since C&WO provides services on an outsourced basis, we're renting Objectives' KM facility, but shaping it to our customers' needs. We build and manage the KM solution and the portal for project management providing a 24-hour online window of the project. Most people in our data services section felt it natural to provide computer applications on a bureau' basis," he said.
While Walls expects most businesses will be slow to move to rental-based software licensing arrangements, he said considerable numbers of large companies were seeking back-end service rental to take the management headache away from the often "stretched" in-house IT group. However, C&WO said its own IT resources were hardly scarce, but Objective's KM suite was designed for "very specific" project management needs, and essentially, did not fit into its A-Services (ASP) portfolio.
Holloway believes the service will add unprecedented intellectual value to C&WO's professional services group. "The group's 350 staff will be the initial beneficiaries of this solution. This gives us a system to capture the knowledge of our organisation at the one time. It allows us to tap into precedents, process, structured project plans and will help in our [contract] bidding plans," he said.