Knowledge management (KM) software startup ThoughtWeb will hit the corporate sector with its "intelligent agent technology" later this year, following a $1.8 million round of capital-raising from personal investors.
The collaboration tool specialist's global growth efforts will rest on ThoughtWeb's debut Electronic Personal Advisor (e-PA) software.
The former managing director of global consulting firm McKinsey and Co, Rob McLean, has a personal stake in the startup, although ThoughtWeb declined to disclose details of his investment.
ThoughtWeb's CEO, Chris Murray, claimed the company would fill a void in what he labelled a "loosely defined and disappointing" KM market.
"There's a lot of confusion about KM products and what they can actually deliver," he said. "There's also a fair bit of disappointment when organisations find that KM products they've implemented are only solving part of the problem."
ThoughtWeb's first release provides multifunctional data storage for document and project management, collaboration and workflow, for instance.
The "free-thinking" web-based application acts on behalf of the user to "proactively" collect, compile and present information, and create knowledge relevant to that user, according to a company statement.e-PA will boost organisations' efficiency levels by aligning the goals of the CEO to the accounts clerk with that of the whole enterprise, said Murray. "ThoughtWeb makes people more effective in their day-to-day roles, generating a constant flow of up-to-the-minute information, ideas and knowledge around an organisation.
"ThoughtWeb understands the business context and helps people to prioritise properly and take the right actions at the right time from a company or organisational perspective, not just their own individual viewpoint."
The startup will capitalise on the communication-rich corporate and government sectors, namely medium-to-large organisations, which Murray said held the most complex relationships between people, projects, processes and business units.
ThoughtWeb's partner and reseller strategy will lie in developing marketing and technology alliances with large management consultancies, large systems integrators and solution providers, as opposed to a hard-sell approach, Murray said.
ThoughtWeb plans to integrate its products with IBM or Microsoft's KM and database tools, not compete with their offerings, he said.
The US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories has given ThoughtWeb's first KM release the nod, choosing the e-PA for its Integrated Information Systems division after a successful $US1 million pilot.
ThoughtWeb is developing reference sites with large Australian businesses from the financial services, retail, manufacturing and management consulting industries, said Murray. It will launch a second round of capital-raising in October for $8 million, focusing on local and US venture capitalists.
Licensing fees for the e-PA (configuration and support not included) cost around $10 per unit per month, depending on the size and complexity of the organisation.
The company will release its first range of browser-based products later this year.