Posted tagged ‘Verghis Group’

Finally: A Community for Knowledge Management Best Practices

August 20, 2013

I’ve been giving advice on knowledge management for support since the mid 1990s, and the list of FAQs about successful KM programs hasn’t changed all that much:

  • What staffing levels are required? Dedicated resources? Rotating positions? What skills are required for good knowledge workers?
  • How long should it take to publish new content, and how many approvals are normal in a publishing process?
  • How do I convince laggards to participate?
  • How do I get techs to check the knowledge each time in case something has changed?

Those are just a few of the common challenges I hear from companies again and again. When TSIA first looked at launching an online community platform back in 2006, this was the use case I kept talking about. Everybody seems to struggle with the same issues related to KM, so a discussion forum seemed the perfect vehicle to allow people to post questions and chime in on what worked and didn’t work at their companies. TSIA has many members with very mature knowledge practices, and they are willing to share their expertise at our conferences and on our webcasts, so why not in a discussion forum?

Seven years later, our online community never took off. Most of that blame I place on ourselves, due to issues with tools, focus, staffing, etc. But I still think the use case of collaboration around KM best practices makes sense.

So I was very pleased to checkout the progress of Klever, the new KM think tank offering low cost advisory and coaching services for support knowledge management, the brainchild of Phil Verghis and his impressive team of KM experts. Klever offers *free* assessments of your KM practices, with low cost subscriptions to content and coaching. Currently, the Klever community is free and open to everyone (for now), and you can see threads around topics like creating effective article keywords, KM mission statements, program manager job descriptions, training techniques, key KM related metrics, and more. For only $100, you can signup to be part of the Klever community and have access to all of the content, invitation only webcasts, and can post questions on the forum and interact with Klever’s experts. There is also very low subscription pricing if you want to signup your KM team.

Klever’s motto is “knowledge sharing for all,” and the open, sharing and collaborative feel of the website and participants is refreshing, instead of the usual “we know everything and you don’t” attitude from large consulting groups. So checkout the Klever website, and especially the community, and cough up the $100 and get started. If you’d like more information or a 1:1 conversation with Phil Verghis, he and some of the Klever team will be exhibiting at our upcoming Technology Services World Conference in Las Vegas, October 21-23. Hope to see you there!

And as always, thanks for reading!


Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards: Why They Won

November 10, 2011

One of the highlights of Technology Services World is announcing the winners of the Recognized Innovator Awards.  These awards are presented to partners of TSIA; partners submit applications for consideration, and case studies documenting business results are required. TSIA Research identifies a panel of judges for each round of awards, including technology-savvy association members and several industry experts. Judges rated the applications using four criteria: is it innovative, is it unique, is the innovation exemplary of the category, and what is the business impact from the innovation.

In an earlier post, I provided backgrounds for each of the finalists. In this post, I will provide a bit of insight into why the winners won, using comments provided by the judges.

Recognized Innovator for Products: Kopin

Kopin’s Golden-i is a hands-free, wireless, mobile computing headset, providing users on-demand access to nearly all digital information. Information is viewed on an “All Weather”, “Sunlight Readable”, virtual 15 inch full color PC screen, which appears as a standard laptop display 18 inches from the user’s eye. To achieve “Hands-Free” operation, Golden-i employs advanced noise canceling natural speech recognition and a six axis head gesture tracking interface. Golden-i further enables hands free control of multiple remote devices at one time, allowing businesses to significantly improve worker productivity, safety and the efficiency of their workforce.

Judges comments on Kopin’s application included:

  • This is truly an innovative product. I was really impressed with the uses and capabilities.
  • Great innovations and great presentation of technical details.
  • Tremendously innovative and original product that can have a huge impact, especially for field service personnel.
Recognized Innovator for Services: Convergys
Convergys Corporation is a global leader in relationship management. Convergys provides solutions that drive more value from the relationships clients have with their customers. Convergys turns these everyday interactions into a source of profit and strategic advantage for their clients. For more than 30 years, Convergys’ unique combination of domain expertise, operational excellence, and innovative technologies has delivered process improvement and actionable business insight to marquee clients all over the world. In their application, Convergys provided two case studies in which they enable transparent multilingual support to channel partners and distributors using a team of English-speaking agents in the Philippines.
Judges comments on Convergys’  application included:
  • Interesting use of partner capabilities.  Focus on support and on the core competency of solving the technical issue – let someone else deal with the distraction of language.
  • The process descriptions are very nicely captured.
  • Nice solution to the classic multilingual support coverage problem(s).
Recognized Innovator for Consulting: Verghis Group
The Verghis Group is a management consulting firm focused on senior service and support leaders. The firm’s founder, Phil Verghis, is an internationally-recognized expert who has helped dozens of support and services executives devise winning strategies. The application from the Verghis Group detailed multiple client projects and business challenges, with four specific areas of innovation cited from client projects: Innovation one: Clear alignment from vision to the individual; Innovation two: Let the ‘doers’ do; Innovation three: Focus; Innovation four: Savvy Support (No more ‘tiers’ model).
Judges comments on Verghis Group’s application included:
  • Fantastic approach!
  • I like the concepts here.  The idea of empowering the individual contributors to own the process is an excellent may to build passion.
  • Again excellent execution, combination of state of the art approaches.
  • I really appreciate the comprehensiveness of this submission, the clear story full of content and proof points.
We give one additional award as part of the RIA program, Best Innovation Demo. Attendees of my Innovation Tour, which opens the TSW conference, vote for best demo. To me, this is a very important award, because few companies are good at articulating their innovations, let alone demoing them! The award for Best Innovation Demo went to DB Kay & Associates, a finalist in the Innovation in Consulting Category. Attendees loved David Kay’s focus on results and best practices, and they were intrigued by his discussion on introducing gamification concepts into support.
I would like to extend my thanks to the judges for the Fall 2011 Recognized Innovator Awards:  Alon Bar, Amdocs; David Bickford, The Via Group; Meredith Calvert, Callidus Software; Joe Clarke, Cisco; Brent Flanders, Perceptive Software; Edwin P. Gehres, Aprimo; Chris Karp, Tektronix; Carlos Pignataro, Cisco; Ann Reichert, Mitek Systems; Bill Rose, Bill Rose Inc.; Gonzalo Salgueiro, Cisco; Anton Vukovic, Siemens Enterprise Communications.
Congratulations to the all the winners! And as always, thanks for reading!

Measures, Metrics and Madness: Boston Workshop March 18, 2011

February 15, 2011

One of the top attended TSIA Member webcasts last year was a September event with my long time friend Phil Verghis, founder of the Verghis Group. The webcast was “Measures, Metrics and Madness: the New World of Guiding not Grading,” and you can register for the OnDemand version here.

Phil has been tracking the shift from ‘transaction-based’ support models to a ‘relationship-based’ one. This involves changing customers’ perceptions, from seeing your support team as a place to contact only when there are break-fix or “how do I” questions, to one that understands their business, including the technical and business context of their queries. Making this shift is key to introducing a Value Added Service strategy.

Due to the big response to this webcast, I wanted to let TSIA members and readers of this blog know that Phil is offering a one day workshop on the topic, March 18, 2011 at the Forefront Center in Waltham, MA. For more information, here is the link:

Phil is a thought leader around all aspects of support, including knowledge management and KCS. This is a great opportunity to learn about the evolving world of metrics and support best practices from one of the best in the business. If you are interested, there’s even a ‘Friends of John’ discount code to use when registering: FoJ1111.

Check it out! And as always, thanks for reading!