Knowledge

A week after making its enterprise social collaboration software free to use, Moxie Software today launched its Social Knowledgebase application to combine collaboration with knowledge management. The underlying premise is that the most valuable information in any organizations is in the minds of its individual employees. That knowledge not only needs to be made available in real-time to the rest of the team, but also must be organized, documented, and preserved for the long-term.

Social Knowledgebase is a paid application that integrates Moxie’s Spaces social collaboration software and knowledge management applications to help enterprises tap into the collective knowledge of their employees. This can be especially useful for inter-department collaboration, or in cases of customer service. For example, using the platform, a low-level call center worker could access the collective knowledge of an enterprise’s engineering team to more quickly and accurately answer a customer’s questions.

Moxie allows companies to create departmental groups, as well as open and private forums, share documents, find experts, and create wikis. These tools are available on both the desktop Web and mobile. Rich search tools allows teams to pull in results from enterprise file systems, corporate blogs and websites, email, and a variety of other sources.

Once a piece of knowledge is crowdsourced from within the application, it can be promoted and recommended by other employees, and eventually published into the organization’s permanent knowledge bank. This process of moving from a social artifact to a certified piece of organizational knowledge can involve a customizable workflow that may include peer review, regulatory oversight, and eventually certification.

“Organizations analyzing big data are really after big knowledge – intelligence they can put to use making their enterprises more agile to efficiently serve customers by creating superlative customer experiences,” Moxie Software president and CEO Tom Kelly says.

Moxie Software currently has 600 global customers for its Spaces team collaboration and customer service platform, the majority of which are Fortune 1000 companies including Dell, Skype, Epson, Canon, and Nationwide Insurance. As these examples demonstrate, the company’s software is popular among by large B2C (business to consumer) companies with high volumes of customer interactions.

“[Social knowledge] is about sifting through this input [information created in social networking sites and discussion forums] to decide what is appropriate and applicable to your organization, and using that information as input in the development of product- and service-specific content,” Gartner research director Johan Jacobs wrote in a 2011 report.

Social Knowledgebase is available to organizations via a $3 per user, per month SaaS license. The launch of this paid product comes just one week after Kelly made Moxie’s popular Spaces platform free to use, explaining that communication software is quickly becoming commoditized and enterprises will only pay for that which they value.

Founded in 2007, Moxie Software is profitable with 200 employees between its Sunnyvale, California headquarters and Bellevue, Washington and Austin, Texas offices. The company raised a $10 million Series C round of financing from Oak Investment Partners and Foundation Capital in May 2009, but has not disclosed the details of its previous funding.

In the knowledge base category, Moxie competes with products from Oracle, SAP, Genesys, Avaya, LivePerson, InQuira, and RightNow, among other. Its Collaboration Spaces is most often competing with Jive, according to CEO Tom Kelly, rather than Yammer (Microsoft), Chatter (Salesforce), Tibbr, or other similar applications. Across these categories, Moxie is facing large, well-funded companies with substantial brand recognition. But despite this, the company stands out for its marrying of collaboration and knowledge base tools.

The company’s biggest challenge, admittedly so, is that it is well known for each of its tools individually, but not for the integration of its various platforms. For example, potential customer communication platform buyers know of Moxie Spaces, but in many cases do not realize that its enterprise social network and knowledge base products exist. Today’s new Social Knowledgebase integration is aimed squarely at changing this.

With customers demanding instant gratification from their interactions with corporations, the ability to quickly and efficiently access institutional knowledge becomes a need, not a want. Further, as generations of senior employees retire, and younger generations are less apt to stay with an company more than a few years, there is an increased need to capture and make available accumulated knowledge across an organization. Moxie aims to be the answer to both challenges.

[Image by Setsiri Silapasuwanchai]