KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

Know-It-Alls

12. November 2001
Von Louise Fickel
Der Telekom-Ausrüster Marconi setzt Knowledge-Management ein, um das Wissen über die stark vergrößerte Produktpalette auf breiter Basis zugänglich zu machen. Das neue System sorgt auch für einen effizienteren Support.

Quelle: CIO USA

WHEN MARCONI WENT ON a shopping spree and acquired 10telecommunications companies over a three-year period, itfaced a serious challenge: How could the $3 billionmanufacturer of telecommunications equipment ensure that itstechnical support agents knew enough about newly acquiredtechnology to provide quick and accurate answers tocustomers on the phone? And how could Marconi bring newagents up to speed on all the company's products?

Marconi's technical support agents – 500 engineersscattered in 14 call centers around the globe – fieldapproximately 10,000 questions every month about thecompany's products. Before the acquisitions, agents hadrelied on Tactics Online, an extranet where they andcustomers could search for frequently asked questions andtext documents. As new agents and products joined thecompany's ranks, Marconi wanted to supplement the websitewith a more comprehensive knowledge management system. Asengineers from the newly acquired companies came on board,however, they were hesitant to share their knowledge aboutthe products they had been supporting. "They felt that theirknowledge was a security blanket that helped guarantee theirjobs," says Dave Breit, director of technology and R&D formanaged services in Warrendale, Pa. "With all of theacquisitions, it was essential that we all avoid hoardingknowledge and share it instead."

At the same time, Marconi wanted to streamline its customerservice organization by making more of its product andsystems information available directly to customers andshortening the length of customer calls. "We wanted toleverage the Web for customer self-service versus increasingthe number of agents," Breit says. "We also wanted toprovide our frontline engineers [who interact directly withcustomers] with more information more quickly so that theycould resolve more calls faster."

Building on a KM Foundation