The emergent nature of KM and the use of social media as an adaptive tool in managing knowledge come with an added cost for small knowledge-intensive European companies. New trends in identifying, storing, sharing and creating knowledge to solve problems and make decisions all generate an avalanche of data. This may lead to information overload and wasted time for SMEs. Funded by the EU, the KNOWHOW (Demonstrating a cloud-based knowledge management platform for social business) project addressed the growing intricacy and perplexity of social information and knowledge flows in SMEs dealing with rapidly changing environments. The project team used the KM platform developed during the ORGANIK project in 2010 as a starting point. The five companies making up the KNOWHOW consortium were also directly or indirectly involved in the ORGANIK project. The platform provided key KM functionalities with technology for intelligent information processing. KNOWHOW aimed at transforming the OrganiK KM platform from a research prototype to an industrial-grade KM platform-as-a-service (KM-PaaS) supporting social business applications. The consortium members planned to improve and optimise specific platform components, expose key components as services, and repackage and reconfigure OrganiK platform distribution to enable deployment on a virtualised cloud infrastructure. Researchers validated and demonstrated the prototype with the aim to develop a cloud-based KM platform for use in social business solutions. These objectives were part of the project's central goal, which was to validate KM-PaaS's applicability with four social business trials in four different domains. By introducing cloud computing to the platform's application domains – collaborative innovation, social enterprise, supply chain networking and social media marketing – researchers were able to offer the four components as a separate service. This method will boost the competitive advantage of SMEs. The partners intended to prove the marketability of the scaled-up platform before proceeding with its commercialisation. KNOWHOW introduced an innovative social model of KM. Knowledge-intensive SMEs should reap the benefits of social business for years to come.
Social knowledge, SMEs, knowledge management, KNOWHOW, social business, KM platform