Study Reveals Enterprises Suffer Huge Productivity Losses Due to Ineffective Expertise Management and Knowledge Sharing

More Than One-Third of the Workweek is Spent Answering Interruptive Questions

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 21, 2003 -- 32% of the typical workweek is spent helping others resolve questions, accounting for significant productivity losses, according to a Collaborative Strategies LLC study commissioned by ePeople, a leading provider of knowledge and expertise management solutions for resolving business-critical situations throughout the enterprise. Interruptive questions resulted in managers and team members spending only 68% of the week performing their primary job.

The survey examined how companies with over $50M in annual revenue share information and provide help to others in the work environment.

Most of today's knowledge management systems claim to aid employees in resolving specific business questions usually through robust search mechanisms, but are severely limited to only the content that has already been processed and documented. When a question or situation arises that does not have a known solution in the knowledge base, the quest for an answer usually involves an email blast, instant message interruption or asking the closest colleague.

This ad hoc process results in huge productivity losses and underscores the need for the adoption of knowledge management and expertise location technologies. Consider these key findings from the survey of 157 respondents across industries working in areas including sales, marketing, finance, R&D and manufacturing:

* 54% of the questions in the workplace have not been answered before or documented in a knowledge base.

* 88% of the respondents report that their company relies on informal processes to get their questions answered.

* 81% of the respondents believed that being able to identify expertise and share knowledge is important to the company.

Expertise management and knowledge sharing are critical, but companies are not stepping up the plate to deploy the needed technology. 84% of the respondents said they have no technology for expertise management and location. Of those, all but one uses a homegrown, intranet-based tool.

"Enterprises have been slow to adopt knowledge management technologies, but based on the survey results, they could clearly benefit," said David Coleman, Managing Director, Collaborative Strategies ( ). "There exists a tremendous opportunity for knowledge and expertise management vendors to deliver tangible value to the enterprise."

Overall, the survey results indicate that there is significant room for improving employee productivity in the workplace by providing more efficient ways to answer questions, find expertise or obtain necessary information in a timely fashion. This can result in improved cycle times in completing work tasks and delivering higher quality work products for the organization.

"With the continued pressures to freeze headcount growth and increase productivity, companies will increasingly look to knowledge management and expertise location technologies," said Anthony Lye, CEO, ePeople. "Capturing and leveraging enterprise knowledge, expertise and best practices dramatically improves the ability of an organization to respond faster and more accurately to business-critical situations, such as customer support, team selling activities, professional services engagements and research and development practices."

About ePeople

ePeople, founded in 1997, is the leading provider of knowledge and expertise management solutions for resolving business-critical situations throughout the enterprise. ePeople Teamwork focuses on Customer Support, Team Selling, Professional Services and Research & Development organizations. Customers of ePeople include Oracle Corp, Cognos, InstallShield, Openwave Systems, Inc., Adobe Systems, Inc., Production Access, OpSource Inc., and Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA). Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., ePeople is privately held. Investors include Redpoint Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Integral Capital Partners, Bedrock Capital, Brentwood Venture Capital, and CNET. More information on ePeople is available at

ePeople and the ePeople logo are trademarks of ePeople, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE ePeople

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