Lotus upped the ante in the knowledge management market last week, announcing its local channel partners will gain access to its new suite, code named Raven, from Q2 next year.
Lotus touts Raven as a knowledge management suite with tools for content tracking and analysis, user profiling and expertise location. It includes an application integration toolkit in addition to a knowledge portal which it claims manages personal and community information.
According to Lotus' marketing director Australia/ New Zealand, Mark McConnell: "Raven is our first attempt to build a suite and a set of tools that allow us to deliver knowledge management to our partners. Raven will give them the tool to offer clients a knowledge management solution more cost-effectively."
The suite was demonstrated at a conference in Berlin last month and won't ship until mid next year, McConnell added.
He confirmed that Raven would be available through Lotus' distributors and could not confirm exact pricing but explained Lotus will move to adopt per user pricing.
Lotus has been working with the likes of SOCOG, Westpac and the Australian Bureau of Statistics to customise a knowledge management solution based on the Lotus Notes platform. Each client had unique requirements and together with Lotus programmers have designed an application that met those needs, he added.
"At the moment we have an assortment of products we can integrate to build a system and its termed knowledge management," McConnell said. "There is a fair amount of integration required to pull all of these together, as we've seen with SOCOG and Westpac."
According to a recent survey by the Baldridge Award Foundation, expensive knowledge management solutions are only used by senior executives, with 88 per cent of CEOs surveyed listing knowledge management as their second greatest concern behind increasing globalisation.
As a result, Lotus believes Raven will give it broader market reach through its ease of implementation.
"Lotus doesn't compete for basic implementation services or build applications so opportunities are ripe for integrators and resellers," he said.
"We try to restrict ourselves to high-value custom-ers such as SOCOG where the skills required to do the business consulting don't exist in the channel."
McConnell said Lotus requires integrators to support the Raven suite's focus on vertical markets such as human resources.