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I3 UPDATE / ENTOVATION International News
No. 31: July/August 1999

Contents

Portal Power: Gateways or Trapdoors? - David Skyrme
Internet Stocks: Lengthening Odds - David Skyrme
1999 MAKETM Survey, Europe
Harvesting Experience: A New Book by Jan Duffy - Debra Amidon
Y2K: Dangerous Denials - Jan Wyllie
Spending a Fortune on Fortune
Events

Editorial

The Internet is changing many of accepted business models, and marketing is no exception. Marketers will have ingrained in their consciousness the 4Ps of marketing - Product, Price, Promotion, Place. But the Internet distorts these fours Ps and has seven of its own. We shall feature the 7Ps of Internet Marketing over the forthcoming issues of I3UPDATE / ENTOVATION International News.

This summer edition offers some perspectives on Portals. Are they gateways to riches or to endless hours of fruitless surfing? Read our analysis and send us YOUR views for publication in a future edition.

The reason for the less than usual flow of issues and articles is that much work is going on behind the scenes to update both the ENTOVATION International and Knowledge Connections (David Skyrme Associates) web sites, to bring you updated content that is better organized and more action-oriented. The contents of I3 UPDATE alone would run to two books, yet has no navigation aids other than a chronological table of contents. So while we are working on the improvements we hope you find this issue informative and, as usual, look forward to your feedback.

I3 UPDATE is also available by email. See the administrative information page.

David J. Skyrme
Managing Editor


Portal Power: Gateways Or Trapdoors?

David J. Skyrme

The word 'Portal' has arrived on the scene with profusion. First the major search engine sites such as Yahoo!, Excite and Lycos were described as portal sites. This year, the Enterprise Portal (or expanded phrases, such as Enterprise Information Portal) are in vogue, with Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Meta and Delphi - and no doubt other research companies besides - all featuring these corporate intranet portals and the tools to build them in reports or their research services. Delphi, for example, estimates that 55 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have corporate portal projects in progress. Clearly analysts think portals are something big, but what does it mean for users?

First, a definition. My Collins dictionary describes a portal as "an entrance, doorway, gateway, especially one that is large and impressive". Adapt this terminology to the Internet, and a portal should be a gateway to untold knowledge riches. One equalizing factor on the Internet (or an intranet) is that size is determined by the size of your screen, so 'large' is as large as you can see in one go, although a good portal will of course have numerous supporting pages. Impressive could be taken as visually stunning, but to most serious knowledge workers, is it how quickly and rapidly they can find what they are seeking. Teltech cites a survey that indicates that managers find what they seek on the Internet only 24 per cent of the time.

Portal Pretenders

As with any important new theme, the name portal has started to be applied to a wide range of existing products and services, in exactly the same way as has happened with knowledge (See Knowledge Management - The Relabelling Continues - I3 UPDATE No. 12). For example in a search of web sites with the word portal in their title, a fair proportion were in fact, simply single firm web sites promoting their own products or services - market research, health care, databases etc. These so called portals are indeed trap-doors. Simply Web-enable your marketing database, and lo and behold you have a marketing portal - or do you? Most commentators consider a portal as a primary, perhaps even the principle, interface to information, from multiple sources. It will therefore point to information, both internal and external, both structured and unstructured.

From a marketing perspective portal owners have such huge traffic volumes that they can command healthy revenues through advertising (Yahoo! has just posted 15 cents a share profit), while it pays suppliers to make sure they are well represented on portals, though this is only one small aspect of Internet marketing. In fact, Jupiter estimates that only 18 per cent of web sales ($2.4 bn out of $ 13 bn total) are via portals.

Portal Characteristics

The main-stream generic portals on the Internet give a good indication of the features you should expect on any portal site worth of is name. They have:

  • Structured information trees - Yahoo! being the exemplar of this from day one. Sometimes the higher levels are called channels
  • Search facilities - often divided into those sites in the portal's directory and those on the whole web
  • Personalization - within certain parameters you can determine the layout and topics you want to see on your portal's entry page
  • Personal Internet tools - such as email, email directories and PC search tools (e.g. AltaVista Discovery)

As their name implies, they are indeed gateways to many other sites, including other resource sites, and indeed other portals. You will find a good mix of general content - news, weather, stock markets etc. Several sites host online communities. This is one of the great assets of AOL, but Excite also now hosts nearly 50,000 online communities.

Generic portals come in many varieties and from several different categories of supplier:

  • Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) - though that from a small local ISP is likely to be very parochial. However ISPs like AOL, Freeserve offer gateways into a wide range of sites as well as offering shopping facilities.
  • Browsers supplier - Netscape and Microsoft - I have often used Microsof'ts MSN as my home page
  • News organizations e.g. CNN, ABC - at the moment BBC News is my home page.
  • Directory and Search sites - Yahoo!, AltaVista, Excite, Lycos, Go (formerly Infoseek) and others.

At first look many seem very information busy, but they do contain many links, and familiarity leads you quickly to your area of interest, but that's where the problems begin. Generally if you want to look for common things like travel and books, you can quickly find what you want (though I still haven't found that bargain holiday deal!). But what if you want something more specialist - like knowledge management?

Portals to Knowledge

Business and management don't even feature on some of the generic portals. In others you might work your way through 'computers'. AltaVista's categories are provided by LookSmart but you do wander around to find knowledge management. In fact, on all these portals it is far quicker to search for 'knowledge management', and you either get thousands of hits, or if you search the LookSmart directory (not the entire web) in AltaVista you get just a few, but you also see the problem of classification. Knowledge management sites are variously shown under Computer Science, Management, Consulting, MIS and IT, Quality and Standards. Basically, this is because providers select the categories. Only with common and consistent taxonomies will this situation be improved. This is an important role of knowledge centres, and also helps to explain the success of Teltech in matching problems to experts because of their highly developed thesaurus. Many commentators argue that electronic commerce will never really take off until there are common product classifications and common standards for basic transactions such that web pages can hold information in XML tags. They see the need for something that goes further than simply taxonomies. Thus ontologies offer more formal and richer relationships between terms (see http://www.ontology.org). Chemdex is an example of an online marketplace for buyers of life science products that uses a shared ontology to simplify the purchasing process for both buyers and sellers.

Another problem with using generic portals to find specialist information, is that you do not know how the sites have been selected or what vested interests are at play. Does the position in a given listing (when not alphabetical) there because of size, some reciprocal relationship or paid advertisements? Few generic sites now, unlike Magellan (now part of Excite), employ subject specialist reviewers to make quality judgements on the user's behalf. Again, in the corporate intranet, that is a role of the knowledge centre staff.

The situation is not as bad as it sounds, however, since the emergence of specialist portals for specific industries, disciplines or professional groupings (such as Chemdex mentioned above). Often these are built on the back of magazine publishing, which has the advantage that they are generally independent. One of my favourites of the genre is Truckers Web that as well as private sales, gives links to associations, employment opportunities, insurance, and a host of other information. It is my expectation that specialist portals will feature more prominently in future, and offer marketers an effective way of reaching their target audience more effectively than the large generic portals.

Knowledge Portals

Despite the proliferation of knowledge sites, few in my opinion come close to having the full range of facilities of a true portal. Quite disappointing are the magazine sites, which in general were late to enter the scene and often promote only their own publications. Of these I rate Knowledge Management (CurtCo) as the best, with full text of all articles (though I still prefer to read the hard copy!). One that once seemed to have the potential to become a knowledge portal is Knowledge Management (Learned Information). After an initial flush of enthusiasm when the site was launched at a conference a year ago, it has developed little other than adding some of its own feature articles. Regrettably, that is the case with many knowledge sites. There is even one magazine (in Australia) that promised to be monthly, yet only had one edition!

That is not to say that there are not some sites that are getting close. There are some very good resource sites (or single pages), mostly by individuals and small firms, such as:

  • Craig Marion's page - lists associations, articles, events etc., and gives a short summary (a feature often missing in sites which simply give a long list of links). Short but sweet.
  • KnowLink - newsfeeds, journals, software, consultants, articles etc. Good coverage, but has not been updated recently.
  • K-Windows - Joe Katzman's list of resources. Sites rated from basic to expert and uses a 5 star system. OK for starters.
  • BRINT (Business Researchers' Interests) - lots of links, but often long lists, even though some categorization by theme. Good for researchers and browsers (human ones!).
  • Smith Weaver Smith - annotated links for education, publications, tools, discussion lists etc. Good all round, but limited on articles.
  • KMetaSite - A site to support the graduate programme on knowledge management at ITESM, Monterey. Sections and knowledge trees on Business, R&D, Reference. Another good all-rounder. Comes close to its claim of "the site of sites about knowledge management".

Another claimant is DelphiWeb. Though it does have breaking news and links to articles etc. it is very biassed to Delphi's research services with a strong IT emphasis. It is also an expensive fee paying service. For a "large" gateway, the IKMC site seems to fit the bill, but does lack some elements of a portal. For professional development though, it is unrivalled. In general, most of the above sites fall short of being an "impressive" KM gateway on one or more of the following counts - they lack topical news, cannot be customized, do not have a clear hierarchy (often the primary classification is by events, links, resources etc.) and are infrequently updated. Another problem is that the one person sites often disappear without trace, as has happened to some we have featured in the past. For regular newsfeeds on knowledge management, you need to complement one of the above resource sites, with a customized newsfeed such as you can get from Newspage which has also been my home page in the past. It has anything from 5-20 articles or press releases on KM every day, though 80 per cent are IT related.

The site that I believe comes the closest currently to a knowledge portal is:

  • The KM Resource Centre, by IKM Corporation. It has 15 sections including introduction, links, news, sites, periodicals, conferences and (a rarity) cases. It is cleanly designed and contains just enough annotation and evaluation to tell you what links are worth pursuing.

It joins the following two sites as being my Gold Star Knowledge Connections (of knowledge web sites in general, not just portals):

  • Sveiby Knowledge Management: original, well designed, authoritative and with an intellectual capital calculator.

  • Knowledge Business from Teleos, developed by Rory Chase. This has a good resource library, links, covers trends and surveys, and has a good section on book reviews, done in conjunction with the International KM Newsletter.

If you have a favourite KM site that you feel deserves Gold Star recognition, please email me with your nomination and reasons. Of course, the best knowledge portals are none of the above. They are those to be found in the big management consultancies, but mostly are available only for internal use or on a selective basis to their clients.

Enterprise Portals

As indicated earlier, there is now a whole growth industry dedicated to providing software and services for the building of corporate portals. Merrill Lynch estimates the market for portal software and services (including hosted software) will be worth nearly $15 billion annually by 2002.

On a corporate portal you can expect even more functionality and company specific content, such as:

  • Press releases, company information, expertise directory, competitor analysis
  • Web front-end to transaction programmes and databases
  • Standard hierarchy in which it is easy for user to publish
  • Alerts to users when new material on their interest is added
  • Ability ot create communities within a branch of interest
  • User access and security criteria for each part of the hierarchy.

You will find a good summary of the features Delphi study by David Orenstein at the ComputerWorld web site, which also has a resources section on portals. Enterprise portal products come from three pedigrees - EIS/database vendors adding web features, KM vendors, and start-ups. You will hear more of names like Plumtree, Viador, Epicentric, MyEureka! and Autonomy's Portal-in-a-BoxTM. All are addressing the challenge so eloquently stated by Jakob Nielson, formerly Sun's expert on usability, who writes in Alertbox that "most intranets are chaotic collections of documents that cannot be navigated". He cites the oft repeated case of Bay Networks who added some order to that chaos and estimated it saves $10 million a year (see CIO archive).

While these new software products will entice you through an impressive gateway to information, let us not forget that it is only good content and good knowledge management with strong human involvement that will stop them creating trapdoors to trivia.

Email: david@skyrme.com

Update - Other articles in this series The 7Ps of Internet Marketing cover Packaging, Positioning, Page Impressions, Progression, and Payments.


Internet Stocks: Lengthening Odds

David Skyrme

Does it make sense when the valuation of:

  • Priceline.com is more than that of Delta, US Air and United Airlines combined?
  • eToys is worth as much as Toys 'R Us even though its revenues are the same as only two stores (Toy's 'R Us has nearly 1,500) and made a loss in 1998?
  • AoL is worth 1.4 x Times-Warner?
  • Amazon.com is worth 4x Barnes and Noble with only a quarter of the revenues?

(Note - all figures subject to wild fluctuation - another feature of Internet stocks). Yes - it does, in the eyes of the buying public. Normal P/E rules of evaluation break down. What investors are reckoning on is a market position that will mean either a. High future profitability or b. (often more common) a behemoth perhaps with more money that sense buys them out over the odds.

This week the UK's first ISP offering free access - Freeserve, went public and was 30 times oversubscribed (The Independent headline: "Shares soar in Freeserve stampede"). Even by US methods of valuation (if there is one e.g. on $ value per page impression), analysts reckon it 5 times overvalued. The Internet today reminds me of an Australian gold stock in the 1960s - Poseidon. Its price rose and rose and rose in the frenzy ... until it crashed. Its my belief that this will happen to some 50 per cent of today's hot Internet stocks. There are so many imitators, that only the best, such as Amazon.com, will survive, and even they will continually have to reinvent themselves over the next decade to do so.

Don't get me wrong. There IS value in Internet stocks, but only those with good fundamentals, and that means good vision, marketing and agility. The best value may be some of the essential enabling software and services, or the unique new offerings. Just another portal is unlikely to be sustainable long-term. It's really like a gamble with long odds (against you). In the long run only the bookmaker (the financial institutions placing the shares?) wins. Gamble if you like, but don't pretend you are a serious investor, unless you understand the other 6Ps of Internet marketing (coming in future editions).


1999 MAKETM Survey Europe

LONDON, UK - July 1, 1999 - The winners of the 1999 European Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises - MAKE(sm) - study, conducted by Teleos in association with The KNOW Network(sm), have been announced today. The top five European companies recognized for their world-class knowledge creation and sharing efforts, leading to superior business performance, are:

  1. Nokia
  2. Skandia
  3. Siemens
  4. BP Amoco
  5. Celemi

Comments from the 1999 European MAKE winners include:

"Knowledge is a key resource in our business. The success and the future of our company depend on people, processes and the way knowledge is developed and shared. For Siemens Business Services, effective knowledge management is crucial to provide superior solutions to our customers."
Dr. Friedrich Froeschl, President and CEO, Siemens Business Services
"We are very pleased and honored to be recognized for living our mission as Celemi's business is based on helping other companies achieve success by leveraging the potential of their people. As organizations today strive to keep up with the rapid pace of change, Celemi is there to support the growth of the individual's understanding, enabling the flexibility needed for success. Thanks to Tango(tm), we have been able to understand both why and how to transfer knowledge from clients and staff into company-owned tools and processes to build a solid platform for high quality performance." Margareta Barchan, President & CEO, Celemi.
"BP Amoco is honored to be recognized in this way and will move forward through the ongoing commitment of people in all parts of our business to share and apply their collective know-how." Chris Collison, BP Amoco Performance Processes & Learning

To select the European Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises, 231 chief knowledge officers and leading knowledge management practitioners nominated European companies (firms founded and with headquarters in Europe) and ranked them against eight key knowledge performance drivers. Companies having the highest overall combined scores are recognized as 1999 European MAKE winners.

The winning companies by key knowledge performance drivers are:

  1. Success in establishing a corporate knowledge culture - Siemens.
  2. Top management support for managing knowledge - BP Amoco.
  3. Ability to innovate in all areas of its business - Nokia.
  4. Success in maximizing its intellectual assets - Nokia.
  5. Effectiveness of knowledge sharing practices - Siemens.
  6. Success in establishing a culture of continuous learning - Siemens.
  7. Effectiveness of knowledge initiatives in promoting customer value and loyalty - Nokia.
  8. Contribution of knowledge initiatives to generating shareholder value - Skandia.

The European Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises

Nokia
Nokia ranks 1st in the 1999 European MAKE study. Nokia is creating a knowledge culture focused on learning, which encourages creativity, innovation and renewal. The emphasis on tacit knowledge, creativity networking and rewards for knowledge sharing form the framework for Nokia's Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise award.

Skandia
Skandia ranks 2nd in the 1999 European MAKE study. Skandia is a champion of value creation and is one of the leading proponents of managing intellectual capital. Skandia believes that it is the responsibility of each employee to be actively involved in value creation. Managing knowledge is viewed as the dynamic process of sharing knowledge, leading to added value for the customer.

Siemens
Siemens ranks 3rd in the 1999 European MAKE study. Siemens' chairman, Heinrich von Pierer, has set into motion a radical strategy to improve shareholder value based on a corporate knowledge management strategy accompanied by a large-scale change program. The company's knowledge strategy is primarily focused on organizational and people issues and stresses knowledge creation and sharing, and re-use of existing knowledge assets.

BP Amoco
BP Amoco ranks 4th in the 1999 European MAKE study. BP Amoco is creating a knowledge age company through concerted and innovative efforts to connect people, communities and networks. Virtual global problem-solving teams accelerate the development of new products and services, reduce costs and share knowledge and best practices, while a renewed emphasis on embedding knowledge management principles in key business processes promotes the sharing of learning as a natural activity.

Celemi
Celemi ranks 5th in the 1999 European MAKE study. Celemi is perhaps best known for Tango(tm), a simulation which helps leaders and other senior managers identify and evaluate their intangible assets. With the dawn of the knowledge economy, Celemi believes that a company's ability to measure and manage its 'invisible' wealth is vital to developing a long-term strategy on which to build the business and ensure its success.

European MAKE Finalists

Besides the five MAKE Europe winners, 18 companies were selected as European Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise finalists. They are (in alphabetical order):

  • ABB (Sweden/Switzerland)
  • Alcatel (France)
  • Audi (Germany)
  • BMW (Germany)
  • British Airways (United Kingdom)
  • British Telecommunications (United Kingdom)
  • CMG (The Netherlands)
  • DaimlerChrysler (Germany)
  • ICL (United Kingdom)
  • Novartis (Switzerland)
  • Otikon (Denmark)
  • Phonak (Switzerland)
  • Quidnunc (United Kingdom)
  • Robert Bosch (Germany)
  • Royal Dutch/Shell (The Netherlands/ United Kingdom)
  • Sonera (Finland)
  • Unilever (United Kingdom/The Netherlands)
  • WM-Data (Sweden)

An executive summary of the 1999 European MAKE study is available on the Internet at website: http://www.knowledgebusiness.com.

About Teleos

Teleos, a leading independent knowledge management research company. administers the Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises - MAKE - program. MAKE is the international benchmark for best practice knowledge-based organizations. The next global MAKE study will take place in autumn 1999. Teleos manages The KNOW Network, a new Web-based group of leading knowledge-based organizations which are dedicated to the identification and exchange of knowledge best practices.

For additional information on MAKE or The KNOW Network, contact:

Rory L. Chase
Teleos
4 St. George's Road
Bedford MK40 2LS
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1234 314197
Fax: +44 1234 308824
E-mail: rlchase@easynet.co.uk
Teleos Website: http://www.knowledgebusiness.com

MAKE and The KNOW Network are service marks of Teleos.


Harvesting Experience: A New Book by Jan Duffy

Debra M. Amidon

A newly released book (1999) has been authored by ENTOVATION colleague, Jan Duffy, Vice President for Specialty Services, LGS Group. Inc. One of the better resource guides produced by a professional organization, Harvesting Experience: Reaping the Benefits of Knowledge is published by ARMA International.

According to the book cover, ARMA is "the leading professional organization for persons in the expanding field of records and information management." As of May 1999, ARMA has about 10,000 members in the United States, Canada and 37 countries around the world. Based in Prairie Village, Kansas, ARMA has nearly 150 local chapters and a mission that includes "leveraging the value of knowledge as corporate assets.

What follows is what I wrote in the Foreward of the book:


During the past decade, we have witnessed a flood of materials focused on the knowledge society, the knowledge worker, intellectual capital and knowledge management. Each function - including those represented by information management - is in the process of transforming; and its professionals are facilitating the transformation of their own organizations, industries and society-as-a-whole.

Enabled by extraordinary advances in computer and communications technology, there is a movement afoot - one which places knowledge at the core of business strategy. Not that reliance upon knowledge is anything new; it isn't. On the other hand, how well we harness our intellectual capability into the next generation is a function of effective management. Changes we are experiencing are kaleidoscopic, the compounding effects of which defy interpretation. And yet, as effective managers in profit or not-for-profit enterprises, this is precisely our mandate.

With such technological progress and the (re)focus upon knowledge - not only information - as the driver of the economic engine comes confusion, increased complexity and inevitable connectivity.

The knowledge movement is one born out of practice - well ahead of many of the best management theories in the world. Because this focus on knowledge is intuitively obvious and pervasive, the movement enjoys significant momentum and is fueled by both individual and organizational innovation. Putting these new managerial concepts into practice represents the challenge of the millennium.

Jan Duffy, with "Harvesting Experience: Reaping the Benefits of Knowledge," has made an extraordinary contribution to this emerging field of knowledge strategy. In a consistent. comprehensive and coherent format, she has structured the key trends, core concepts, available methodologies and suggested plans for action. In addition, the reference list represents one of the finest in the literature.

Although without stating the obvious, Duffy has evolved the current thinking of information management into the realm of business strategy and provides some solid tools toward implementation. This is a book which provides the foundation of leadership for the information professional - 'turning vision into reality.'

There are no cookbooks in this rapidly evolving knowledge field. All of our activities represent only 'works-in-progress.' We are learning from one another real-time. However, "Harvesting Experience: Reaping the Benefits of Knowledge" certainly does represent one excellent recipe - at least the right ingredients - for moving forward effectively. History will document how effectively we capitalize upon the opportunities afforded a knowledge economy.


The Chapters are as follows:

Chapter 1
Knowledge: What It Is. How to Get It and Use It, and Why It Matters.
Chapter 2
The Knowledge connection: Learning, Innovation, Productivity and Performance.
Chapter 3
Preparation: Setting Direction, Getting Commitment, Raising Awareness.
Chapter 4
Initiating the Knowledge Management Project.
Chapter 5
Designing a Knowledge Management Technical Infrastructure.
Chapter 6
Implementing the Knowledge Strategy: Making It Work.
Chapter 7
The Next Few Years

In the Appendix, Ms. Duffy proposed a knowledge value proposition for senior management, middle management and non-management employees. She outlines the elements of the communications plan and a readiness assessment for 3 environments (i.e., technological, business and organizational) as well as a simple glossary of terms. In short, this is an excellent guide to help information executives begin to see their responsibilities more in terms of knowledge and innovation than document management. For further information, contact ARMA or Jan Duffy directly via e-mail jan_duffy@lgs.ca.

P.S. (from Editor) - I rate this as the best KM practitioners' book of the year to date. It is listed as one of our Gold Star books.


Y2K: Dangerous Denials

Jan Wyllie, Trend Monitor International

After more than three years of constant but fragmented media reporting, most people are still far from realizing the reality of the risks that Y2K presents. The real tragedy of this denial is that it is preventing people from taking the required preventative and contingency actions. This process of denial leading to acting too late has been the case all along, first by computer professionals, then by their managers and now by the government and the public. It is the principal reason why risks are now so great.

This has implications and risks that we have analysed in areas ranging from transport to energy, environment to communications and financial services to public services. For example:

  • If the Russian natural gas pipeline supplying both Eastern and Western Europe is interrupted, as Russian experts say it almost certainly will be, it will be a very difficult to start the gas flowing again with an uncertain electricity supply and sub-zero temperatures.

  • What if telephone networks in countries, such as China and Japan are prone to disconnection? The telecommunications difficulties are liable to make international trade very much more difficult and expensive.

Trend Monitor has been systematically gathering, analysing and synthesising open source intelligence on the implications of the Year 2000 computer problem for nearly four years. You can view a free preview edition of the latest intelligence update (July 1999) as well as the three-and-half year intelligence collection on Y2K at http://www.trendmonitor.com, which also contains subscription details for the full analysis and updates.


Fortune Costs A Fortune

David J. Skyrme

Do you have a subscription with Fortune magazine? Lucky you. I have tried to start one. Having got the UK prices for a special offer and sent my US$ cheque to the address in Florida, some two months later I have tried to find out why I have not received any issues. We have all complained about voicemail and customer service, haven't we? Yet despite all the promises of CRM and better technology, customer service for most of us seems to get worse, not better. I phoned the Fortune customer help line. Having negotiated, with without difficulty the voicemail maze, the service representative tried a few databases, consulted a supervisor and after putting me on hold twice and stumbling around for 15 minutes, while I was paying for an international phone call, suggested I call later! I then thought I might do better using the Fortune web site. I soon found a form to fill about my subscription. But it did not like my UK zip code, so after 10 minutes of typing all the 'mandatory fields' it bombed out, without even an apology, just an error message. After retiring temporarily hurt, a shot of alcohol encouraged me for further direct action. This time, after a little more determined surfing I found an email address on the web site (they don't make it obvious who to contact, do they?). Wow, three minutes later a response - but an automated one with a 16 digit response code. When a few days later I got a human reply. It said:

a. That I had sent my subscription to the wrong address (yet that it the address on the card and what I was told over the phone!)

b. That I could call customer service and pay by credit card!

However, the next day, my bank statement arrived and showed that the check had been cashed by Fortune in Orlando. Dare I call up customer service yet again to ask about the status of my subscription?

P.S. Shame about the service. I am told that it is quite a good magazine really. I wait expectantly!


Events

23 August - 10 September. Communities of Practice. Online course at Knowledge Ecology University. Instructor: Etienne Wenger.
http://www.KnowledgeEcology.com/keu/cc/99aug.cop.shtml

7-8 September. Managing Knowledge and Measuring Intellectual Capital, London. Key featured speaker is Peter Mandelson, former UK Trade and Industry Minister who initiated the white paper Building the Knowledge Driven Economy. World Trade Confernces
http://www.worldtradeconf.com/mvic

20 September - 8 October. Online Facilitation. Online course at Knowledge Ecology University. Instructors: Mihaela Moussou and Nancy White.
http://www.KnowledgeEcology.com/keu/cc/99sep.fac.shtml

22-24 September, Telework '99. 5th Annual European Assembly on Telework and New Ways of Working. Aarhus, Denmark. Keynotes include Kevin Kelly on the networked economy and Michael Hawley from the MIT Media Lab.
http://www.telework99.dk

22-24 September. KM World '99. Conference and Expo. Dallas Convention Centre. "The biggest KM event in the world."
http://www.kmexpo.com

27-29 September. Intranets for Knowledge Management, Amsterdam. "An event organized by specialists". First Conferences.
http://www.firstconf.com/intranets

28-29 September. Knowledge Management for Enterprise Advantage. Washington DC. DCI.
Email: confreg@dci.com

14-15 October. Knowledge Management '99. The Strategic Planning Society Conference, London.
Tel: +44 171 608 0541.

3-5 November. Intranets for Knowledge Management USA '99, San Francisco. First Conferences.
Contact Vicky Smith (email: vicky@firstconf.com)

23-25 November. Knowledge Summit '99. The Fourth Annual European Event, London. David Skyrme is Speaking on K-Commerce. Business Intelligence.
http://www.business-intelligence.co.uk

See our events page for further details (where available) and other events.


© Copyright, 1999 David Skyrme Associates Limited and Authors - All rights reserved.

This newsletter is copyright material. In the interests of dissemination of information, forward circulation is permitted provided it is distributed in its entirety including these notices, that it is not posted to newsgroups or distribution lists and that it is not done for commercial gain or part of a commercial transaction. For other uses please contact the publisher.

I3 UPDATE / ENTOVATION International News is a joint publication of David Skyrme Associates Limited and ENTOVATION International Limited - providers of trends analysis, strategic advice and workshops on knowledge management and knowledge innovation®

Email: info@skyrme.com    debra@entovation.com
Web: http://www.skyrme.com    http://www.entovation.com

® Knowledge Innovation is a registered trade mark of ENTOVATION International.