Video Killed the Radio Stars but Have Chatbot Killed Knowledge Management Systems?

As most of tools existing for quite a while, Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) were recently challenged by tools that looked more dynamic and more adapted to current tech trends: CHATBOT for example were expected to take over the support of clients having all kind of questions & queries.

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After a few years of hype, where do we stand?


Let’s look at the bright side first:

  • Yes, CHABOT are up and running 7 days a week
  • Yes, CHABOT can address some easy to ask and easy to analyse queries. It is important to note that those queries have to be easy ones – means the customer have to ask those queries in a very simple manner, so the bot replying, will not get lost with too many words …


Facts again:

Studies shown that users don’t like to get support from bots (and very probably it is because they could not get proper answers from them…) Recent studies (ie study from found that the huge majority of customers (rough average 80%) prefer human interaction to AI driven interfaces as chatbot.

More studies forecast that bot assistants lacking integration with Knowledge Systems will NOT bring the expected CS and savings.

Very few businesses require 24/7 replies on queries, and when there is a critical need (health, security, financial transactions for instance) most of the time it is low volume and high quality required so human interfaces have to be there.

So KMS seems to be considered as the fundamental foundation which should not be neglected for both human and virtual Customer Support.

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Knowledge Management: a fundamental element that is here to stay?

No surprise that some other studies shows that KM has a bright future to help and support human beings (but not only) to reply accurately and consistently to queries from other precious human beings: customers and prospects.

Gartner found that 74% of Customer Support Professionals mentioned improving knowledge and content to their customers and employees as a priority.

There is a spot for bots and probably in the forthcoming years, technology will evolve so the current rejection could reduce. But we also need to consider that robots need to be fed, and when they’ll be working better, they’ll need to use some fundamental pieces of knowledge, and they’ll find in your KMS.

The days IA/Bots/ML will create their own knowledge (and mimic the current knowledge life cycle and workflow: identification of need, authoring, validating, monitoring, improving, and managing obsolescence…) are not there yet. And when it will happen, we’ll still have to ensure that 2 different lines of code would not generate 2 different solutions to similar queries just because some synonyms were used…

Some advices from the Customer Support Experts at SHA:

  • Start today with a KMS solution that will enable you to create, maintain and monitor your enterprise knowledge for your contact center staff as well as for your digital virtual agents, today and tomorrow!
  • Video might have killed the video stars some years ago (same as streaming has killed some others) but LPs are still there and Chatbot did not killed KMS, just made their existence more critical and more visible…
  • If you need to set up a KMS from scratch or move your existing KMS to a much more agile and cost-efficient system, have a look at what SHA can provide you!

Can Knowledge Management be isolated from Training? How to close the loop?


If Knowledge Management is based on the idea that an organization’s most valuable asset is the knowledge of its people and if we accept the fact that Knowledge freshness can be volatile then it becomes clear that both Knowledge Management and Learning Management are to be considered together.

Operational Context: what are the issues?

When running a Contact Center Operation, the relation between Knowledge and Learning is even more critical:

Once the initial and fundamental trainings are delivered, how to ensure your teams’ knowledge keep up with new information, changes, update?

How to avoid to pile up the necessary updates in one regular training session (ie 1hr per week or half a day per month), stuffing the staff with a lot of new things at the same time, and with little or no chance to digest the info?

Knowledge content changes every day, product specs, processes, regulations, business rules, opening hours, financial conditions, software versions just any piece of knowledge is bound to become obsolete one day.…

As a result it is difficult for customer fronting staff managers to keep their team knowledge up to date.

Operational and Financial impact

The regular training updates, (are they short and weekly or long and monthly), bring constraints and costs such as having staff not productive for hours, training room, trainers, support materials…

To make it even worse, those update sessions are most of the time a compilation of a lot of different topics: new product specs, new legislation impact, new process, new application version, new…

It can be hard for contact center agents (for anyone!)  to digest in one batch a lot of updates on a lot of different topics. It is also very well known that it is difficult to get trainees full attention and focus if there are a lot of different subjects to be covered in a short time.

Real time can be critical:

Regular consolidated updates can’t be real time by essence. So info freshness is at risk and communication to clients can be obsolete during a few days, meaning some customers might be given wrong info for a while.

In the other hand providing updates in advance, before the changes are implemented can also be misleading and confidentiality has also to be considered: some info can be under embargo (till they are live) like: product new specs, new price list, promotion…

Home working:

Today’s natural trend to favour Home Working can make the situation worse, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is aware that they have news in the mail box which requires attention!

Knowledge Quality:

Knowledge Quality is extremely dependant on its freshness:  Knowledge is alive, Training is its heart and KMS is its blood…

One strong point having a Knowledge Management System (KMS) is to get feedback on the content, so authors, writers can amend and improve their articles and make them easier to understand and to share.

In the contact center daily context, it is easy to understand that an agent looking for a solution in the KMS will not spend a lot of time about what could be done to improve the article, he’ll (rightly) focus on the customer experience not on the knowledge improvement.

When reading a training update during a quiet time during the day, the agent is not under the same immediate delivery stress so not only he can read and absorb better the content he’s submitted but he’s more likely to provide useful and relevant comments to the article.

Conclusion (and Solution)

We at SHA, led by experience, strongly believe Training, Learning and Knowledge Sharing are tightly interconnected.

This means that both Knowledge Sharing and Training have to be considered together.

We’d all agree that fundamental, theoretical, specialised trainings require hours/days and most of the time require classroom setup, but Knowledge update, process adjustments, products specification upgrade and the likes can fit in a totally different and far more efficient format.

That’s why SHA has developed a Training Module to “Close the Loop”

With SHA Training Update Module solution you will:

  • Avoid double flow management (training delivery and content sharing) for new updated, adjusted knowledge workflow.
  • Free up your training resources (trainers, equipment, rooms…) from the heavy load of minor training updates.
  • Keep your agent productive and focused during the peak periods.
  • Provide your agent guidance and support to absorb new things at the right moment.
  • Track and monitor training progresses and fix potential stress areas within the team
  • Provide your team more time and thoughts to give feedback on existing solution, hence enhance the content!
  • Manage your knowledge freshness and deliver real time up to date solutions to your clients and prospects.

Contact us to see more about SHA!


SHA put together your massive Knowledge Encyclopaedia and your Real Time Training News Feed, in one app!

Never let your precious knowledge get obsolete!

Use SHA KMS Training Module and close the loop!

In less than 3 minutes evaluate your need for a (new) Knowledge Management System

Knowledge Management System Return on Investment (aka KMS ROI) … trust me, with such a headline it can be difficult to attract someone’s interest, we all keen on reading easy stuff and learn new things and much less likely to read complex calculations that are not fitting our business specifics (and we ALL have our own specific business, don’t we?)

So instead of writing a nice and long article on the hidden benefits of KMS or a very comprehensive suite of questions to estimate what could be the ROI (basically, when would your KMS bring tangible, monetized value to your business) we decided to play an easy game: just allocate points to each of the 10 features below

0 point if you believe this item is irrelevant to your business

1 point if you believe this item is of low importance to your business

2 points if you trust this item is important to your business

3 points if you strongly believe this item is totally critical to your business

And to have a proper evaluation: provide DELTA in the second column to evaluate how far you think you are from where you’d like to be. (using the same logic with points: 0 is low, 3 is high)

“your business” is not restricted to your bottom line, your sales number, but you’d agree that the your business’ ultimate value is made of a lot of others items such as: brand image, product innovation, customer experience, talent retention, financial health…

Irrespective of how you performed this test, just contact us at SHA, we have extensive business experience on how KMS can support your business and operations and get a fairly good estimate on how quickly you can achieve a proper ROI using KMS (it can be a few weeks!)

Centralized vs Decentralized Knowledge Management Systems

Just as a starting point: have you thought about the amount of knowledge stored in your organization’s laptops, memory sticks, external drives,…? Do you think it will be easily shared?

Even if this is just an anecdote, when you are facing the implementation of a Knowledge Management System (KMS), one of the topics very often put on the table is the discussion about centralized or decentralized approach. It is not rare that within organization senior management different opinions may exist about the need to maintain regional, national or business unit or product particularities. Most of the times, discussion about centralized/decentralized is a source of conflict between management, when some actors may consider that their area of influence is being limited, putting at risk the success of the project.

From a high-level perspective, If we consider a centralized managed system, employees create knowledge that is stored and organized and maybe only accessible within the organization. This approach may collide with the internet-cloud-metaverse era. But in fairness, for some organizations, where security and process management are a must and, even information may be binding to customers, this approach is still relevant: you can find examples on several verticals: financial & insurance, health, pharmaceutical & biotechnology, or government. Under this model, a common source of information is available, removing silos and conflicting information from the equation. Additionally, common processes and procedures for Quality, Workflow and Monitoring are available.

On the other hand, decentralized managed systems may fit companies with mobile employees, providers/suppliers or users/customers. Without considering who owns the supporting platform, in decentralized systems, the responsibility of creating, sharing, and managing content lives with authors or content creators. This approach is more versatile but brings other problems into the equation: processes and procedures for structuring, managing, and sharing contents, may be set at individual level by authors, which may lead to content discrepancies, visual differences or inaccessible knowledge to the broarder user community.

We mentioned before that we are in the internet-cloud-metaverse era. That’s relevant and will influence for sure the KM strategy. But on top of that, the talent is global, and you would like to capture the knowledge of that global talent, wherever is located, if you want your organization to go into the next level of execution success.

So, what to do? To get some clarity on this point, let’s come back to the ultimate knowledge management aim: spreading information across organizations in ways that impact performance. You can formulate this as “sharing best practices” as well, a kind of shortcut. With this in mind, some aspects become key when setting the strategy:

  • KMS must improve content accessibility, providing access to updated information.
  • KMS should bring consistency to the content: structuring, organizing and even visual aspect.
  • KMS must include content life cycle management rules. Otherwise, you may be creating an obsolete monster in a few months.
  • KMS needs to be managed, which requires measurement.

So, at the end, it seems that maybe a good approach could be a “mixed model”, with the following characteristics:

  1. Common platform: information must be stored in a single place, accessible to both creators and users.
  2. Content creation: even though authors must have the liberty of using their creativity in generating impactful content, aspect matters so, common organization, structure and design rules are required.
  3. Management framework: it is a combination of life cycle and workflow rules, with reporting capabilities addressing the performance impact on the organization (no more page visits, please!!!).

SHA is a Simple, Agile, Connectable, Easy to Use, Easy to administrate platform despite its internal sophistication.

What can go wrong on Knowledge Management (KM) implementation (and anytime after… )

With more than 50 years of cumulated experience, expertise and operational leadership in businesses where Managing Knowledge key asset is critical , we have, at SHA(*), very clear ideas about what works and what does not when it is time to implement a Knowledge Management System (KMS). And we’re happy to share some of our fundamental findings which guided us designing SHA:

Before starting, let’s all agree (if you disagree, there might be no point for you to read what follows…) that having a KMS is… a must, but it’s not enough to have a KMS, you have to ensure it works!   

  • First, let’s talk about what we heard quite often: “we need to integrate our KMS in our IT ecosystem”

Integration is quite a broad and vague term but we all understand what it means: ensuring we can benefit from a Knowledge Platform which is connected to some other business critical applications such as e-commerce, e-service web site. This all sounds good, but, at SHA we have also clearly identified that trying to overdo it, to integrate a KMS with a lot of other applications can lead to expensive, heavy, and ultimately dead ends. So we integrate our solution on your e-support and e-commerce and trust us, this is enough!

  • Then second, we heard so often “no need for a multi-lingual platform to start with, we’ll see that later”.

Well later is very often proven to be “too late”…

One could think that, when 99% of the users are sharing the same language, there is no need to think ahead and a mono lingual KMS is good enough, if this can be proven right, it could also lead to some tough headaches or worse, failures. At SHA, how many times have we experienced some companies who extended their market scopes or move some of their operations to other regions speaking different languages or built some alliances with companies located abroad. Having to deal with a massive, one shot, translation project is a headache that could be avoided by thinking ahead and making the choice to implement a multilingual ready KMS right away. And if your market it truly a one language market, SHA works perfectly with one language as well!      

  • Third, a classic “how easy to use is your solution”?

Easiness of use is a common slogan that most of the KMS are using as a benefit, we, at SHA, not only we adhere to this criteria, but we also know, by experience that this is a must, there is no way that users will use the platform if they have to understand how it works, if they have to ask their colleagues which field to use, which process to select …

Easiness of use is vital to ensure implementation of a KMS is successful, we saw so many clunky KMS which were not used by the teams KMS were supposed to help. We experienced too many WEB site smart FAQs which were just driving clients (including us…) mad. So if solutions are not a couple of clicks away, it means your KMS is not delivering and will not bring the expected benefits.

A good solution is two clicks away and the best is one click away! Same goes with input box: one simple input box is enough to interact with your users. If you add categories, products, serial numbers and any other details, you are focused on your own organisation, and not in your customers. Be simple, be customer centric!

You need the users to love looking for solutions and finding solutions on their own using the KMS. It is such a good feeling finding a solution yourself instead of being told by someone else.                                                           

  • Fourth: quite often mentioned as well: “KM deserves top technology so we need top of the art solution”

At SHA, we love technology and we believe we are quite good at using it and sharing its benefits with our clients, this being said, we put the human being first! And this reflects on providing a simple search interface but also and easiness of system administration (Yes you still need to have some very light resources to ensure the system is working fine and this is largely balanced by major savings on support, customer retention and internal education). KMS should not be an IT managed application but should be run by business. There is a need for an IT-Business disconnect to avoid again poor and disappointing KMS implementation. Of course behind the scene, advanced technology such as Automatic Translation, Automatic Summary, Sentiment Management, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence are there, but not for the sake of being High Tech but to support us, Humans…

  • And finally Fifth: “So if I succeed implementing my KMS, I’m good for the next 10 years”

Well, a good start is encouraging but not enough: It might not be only at implementation phase we have observed most KMS failures, it is during the whole life cycle. The key elements to support growth and avoid growth issues, is to have a system which can maintain the life cycle of the content, that can report on content obsolescence, a system that tracks the low performing solutions, a system which avoid to pile up similar solutions, a system that is also capable to grow in term of performance and adjust its capacities to the need of user (without involving IT in the process as the platform is cloud based)                                                                       

It is on top of it ready to grow and evolve as your company is. We designed it the way we dreamt about it; we would have loved to have such a platform, we are now happy to share it with you!

(*) SHA is a Simple, Agile, Connectable, Easy to Use, Easy to administrate platform despite its internal sophistication.