As businesses recognize how much their intellectual capital isvalued by customers, some are using knowledge-management software to profit from their own know-how.
Cerebyte Inc., a producer of intellectual capital-management software--which records employee expertise so it can be used throughout a business--has partnered with eight professional- service companies. The consulting companies plan to customize Cerebyte's basic Infinos software with their best practices and resell it to customers under private labeling. The companies represent a variety of markets, including safety training and biosciences consulting. Cerebyte charges the partners about $6,200 for Infinos and will receive royalties from each sale. By using the private-label software to share their expertise with clients, the companies hope to gain new revenue streams beyond the traditional billable hours they charge as consultants, says William Seidman, president and chief executive of Cerebyte.
Employees' corporate knowledge is gathered through interviews. The software has multiple screens that prompt experts to answer specific questions regarding best practices on particular subjects--for example, how to establish a successful in-house ergonomics program. In the case of consulting companies, the software records best practices that consultants have successfully implemented throughout various industries. It also establishes timetables for executing projects and identifies decision-makers for specific areas.
One of Cerebyte's partners, CoreMedia Training Solutions Inc., projects the software will double its revenue stream by 2001, from $1.5 million to $3 million. The Portland, Ore., safety-training company plans to launch its private-label version of Cerebyte's Infinos in early November. It will encompass CoreMedia's best practices in about 150 topics. CoreMedia already has a large deal pending with Argonaut Insurance Co.
Seidman says the tentative resale pricing ranges from $2,300 to $7,500. Seidman plans to have 30 partners on board by year's end and is in discussions with three of the Big Five consulting firms.