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Tentative First Steps Into Knowledge Management For Kodak

A 400-person test of Tacit software is planned for the imaging company.

InformationWeek Staff

November 11, 2002

1 Min Read

Eastman Kodak Co. is making its first foray into knowledge management, but it's doing so carefully. The maker of digital-imaging technology and services is embarking on a 400-person pilot deployment of Tacit Knowledge Systems Inc.'s KnowledgeMail software to encourage better information sharing between engineering teams. The goal is to avoid duplicating problem-solving efforts.

Kodak chose Tacit because its software focuses on people rather than documents, says Brendan Regan, manager of engineering design for Kodak's commercial-imaging group, which is conducting the pilot. Regan says Kodak also wasn't interested in building and maintaining its own taxonomy to support a knowledge database, something that KnowledgeMail automatically generates based on the documents it scans. It looks for noun-verb phrases and then associates them with the authors of the documents to create expertise profiles.

Kodak's test will run through the first quarter of next year. "Based on that pilot, we'll determine how far this thing goes within Kodak," Regan says. He declined to disclose Kodak's financial commitment to Tacit, but he says a successful pilot could lead to a full-scale deployment across the commercial-imaging group, one of Kodak's four primary business units.

Regan says that based on how engineers like to do things, Tacit should prove to be an ideal fit: "Engineers will talk your ear off, but the majority of them aren't interested in documenting anything."

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