HiveMind, an automated expertise discovery engine created by Melbourne, Australia, startup BinaryPlex has entered closed beta.
The service aims to help employees find experts within their organisation without relying on those experts, or others, to manually update their profiles.
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If they can achieve this they have the potential to revolutionize the way knowledge and expertise is shared within businesses of all sizes.
Let me explain.
Most large (and some small) organisations have some sort of knowledge management tool. These systems, whether they work alone or in tandem with profiling tools, increase the ability of employees to access expertise within the organisation. What they don’t tend to do, however, is enable employees to identify who has expertise at a given point in time. This is critical as people move on, or change focus, and the person who you thought had expertise may not be the go-to person anymore.
Even worse, because so many of those systems require manual updating, many people with expertise don’t put any information in their profile meaning their skills are never captured from the outset.
That’s where HiveMind comes in.
HiveMind uses what the team call “Social Taxonomy” to create definitions of what type of language demonstrates expertise in a given field. Once that’s done it’s a case of flicking the switch and allowing the algorithm to do its thing.
Here’s a short (3:30) Common Craft-esque video explaining how the system works and why it has such massive potential:
HiveMind works with multiple Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 tools like SocialCast, Confluence, Yammer, Lotus Connections or Sharepoint (and many others) as well as e-mail. In the words of co-founder Tim Bull:
“Our software can help you turn the flood of information into expert knowledge that you can track, measure and reuse as tags to improve the quality of expertise location and knowledge across all your tools.”
Bull goes on to add:
“With HiveMind we are building a product that helps bridge the gaps between silos of information while delivering what we are calling People Centric Software – software that works on behalf of people to connect them based around their knowledge.”
There are other players in the market – Autonomy and Cisco Pulse – but both of these are add-ons to the respective vendor’s infrastructure. HiveMind aims to compete by being vendor agnostic and focussing on “plug-outs” or the ability to take the Expertise into other systems and even add metadata to the original data source. Nice.
The team is made up Tim Bull who spent 15 years in their Enterptise Architecture Team at Price Waterhouse Coopers and Alex Dong, the first Microsoft Solution Architect MVP in China. Alex is also a startup veteran having started and exited with haokanbu.com as well as having lead the research lab for a NASDAQ listed company called Document Science which was later acquired by EMC.
If you’d like to sign up for the closed beta, jump onto the BinaryPlex website and put in your email address. Be quick though as the boys tell me the beta is filling up quickly.
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