CATEGORY: Data Mining & Visualization

REVIEWER: Gerhard Edl, head of information and communications systems for the Bank Austria/Creditanstalt Group.

BACKGROUND: Bank Austria/Creditanstalt Group was formed in 1997 with the merger of the "Bank Austria" and "Creditanstalt" banks to create Austria's biggest credit institute.

PLATFORMS: The system runs on a Sun Enterprise 10000 with four CPU boards (16 CPUs). The backup is a Sun Enterprise 3500 with eight CPUs.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Over 12,000 staff at Vienna-based Austria/Creditanstalt Group can now access information from throughout the organization using a comprehensive intranet solution based on Hyperwave's collaborative knowledge management software, eKnowledge Infrastructure. Making information instantly available through the company's intranet, Hyperwave has eliminated the need for couriers and faxed memos and has transformed the way in which information is relayed between teams and employees in the Bank Austria/Creditanstalt Group and its 470 branches.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The eKnowledge Infrastructure is a suite of modular collaborative knowledge management systems integrating content and document management, information search and retrieval, workflow, collaboration and e- learning capabilities. Each module can be used individually or together, providing organizations with a flexible information management environment that can be scaled to requirements. eKnowledge Infrastructure provides a comprehensive environment for the publication, organization and dissemination of information to support the entire life cycle of knowledge within an organization. Hyperwave's solution automatically manages and structures content as it is added. Dynamic hyperlinks ensure that information is constantly updated as documents are added, amended or removed. Information can be actively linked across categories. Links can be easily identified by all users, allowing information to be used efficiently. Hyperwave guarantees optimal content recoverability with its hierarchical structure, separation of document content and additional attribute-based information.

STRENGTHS: Hyperwave offers us a number of benefits. Link management technology prevents broken links and keeps content from becoming orphaned. The automatically managed environment works with both structured and unstructured content. Automated notification agents alert clients and account teams when new content is added or modifications are made to existing content. Document routing expedites the review and approval process. Secure, threaded discussions foster and enhance collaboration. Meta data supports a range of search capabilities based on content and/or attributes.

WEAKNESSES: Prior to Version 6, the Hyperwave System only ran on a proprietary database. We now have the option of using Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server.

SELECTION CRITERIA: When choosing an intranet solution, link management was a decisive factor for us. We needed to reduce expenditure and any possible sources of error. Users always know where to find information since the hyperlinks remain intact if objects are moved or renamed. If objects are deleted, the links will be removed by the system. Moreover, users do not see links to information they are not authorized to access.

DELIVERABLES: The intranet solution was designed to provide comprehensive online help for the bank's decentralized workplace systems. Content needed to be accessed directly from applications on a context- related basis, and Bank Austria/Creditanstalt Group required an efficient information service that would be available to all employees. Our employees now have optimal access to permanently up-to-date information, and our bank is now benefiting from considerable cost savings by using the knowledge management solution.

Currently the intranet is divided into five main categories: News, Product Information, Processing, Data & Facts, and Service. In total, 12,400 users will be able to access 130,000 static HTML documents, images, graphics and PDF files on a cross-location basis. More than 1 million text parts will be joined to process information. Access to 1,850 comprehensive product descriptions with relevant information and all in-bank processes and system documentation will also be possible.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Our implementation team worked with Hyperwave's staff to gather business needs, which were then translated into application requirements. Since implementation, our internal team has been in direct communication with Hyperwave to ensure that any issues are resolved rapidly.

DOCUMENTATION: The standard documentation that comes with Hyperwave's system was excellent and enabled us to understand and deploy the product.

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