PowerPortals a nástroje WebTop - zapojme web do práce
Sjoerd Vogt, The Dialog Corporation, Whitney, Velká Británie

Info Resources for Science & Technology Session:

PowerPortals and Webtop Tools – Putting the Web to Work

Organisations continue to expect more from their intranets – and from the World Wide Web. Dialog leads the way in developing tools that will not only maximise the organisation’s “knowledge asset value”, but will also shape the user’s desktop to their exact information requirements. We look at how these tools change the way in which enterprises organise and search for information.

Maximising an Organisation’s Knowledge Asset Value

It has been recognised for some considerable time that knowledge is a valuable corporate asset. This is not the issue.

The issue is that knowledge is an intangible asset. And unlike tangible assets – the ones which are routinely listed within your financial director’s report – we need to actually define what knowledge is and how it impacts upon the enterprise to even begin to identify its potential worth – or its Knowledge Asset Value (KAV).

KAV needs to be part of your enterprise’s corporate strategy, if for no other reason than that is the way your competitors are already thinking.

KAV is therefore the explicit value to your organisation of the total knowledge available. In order to maximise this, you not only need to adopt a totally new outlook and redefine the way in which you think about business, but you will also need retrieval tools that give you access to the maximum information as efficiently as possible.

Seeing the Wood from the Trees from the Branches from the Leaves….

For the purposes of this discussion we will liken the information gathering process to the finding of a rare insect – which sits on a leaf – on a branch – on a tree – in a forest…..

The insect is the article in question.

It sits on a leaf. This is the journal.  Yes – there are now many Web sites where individual journals are fully searcheable.

The leaf is on a branch. The branch is the publisher. Yes – many publishers now allow searching of their publications over the Web – often inexpensively – or free to subscribers of the fulltext.

The branch is on a tree. The tree can be likened to a database. Yes – many individual databases are now available for searching over the web – usually by subscription.

The tree is in a forest. The forest is DIALOG.  Only with an “aggregator service” such as DIALOG are you able to search the entire forest.

Forest searching is what people require. Subsequent e-Linking to the primary information is essential.

However – it is not sufficient for DIALOG to be the world’s largest forest. We must also be the forest of choice.

This involves having the best entry points into this forest. These entry points were traditionally through an intermediary and a powerful command language. Nowadays – we need many and varied doorways – or portals – into our forest.

Portals of Every Description

Classical DIALOG is still the most important doorway in terms of revenue. Although DIALOG has introduced a wide variety of Web interfaces, “Dialog Classic” is the fastest growing.

Dialog Web and Dialog Select offer hand-held DIALOG searching of varying power and ease-of-use .

PowerPortal was introduced at the end of 1999 – and allows any Web user to build their own portal around DIALOG.

The Intranet Toolkit allows users to build DialogSelect search screens that  reside on the customers’ intranet and are fully integrated into it.

DIALOG is also actively promoting DIALOG Open Access (credit card billing) links from other users’ sites. Recent examples of such alliances include the Teltech Alliance (http://www.teltech.com/) and Bio Online (http://www.bio.com) .

However – even being the forest of choice is still not enough.

K-Working Together with Portals

In order to maximise our KAV – we need to change the way in which we work.

We need tools to help us change the way in which we work. DIALOG can also provide these tools through its K-working suite of products. Depending on the applications identified we may choose different combinations or sets of tools. K-Working tools simply automate those processes that knowledge workers perform; but within the context of delivering on the objective of maximising the KAV.


As enterprises rely more and more on intranets to distribute information, the expectations of the end-users in being able to reach out for information directly from their desktops  will continue to rise. By being the  forest of choice and by providing the K-working tools in the right combination DIALOG is able to solve many of the knowledge management problems that enterprises are confronted with.