Friday, June 20, 2008

Connections in Context

I was the moderator of a webinar: Connections in Context – The New Face of CRM sponsored by the Knowledge Management Peer Group of the International Legal Technology Association. The speaker was Oz Benamram the Director of Knowledge Management of Morrison & Foerster. The presentation was a retake of the presentation he gave at the Enterprise Search Summit.

Oz has done some great work on finding documents. So I was enthusiastic to see his take on finding people.

My Notes:

The goal of CRM has been to help you find someone and to deliver information about that someone to help you decide if that someone is the "one." We need to make it easy to find people, whether internal or external, and see our shared experience with this person.

Oz set forth, with all of the related content related to the product. With Facebook, he pointed out the flow of information from Facebook.

There are three keys around people: who, why and what. Who are the People and Contacts. The Why is the client, matter or project. The What are emails and documents. It also important to coordinate those with when and where.

The goal is to make the information findable in a Google-like manner. That is one simple search box that integrates all systems. It also important to filter the results like you do in Amazon or Clusty (powered by Vivisimo).

Oz moved onto a presentation of the contacts module of his AnswerBase system. AnswerBase is powered by Recommind. The tool uses a relationship analysis tool from Contact Networks (in a proof of concept). This tool looks at the email traffic between internal and external people to show the strength of relationship. They also add info from the CRM system, HR databases, document management system, billing system, matter management system and marketing systems.

They had a privacy issue related to harvesting email. They limited it to emails that were put into their email filing system. This allows you to expose the email and alleviated privacy concerns.

Oz moved onto finding contacts in context. This involved some entity extraction. They use West KM to find courts, judges and parties mentioned in the document. (This is very litigation focused.)

Oz moved on to finding internal expertise. They mash together information from the HR system, the documents the attorney has drafted, the information on the attorney's matters and the attorney's time entries.

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