The major outcomes of On-To-Knowledge are a methodology, tools, and best-practises for knowledge management:

1. A methodology that provides guidelines for introducing knowledge management concepts and tools into enterprises, helping knowledge providers to present their knowledge efficiently and effectively. The methodology will include the identification of goals that should be achieved by knowledge management tools and will be based on an analysis of business processes and the different roles knowledge workers play in organisations.

2. An intelligent search tool that supports users in accessing information and a tool environment for maintenance, conversion, and acquisition of information sources. These tools are based on a three-layered architecture that helps to bridge the large gap between information needs of users on the one hand and available information sources on the other hand.

3. Three large case studies will help to develop the technology according to the actual needs of large and/or virtual organisations and will provide an ideal testbed for evaluating methods and tools. They will also be highly useful in directly employing the achieved results and in deriving commercial spin-offs from the project.

Project Extension Outcomes

The original project was aimed to deliver methodology, tools, and case studies. During the work on the project it became clear that the applicability of the tools developed would benefit from a system integration architecture designed and developed to allow easy building of real-world solutions based on the developed methodology. Also it was realised that many new applications become possible if the set of the tools get extended with specific inference services. The extension of the project aims to satisfy these needs:

1. A software infrastructure for system integration that will be developed on top of the RDF repository SESAME developed under the project. This infrastructure will comprise application programming interfaces (API) and software modules that support them. The main features to be added are versioning, security, ontology lookup, and modularisation. See the descriptions of tasks 11.1 and 11.2 below.

2. An inference engine being able to provide reasoning services with instances. This way a new set of information extraction and information integration applications become possible. See the descriptions of task 11.3 below.

Tools and Methods of On-To-Knowledge

The tool and method environment developed in On-To-Knowledge will significantly lower the threshold for companies to achieve the knowledge management demands successfully. It will significantly improve the access to exisiting information and knowledge and will reduce the costs in acquiring and maintaining this knowledge.

Textual and semiformal information be accessed with user-friendly interfaces and automatic search agents that free the user from large search and retrieval effort. Automatic support in generating and maintaining docuements enables information provider to ensure consistency and correctness of their information sources.

However, in addition to its generic technology On-To-Knowledge will develop we deal with three case studies covering a broad range of relevant application scenarious.

Support for Organizational Memories

Organization Memory of large companies:

Within one partner, a large number of office-workers apply company procedures and regulations to process claims made by customers. The starting point will be two already existing information systems for supporting such office work. Currently, this system is very bothersome and error-prone to maintain. The case study aims at providing a solution to this problem. In particular, we aim at obtaining a smooth integration of weakly structured knowledge with formally represented knowledge and integration of the information system with other knowledge descriptions already existing in the company.

This helps to fulfil precisely the information needs that are required in the different steps and processes of the workflow of an organisation.

Support for Help Desks

Help desk functionality in call centres:

Providing customers with appropriate information on products and services decides about the ability of a company to establish successful and stable relationships with their clients. However, running call centres and providing the help desk personal with appropriate information is a costly activity.

We will develop a solution for one of our partner who has a number of call-centres, where large volumes of rapidly changing information from very disparate sources is used by operators to answer customer queries. This information is crucial to the call centre's productivity, but is currently not efficiently managed, distributed, accessed and maintained.

Support for virtual Enterprises

Virtual enterprises:

The penetration of internet and intranet technology enables new types of organizations. An enterprise is no longer required to rely on a shared and common space in a geographical sense. Instead, it may be arbitrarily distributed over different regions and countries. An enterprise-wide network (intranet) establishes its unity. Still, it introduces high demands on its information and knowledge management capabilities via this network.

Successfully solving the knowledge management demands of such an organization type decides heavily about success and failure of such enterprises. Many problems, that can be solved by informal information flows in companies sharing the same geographical location must here be modelled explicitly and solved technologically.

Therefore, On-To-Knowledge tackle with one of the key problems of an organization type that will soon become increasingly important and wide-spreat in the future.

For Inputs and Outputs see image below (click to enlarge).


In summary, the On-To-Knowledge project successfully pioneers a new line of technology in an area that is highly significant for the competitiveness of European companies.