The vendor conundrum

There are some more good comments on KM Australia from Serena Joyner on the NSW KM Forum blog. 

Serena raises the perennial question of how to cope with vendor presentations at such major events.  KM is about people, but I think that most of us agree that many (although certainly not all) KM initiatives require some technology to support them.  Events like this need funding from vendors to make them possible (or they will come with much higher fees).  The vendors need to see some return on this investment, so they need a speaking spot.

The result is two entirely different types of presentation.  One from the viewpoint of people (and these may be either actual case studies or may be more about possibilities and research) and the other from the viewpoint of IT systems. 

Ark did concentrate on having the vendors present much more from a Case Study point of view this year, which did help.  But one vendor case study presentation that stuck in my mind still tended to focus much more on the actual system implementation and rollout than on the business situation that the technology solution was intended to address.

I worked in IT for five years – I am used to the mind set of IT vendors.  But surely it would be a better pitch to have presented this same case in a different way?  Hearing about the implementation does not make me more likely to buy the boxes and software.  If I heard more about the human and business sides of the same story, and liked what I heard, then I may be even more interested in buying the solution.  (Which of course assumes that I have a budget to buy it…)


  1. Hi Keith.

    Talking of vendors, you should know about a new free KM system from Wordware, designed for KM entrepreneurs, looking to make a living in KM on the net.

    It’s called gStepOne, a knowledge-based wizard writer (like WorkScript, which you know of), that works with the Google toolset (apps, calendar, gmail, etc.) and facilitates linking knowledge processes into web-based services.

    It’s a great tool for offering KM services to small/midsize businesses via the web. It’s easy to use and it enables knowledge consultants to add value. With it, they can take their client’s process and procedural knowledge base and generate interactive wizards for their client’s staff.

    gStepOne consists of:

    • An online Procedure Mapping Screen, for creating and linking your procedure maps to Google docs policies, presentations, instructions, spreadsheets, forms, training material, and Google Apps, and generating Google Wizards.

    • The Wizard Desktop Screen, which shows work trays and the status of Wizards and enables consultants to initiate and manage Wizards and set up company details.

    • The Google Wizard Screen that displays each Wizard to be performed as a sequence of steps backed by resources that support each step. When users start a Wizard, it displays the first step on the Wizard screen, ready to be performed, complete with the Google resources, applications and web services needed to complete the procedure.

    You may find it useful to review the Beta launch video on the website (, or at YouTube: gStepOne – Free Google Wizard Writer.

    We welcome all users. Anyone can register for an account at the website:,

    Please check it out, we are keen to get it in use and we welcome your feedback


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.