When we established our list of 100 Companies That Matter 10 years ago, “knowledge management” was just beginning to be a recognized term in the boardroom. However, getting the right information, product or service to the right people at the right time has been fundamental to the success of an organization since well before the Industrial Revolution.
Make no mistake, though, KM is not now (nor will it ever likely be) a household word. Nor is it an application. It’s an attitude, a commitment to excellence and innovation shared by the companies, large and small, on this list. A decade ago, a lot of vendors were so intoxicated by their technology that they tried to woo their customers with dazzling features, capabilities they thrust upon clients without fully understanding their legitimate needs. Now, in 2010, that’s no longer true. The firms on this list are true solution providers that are dedicated to understanding what their customers need and delivering elegant technology for the requirements of the knowledge economy.
As is the case each year, compilation of the list is a yearlong collaborative effort among colleagues, analysts, system integrators and a select group of users, all of whom requested anonymity, which we respect. With more than 1,000 companies in this “space,” I’m sure we’ve unconsciously omitted some that are most worthy of inclusion. However, as it was a decade ago, the list is intended to spark a larger discussion of knowledge management. Hence, we consider this list to be a work in progress. We’re always on the lookout for groundbreaking solutions or notable modifications to existing ones. As we move toward 2011, we’ll likely add a few companies and make any necessary changes due to mergers or acquisitions. Throughout the year, the organizations and products we find most interesting will be showcased on our site and in our magazine.
Our list is really a snapshot in time for the evolving and expanding knowledge management universe. We invite discussion and encourage you to contact us regarding KM tools and services you find especially valuable. Vendors: Ask your customers to tell us how your solutions have benefited their business. Analysts, consultants and integrators: Give us a heads-up when you discover especially interesting software and emerging trends. And we certainly encourage you to scour the Web sites of the 100 companies we listed—and don’t forget the consultants and researchers. You’ll see why we selected these companies.