Last fall I reported on the launch of Entopia, a Silicon Valley-based company that offers Quantum, a flagship enterprise knowledge management product (see http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=17471). Since then the company has focused on the growth of its sales and support teams, marketed to information-intensive organizations, and worked to incorporate customer-requested product enhancements. Now Entopia has announced the availability of Entopia Quantum version 1.4, a new release that offers improvements to provide tighter integration with daily work flow, business processes, and business applications.
Lionel Baraban, president, CEO, and co-founder of Entopia, said: "With the newest version of Quantum we enhanced the user experience, improved the ability to easily migrate content to the knowledge base, [and] most importantly, improved our Knowledge Locator to be the most usable tool of its kind for everyday knowledge workers. Most of the product improvements are based on direct customer feedback. By meeting these requests in an innovative manner we hope to maintain our reputation as the leader in bottom-up knowledge management."
Entopia emphasizes that last phrase, "bottom-up knowledge management," as its distinguishing characteristic in what it terms is an "emerging field." By empowering individual workers first, Quantum software "facilitates personal productivity and collaboration, allowing the enterprise to capitalize on work already done." Utilizing a three-tiered architecture, Quantum provides users with the tools to collect and organize diverse information, such as documents (Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF), e-mail, and Web pages; share the information and collaborate with others in the enterprise; and build the company's knowledge infrastructure. The software employs proprietary semantic and applied mathematical technology that allows users to search and locate content, subject experts, and related resources.
Entopia claims that its approach to knowledge management enables intellectual capital to become a byproduct of the natural interaction of people and information. In contrast, the company states that other KM systems require a large, pre-organized, and centralized repository (using top-down implementation) that disrupts daily work flow and often grows too unwieldy to be effective.
Enhancements in Quantum 1.4 include a new user interface that has more of the look and feel of a Microsoft Windows product, which makes it familiar and intuitive for users. The software now offers version-control capabilities that enable customers to access and restore all versions that have been modified over time. In addition, users can view the complete history of actions that have been performed on a particular file. Quantum also provides additional integration functions, including the ability to work with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents directly, and permits task management with Microsoft Outlook. Quantum 1.4 is now fully compatible with Lotus Notes.
According to Peter Katz, Entopia's executive vice president of sales and marketing, one of the most important enhancements in Quantum 1.4 is its ability to integrate structured information (such as contact-management data or company records) in addition to collecting and organizing unstructured data. Migrating data is also easier with its Folder Collect feature. This enables entire folders, including all subfolders and files from a hard disk or network server, to be integrated into the knowledge base with a single click. Katz also pointed to the increased search functionality in version 1.4. Users are now offered simultaneous semantic (concept-based) and full-text searches for information.
While Katz said the company doesn't have 1,000 customers yet, it does have a number in each of the key markets it's targeting. In addition, there are many companies that are currently evaluating Quantum. Entopia aims to serve enterprise needs in the areas of financial services, pharma/biotech, education, high tech, marketing analysis, and ROI services. Its newest customer is the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego.
One of Entopia's customers is BSGL, a management consultancy based in France. "We partnered with Entopia because of the strength of the Quantum solution," said Nicholas Leck, head of BSGL's knowledge management practice. "Unlike other knowledge management solutions that were considered, we are particularly impressed with the way Entopia Quantum automatically builds metadata from everyday work and creates expert profiles based on the interests of and information gathered by the user, the discussions in which he participated, and sources that he has used. Moreover, this new version of Quantum shows impressive gains in usability and even stronger integration with everyday work flow."
The privately held Entopia is backed by global media and communications giant Vivendi Universal.