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CSC focuses on corporate know-how

Limping technology-services giant Computer Sciences unveils a new business division focused on helping companies use what they already know as a competitive advantage and cost saver.

Computer Sciences on Monday unveiled a new business division focused on helping companies use what they already know as a competitive advantage and cost saver.

With the unit, called Global Knowledge Management Services (GKMS), CSC is offering clients a full suite of strategy, technology, planning and outsourcing services.

So-called knowledge-management applications belong to a family of collaborative software that helps companies to view information from various sources such as the Web, back-office applications and databases in order to make business decisions. Some knowledge-management applications make it easier for companies to link their employees and share information. IBM subsidiary Lotus Development established an early presence in knowledge-management software.

The unveiling of the new division comes amid challenging times for Computer Sciences, a technology-services giant that has been smarting from a dropoff in demand and a corresponding drop in profits.

Earlier this month, the company posted fourth-quarter results a penny ahead of analysts' lowered expectations and also told Wall Street to cut their first-quarter forecasts. The company had blamed that quarter's performance on several factors including lower demand for commercial consulting and systems-integration services and disappointing sales in health care software, which is one of CSC's specialty areas.

On the flip side, other giant services players, including Computer Sciences rivals Electronic Data Systems and IBM Global Services, enjoyed steady momentum in their most recent quarters and forecast future sales growth.

Through Computer Sciences' new GKMS division, consultants will analyze a company's current business environment and help it identify the best approach to use its knowledge as a strategic weapon. Computer Sciences will help companies design and develop knowledge-management systems that suit their needs, along with technology outsourcing services to help run and manage those systems.

Carol Bothwell, chief knowledge officer and vice president of El Segundo, Calif.-based Computer Sciences, has been tapped to manage the new unit. A core team of consultants from the company's other practices will support the division.