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Abuzz releases collaborative sofware

Start-up Abuzz may have found a niche in the collaborative software market by using email to manage various types of information.

    Start-up Abuzz may have found a niche in the collaborative software market by using email to manage various types of information.

    The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm said its new Beehive software enables organizations to support their tacit knowledge--knowledge not captured in written form--across the enterprise or the Internet using email as its core means of transmission.

    Beehive manages expertise by building profiles or other virtual communities, routing requests for knowledge directly to these experts, and automatically archiving the exchanges for reuse. Beehive's management tools illustrate how expertise is used and shared, and identify gaps in an organization's knowledge base, the company said.

    Using its email-based architecture, Beehive can support large, distributed organizations, serving as an intranet application that enables employees to share expertise. The program can also act as an extranet product that helps firms to share knowledge with customers or partners, and as an Internet application that lets current and potential customers share knowledge with each other, the company said.

    Nathaniel Palmer, an analyst with the Delphi Group, said Abuzz has developed a unique knowledge management package by basing it on email. "The big players, like Lotus, are paying attention to this because a big part of their sales is already on email but their knowledge management solutions are not."

    Knowledge management software is used to provide a system for companies to transform information from various sources--the Web, back-office applications, databases--into client applications for making business decisions.

    Beehive acts as a stand-alone solution, or can integrate seamlessly with leading groupware tools such as Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange.

    Pricing for Beehive is based on the scope of implementation and number of experts in the system, the company said.