Tuesday, June 08, 1999

Convergence and Knowledge Management Summit

Without skipping a beat, The Basex Group drew a respectable audience for their summit on Convergence and Knowledge Management at 3 World Financial Center on Tuesday, June 8th. Ringleader Sam Albert, who got to the summit in the nick of time thanks to a cabbie that recognized him as the 1010Wins CompuTips host, opened the summit and introduced speakers throughout the day. Topics ranged from "Content and Convergence," led by Gayle Hardy (knowledge management consultant, Lexis-Nexis) to "Enemies and Enabelers of Knowledge Management" by Larry Prusak (executive director, Institute for Knowledge Management). Larry Thaler (Director, News Studios, NBC) moderated the panel discussing Converging Industries" with panelists including Monty Sharma, Chief Technology Officer, MT&T; Stephen C. Miller, Assistant to the Technology Editor, New York Times; and Mike Wheeler, President, CNBC Dow Jones Business Video. Other afternoon sessions included a panel discussion between chief knowledge officers including Nick Rudd, CKO, Wunderman Cato Johnson; Chris Newell, CKO, Viant; and Gary Beach, Publisher, CIO Magazine; all moderated by Chris Bryant, CEO and Managing Director, T3 Media, Inc. I listened in on Neal Goldsmith, Research Director, The Concours Group speak on "Disruptive Technologies and Listening Corporations" and Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, Kroll-O'Gara on "Securing The Converged Environment." Brill started off his talk with an interesting definition on "what is an Expert" as told to him by Edwin Meese from the White House: you must be 50 miles away from home, can't be responsible for what you implement and you must use slides (in your presentation). (I knew we had a lot of experts at all these conferences and now I know why!)

Here are some of the more serious points they discussed:

Disruptive Technologies and Listening Corporations
+ Change is everything--the way you order supplies, the way you process a client, the way you go on-line
+The web can be disruptive to businesses--for instance: when a company goes "virtual" that's very disruptive. Now employees and customers have a significant change in how they deal with the business.
+ An organization chart in a business can be disruptive--a company is made up of people who do things, not just people with titles (Although titles define what that person does)
+ Change management isn't disruptive if it's done correctly.
+ Stay flexible with your business model
+ The difference between an ego-based change and cybernetically listening to the industry for your business plan is a vital difference
+ The Web is also a supportive and sustaining technology for businesses: make it iterative, not disruptive, to your business plan

Securing The Converged Environment
+ Brill's philosophy is that "at any given moment there is a percentage of the population that are up to no good"
+ 80% of all crime (abuse) happens from the inside--disgruntled people at the office, etc.
+ Currently his company is investigating a bank that's being extorted over the Internet (wow)
+ Ways to materially reduce the risk of a security breach
. Limit directory access
. Correctly configure the firewall and staging server
. Automatically refresh static content of your site with a CD-rom
. Change Web server defaults and remove unused web applications/scripts
+ The most popular password? "Password" the second most popular password "Secret"
+ The favorite passwords of administrators? "God" and "NC17USS1"
+ Trust NO ONE: security breaches come from temps, employees, contractors, vendors, competitors and sabateurs. Temps are called "invisible people" -- they show up on a job, sit in someone's cubicle and get access to information only employees (who have been interviewed, referenced, checked & drug tested) have
+ How to protect yourself: background checks, applications, drug tests, computer backups, register your domain name spoof sites (mycompanysucks.com) and misspellings of your company name before your competitor or a disgruntled employee does
+ The government is training more inmates about computers and technology than cops
+ When you get rid of your old computer, don't just reformat the hard drive, make sure you have a professional completely overwrite the HD--there is still data on the computer even if its been reformatted.

After getting the bejeezums scared out of us about security breaches, conference attendees walked across the bridge into 4 WFC and enjoyed (and endured the slowest service ever) at the Hudson River Club. Sam Albert introduced to Nick Rudd, who in addition to working with Wunderman has several other projects going too (don't we all?!). Edmund Bogen, Robert Frankel and I enjoyed the lovely view as the hors d'oeuvres were passed around. And then at dinner, Larry Thaler, Monty Sharma and I laughed most of the way through our meals as we heard in horrific detail about Monty's recent laser eye surgery and contrasted other funny stories about life in Canada and New York City. Craig James and Kristine Kehoe of LexiQuest were also at our table, and sponsors of the day (along with AMEX Tax and Business Services). LexiQuest has a really unique product for intelligent searching based on language and linguistics. Check it out! Jeannine Parker (pres., Magnitude Assoc. & EVChair, Worldwide AIP) and Jonathan Spira (senior managing director, The Basex Group) joined us for crème brulee. A satisfying meal and interesting information--now to just manage all this knowledge!