Friday, 29 April 2005

Industry Update No. 1: Pivot Software

This is the first of a new intiative on the ChiefTech blog where I'll give you an update on a particular vendor or product in the information and knowledge management space. I'll be primarily looking at different content, messaging and collaboration tools but from time to time I reserve the right to look at anything else that looks interesting (this is my blog after all!).

This week I had the opportunity to catch up with Colin Tan, NSW Regional Manager, from Pivot Software to learn more about their “integrated Knowledge-Based Business Application”, which goes by the same name. Pivot Software is based in Queensland, Australia, and was established in 2000. The focus of the company is on a suite of applications all based on the same Pivot architecture, for example Knowledge-Pivot, Project-Pivot and Sales-Pivot.

Since I had already spoken to Colin earlier in the year about Pivot Software, this time it was a chance to take a closer look at Project-Pivot in action (client and server were running on Colin's laptop). There were a couple of particular features that caught my attention:
  • It manages 'knowledge objects', consisting of unstructured data within a form template, in a loose content architecture that allows users to navigate either by a folder-like interface or by following links between knowledge objects.
  • It provides a graphical navigator that lets you browse knowledge objects as a network of connected objects or as steps in a process.
One of the other nice things I liked about Pivot was that it doesn't try to 'capture' everything – the Pivot approach has a strong emphasis on capture and reuse of knowledge objects but in quite a flexible way. For example, project steps can be templated and linked to related 'knowledge objects' such as people, resources and other unstructured information. Users can then collaborate on individual projects – reusing or adapting these templates plus adding new knowledge objects - all from within Pivot.

There is obviously more to Project-Pivot (and the other flavours of Pivot in suite) than just the features I've highlighted, however these alone make it worth taking a look at. I can see immediate application for this tool in the SME space and the fact that it has its own client interface, rather than being browser based, is probably a point in its favour. I plan to keep in touch with Colin and will keep you posted on any interesting developments.

Meanwhile look out for updates in the next couple of weeks on Objectify, Crux Cybernetics (one of my previously unpublished articles recently appeared on their TeamFrame portal) and Grouputer...

Disclaimer: Information on this site is of a general nature. Please seek advice for specific circumstances. Unless otherwise stated, please assume that I have no commercial relationship with the vendors or products discussed.



  1. James - very informative. Thanks. About how often do you think you'll get a chance to look at software and comment?

  2. Thanks for the feedback. At the moment I have another half dozen vendors lined up to talk to me about their products, so initially at least you should get a couple a week. So expect some more in the next few days!


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