ATG pitches new app as federal knowledge management tool

Portal provider Art Technology Group Inc. is promoting its new customer service software as a tool for managing agency data in-house.

'When you look at systems such as the Navy Knowledge Online or Army Knowledge Online, they have a pretty significant number of internal users,' said Leslie David, a solutions architect who works in the Cambridge, Mass., company's government practice.

ATG yesterday introduced the initial version of its Adaptive Customer Assistance software. The Web application directs users to written answers from questions they enter into the app's search engine. If answers don't exist at present, the software alerts customer service representatives.

Although ATG is marketing this product to companies as a way to cut the costs of phone-based customer service, the company is also targeting government agencies. The app can provide more accurate information to internal employees and to workers at other agencies, David said.

'Every agency has knowledge out there. Everyone is trying to figure out how to get the right information into the right people's hands,' she said. 'Up until now, AKO, NKO, even the Federal Aviation Administration have all been Web-enabling all their content. They are not targeting it toward anyone, just making it available. Now they need to organize and target.'

As an example, David said the military could use ATG's software to better provide information to recruits. 'They are coming in new, not sure where to go. They really need targeted information,' she said. Experienced personnel, in contrast, could receive different information when logging on to an intranet.

The Agriculture Department, Army and Virginia have used ATG's portal products.

Adaptive Customer Assistance is a standalone product, although it draws elements from the company's ATG Portal flagship software, said Manesh Barmecha, product manager for ATG.

The software has a number of unique characteristics, Barmecha said. It can build a profile of the user, which will help it provide more relevant searches. It keeps tabs on what kinds of searches users make, so the information creators can provide better data. The app can also draw data from outside systems, such as customer relationship management systems.

Enterprise licenses for Adaptive Customer Assistance start at about $200,000.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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