Preserving Company Know-How

AEROSPATIALE Missile's Knowledge Base

Imagine you are leading an important technical project at work. As your deadline nears, suddenly a critical part of the software stops working. You must get the problem fixed. But the engineer who wrote the software has left the company. Recreating his knowledge could take weeks and make you miss the deadline. You may lose your bonus and a chance at promotion. Your company may lose the contract, money and prestige. What can you and your company do now to prevent this problem in the future?

Many companies lose valuable knowledge when employees move to new projects or leave, when subcontractors finish their work and when industrial espionage occurs. Or sometimes employees simply forget important details of long-term projects after working on other projects.

A Valuable Corporate Asset

AEROSPATIALE Missiles decided to preserve valuable company knowledge by creating a database including video, audio, text, and graphics.

The French company AEROSPATIALE Missiles realized that each employee's knowledge is an asset to preserve and value. Six years ago, AEROSPATIALE began exploring solutions to the problem of knowledge-loss. In 1993, AERO- SPATIALE Missiles launched an ambitious project called ACCES to combat the problem. ACCES has a goal of keeping the know-how of all employees in electronic form. This "company memory"covering areas from the research lab to the manufacturing lineincludes text, images, audio and video.

A Universal Need

AEROSPATIALE Missiles specializes in defense and weapon systems. AEROSPATIALE is working on ACCES with the Norwegian Institutt for Energiteknikk, which specializes in nuclear risk evaluation and process control. "The large difference between the two companies is an advantage. We are developing a product that applies universally to knowledge management, and not just to the specific needs of a single enterprise," says Jocelyne Hamon, the engineer in charge of ACCES project development within AEROSPATIALE Missiles.

ACCES's advanced graphical interface was built on Sybase's Gain Momentum software. Hamon says, "We put the emphasis on the ease-of-use and graphic functions," so that people find it easy to work with. AEROSPATIALE designed ACCES to be automated, interactive and effective. This way, people can develop the habit of daily use, contributing and drawing out information to build up the knowledge base day by day. Knowledge in ACCES is linked to guide the end-user through the problem-solving process. Static data is stored in a set of linked C++ objects. Dynamic, changing knowledge is managed by intelliSphere software from neurOagent S.A. intelliSphere combines traditional artificial intelligence (rule sets) with neural nets (mathematical models that mimic memory and the learning process).

AEROSPATIALE's employees can query the database directly, or use the database's artificial intelligence to locate useful data.

Video Capture with JPEG

The current knowledge domains in ACCES are image processing, aerodynamics, electromagnetic compatibility and weapon systems architecture. Data include video and images of weapon systems (plans, tests, production procedures). Video is captured through a Parallax XVideo card, JPEG compressed in real time and stored for reuse with Gain Momentum.

Of 20 trades represented by its employees, AEROSPATIALE Missiles has already captured data on four in ACCES. "The idea is to initialize ACCES with a small core of knowledge, that one will add to little by little until it constitutes a database covering all the trades in the enterprise," says Hamon. This information will be very useful in training new employees and sharing knowledge as people move from one project to another.

For information on ACCES, contact Jocelyne Hamon by phone (+33 1 47 46 2121), fax (+33 1 47 46 3462) or e-mail (jocelyne.hamon@missiles.aerospatiale.fr). For information on intelliSphere, phone Nicolas Bonnet at +33 1 47 76 1866 (France). For information on Gain Momentum, phone 415-813-1800 (U.S.), fax 415-813-8333 or web surf to http://www.sybase.com

[ Home ] [ New! ] [ Products ] [ Solutions ] [ Support ] [ Company ] [ Contacts ]

Copyright 1997 Parallax Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved.