N. Shatrujeet

Ogilvy Discovery launches Ogyani knowledge portal

The portal, which will function as a knowledge exchange space, attempts to tap “every bit of knowledge that is lying idle or forgotten in this agency”

In a move aimed at creating a more effective process of knowledge assimilation and knowledge dissemination within the agency, O&M India has launched its knowledge portal, Ogyani, across all its divisions and offices in the country. The portal, which will function as a knowledge exchange space for the agency's employees, is a product of Ogilvy Discovery, the knowledge management cell constituted under the agency's ‘Project Columbus' exercise.

"The portal, which went online last month, is a one-stop shop for all our knowledge needs," says Kunal Sinha, vice-president, Ogilvy Discovery. Sinha is spearheading the initiative along with Madhukar Sabnavis, country head, Ogilvy Discovery, and Kalpana Rao, talent director, O&M. "The attempt here is to tap every bit of knowledge that is lying idle or forgotten in this agency," he continues. "Ogyani will serve as a space where every bit of potentially useful information will be stored for future use."

So, for instance, staffers can put up documents, presentations, case studies and creative work from across offices. "Individuals sitting in one office could have access to information that could be hugely relevant to someone else in some other office, division or department," Sinha explains. "The portal allows everyone access to that information, and the agency comes out the richer from this shared pool of knowledge." Of course, it goes without saying that confidential information that is stored on the portal has an in-built for-your-eyes-only mechanism.

One of the interesting features of Ogyani is that it offers a high level of interactivity. In effect, what this means is that employees can locate and interact with other O&M employees who have experience in specific consumer segments or product categories. "Knowledge on Ogyani is organized by ‘Needs, Wants and Desires', and there are 13 such categories," says Sinha. "Every employee who logs in identifies his or her key interest areas, which could have to do with their current work or with their interest. So someone sitting in Bangalore who wants to know more about, say, cellular phone usage, can tap into the knowledge of someone in Delhi who has had years of category experience in communication."

Interestingly, individuals who have expertise in specific fields or categories are termed ‘gyanis' (thus the name, Ogyani), and employees can contact the gyanis for category knowledge. Given its objective, the portal captures knowledge in various forms, even through web links and book reviews. Ogyani even lists random views that individuals might have on a specific campaign or a presentation.

Apart from being a knowledge pool, Ogyani has also been designed as a "place to hangout". Discussion boards, insight locators, photo and creative libraries, cartoon contests and quizzes are all a part of the portal. "This is not necessarily only about being serious," Sinha insists. "The idea is to make this a place you would want to come back to, for work or for fun." The portal has a Toolkit section that allows employees to look up methodologies to mine consumer insights, dissect brands and understand their relationships with consumers, and learn the basics of each discipline. An Information Cell, which monitors various sectors and the broad spectrum of advertising, feeds the portal with the latest market information.

Naturally, for the initiative to succeed, the active participation of employees is a must. "Sharing information is paramount, which is why we have designed a recognition system whereby contributors gain points for every contribution they make, which, in turn, can be exchanged for gifts," says Sinha. To fuel participation, the agency has also designed a ‘Best of the Month' appraisal. "The office and division heads will pick out the best work submitted from their offices or divisions. These could be presentations, case studies, whatever. Similarly, we have something for creative work. The ‘Bests' will increase the number of points awarded, plus these documents will come in as high-value inputs during searches." He adds that as of now there is no mechanism for checking the quality of the submissions. "But we will start keeping a check on things once the concept becomes popular."

Usage of the information stored on the portal is also critical, and Sinha reveals that here too a recognition system is being put in place "very soon". He also reveals that ‘knowledge champions' have been appointed across offices, and their role would be to drive both usage and contributions to the portal.

Since its launch in early January, close to 30 per cent of O&M's staff has registered with Ogyani, and the portal has received over 600 contributions. "It's a good beginning towards building communities of visible knowledge workers, and I am sure everyone here will soon see the obvious benefits Ogyani has to offer," Sinha is hopeful. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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