metamorworks - stock.adobe.com
8 software tools for knowledge sharing and collaboration
Knowledge sharing and collaboration are staples of the modern workplace, thanks to remote and hybrid work. These eight tools can improve teams' hybrid collaboration processes.
The early days of knowledge management focused on simplifying how users find documents and information within them. Later tools simplified how to find experts within a company that could help with a particular question, problem or project.
Knowledge management experts first found better ways to capture and distill information into knowledge in the 1970s. The field has since evolved, thanks to improved integrations into other tools, cloud support, access to real-time data and new techniques to organize knowledge. Additionally, nearly all modern knowledge management software vendors have or plan to adopt AI capabilities to improve users' searches and to refine results. Interest in ChatGPT and generative AI will further change the capabilities and use of these tools.
Hundreds of tools can improve knowledge sharing and collaboration. In the knowledge management market, Forrester identified four broad categories of tools: specialist knowledge, customer service, digital engagement and collaborative knowledge. The tools included in this list were chosen as examples of these categories.
Many of the featured tools serve different purposes, like for traditional knowledge or content management. However, they can still help knowledge managers with certain aspects of knowledge sharing and collaboration.
The knowledge management landscape
Content management tools like Microsoft SharePoint evolved from document managers to support more full-featured search and discovery capabilities. Other tools arose from the need to codify knowledge associated with project management, improve customer support or integrate knowledge strewn across dozens of other apps.
Many products also support knowledge creation and sharing based on hypertext and knowledge graphs. Early versions of these tools aimed to simplify how individuals create and organize knowledge. Offerings like Notion and Yext demonstrate how to scale knowledge across the enterprise.
Additionally, digital adoption platforms like WalkMe can help organize knowledge to teach employees and customers how to use tools and workflows. This hands-on knowledge becomes increasingly important with the rise of new software tools and more complex workflows within companies.
The list below serves as a guide to the modern knowledge management landscape, with a focus on knowledge sharing and collaboration software.
Bloomfire offers a curated intranet for knowledge sharing, customer insight and customer support. It can help distill insights from knowledge locked in various file formats. It also offers various integrations to share knowledge between apps like Slack, Salesforce, Zendesk and Microsoft Teams.
Bloomfire's offering can benefit organizations that want a curated, centralized knowledge management platform. Its collective intelligence approach lets users ask questions and have others answer them in a way that promotes reuse and sharing. It also supports document curation to identify duplicate content and flag it for review.
Pricing starts at $25 per user monthly.
2. Atlassian Confluence
Atlassian released Confluence in 2004 as a tool to build enterprise wikis. Over the years, it expanded into a hub for collaborating on knowledge, projects and plans within a single workspace. Customers often use Confluence for project planning, software development, product management and sales.
Confluence offers integrations into thousands of different tools, including other Atlassian apps like Jira, Trello and Atlas. It also offers hundreds of templates for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Organizations that want to combine knowledge management with project management would benefit from Confluence.
Pricing starts at a free tier for up to 10 users, and up to $11 per user monthly for premium features.
Guru is a knowledge orchestration platform, which means it uses AI to curate knowledge into answers and identify gaps that existing content doesn't address. It offers tools to build intranets of curated content, a knowledge base to solve customer queries and a wiki to organize important internal knowledge.
This platform lets users work within existing apps, so they don't have to open another browser window to ask a question or add content to the system. It also supports editing tools to format new content according to business standards.
Pricing starts with a free tier for up to three users. Then, the Builder tier is $10 per user monthly and offers more management, curation and security features.
Notion is an example of how personal knowledge management tools can extend to the enterprise. The vendor launched in 2013 to organize notes into blocks of text, images, tables and pages. It also offers integrations for databases directly into the note-taking system. It eventually added enterprise management, collaboration and security features to let teams collaborate on projects, documents and wikis.
This platform offers customizations and ease of use. It can enable novice users to organize, share and collaborate on product roadmaps and company policies. It has also launched an AI assistant, which can write new or summarize existing content.
Pricing starts at a free tier for individuals and goes up to $15 per user monthly for businesses.
5. Microsoft SharePoint
SharePoint is a legacy content management system that has gradually embraced newer knowledge management ideas and workflows. It offers strong integration into the Windows and Microsoft 365 ecosystems of tools, management and security capabilities. It also includes various tools to help manage content and knowledge and to promote collaboration across computer and mobile apps.
Microsoft claims over 190 million people use SharePoint for intranets and content management.
Pricing starts at $5 per user monthly for small offices and goes up to $23 per user monthly when bundled with Microsoft 365.
Instead of opening a separate book or PDF, WalkMe offers a guided tour of how to use apps, follow company processes or troubleshoot problems directly within the app the user works on. Additionally, it captures knowledge about spots people may struggle with and shares it with developers to improve the documentation or the app.
WalkMe also lets users create new content and guides within the apps to share with others who may be struggling. For example, one user can share the exact flow and keyboard shortcut sequence used to perform tasks in half the average time.
WalkMe pricing is not readily available online.
Yext aims to simplify content collaboration and management for organizations with hundreds of storefronts. The software can automatically transfer information into the knowledge cards found during a Google search. For example, if someone searches for movie times, then local theaters, their holiday hours and current job opportunities may pop up on the right side of the page.
Yext can show information about product offerings, food ingredients, store locations, current job offerings or ongoing specials. It can also help identify common questions or complaints found across social media to prioritize new answers that users can share across platforms.
Pricing starts at $4 per location and goes up to $19 per location weekly.
Zoomin can curate existing product content, documentation, tutorials and forums into a knowledge base. It aims to help organizations focus on creating content with the tools at their disposal.
Zoomin can personalize versions of content for each user or channel. Users can also collaborate on documents using various content authoring tools, and Zoomin can automatically push them out across relevant touchpoints. It can also reflect minor changes to content across all the places customers or support agents may search. It supports direct integration into Salesforce, ServiceNow and various SaaS products.
Pricing is not readily available online.