A Mobile Portal for Academe

A Mobile Portal for Academe

Hans Lehmann (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Stefan Berger (Detecon International GmbH, Germany) and Ulrich Remus (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch112
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Today, many working environments and industries are considered as knowledge-intensive, that is, consulting, software, pharmaceutics, financial services, and so forth, and the share of knowledge work has risen continuously during the last decades (Wolff, 2005). Knowledge management (KM) has been introduced to overcome some of the problems knowledge workers are faced when handling knowledge, that is, the problems of storing, organizing, and distributing large amounts of knowledge and its corresponding problem of information overload and so forth (Maier, 2004). At the same time, more and more people leave (or have to leave) their fixed working environment in order to conduct their work at changing locations or while they are on the move. Mobile business tries to address these issues by providing (mobile) information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support mobile business processes (e.g., Adam, Chikova, & Hofer, 2005; Barnes, 2003; Lehmann, Jurgen Kuhn, & Lehner, 2004,). However, compared to desktop PCs, typical mobile ICT, like mobile devices such as PDAs and mobile phones, have some disadvantages, that is, limited memory and CPU, small displays and limited input capabilities, low bandwidth, and connection stability (Hansmann, Merk, Niklous, & Stober, 2001). So far, most of the off-the-shelf knowledge management systems provide just simple access from mobile devices. As KMS are generally handling a huge amount of information (e.g., documents in various formats, multimedia content, etc.), the management of the restrictions described becomes even more crucial (Berger, 2004). Based on requirements for mobile applications in KM, an example for the implementation of a mobile knowledge portal at a German university is described. The presented solution offers various services for university staff (information access, colleague finder, campus navigator, collaboration support). With the help of this system, it is possible to provide users with KM services while being on the move. With its services, it creates awareness among remote working colleagues and hence, improves knowledge sharing within an organization.

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