Dina is having some interesting discussions with a client about what they really want from their infrastructure, not just the KM system: Revisiting the Intranet - Presence, Communication, Collaboration. In response to a "what would you like" question, the client says:
I know X is not here in my office (in Mumbai) but in another city. I want to be able to talk to her, as if she's in the same room as me. I want to be able to feel all the nuances in talking with her - its got to be touchy-feely and not a cold email or a phone call where i know the time ticking away means my bottomline suffers.
Dina then parrots this back in a more project-specific description:
Picture this scenario - you have a project on and are racking your brains about how to approach it - you check your presence indicator - see who's available - ping them with a request for conferencing - hitch up the webcam, enable voice - and bingo - in minutes you have a virtual team ! Record the conversation, take notes on the wiki, synthesize it in a team blog which has comments enabled, feed in current thinking on the topic from your newsaggregator, and you have real flow. And, ridiculously easy group-forming to borrow a wonderful phrase from Clay Shirky.
This is an excellent example of asking the right questions and getting a more holistic view of what the client wants. Yes, the central knowledge repository might be valuable, but only as a small component of the larger system that enables people form groups, communicate and document.
Read the whole post, and check the comments. And then keep reading Dina. It sounds like this one is going to go somewhere cool.