KCenter USU: The Knowledge Machine

Kcenter Usu: The Knowledge Machine

When he is not busy delivering guest lectures on knowledge management at one of Germany’s state universities, you can find Sven Kolb, Managing Director of KCenter USU, indulging himself in collecting premium Swiss and German watches. He says these works of art are perfect examples of meticulous workmanship, high precision, and excellent design. Interestingly, these are the same principles that Kolb used to build the business for KCenter USU into one of the leading organizations in the knowledge management industry.

Traditionally, an organization’s knowledge is hailed as the powerhouse behind them being able to create unique products and services. Knowledge can be found in a variety of places within an organization—shared drives, manuals, guidelines, lists, databases, memos, and even in the minds of the employees. This decentralized storage of knowledge often makes it difficult for the employees—especially in call centers and service desks—to locate the right information they need to fulfill a request. “Having a professional knowledge management system in place is the key to providing consistent and effective service,” says Kolb. KCenter USU provides the perfect portfolio of tools based on their active knowledge base, Knowledge Center, in order to deliver the right information throughout the whole customer journey.

"With intelligent solutions and expertise in digital interaction, we are a prime mover in the digitization of business processes"

KCenter USU’s approach goes beyond just managing information and knowledge. “To provide great support and service, employees need relevant information and knowledge, not just a list of documents,” says Kolb. “Facing these challenges, we created one of the greatest innovations in the field of knowledge management for service centers—the so-called “active documents technology,” he adds.

Designed to deliver the required answers based on a customers’ question, active documents are also programmed to ask questions back to the user so as to provide more appropriate and detailed information. This positively influences major KPI’s such as first call resolution rates and call-handling times. The innovative active documents technology also powers KCenter USU’s other products including Knowledge First for web self-service, Smart Link for internal self-service, and Knowledge Bots for automated answers to customer’s questions. Each of these solutions help to empower users and customers to find their own answers.

Addressing Critical Challenges

Where a conventional knowledge base usually just manages and searches standard documents, KCenter USU’s Knowledge Center has effectively changed the game with its innovative technology. By quickly and automatically processing and displaying the correct content for service employees, KCenter USU’s Knowledge Center, enables users to work more productively.


We created one of the greatest innovations in the field of knowledge management for service centers— the so-called “active documents technology”


Drawing from their extensive experience, the KCenter USU team has built Knowledge Center to be a single integrated system packed with innovative features including the active search functionality which automatically creates topic overviews for all relevant information and allows users to find the right document swiftly and precisely.

Knowledge Center also integrates active documents and questionnaires that offer step-by-step guidance to the right solution, multiple navigation capabilities that will always lead users to the correct information, graphical decision tree displays for if/ then scenarios, e-learning modules, and inter-agent chat to support active knowledge sharing within a service team. What’s more, Knowledge Center, can offer greater productivity and customer satisfaction by providing tailored information to individuals via every communication channel. On the other side, editors are able to update the same information in every channel, dynamically. The advantage here is that editors of knowledge content need only to save knowledge one time in Knowledge Center to make changes throughout various channels. This feature helps to avoid unsuccessful searches and knowledge gaps and ensures the actuality and quality of knowledge and information, while eliminating redundant editorial work on documents.

Each of these innovative features have helped KCenter USU to garner a strong client base including BASF SE, one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the world. BASF SE uses Knowledge Center for HR inquiries to enrich the employee feedback experience and understand the shortcomings in the organization process. Speaking about the solution, Hubert Kapp, Head of Personnel Services, “HRdirect,” BASF SE says, “The most important factor in measuring the success of our work is the feedback from the employees at BASF SE. The consistently high usage of our information system and an overall customer satisfaction rating of 90 percent show just how well we’re doing. By deploying USU Knowledge Center, we’ve been able to significantly increase the quality of our responses to internal HR-related inquiries.”

The Solution Suite

Knowledge Center is the ACTIVE knowledge base which offers service staff rapid access to the information they need to deal with questions or incidents. Knowledge Center centralizes all of knowledge within your company into one system.

Today’s consumers want “instant gratification” — answers to their questions immediately, via different communication channels, be it web or mobile. Consumers can obtain information online, but conventional FAQs on websites are often too static or outdated and are not tailored to their specific needs.

KCenter USU’s Knowledge First works to actively provide the necessary knowledge to consumers browsing on a website. Knowledge First intelligently guides prospects and customers step by step through the different web pages and displays relevant information based on where they are currently searching.

KCenter USU’s Knowledge Scout offers greater efficiency, thanks to service automation. This ACTIVE advisor system, Knowledge Scout, supports employees who are a part of the troubleshooting process. Knowledge Scout allows for fault patterns to be created for complex interrelationships. Even non-experts can identify the problem by means of a root cause analysis. Apart from storing fault diagnoses and solution documents, Knowledge Scout can also search all the relevant systems to access troubleshooting knowledge that is already available.

KCenter USU’s IT self-service solution, Smart Link, is an internal, easy to access, portal that helps users to reach their goal quickly. Smart Link is the self-service software that establishes a smart connection between IT end users and IT Support. Here all IT-related information and support functions are pooled into a single channel, making Smart Link a one-stop shop for all IT inquiries. Smart Link is always the first point of contact for IT end users—regardless of whether it involves error messages, IT-related questions, or service requests. The main goal of Smart Link is to help to minimize the amount of tickets coming into the IT service desk.

Surging ahead toward the Future

Taking on Kolb’s steadfast leadership, the KCenter USU team has worked together to help the company make great strides in infiltrating the knowledge management market. The employees of KCenter USU are wonderful to work with and each person keeps a “the door is always open” mentality which helps to facilitate the collaboration and teamwork that drives success. The team also keeps a focus on customer centricity, always keeping up with events, customers, partners, employees, and shareholders, not to mention competitors in the industry.

From a technology point of view, KCenter USU is consistently thinking of new ways to improve service delivery through innovative solutions. They have just started to offer a new and cutting edge service automation tool called KnowledgeBot. KnowledgeBot is yet another way for their customers to modernize the customer service experience by way of automated chat.

Over the last 40 years, KCenter USU has established a predominant footprint in Europe and in the U.S. market; they are set to go further with their fast-growing business in the U.S and Canada.

“With intelligent solutions and expertise in digital interaction, we are a prime mover in the digitization of business processes. Standard software and consulting services help to automate service processes and actively provide knowledge for all communication channels and customer contact points in customer and IT service. Our range in this field is rounded off by system integration, individual applications, and software for industrial big data,” concludes Kolb.