To meet the long-term technology and performance needs of the upstream industry, the present and future market must first be understood and then acted upon. A collaborative knowledge management (KM) system complements other market assessment tools by harnessing the collective capability and experience of an organization's employees to more effectively identify, communicate and act on customer needs, market knowledge and potential solutions.

While many companies' KM efforts are focused on technical problem solving and/or employee development, a KM system can also be used to develop better organizational and individual understanding of, and more importantly, adaptation to the market. Any employee can initiate or participate in collaborative communication to actively share and discuss customer needs, competitor activities, new technology applications and successes. Any employee can submit ideas for new or improved products to meet their local market needs. Where appropriate, these ideas are collaboratively reviewed, improved and validated through KM.

We use our KM system to better understand the market and drive innovation. Examples demonstrate the use of collaborative discussion to share market intelligence, clarify market assumptions, harness the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ in collecting and validating new product/service ideas and transfer technology.

KM tools and collaborative activity show promising value in improving market understanding and driving technology innovation. Halliburton broadly defines knowledge management as a systematic approach to getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Often the ‘right information’ pertains to market needs, new ideas or new technology.

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