Hello from the Knowledge Hub team. We’re writing to share our plans for 2016 with you and to tell you a bit about who we are and what we stand for. Before we do that we want to share some exciting, recent news and take a look back at the past year.
Business Overview - 2015
In late December 2015, we successfully completed a management buyout of Knowledge Hub and, since 1st January 2016, we now trade as an independent company. We are delighted to have achieved this and believe we are now better placed to deliver on our vision of connecting the global public sector and generating income for subscribing members.
We have been delighted with the growing take-up of our Professional Network service since its launch in 2015. Industry leading brands such as SOCITM, SOLACE, Education Futures Collaboration, SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers network) and UDiTE, join founding members at the Local Government Association and the Improvement Service in adopting a Professional Network.
Knowledge Hub will help these organisations to improve membership engagement, to showcase their organisation, to stay connected with the sector and to tap into a new income stream. Each of the Networks have at least one ‘Open’ group, available to all Knowledge Hub members, so you’re free to join and find out more.
Interest in Professional Networks, and in Knowledge Hub generally, is growing, so expect to see more leading brands going live with their Networks in February and throughout 2016. UDiTE represent our first international network and includes members from 14 European professional associations. We hope to increase our international presence in the coming weeks and build upon the 5% of members that join us from 80 different countries outside of the UK.
With the help of members from twenty or so organisations we designed, developed and implemented Social Hub. Social Hub represents your modern office; replacing traditional, static and costly intranets with the latest digital tools available on Knowledge Hub. We have two implementations underway and expect to see take up increase through 2016. You can enable your organisation’s workforce to enjoy all of the benefits of collaborative working, within a private area on Knowledge Hub for just £500 per month.
We also soft launched our offer to private sector suppliers, enabling them to showcase their business and place suitable and relevant content across Knowledge Hub, and we’ve been delighted with the initial interest from suppliers. This has increased confidence in our belief that we can tap into the significant global advertising spend and make this accessible to our members as any income generated across member networks is shared with the subscribing organisation. The Marketplace will be officially launched in the coming weeks.
We’re passionately excited about what we can achieve with our members in 2016 and also well aware of the hard work still to be done to realise Knowledge Hub’s objective of being the place for professionals working in public service and non-profit organisations to work together.
Our core team (pictured) wield real passion for what we do. That passion is matched by a tremendous depth in understanding of what makes online communities work and the importance of effective knowledge management. The team’s reputation for providing quality support and training has led to a number of organisations tapping into our experts for tailored courses, including a recent delegation from Sweden.
The core team are supported by a growing network of associates, both locally and internationally, who support the growth of the community. They have helped with the notable recent success in Europe and are developing a growing interest and appetite both there and in the United States.
The Knowledge Hub Advisory Board, made up of customer representatives and sector experts, has helped set our course and ratify our vision and commercial offering. We look forward to drawing on this expert pool in 2016 and say thanks for the support thus far.
During the past year we received many compliments from members. These related to improvements in usability, the value Knowledge Hub provides relative to others, cost savings and the exemplary community support and training that our team provides.
We also received views on must have improvements and suggestions for future functionality development. We are committed to investment in relevant tools; functionality that is useful to our wider community and makes their business life easier. You can have your say via our new Ideas section in the KHub Connects group.
A sincere thanks, also, to everyone that has given their time to Knowledge Hub. This includes those of you that have participated in the UX/UI review programme, currently underway; helped design new services, or provided us with honest feedback to help us support you better.
The number of members registered on Knowledge Hub peaked at 201,000 in early 2015, but we made the decision to deactivate users that had not visited the Knowledge Hub or who were not subscribing to notifications. Member numbers now stand at 115,000.
And for those of you that like numbers, here's a few stats:
Liferay (v6.2) is the feature rich, open source platform that powers Knowledge Hub, enhanced by Teamworxx. We look forward to exploiting the additional and enhanced functionality of Liferay (v7) and Teamworxx (v3), from the middle of 2016, to continue to improve your experience and to ensure we are relevant to you.
In June we invested in moving to the cloud and were delighted with the seamless transition. We continue to be hosted in an ‘official’ rated environment, with the added advantages that cloud brings in terms of on demand and flexible resourcing.
Recent developments have been focused on exploiting the open standards nature of the platform where we have developed an open API framework for our members’ systems to interact with Knowledge Hub and a single sign on process to provide easy access from our members’ sites.
Our intention is to publish our development roadmap by the end of February and we encourage your feedback in order to support our customer led approach to future development.
2016: The Year Ahead
Being representative of a sector facing constant challenge and change, we know we cannot rest on our laurels and 2016 will be no exception.
Our aim is to continue to connect the public sector, disrupting traditional geographic and organisational boundaries and to go after a slice of the significant digital advertising market spend and share that with subscribing organisations.
Our objectives for this year include:
- Generating income for subscribing member organisations;
- Launching the next generation Knowledge Hub that improves our members’ experience;
- Enhancing the current toolset with new and relevant features that add greater value; and
- Bringing on board new members to place us at the heart of global public service.
Thank you for allowing us to share this review of the past year and our exciting plans for 2016 with you. We invite you to tell your colleagues about us and to encourage them to join a conversation or indeed start one! We’d also love you to get in touch to share your plans for 2016, so that we can work together in what will be an exciting year for us all!