Homegrown Knowledge Management Systems vs. KMS Lighthouse

By Monica Kohn   |   June 4, 2020

The information available in a knowledge base is invaluable to your business’ ability to provide the best products and services to your customers. It enables employees, including call center agents, to share their collective wisdom and experience to make their own work more efficient.

The two most popular types of knowledge management systems are open source knowledge base tools and cloud-based software solutions like KMS Lighthouse®, a digitized knowledge-sharing platform that continuously evolves as an organization scales and changes.

KMS Lighthouse understands how important it is to choose a knowledge-base solution that fits your organization’s need. But how do you decide if open-source knowledge management software or SaaS, or cloud-based solution is the way to go? Here are some key factors to consider:

Open Source vs. KMS Lighthouse

There are many definitions of “open source,” but in the world of software development, it refers to users having direct access to the software’s source code. Technically “free,” open-source KB software is readily available and customizable, with end users able to modify the source code as they see fit.

Opting for homegrown means you must either custom build your knowledge in-house or work with a developer to build it for you. Homegrown knowledge-management system software can also be integrated with your existing software. While this seems like a great benefit, it only works to your advantage if you’re building everything from scratch.

If the tools you’re integrating with are SaaS, for example, you’ll need to use application programming interfaces (APIs) to ensure everything works together. On the other hand, a cloud-based solution like KMS Lighthouse has these integrations built-in.

Whether you should go with one of the many available homegrown knowledge-base solutions or choose a cloud-based solution depends entirely on your organization’s requirements. Open source might be the right choice if you want the ability to customize code at will. However, that option comes with a cost: It takes developers and internal IT staff to support and customize the software. Inevitably this adds complexity and efforts required to upgrade and modernize the solution compared to an out-of-the-box product.

A web-based solution like KMS Lighthouse is easier to deploy and maintain without the need for additional support staff. Unless you absolutely need the ability to continually customize code, a cloud-based solution requires:

  • less time updating your knowledge base system
  • more time capturing valuable knowledge
  • No coding required to maintain the solution making the management of the solution a business focus

which leads to:

Data Capture and Analysis

As routine work becomes more automated, the volume of data an organization gathers increases. But gathering information is just the beginning. Categorizing and sharing relevant data is what improves an organization’s decision-making abilities and ability to adapt in an accelerated data environment.

Automated Customer Service

Automated customer service offers real-time customer engagement and helps people navigate a complex digital world. No matter which digital channel is used, KMS Lighthouse’s single platform fosters stronger customer relationships by personalizing interactions throughout the entire lifecycle.

Company Productivity

Productivity no longer relies on the knowledge of a few experts. Every employee’s expertise and wisdom are captured and centralized. The collected knowledge is used to achieve core tasks and objectives:

Many organizations like the idea of an open-source, web-based knowledge base because they don’t have to pay for it, but an open-source knowledge-sharing platform is not completely free. Most are available free of charge to “community users.” Larger organizations must pay for using them just as they do for SaaS solutions. Other comparisons you want to keep in mind include:

  • Open-source knowledge-base solutions typically rely on developers who may not have a deep understanding of an organization’s operations. Cloud-based solution providers depend on in-house resources with which they collaborate in order to customize the platform to an organization’s needs.
  • Organizations cannot completely “own” an open-source solution any more than they can own a SaaS solution. Many open-source software solutions are licensed and have terms every user must comply with.
  • Support for open-source software is typically provided through community forums. In contract, a SaaS solution like KMS Lighthouse delivers 24/7 support as part of your subscription.
Knowledge is Power

Most open-source KB solutions aren’t suitable for use as an internal team or product knowledge bases. A SaaS knowledge base platform offers:

  • Fully centralized and customized knowledge base for employees and agents
  • Easy-to-use self-service solutions for customers to find what they need when they need it
  • Advanced analytics to track performance and guide improvements
  • Intelligent search that immediately recognizes what a user is looking for

KMS Lighthouse is the knowledge management system leading companies rely upon. Its software is flexible and allows for easy scaling; you don’t have to switch to a new solution down the road. It’s the perfect way to illuminate the knowledge management path and answer any query, anytime, on any interface.