Ernst & Young has put new resources into improving data collection and knowledge dissemination worldwide.
The consulting firm now has over 500 people working in virtual teams worldwide in its Centres for Business Knowledge, updating information 24-hours-a-day so that client handlers consistently have access to comprehensive information.
“The idea is to provide consistent support to client handlers working on global accounts, so that they get the depth of help needed,” said Tim Curry, director of knowledge management at E&Y.
He attributes the increased need for improved information flows to a surge in the number of global consultancy projects.
Buying-in data is a key part of the firm’s strategy. “We have just done a major deal with Goldman Sachs and now have major rights to their research,” Curry said. “We are also buying in more external content. The rationale is: don’t write it when you can buy it in.”
E&Y’s knowledge management network is still being orchestrated worldwide but when it is in place Curry believes that clients will benefit from the collective industry insight of its 78,000 consultants.
The systems, he says, will also help consultants provide businesses with in-depth knowledge at short notice – a service which, he says, is key to competitive advantage.
“What we are selling as an industry is knowledge and expertise, and knowledge is power,” he said.
E&Y’s knowledge web itself is still being rolled out. And while consultants in European, America and Asian countries can access the service, not every consultant can do so from their desktop.
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