Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2002

Siemens ShareNet: Building a Knowledge Network

by Alan D. MacCormack, Sven Volpel and Kerry Herman

Abstract

Describes the development of ShareNet, an innovative knowledge management system used by a division of Siemens. ShareNet attempts to capture the knowledge and experience of Siemen's many dispersed sales and marketing units around the globe, making it available to all. ShareNet has to date been funded as a corporate initiative, free to all who use it. But as the telecommunications market has collapsed, the group that runs it is under increasing pressure to cut costs. As a result, it is considering charging users who subscribe to the tool in the belief that these users will willingly pay for it. This relies, however, on being able to demonstrate that the tool/system has a positive return on investment--a notoriously difficult task.

Keywords: Cost Management; Investment Return; Revenue; Knowledge Acquisition; Knowledge Management; Sales;

Citation:

MacCormack, Alan D., Sven Volpel, and Kerry Herman. "Siemens ShareNet: Building a Knowledge Network." Harvard Business School Case 603-036, November 2002.