Here's what we see in call centers: Many have a 'home grown' knowledge management system, especially for external customer support. You mention help desk, and in those cases, if it's standard product being supported (e.g., Microsoft Office applications), companies may have purchased modules for that from one of many vendors. Also, many of the CRM solutions that provide full contact tracking and workflow management offer at least basic knowledge base capabilities today, so companies may leverage those. And finally, with the ties between the Web and the contact center, many companies are now using knowledge management tools that serve both their users via self service on the Web, and CSRs providing telephone service and accessing the same database via the corporate intranet.
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