Skila, Inc. wants to solve some of the problems of the Information Age.
The biggest problem, after the glare on your screen, is that there's too
much information to wade through. Industry studies claim that there are
2 million new pages of information made available on the Web every day,
with more than 50,000 new websites becoming available each week. Skila's
own studies of executives in the pharmaceutical industry show that information
is beginning to clog the arteries of commerce:
- For these
executives, searching for information occupied 26% of their time
- On the
most used search tool it takes them an average of seven attempts to
find valuable results
that by 2003, productivity of the average knowledge worker will decrease
by 10% as a result of information overload. Skila's solution to this critical
problem is to provide discipline specific intelligent searching and knowledge
offering, Global Healthcare Intelligence Platform, which is targeted
to the marketing and business side of the growing healthcare and bioresearch
industries, has three major components.
has developed a customized message-based middleware package that locates,
parses and stores information of interest to the target audience. The
sites examined include real-time news alerts, public sources such as the
SEC, the FDA and the Patent Office, proprietary news from licensed sources
like Lexis-Nexus and Dialog, and pay-per-view and subscription sources
have a technology called Intelligration that combines and synthesizes
all of these external data, as well as relevant data from the company's
own databases. This synthesis produces a database, called the Intellibase,
that provides "concise views of actionable data."
underlying both of these is a carefully crafted healthcare lexicon that
represents more than a hundred years of labor. This lexicon is an essential
part of the process of identifying and categorizing useful information
from the many diverse sources that Skila uses. Skila's offerings are hosted
at UUNet and delivered to customers via the Web.
just added a new offering, called eWorkbench, this is an internet plug-in
product that allows users of the Intelligration technology to apply Skila's
knowledge analysis and capture tools to any website. When a user browsing
a website presses the "Intelligrate" button that eWorkbench adds to the
browser, all Skila-controlled vocabulary terms are detected, highlighted
and made "mouse sensitive," and a summary of the healthcare content of
the document is presented. Clicking on such a term will cause eWorkbench
to access and present related Skila content.
Skila claims about 25 major customers, many of which have a number of
divisions that license the Global Healthcare Intelligence Platform. Companies
may also choose to employ Skila's platform as an enterprise-wide solution.
there are many ways for business-side professionals in the healthcare
field to find information, Skila's per seat license price seems easy for
companies to justify. Skila should be able to capture a significant percentage
of the market before a true competitor makes an appearance.
when a competitor appears it is likely to take its first shot in another
vertical where reducing the time to do research has a large payoff. We're
sure that Skila has plans to expand to other verticals too, so they may
have to make rapid strategic decisions about when to branch out.
The CIO or CTO of a healthcare or bioresearch firm should definitely consider
Skila. It can be a fairly simple matter to establish need: Assign some
analysts to shadow the marketing executives to determine the nature and
efficiency of their Web-based research. An overall improvement of as little
as 5-10% is enough to justify Skila on an ROI basis. A second step would
be to arrange a pilot test to determine whether the quality of the research
that Skila presents makes a positive difference to their work.
think, though, that the real proof of the product's effectiveness will
come if you and your staff begin to wonder when Skila will produce the
same kind of offering for IT knowledge workers. If that happens, call
Skila's Marketing Department and tell them about your interest. TEC already