Strategic Librarian

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RivalMap : Competitive Intelligence Knowledge Management

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I ran across a interesting web service recently named RivalMap.  It is a service that provides the following functionality (according to their website).

RivalMap is web-based collaboration software that gives companies a central place to share and address information about competitors and their industry. If your company spends any time watching competitors and their activities, RivalMap will make the management and communication of competitive information much easier and more effective.

After signing up for the free service that allows 3 users access with the ability to create unlimited workspaces, I set up a workspace for my own company.  The cost of the service jumps to $49 for 5 users, $99 for 10 users and $199 for 25 users.  Besides giving access to more users, the fee-based service provides storage for file sharing and SSL Security.  Enterprise licensing is available as well.

Upon entering the workspace, which I titled Competitors for lack of imagination, I was presented with a Dashboard that would later provide me a chart of competitors by threat level and the latest activity.  Other tabs on the menu which, stretched across the top of the screen, included:

Competitors: This tab allows you to create entries for your company and for any competitors you specify.  A sub-menu provides tabs for Competitors, Products, and Concerns.

  • Competitors – Create a posting for each competitor that includes name, website address, profile, concerns, clippings, notes, customers, and a SWOT analysis. 
    • Concerns are comments about specific threats the competitor may present. 
    • Clippings are articles or web posts worth noting. 
    • Notes are just that – free form notes about the competitor. 
    • Customers provides detailed records on the competitor’s customers including customer name, location, market segment, sales amount, date of sale, description of sale and website. 
    • SWOT provides the ability to list strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats faced by the competitor.
  • Products – Create postings for competing products including profile, product name, competitor name, product website, concerns, clippings, and notes. 
  • Concerns – Provides a listing of all concerns for all competitors and products providing the ability to list general comments and comments on how the concern will be addressed

Clippings: Described above under Competitors.

Notes: Described above under Competitors.

Customers:  Slightly different from the use of customers above, here you post information about your own customers.  After setting up market segments, you are able to create a post about each segment including notes, clippings, needs, and customers. 

  • Needs – Track segment needs designating them as:
    • Must-Have – a benefit/function that must be present, or the customer will be very dissatisfied
    • One Dimensional: a benefit/function that increases customer satisfaction as it improves
    • Attractive – a benefit/function that is not expected but highly satisfies the customer.
  • Customers – create a posting about each customer including the same information listed above.

Comparisons: This tab allows you to create a matrix that compares competitors by category and attributes.  For example, I could create a category of the services I offer and the attributes each service has.  I could then add competitors.  Following that, I would rate how my company compares to my competitors by category/attribute.  The following screen-shots demonstrate how the matrix would look. 

rmc.jpg

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In addition to providing great information, each tab provides the ability to filter results in multiple ways.

This looks like a very useful service is that would be a valuable addition to any CI program.  One concern is that, like any knowledge management system of its kind, it takes team members willing to take the time to enter content.  The success in using the service will only come with commitment.  As for functionality, a reporting function seems to be missing.  This may be because I was using the free service.  You would definitely want to check that out before subscribing to the service.

 ~ Nina Platt

3 thoughts on “RivalMap : Competitive Intelligence Knowledge Management

  1. Thanks for the review Nina. Regarding the last passage, we’re going to be providing ways to bring information into the system automatically, such as industry or competitor news, as well as better ways of delivering content out to users in a company. RivalMap currently delivers email digests of the latest content at specified intervals, though the ability to generate specific reports may be added at some point.

    Expect a new revision in a month or two!

    Thanks again,
    Andrew
    RivalSoft Inc.

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  2. Thanks for the update, Andrew.

    A few more features that I didn’t mention include:

    * You can choose to receive emails when there is an update.
    * An email address is provided to allow you to send notes via email.
    * From the settings tab – You can require users to agree to a message of your choice before submitting a note. You could use this, for instance, to ensure no content in a note violates any copyright laws or contains a competitor’s proprietary information. This is customizable.
    * You can set up users and assign them to groups. They will get a welcome email which you can customize.
    * You can assign admin rights to other users.
    * You can sign up for RSS feeds of new content.
    * You can assign labels to content. For example, you could assign industry names to each competitor Once a label is entered, you are presented with a dropdown of all labels associated with competitors (I think). One issue that may be of concern – There is no overall function to manage labels that I could find.

    This looks like a very interesting product developed by a company that plans to add more functionality over time.

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