Ken Hittel is overseeing one of the most ambitious internal Web projects ever undertaken by an insurance company —a virtual library meant to be an intellectual capital database for New York Life Insurance Co.’s 12,000 employees.
Hittel, VP-corporate Internet department, said of the project, "It’s an attempt to encapsulate knowledge that’s in the organization but stuck in people’s heads." The library is due to be completed by 2003.
For New York Life, which, like its competitors, is morphing from an insurance-centric company to one that provides a full range of b-to-b and business-to-consumer financial services, the virtual library is indispensable. Marketers in the company’s mutual fund department, for example, will be able to search not only customer relationship management papers the company has prepared but automatically find the employees in other departments who are experts on the topic.
Hittel, who also oversees NewYorkLife.com, currently is gathering content from the company’s internal and external sites for the library. Next he will begin soliciting ideas from employees directly.