What is the KCS® v6 Verified Program?
The KCS v6 Verified program is opportunity for vendors to demonstrate their support of the Consortium for Service Innovation’s Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) practices. The program is open to all vendors who supply knowledge management functionality. The KCS v6 Verified designation is for major releases of products which successfully complete the KCS v6 Verified process.
What is KCS? ...Knowledge-Centered Service
Knowledge-Centered Service is a proven, vendor-neutral methodology that was developed and put to the test by the members of the not-for-profit Consortium for Service Innovation. The membership is made up of a collection of leading customer service organizations. The goal of KCS is to capture and structure interactions and reuse the knowledge gained. The result is improved operational efficiency, employee morale, and customer satisfaction. KCS is not just about the technology but the principles and practices that have to surround the tools in order to be successful. Consortium members continue to update the KCS processes and the technologies as knowledge needs of the industry change.
Benefits of KCS v6 Verified for the Vendor
The Consortium has developed a list of minimum functional criteria and a set of scenarios through which vendors demonstrate their tools' ability to support the KCS practices. Once the formal process of verification is complete for a product, the vendor will have specific rights and privileges to marketing materials. These include:
- KCS v6 Verified logo for use on software packaging, marketing materials, website and trade show advertising.
- A KCS v6 Verified Style Guide defining acceptable use of the logo and color information.
- Guidelines for a quote from the Consortium should the vendor wish to issue a press release about attaining KCS v6 Verified status.
- Additionally, a listing of v6 Verified products with links to the vendor’s web page is maintained on the KCS Academy web site.
While it is not necessary for vendors of KCS v6 Verified products to be members of the Consortium for Service Innovation, there are additional benefits for vendors with KCS v6 Verified products who are Consortium members. As a benefit of membership, the vendor can participate in the continuing evolution of KCS by attending the Consortium's program team meetings. Additionally, the Consortium will support members with Verified tools by participating in or contributing to the following (vendor-hosted) yearly activities, including promoting Consortium-related activities through KCS Academy channels.
- Presentations at user group meetings (about KCS or other Consortium initiatives)
- White papers
- Briefings for product management and product architects
For Verified vendors who are not members of the Consortium for Service Innovation, the above services are available for a fee.
Benefits of KCS v6 Verified for the Consumer
The Consortium has developed a list of minimum functional criteria and a set of scenarios through which vendors demonstrate their tools' ability to support the KCS practices. The consumer looking to purchase a technology to support KCS v6 functionality can use the vendors’ completed Self-Assessment Worksheets as a starting point for a request for a proposal (RFP) and as a learning tool to start the conversation. The completed Self-Assessment Worksheets can be obtained from the tool’s vendor. This verification does not replace the consumers responsibility to do due diligence in the tool selection process.
Steps to Get KCS v6 Verified
- Review the KCS v6 Verified Instructions (this document)
- These instructions contain the overview of the program. The candidate product(s) for designation must meet all the mandatory requirements and demonstrate all mandatory criteria.
- Obtain KCS v6 Practices Certification from the KCS Academy
- The representative from the candidate company who will be conducting the demo of the criteria must hold a KCS v6 Practices Certification.
- Complete KCS v6 Verified Application and submit payment.
- Application contains the candidate company name and contact info, product name and version number, incident tracking system name and version number and any other additional software requirements, the name and title of the representative who will be conducting the demo, and proof of their KCS v6 Practices certification.
- Complete the Self-Assessment Worksheets and sample reports as described on the Performance Assessment tab of the worksheets and submit to email@example.com. (To do this, select File > Make a copy… or Download as to Excel)
- The Self-Assessment and the copies of the reports is a structure for vendors to describe their offerings and additional features and make it available as part of their KCS v6 Verified program.
- The vendor completes all worksheets of the KCS v6 Verified self-assessment for the candidate product(s).
- Schedule online demo of functionality
- When the vendor determines that the product meets the criteria, they request an assessment date. Assessments are done online via a web session of no more than three hours in length. The demo should be scheduled at least three weeks prior to desired demo date. Submit demo request to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Conduct demo following the KCS v6 Verified Technology Demo Scripts
- KCS Academy staff will confirm the KCS functionality criteria. The demo must follow the KCS v6 Verified scenarios, not a generic sales presentation, and must not exceed three hours in length.
- Submit the Designation form and fee, and sign and submit License and Logo Use Agreements
- If the KCS Academy confirms the product meets the criteria, the designation form is completed, the designation fee is paid, and the license agreement is signed by the vendor.
- If the KCS Academy believes there are criteria that are not met, the vendor is informed of the missing criteria and the KCS v6 Verified designation is declined. The vendor may choose to make product improvements to address the missing functionality and demonstrate it within one year of initial payment without an additional application fee.
- The KCS v6 Verified for Tools License Agreement is entered into by the vendor who seeks to have their product(s) carry the designation of “KCS v6 Verified.” It outlines the conditions of participation, disclaimers and conditions of the KCS v6 Verified program.
- Receive KCS v6 Verified Certificate and Logos
- The KCS Academy will mail the certificate and email the logos.
- Publish and Market KCS v6 Verified product
- Vendor issues press release and is able to use the KCS v6 Verified logo subject to the Style Guide.
- Products remain on the KCS v6 Verified products page for an initial 12 months. After that time they must be renewed to remain on the list.
- Vendor makes completed KCS v6 Verified Self-Assessment Worksheets available.
- Complete the Annual Renewal form and submit renewal fee
- KCS v6 verification will be issued and renewed for products by number release.
- To confirm that the latest iteration continues to support KCS functionality, an updated version of the self-assessment worksheets are required. All verified products must be renewed annually or when there is a new product release (whichever comes first)
- Any material change that would nullify the functional requirements requires a complete re-verification.
KCS v6 Verified Pricing*
KCS v6 Verified Application Fee
KCS v6 Verified Designation Fee
KCS v6 Verified Application fee for previously KCS Verified v5 products
KCS v6 Verified Designation fee previously KCS Verified v5 products
KCS v6 Practices Certification
*plus any applicable taxes
KCS Community Rules of Conduct
Do No Harm: Be responsible and don't misrepresent yourself, claim false credentials or expertise, or give advice in a way that might cause someone harm. Don't incite or advocate harmful, derogatory or illegal practices.
Most of what the Consortium for Service Innovation and the KCS Academy Inc. creates is offered with a "right to use with attribution" agreement. Two exceptions to the right to use with attribution are the licensed materials for the KCS workshops and the contents of the Certification Exams. "Do No Harm" includes do no harm with respect to the integrity of the licensed materials and the value of the Certification Exams. You agree not to copy, distribute or discuss the questions and/or answers on any of the Academy's Certification Exams or in any way diminish the value and integrity of the Certification programs.
Sunshine Rule: Don't do anything that you would be embarrassed about having covered in an article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. And, if in doubt, don't.
Communications: This is your network. Most people have a common-sense feel for what is and what is not appropriate in the network and generally the network polices itself. The following boundaries of acceptability or ground rules are offered for reference should the need arise.
Offensive Messages: Messages personally attacking, calling names, or otherwise harassing or being disparaging to another member, or any ethnic or religious group will be deleted. Offensive and/or vulgar language is not appropriate.
Adult Content/Illegal Activity: Messages containing sexually oriented or suggestive dialog, content, or links to such will be deleted. Messages with links to or suggesting illegal activity will also be deleted. Either could result in loss of access to the network.
Religious and Political Topics: These topics generally just cause bad feelings and do not align with the intent of the KCS network.
Other: The Academy will make an effort to remove ANY objectionable content in a reasonable time. We reserve the right to remove any content without providing a reason.
Vendor Specific Rules: There are vendors and consultants who have products and services that may help people resolve issues or increase their success with KCS. These vendors and consultants are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the discussions. Product features or service offerings may be discussed in response to an inquiry, however, to avoid the intrusion of overt sales messages in network interactions vendors are asked to:
- Restrict postings to responses to customer inquiries which may be directly resolved by your product, and please indicate specifically how your product or service may resolve the issue.
- Exploiting (spamming) the members of the network for personal or company gain will not be tolerated.
- Clearly specify your vendor affiliation (with more than just an email address please).
- Do not discuss pricing or purchase requirements. Instead, engage outside the KCS network via -mail, phone, or your web site.
Most vendors currently participating add value, but failure to adhere to any of these rules will result in content being deleted and possible loss of access to the KCS network. (Not to mention the bad image inappropriate behavior will create for your company.)
Lack of adherence to these rules of conduct will be grounds for loss of certification status and exclusion from the KCS network at the KCS Academy's discretion.