Fit For Export

A cooperation platform for efficient, distributed generation and distribution of knowledge-based services for small and medium businesses

Initial Situation

The flexible, location-independent organization of own employees and freelancers in virtualized teams provides an opportunity to internationalize their offer. This is particularly true for small and medium-sized service providers. Thereby, teams of employees at the customer site can provide flexible services together with experts at the service providers’ headquarter. Required skills will be integrated quickly and location-independent in the team structure, and thus, used very efficiently – a decisive advantage for the most limited resources of the company.

However, so far the possible efficiency of virtualized teams was reduced by the enormous effort for coordination and cooperation. New information and communication technologies offer promising approaches for the efficient construction, management and operational activities in virtualized teams. The small adoption rate of collaboration platforms is an indication that this problem has not yet been solved adequately.


In view of the above investigated the Chair for Information Systems at the University of Hohenheim the question which specific requirements small and medium-sized knowledge-intensive service provider have regarding information and communication technologies to support virtualized teams. Based on this, the cooperation platform “Virtual Project Office” has been designed and implemented as a prototype in cooperation with ITM Informations- und Technologie Management Beratungsgesellschaft mbH. This prototype was evaluated in practical projects.


All team members have exactly the information, which is needed for the current work, available in an integrated system. This is achieved by:

  • a tailored solution for small and medium-sized knowledge-intensive service enterprises,
  • integration of the customer,
  • connection of the management level and the operational level of a project,
  • user-oriented and fast navigation through the visualized cooperation network and context-based “spaces”
  • support through know-how with the help of Experience Patterns,
  • distributed databases and
  • built-in security mechanisms.


Scientific Partners

IAO, Stuttgart
Universität Stuttgart, Chair of Service Management & Business Logistics
Universität Hohenheim, Chair for Information Systems

Business Partners

ITM Informations- und Technologie Management Beratung mbH
CADIS Informationssysteme GmbH
edernet GmbH
Klumpp Informatik Heinrich Klumpp GmbH

Research Funding

Wirtschaftsministerium Baden-Württemberg
Förderkennzeichen 4.4332.62-IAO/12 (1998-2000)

Additional Information


Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar