Imagine there is a change in corporate design at your company. Maybe the change is only a general attempt to optimize existing layouts. Maybe it entails a completely new corporate identity with a new logo and different colors. Or maybe your company has a new division that makes new products. Any change, no matter what kind, will have a direct impact on your technical documentation. The cover page needs to be redesigned, and the way headers and footers look will change – as will headlines, safety notices and warnings. It is practical when technical writers can make these layout changes themselves, without any programming skills or troublesome extra work.
In 2015, the SIEMENS AG Locomotive Documentation department wanted to introduce a Component Content Management System (CCMS) to optimize its editorial process and chose COSIMA go! from DOCUFY. In this article, system administrator Tobias Zieringer describes the introduction of the system:
… I had only just arrived in the office when my mobile rang. The sales department wanted to know when the documentation for our new customer would be ready, oh, and they needed replies to the review comments from last week as soon as possible.
My colleague gave me a questioning look: “How will we have time to introduce a new CCMS? What are the aims of the new system? Should we choose an off-the-shelf product, or start from scratch? And how does publication configuration even work?”
“Enough questions, let’s just get started,” I replied: “There no such thing as the perfect moment!”
How time flies! We spent months preparing for the tekom annual conference − the industry event for technical communication − and then the trade fair went by in a flash for us, the more than 4,000 visitors and approximately 170 exhibitors. The sheer speed made the three days of the fair from November 8−10 just that much more intensive. They were chock-full of important conversations, interesting talks, exciting industry news and a few amusing team moments.
Interviewee: Christoph Beckmann, Product Manager TopicPilot
What is TopicPilot, and what does the product offer?
TopicPilot is our mobile publication platform that makes it possible for users to deliver content throughout a business and to all of a business’ customers. TopicPilot’s USP is its efficient way of finding and making individual topics, documents, videos, or Office files and PDFs available in the blink of an eye. But the best thing is that TopicPilot can be used immediately with existing data without the need for any special adjustments. A high-performance full-text search is another key component of the application and is available both online and offline on mobile iOS and Android devices.
I have a dream: that technical documentation will become the most important department at a company.
When I presented this dream during my opening speech at our 2016 DOCUFY User Meeting, the audience was exhilarated. But we all know what the reality of today’s documentation work looks like. The technical documentation department rarely has a lobby on the management board and is viewed by many as a mere cost factor that needs to be kept at a minimum. I remember making a visit to a large producer of household appliances. The technical writer there had managed to invite her boss to a meeting about their content management system. He opened the meeting with the words: “I personally think that technical documentation is superfluous. We only have a documentation department because we are required to by law.”
In July, Dr. Michael Fritz and his tcworld team invited exhibitors and contributors at the tekom annual conference – the technical documentation industry convention – to a joint workshop. Around 20 representatives from the ranks of manufacturers and service providers took up the invitation and came to Stuttgart with one goal in mind: to identify trends in the TechDoc sector and develop new topic areas for future tekom events.
The format of the workshop was similar to that of a UN conference: an informal gathering where the group first discussed and determined the topics and then worked on them together. Every attendee gave a brief presentation of the topic that was closest to his or her heart. We then compiled, reviewed, evaluated, and prioritized the topics. The result was three main topics that we discussed more in depth over the course of the day.
For months, we here at DOCUFY have been hidden from sight, thinking, conceptualizing, and making the most secret of plans. At the beginning of April, just in time for the tekom Spring Conference in Berlin, the time had come – we were finally able to present ourselves and our new corporate design together with our new future-oriented corporate strategy.