DOCUFY’s participation at this year’s Machine Safety User Meeting in Würzburg was once again one of the highlights of the year for us. On the one hand, it’s always a great feeling to be part of the industry and to see so many familiar faces, as well as new ones. On the other hand, we ourselves were able to intensely gather information in the competent talks about the newest developments and trends in the fields of the EC Machinery Directive and CE marking, also with view to Industry 4.0.
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.”
As a specialist for company and product positioning, claudiusbähr+friends helped DOCUFY develop its Multi-Level documentation strategy and translate it into communication initiatives. The one-and-a-half years in which we accompanied DOCUFY on this journey were exciting for us for two reasons:
- The time was quite simply right for Component Content Management to “take off.” The idea of liberating technical documentation content from its own limits of utilization was an answer to the fundamental challenges facing innumerable companies in the future. Discovering a market perspective of this caliber together with a visionary customer can feel a little like Christmas.
- The idea of Multi-Level documentation counts for nothing if there is no technical basis on which to implement it. But it was precisely this basis that was inherent to the DOCUFY product portfolio – in particular, due to the redevelopment of TopicPilot as a mobile publication platform. The strategic and creative task was getting to the heart of this using the term Multi-Level documentation, thereby helping DOCUFY to occupy its own market category.
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.
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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.
If you ask Google about good reasons for starting a company blog, you will receive over 307,000,000 results: “5 good reasons for writing a company blog,” “10 good reasons,” “Why companies should have a corporate blog,” etc. According to them, a blog promotes customer proximity and makes those interested more aware of your company. It might even generate some enthusiasm on the part of highly qualified potential employees.
So every company with a healthy sense of self-esteem urgently needs a blog? Perhaps. But we are concerned with one thing above all. At our company, we work with a lot of experts that have a great deal of specialist knowledge about their respective fields: IT experts, technical writers, consultants, marketing experts, support staff, a number of partners from the higher education and private sectors, and – last but not least – our users. All of them have a lot of important expertise that we want to make available to everyone on our new blog. Our motto: No empty blah blah blah, just content with real added value.
Our goal: No background noise, just informative content
Melanie Kunas, DOCUFY GmbH
We see a blog as the ideal medium for exchanging specific information. And for us it is also explicitly about exchanging information between experts on the user side and experts on the DOCUFY side. There is no imminent danger of “content shock” (many channels, a lot of drivel about nothing). We’re not interested in background noise. What we want to do is take our stores of knowledge out of the basement and make them available to our users and anybody else who is interested – quite in line with the concept of Multi-Level documentation.