Apptio

Apptio achieves social product documentation with Zoomin for Jive®.

Challenge:

Apptio, a leader in technology management, sought to create a more interactive customer community that included their product content.

Results:

  • Community access to relevant product content
  • Improved customer engagement through ranking and discussion
  • Always up-to-date documentation
  • Publication in minutes
  • Seamless support of agile workflows
  • Reduction in support cases: helping customers help themselves
  • Content improved via usage analytics

Overview

 

Providing Users Access to Product Documentation within the Jive® Community

Apptio is the leading provider of cloud-based Technology Business Management (TBM) software that helps CIOs manage IT as a business. As a customer-centered technology company, it was clear to Apptio that their primary platform for engaging customers should be their social community. At the same time, Apptio had long created its product content using MadCap Flare™, publishing it to static PDFs.

How could Apptio easily get this content into the Jive® community? Manually copying content into Jive® could take days for only 40-45 topics, while Apptio documentation consists of hundreds of topics. Additionally, as new releases are issued and product documentation is added, relying on manual copying would mean the addition of static silos to the community which can very quickly become outdated. This time-consuming and error-prone process was clearly not the answer.

 

The Solution: Zoomin for Jive®

Vinita Ananth, Community Director for Apptio, searched for a solution that would enable Apptio to publish product documentation to the community. She discovered Zoomin for Jive®. Vinita’s goal was clear: as the Community Director, she wanted to increase the community value by enriching it with high-quality content, engage Apptio’s customers and allow them to solve their product-related issues quickly and independently.

 

Publication to the Jive® community in minutes

With Zoomin for Jive®, what was previously an insurmountable task – publishing new product content to the Jive® community – has become a seamless part of content creation. All content is transmitted to Jive® in minutes, complete with the Flare® formatting it was authored in.

Brad Solomon, Senior Technical Writer at Apptio, shares, “I do all editing and formatting in Flare®. It takes me five minutes to compile and publish to Jive®, and I’m done. It’s basically a single click and the content is moved to the Jive® community site. I don’t have to spend time worrying about getting content into our community. My focus is where it should be: creating the content!”

 

Greater customer engagement & content improvement

Why publish to Jive®? As Brad explains, “Apptio’s user community is a much richer environment than a compiled help system could be.” Apptio encourages user feedback and is expecting its users to help contribute to product content through the community environment. “We expect there to be discussions driven by the content we create. This community will make our content better,” says Brad.

 

Agile Publishing that fits Apptio’s release cycle

Now Apptio is expanding the use of Zoomin for Jive® to all help content. A major benefit is how well Zoomin for Jive® fits Apptio’s product development cycle. As Carl Chatfield, Project Manager and Content Strategist at Apptio, says, “The publishing platform has to be as fast as our software engineering releases. We produce a new release every two weeks. If we were just producing static PDFs, we’d have a lot of obsolete content floating around.”

 

Product metrics

Apptio’s Product Design group uses statistics to constantly improve on Apptio products, and Jive®’s built-in metrics now allow it to easily track content use as well. Content ranking and user engagement are tracked for each content topic. Now, Brad and his team can better allocate resources to work on topics that are in demand and make improvements to content based on Apptio customer base recommendations.

 

Bottom line: A Richer Community

Now Apptio can share all important product content with Apptio’s customer community. As Brad says, “Being able to put our documentation into a community environment is just a huge win for us and our customers.” With the easy installation, the Apptio team had Zoomin for Jive® up and running quickly, and immediately started experiencing positive results. “I can’t imagine anyone not using Zoomin for Jive®,” says Brad. “It just works, and you don’t have to think about it.”