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Oct 31 2016

Employee Development - Easier than ever!

Employee Development is still an area that needs more investments from companies to ensure higher ROI and better performances. Supporting the employees in discovering their career paths does not only impact the individual, but also the organisation. Often perceived as a bureaucratic action, the consequences of poor employee training results in lost revenue and inefficient talent acquisition.

Your competitive advantages, from a HR point of view, are strictly related to the type of rough talent you have in your team. You can always use the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator to get a few insights on the psychological preferences of your employees in terms of team roles, but the necessity of polishing that rough talent is absolute mandatory. Nobody can expect a newly employed individual to reach the corporate objectives if he has no idea how to or has no support to do so. Therefore, at XWiki, we are very supportive when it comes to Employee Development.

Here are a couple ideas that we use:

Mentoring

It doesn’t matter what size your company is, the only important thing is your will to provide support to those newly employed individuals. Mentoring or coaching sessions are one of the best ways to know what are the key strengths of a new employee. Furthermore, it’s easier to communicate the expectations and explain the level of quality you are looking for when you interact on a one-on-one basis. You can schedule these sessions using the meeting extension.

The application offers a calendar view helping you to overview the entire week and easily manage the upcoming meetings. If you want to see more details about a particular session, you simply click on it and find every piece of information there is about it. 

This is how we manage the meetings
Click on the image to enlarge

On-boarding

We use on-boarding sessions to provide the new employees, the knowledge, the skills and the general feeling perceived as necessary to smoothly integrate. The HR department makes the general introductions, followed by a meeting with the department leader and the other colleagues.

This is the time when a new employee gets a deeper insight on the company's organisation, the way of working, internal rules, practical information, as well as on the expectations we have. We use the calendar view to be able to avoid any conflicts.

We use the calendar view to have an overview of the day, week or even month.
Click on the image to enlarge

Technical training

As XWiki is a complex technical software, we need all of our employees to have a basic level of tech understanding. In order to understand the general activities each department performs, the employees are encouraged to participate to different training sessions (either training related to the tools that we use or the ones related to the XWiki solutions).

A detailed view of the meeting application is being use so that we can have a structured, time efficient meeting and check all the details concerning it.

Find out the structure of the meeting or any other details
Click on the image to enlarge

Coping with a high amount of data that comes from the employee development process becomes easy with XWiki. The best solution is to drop the conventional ways and use the versatile character of XWiki.

By adding applications from the store or create our own with App within Minutes, we are able to efficiently store candidates’ information, meanwhile analysing the progress of the current employees.  We are glad to be able to take decisions based on solid facts which improves the quality of the work and the overall morale in the organisation.

Since the beginning, XWiki has been designed to satisfy a wide range of needs. The question is how do you use or plan on using XWiki to meet your HR needs?

George Nikolic

Marketing Specialist @ XWiki


CLICK ON THE IMAGE

 We use the calendar view to have an overview of the day, week or even month

CLICK ON THE IMAGE

 We use the calendar view to have an overview of the day, week or even month

This is how we manage the meetings

Click on the image to enlarge

This is how we manage the meetings

Click on the image to enlarge

Oct 17 2016

This is why email chains are not productive!

You know those endless email threads that are constantly getting even longer and harder to follow? Or those times when you have a brilliant idea, but an email thread takes your inspiration? Well, I know those situations too. And I can’t say I like them very much.

We work in a business environment based on communication and collaboration like never before. It is mandatory for information to reach all corners of a company starting from suppliers and ending with the clients in order to have efficient processes. This takes time and every year gets harder and harder to keep track of all those documents that you talked about a few months back. Yes, those quarterly reports that you get pissed off looking for.

Don’t worry! It’s not just you. Did you know that the average employee is losing around 28% of his working week by responding and reading emails? Does it sound surprising that half of those emails barely deserves his attention? And how about the average 64 seconds that takes him to get back to work after each email?

If you think this is acceptable, let’s put it in context then.

Taking into consideration that the average working week has 40 hours and around 28% is spent on emails, that results in 11 hours of low-value , time consuming activities per week. Thinking that on a day, we exchange around 47 emails per person, we end up with a total of 205 billion emails worldwide.

Moreover, only 38% of the average inbox contains important information while the rest of 62% is pure distraction. These facts linked to the 64 seconds average recovery time results in an average of 8 hours of lost productivity per week. That’s an entire working day lost on low-value tasks!

Still not convinced?

Think what you can do with almost 8 extra hours per week: work one less hour per day; have more team building meetings; get to know your colleagues or even allow longer breaks. These are just some ideas that will definitely increase the motivation of your team.

Want to increase motivation? Then increase the productivity and the ROI will shortly follow. But how can you do that? What makes emails so special?

The first thing crossing my mind is the one-to-many communication capabilities, but other solutions offer it too, and even in a more efficient way. Sending documents and media? Try searching for an old thread without getting frustrated.

Work smart, not hard.

Remember those solutions that I was talking before? XWiki is one of them. It can be described as a centralised platform allowing anyone to keep track of a public discussion, comment, share documents or even vote. And the best thing is that you can customise it to exactly fit your needs.

Take a look on these simple ways to increase productivity while keeping your team motivated! For any questions that you might have, don't be shy and contact us! Or even better, you can give it a go and try out these functions yourself by creating a demo cloud instance!

Use comments instead of email replies. 

Click on the image to enlarge.

Use polls to find the overall opinion on a specific matter.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Attach easy to access documents instead of posting them in endless threads.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Everything is easier when you use a collaborative platform!

George Nikolic

Marketing Specialist @ XWiki

Open Source Summit 2016

XWiki SAS will participate to the Paris Open Source Summit 2016 edition, from the 16th to the 17th of November at "Dock Pullman", La Plaine Saint Denis, France. 

XWiki SAS's booth will be located in the OW2 Village in C18-D19. You are welcomed to join and meet our team here, wether you want to talk about Open Source or get a demo of the latest version of XWiki Enterprise. ...

Oct 13 2016

XWiki Research Team and OW2 working on an improved Realtime Collaborative Editing extension

OW2 and XWiki are proud to announce that we are working together to deliver an improved Realtime Collaborative Editing extension in XWiki. While Google Docs with its realtime collaboration feature has become a significant part of the modern paperless office, Enterprises in Europe and around the globe are becoming increasingly wary of Google's off-shore data retention and privacy policies. ...

Oct 10 2016

Intranets: How they help your business?

organigram.jpg

Image by geralt

Once with the expansion of a company, a lot more variables come into the equation. Starting from needing extra funding to developing an adequate organigram, managers need to find ways to prevent organisational silos while keeping the productivity and efficiency on a high level.

One of the most reliable choices is to implement an intranet. You might ask yourself what is an intranet? So let me explain this concept.

An intranet is any closed network created using web platforms and accessed only by the employees of a company. It enables them to create content and manage documents while developing the organisational culture.

Ok, now that we’ve got that straight. Let see what an intranet is good for.

Concerning trends are slowly rising

An incredible 96% of the interviewed executives say that the lack of communication and collaboration is why businesses fail in the first place. Sure, we can always say that the global economy is shredded, the market is over-saturated and there is no competitive advantage to be found, but all those are just consequences of poor collaboration and communication.

Another rising trend is the fact that millennials are slowly becoming the majority of the working force. Known as the generation with the lowest level of brand loyalty and a reasonably high level of skepticism, they always keep an eye out for better opportunities. Keeping them motivated is one of the hardest tasks a manager might have.

A study conducted by the Institute of Internal Communication reveals that 39% of the interviewed employees said that their organisations have a low level of communication and this fact slowly reduces their motivation. Connecting the dots, I think we can all see where this is going. Let’s just make this clear: Managers need to ensure that companies are focusing on collaboration to avoid a high staff turnover and improve the ROI.

You are not alone!

It is crucial to develop an intranet developed by a company with years of experience and great customer support. Moreover, the Project Manager that will take great care of your project from the first time you contact the company until the implementation process ends, has to be a professional with broad technical experience and knowledge.

XWiki has them all: performant platform, long experience, knowledgeable project team and personalised methodologies. With more than 10 years of experience and numerous references, XWiki has been a trusted companion to many companies looking to invest in collaboration and communications software.

A powerful intranet

In all these years, XWiki has developed a platform able to support a wide range of necessities and help professionals better interact and share valuable knowledge. Being available in no less than 25 languages, makes XWiki the best choice for international companies as enables them to personalise the platform depending on the location of their offices. Moreover, it has proved in numerous occasions to be a highly flexible solution by allowing any user to connect to a centralised platform anywhere there is an internet connection.

Given the customisable nature of the platform, XWiki comes with all the applications that are important for your organisation. You can check our former custom projects by downloading Afcen’s business case or Aelia’s business case. If you need something even more personalised, feel free to contact us or see our methodologies.

George Nikolic

Marketing Specialist @XWiki

Oct 03 2016

How to keep your customers happy

business.jpgImage by citirecruitment

We all want a product that requires as little customer support as possible, but things never go as planned. Those times, when your company needs to provide professional assistance in a matter of minutes, can make the difference between a rising star and an average company.

Think about it from this perspective. You hate being put on hold for more than 5 minutes, right? You definitely hate being sent from one support agent to another due to lack of knowledge, right? Well, almost 80% of the interviewed people think the same and consider these reasons good enough to make them take the business elsewhere.

Don’t drive your customers away

According to a study conducted by Accenture, 80% of the customers who switched providers due to poor service said that they could have been retained if the first contact with the company was leading towards a resolution. This trend definitely doesn't seem to stop spreading as the current generation of millennials are known to be very picky in terms of assistance and quite skeptical on spending money when poor reviews are out there.

Another concerning trend for the customer support departments is the brand loyalty which is decreasing considerably from one year to another. Customers don’t wait for you to be reactive to their needs, instead they keep an eye open for better offers. Look on the bright side. If you are proactive when it comes to customer support, you will have a significant competitive advantage that can help you increase sales. You only need to be there, ready to welcome unsatisfied users.

There is always a solution

I know you've heard that one before. It’s always easier to say what needs to be done, but it’s way harder when you need to come up with a solution. This is why I’m going to present you a winning combination.

We can all agree that technology is everywhere nowadays. Even the customers know that and expect you to be online. Phone calls and emails might still work, but for how long? As said before, the proactive companies will rule the market. Prepare yourself and don’t be caught by surprise.

The most cost efficient way to provide fast, proven to work solutions and quit redirecting people from one agent to another is by implementing a knowledge base. Let me explain you exactly what I mean.

XWiki Knowledge Base for Customer Support

When a customer gets in contact with you, he expects quick and professional customer support offered by an experienced agent. Nothing hard to image, but in order to provide that you have two options:

  • Train all your agents to offer cutting edge technical support which costs both time and money, but let’s be honest, there will always be the risk of investing money in the wrong employee. Following this path, when your company evolves and needs more support agents, you will have to pay exponentially for their training.
  • Implement a knowledge base where all your agents can search for previously signaled issues and check the solution provided then. This does not only let your company grow without any concern in this area, but also takes less time for a solution to be found.

XWiki provides a state of the art Knowledge Base specifically developed and tested to meet the most exigent needs in terms of solution storing. Ranging from bringing structure to your data, to real time collaboration, XWiki Knowledge Base can do it. You can give a try to the cloud version by accessing XWiki.com, but if you really need something custom, we can do that too. Give us a sign and we’ll reply in no time.

George Nikolic

Marketing Specialist @ XWiki

Sep 26 2016

Global needs. Simple solutions.

9675018730_f3ab9ab065.jpgImage by vancouverfilmschool

Economic globalisation represents the concept of countries transacting commodities, services, know-how and money in an international context with the intention to stimulate and develop the world’s economy. This concept comes with a lot of benefits, but also some downsides. Companies often report a lack of communication and collaboration due to the geographical distances between the offices. Moreover, the large amounts of unstructured data, gathered after years of activity, are preventing multinational companies to perform efficiently and to be cost-effective.

Rapid growth of unstructured data

According to 40% of the respondents of a ESG survey on the cost of unstructured data, the most persistent challenge over the years is the rapid growth and the way unstructured data is managed. Moreover, the same study shows that only 36% of the average IT budget is spent on investments which are able to produce ROI, while the rest of 64% is spent on managing the unstructured data.

The reasons are diverse and could be influenced, as an example, by the lack of knowledge of how many copies are archived, what documents are relevant and there is always the risk of new employees to create or duplicate documents. Based on these facts we can understand of what importance it is to have everything structured in a collaborative platform, where any employee, no matter the technical skills is able to create, modify or share documents.

The client

This was the case of one of our clients. EMC is a global leading company with activities in the information systems and storage on the international markets. After continuously collecting data, EMC has faced a challenge in structuring and managing it in an efficient way. The consequence of leaving it unstructured is linked to poor efficiency and higher administrative costs. They had to find a way to manage large amounts of information mainly consisting in business proposals in Word format.

Our solutions

After research, they have chosen XWiki as the most suitable company to address their needs. Constantly communicating, we have understood the needs and started developing a structured knowledge base able to support EMC in their efforts of storing the internal competitive intelligence data. Moreover, in order to easily access information, we have implemented special filters for the ground teams to easily contribute with new articles and relevant information about their competitors. Furthermore, the Sales and Marketing teams have had their own special filter which was able to structure data based on the market and the product lines.

Once arrived in the implementation stage, we have offered our support in importing 30.000 Office documents in the newly created database. As the solution has been considered a valuable asset for the company, currently more than 5000 people within EMC are using it. If you want to know more about the EMC solution, please follow this link.

George Nikolic
Marketing Specialist @ XWiki

Sep 22 2016

ISO 9000: Step-by-step guide

data-management.jpg

Image by SCY

Once with the rising competition in basically any industry that was around for more than 3 years, the need of creating or maintaining strategic advantages is a priority in any company. Thinking from the customer’s perspective, what are the reasons that make you choose a product over another one solving the same need? We can all agree the quality and the price are two of the most well known buying criteria. But what makes a price go up or down? I think the quality of the production and distribution process. A production workflow as efficient as possible is not only a guarantee of a qualitative product, but also a way to reduce costs which are strongly related to the retailing price.

What is ISO 9000?

This is where the International Organization of Standardization steps in. Founded more than 60 years ago, this entity with members from 163 national standards organisations is in charge of easing the worldwide trade by implementing common standards. Another important power is their ability to award a company an ISO certification which guarantees the end-user a product qualitative enough to pass the minimum international standards.

With more than 20.000 regulations published, the most famous one is the ISO 9000 family. The standards part of this group are approaching the quality management topic, ranging from the requirements to be certified to how to make an internal or external quality assurance audit.

How to get certified?

First of all you need to be sure you understand what this certification requires. Your company needs to get examined once before getting the certification and every year to check if you are still compliant by an accredited body from your country.

Step 1

This is the first time your company is in contact with the certified consultants or internal auditors. They need to check the quality management processes and create a plan of what needs to be changed or implemented to be able to get the ISO 9000 certification. Once you have created a list of procedures, your employees need to familiarise with it. This can be achieved by publicly posting it in visible places such as a knowledge base and by providing training sessions.

Step 2

Contact the accredited body in your country and request a pre-assessment which can be considered a trial run. Bear in mind, they are not allowed to consult, but some assistance will be provided in order to confirm that the quality standards implemented are efficient. At this stage there is no pass or fail, so feel free to adjust your standards to meet their recommendations until the final assessment.

Step 3

Compared to the pre-assessment stage, the documentation review is mandatory and it means that the first stage of the assessment process just started. The accredited body will focus on the quality manual and the management policies. The second stage is when they make a detailed control of the way the requirements are being met. Ranging from talking to your employees to observing the workflow in your company, the auditors will check everything so make sure you are all set before calling them. The amount of time needed for this is linked to the company size and at times it might require more days.

Step 4

If there are a few issues that prevent you from being certified, an action request will be written in the audit report and a time frame is provided to address those findings. On the bright side, if everything goes smooth, you will receive a certificate of registration once the review board is approving your case.

Step 5

At this stage you are fully certified and need to make sure you are compliant with the ongoing quality procedures. Once at 3 years, the accredited body will re-examine your entire quality management workflow, but remember that on an yearly basis some parts of the company will be examined too.

How XWiki can help?

Thinking of how the process of accreditation is being handled, imagine all those standards that need to be efficiently stored, easily accessible and simple to edit. By getting ISO 9000 certified, I think you are interested in being more efficient, right?

The best way to organise your documents in an efficient way is to use XWiki Knowledge Base for Procedures. You can get a feeling of what it looks and works like by creating a 10 days free cloud account.  Let me give you a tip, this will also help during your first stage accreditation process when the documentation is being checked. Believe me, showing that you efficiently store and provide easy access to the quality procedures goes a long way.

We wish you the best of luck and we want to congratulate your initiative, if you decide to become ISO 9000 certified!

George Nikolic
Marketing Specialist @ XWiki

Sep 13 2016

XWiki SAS will participate to OW2con 2016

OW2con'16 Annual conference : Code to Product

XWiki SAS will participate to OW2con 2016 which will take place in Mozilla's french headquarters, the 21st and 22nd of september.
Held for the eighth consecutive year, OW2con is the annual community event that brings together the OW2 community and technology experts, software architects, IT developers, project managers and decision-makers from all around the world.
This year's conference theme is "Code to Product". ...

Sep 12 2016

CKEditor. From optional to default.

In February, we were announcing the availability of the CKEditor as an alternative to the basic WYSIWYG and Wiki Editor. Now we have more exciting news! After noticing how everybody loves this extension, we have decided to make it default , once with the release of the latest XWiki version, 8.2.

For those who don’t know exactly the difference between the 3 text editors available in the latest release, I will briefly explain them to you.

Wiki Editor

Let’s start with the most robust one. Wiki Editor is a text editor using elements more targeted to people who are somewhat technical and prefer full control over live preview. The current version available is 2.1 and compared to the previous releases it is better in homogenizing the links while the image syntax offers a better clarity and consistency.

Other interesting features are the ability to display icons; link files using the UNC notation and create links to relative URLs. You can learn more about this editor on XWiki.org.

syntax.png

WYSIWYG

The name of this class of editors comes from “What You See Is What You Get” and allows the user to visualise the changes made to a document in real time. Compared to Wiki Editor , WYSIWYG is easier to use as it does not require syntax knowledge and it has some similarities in terms of basic functions to Word.

On the other side, even if this class of editors offers the possibility to make simple changes, it has its limitations compared to the above mentioned one in terms of control. Compared to CKEditor, this one was developed in house based on Google Web Toolkit, while CKEditor is being used by a wide range of companies. 

wysiwyg.png

CKEditor

The CKEditor is a member of the WYSIWYG family. It is a ready-to-use HTML editor that brings together a number of functions which are specific for the word processors. This is better than the generic WYSIWYG in some key web development areas.  

It allows users to copy-paste the style of a paragraph directly from Word, it allows the creation of accessibility-compliant tables and uses advanced W3C DTD controls for a better HTML generation.

ck.png

Now that you have an overview of the difference between the 3 default editors, which one are you more inclined to use? If you are not sure enough, why not try them out with the latest version of XWiki Cloud 8.2.1. available on XWiki.com?


George Nikolic
Marketing Specialist @ XWiki