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Dec 06 2016

Top 5 benefits of organizing information within your company

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We all get frustrated whenever we misplace our belongings and looking for them is a time and energy consuming effort that could have been avoided simply by being more organised. What happens if they are not personal belongings, what if we would talk about your work emails, presentation files or quarterly reports? The consequences of this lack of organisation would be catastrophic not only for you, but for the entire company.

How to avoid this type of hardship? The solution might seem obvious, yet often gets overlooked: organising information.

Its advantages are various and the top 5 most relevant benefits are:

Efficiency
The greatest advantage of organising information within a company is the efficiency of the resources. An organised professional will spend less time correcting mistakes, searching for information and fixing any clutter. The time saved means more time for doing productive things and more resources for other projects, therefore more money. Apart from the positive impact on time management, organising information will make it more comfortable for employees to share any information with each other, thus working better as a team.

Tracking progress
Of the company. Progressing is the aim of every business, but how can you measure it? Having a clear overview of the company’s projects, activities and resources helps management while decision-making. Compiling and recording the data of your company’s incomes and expenditures will help timely identify bottlenecks and support the decision to redirect resources and energy to more profitable elements.

Of the projects. Organising information also makes it easier for every employee to have access to relevant information, to have a  snapshot of all ongoing projects, so the inter-teams communication is more effective and to be on the same page with their teammates.

Better management skills
For any business, organising information is all about keeping things in proper order such that the path from inquiry to result is clear and time efficient. Information, in the business’ world, comes from various sources and takes lots of forms: employee records, news, internal meetings minutes or political context. A company’s information portfolio is the key action influencer in any matter concerning the company, so understanding the data and filtering the noise is essential to management.

Daniel Keys Moran said that “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” and his reference applies undoubtedly to the companies’ need to take rational decisions, thorough timely and reliable information procured through a logical and well structured method of information collecting, processing and disseminating. 

Instilling trust
Organising information establish a sense of trust and professionalism in the workplace. A well organised company projects an image of reliability and control. The strategies adopted by rational decision makes with the help of thoroughly disseminated information help winning the trust of employees, clients and associates effortless.

Reduced stress
A well organised information culture triggers a more relaxed working environment, as opposed to a cluttered or disorganised office where you are constantly searching for items or through countless threads of emails, attachments and files. It also allows companies to adapt to modern working models, including remote resources or work from home. 

State-of-the-art tools that enable new ways of working have generated important changes in company management. Traditionally, team members and managers would juggle multiple files, resources and tasks while struggling to get people on the same page. Nowadays, organising information within collaborative workspaces make planning and managing different projects easier and more effective, while also ensuring that all tasks are finished on time and within budget. Try XWiki and convince yourself of the advantages. 

Alina Luchian
Content Marketing Specialist @XWiki

Nov 07 2016

Less paper. More technology.

Take a second and think about the world’s remarkable innovations that were discovered in the past 20 years. I think we can all agree that the internet is clearly holding the first place and is shortly followed by the computers and the mobile technology. But what all of these have in common? Why they all have been developed in the past two decades? Here is a clue: more people born, more resources needed, more innovative solutions discovered.


Population growth has both advantages and disadvantages

Some might say overpopulation is either bad or good, but let’s not jump to conclusions. The growing population phenomenon is clearly in the grey area. The advantages include economic growth, longer life expectancy due to medical discoveries and innovative social concepts to serve the masses. On the other hand, it leads to resource shortages, property shortages and deforestation.

With a global population of almost 7.5 billion people and expecting to reach around 9.7 billion by 2050 it is mandatory to take action to find an equilibrium between the two sides. A solution is to use the advantages to overcome the disadvantages, but let me be more explicit on that. How about using the internet and the technological innovations to transmit any kind of information without using the old, basic paper.


Deforestation needs to be kept under control

As deforestation is a real concern, let’s think of what drives this trend. In order to reduce the housing shortages, we need to create more properties, but that means more land which in the end means cutting down trees. Another cause is the commercial activity which implies harvesting timber to create consumer items such as paper and furniture. Living without furniture is not really an option, so let’s cut down the use of paper then.

The current paper consumption per capita is 57 kg and considering the current population of 7.5 billion people, we reach to 427 million metric tons of paper per year. Going back to the population growth, let’s redo the calculation. As we expect 9.7 billion people to inhabit Earth by 2050 and considering the current consumption per capita, we end up with 552 million metric tons per year.

If that is not enough of a trigger to start saving on paper I don’t know what is!

Put technology to use

In order to retain the current paper wastage we need to limit ourselves to 43 kg or less of paper per capita for the next 34 years. Ok, now that we are aware of the objective, let’s find a solution.

We live in a world where all kinds of collaborative, social and interactive platforms have been developed in order to reduce the time and the cost of getting in touch with a family member, a friend or a complete stranger situated on the other side of the globe. In the last decade, the wiki technology has experienced an uplift due to the increase attention of companies on being more productive by using less resources to achieve better results.

Using a collaborative tool to share reports, proposals and presentations drastically reduces the need of using printed materials, which in the end slows down the process of producing paper. A small change in the pattern of modern living can have a huge effect on the environment. This concept has been named by Edward Lorenz, a mathematician and the pioneer of chaos theory, as the "butterfly effect".


XWiki is one of the solutions

XWiki offers a wide range of powerful standard tools that will enable you to create, organise and find content. Moreover, all the pages are making use of some default features such as history, versioning and rollback. Are you usually printing your Excel or Word reports to give it to your managers? If yes, let me give you two options to reduce the paper wastage.

The first option is to import any Microsoft Office or Open Office document and transform it into a wiki page. This can be done by creating a new page and choosing the import option as shown below.

Click on the image to enlarge

The second option it to attach your files to any page that you would like. Moreover, your colleagues can write comments, attach their own materials and create annotations.

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You can check out XWiki Demo for yourself and see how we can help you manage and structure your information while protecting the environment. On the other hand, you can always mass import your documents. Here are some examples of mass imports done and used on production wikis:

EMC, making pre-sales documents more accessible:

  • Number of documents imported: 50 000 + other hundreds every night;
  • Import success : more than 99% (import feature is limited to Open Office Server and its ability to open files).

Fidelia assistance, better organize the company knowledge:

  • Number of documents imported: 900 documents
  • Import rate: 100%

As you can see, big companies are already taking steps in reducing the paper consumption and saving the environment. You can do it too by contacting us to see how you can transfer your physical data to virtual data!

George Nikolic
Marketing Specialist@XWiki

Nov 02 2016

Halloween 2016 at XWiki

XWiki goblins, ghosts and witches were invited to spook-tacular activities at the XWiki offices for celebrating together the 2016 edition of the Halloween!

A part of the team was locked in two escape rooms. While some joined their efforts in identifing the solutions to the traps made up by the psycho painter in the “New colors room”, others tried to save the nuclear power station from the “ Nuclear control room”. Once again XWiki people proved that they make a good team together and succeed to escape the rooms!

Another part of the team searched enthusiastically the murderer of Mr. Jack through the Mysterium boardgame, carved pumpkins and entered in the HR team's game wearing orange and black at the office!

This is how the XWiki Halloween 2016 looked like!

If you want to recall what happened last year, we invite you to explore our previous blogpost!

XWiki HR & Admin Team

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
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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.
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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

XWiki at PhD Talent 2016

2016 could not pass without XWiki participating to the PhD Talent event!

On Friday, October 21st, part of the XWiki team attended enthusiastically the 2016 edition of the event! 4 XWikiers: Caleb and Aaron from the Research team and Diana and Cristina were present at Le CENTQUATRE-Paris, met and discussed with the PhD students and graduates with different backgrounds. 

The discussions focused around the Open Source values and principles, around XWiki and the opportunities inside our Research team: R&D Engineer and Junior R&D Engineer, as well as around the PhD students and graduates background and professional paths.

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We were happy to meet such great persons! Thanks to the ones that came and discussed with us and, of course, to the organisers for the event!

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. 

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

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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?

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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