Tips and Tricks

Category: Tips and Tricks (16 posts) [RSS]

Jun 28 2019

Improving Customer Experience with our enhanced Cloud Customer Portal

Over the years XWiki Network has been the place where we spend most of our time communicating with our support clients.

We have recently started to work on the revamping of our support platform for our cloud users. You can access the newer version of our customer portal directly from the cloud wiki using “Report an issue”.

The latest XWiki Network includes

  • improvements for the management of support tickets with a better editor for reporting a support ticket
  • the possibility to purchase apps (including XWiki Pro, the full set of productivity and business-oriented applications) directly from the Shop*

At XWiki, we have always been focused on improving customer satisfaction by gathering as much feedback as possible which we then take into account as we discuss work on new features and improving our services.

For several years we have been sending out a yearly survey encouraging our clients to offer their opinion on both the services we provide but also on the product.

While the number of clients that have filled in the survey has remained steady, the question on our mind was how we could get more regular feedback. We wanted to keep it simple, with just a few clicks. Consequently, we have added just one rating option and a feedback box (in case our services rate lower than “Excellent” emoticon_wink ).

Gathering more feedback will help us know when we do well and where we can improve our services, so we encourage all our cloud users to click the rating they feel is closer to their customer experience.

Also, stay tuned for more improvements over the next period.

Oana Florea, Customer Support Manager

*Starting with level Silver, our Support clients will receive upon request a free voucher for XWiki Pro.

Jun 10 2019

How to Organize a Company Retreat

At XWiki, we are strong believers in flexibility, so we trust our team to choose when and where they can do their best work. Consequently, our team is distributed across multiple countries, with people working both from our offices and remotely.

A downside is that we need to make a conscious effort if we want to get everybody together in the same place. We regularly have colleagues traveling to our two offices, but the way we get everyone in the same spot is by organizing a team retreat once a year.

As we’re working on our 11th global get-together we thought it would be nice to share how we go about planning it and how we use tools to stay organized and on track.

The prep

Our retreat usually lasts about a week, with two days dedicated to travel. Starting January we create a detailed plan and budget for our retreat. We also like to build our own app to make sure it fits our specific needs. Once the groundwork is done, we start looking for the perfect time and setting.

Finding the perfect location

We begin every new year by scouting for the perfect location, get in touch with hotels and resorts that we think might be a good fit. In parallel, we run a poll on our intranet checking our team’s availability. Once we save the date and come up with the locations shortlist, we create a new poll and ask our team to vote for their favorite place.

SeminarLocation.jpg

Transportation arrangements

As soon as we sign the contract with the location we start making the transportation arrangements. We try to have the team travel together as much as possible, but we also accommodate colleagues who travel from other locations or who wish to stay longer or less. Everyone receives their ticket by email and we have a page on our intranet where we put all the travel information. We always try to pick locations that are reasonably easy to get to.

Preparing the sessions

With most of the logistics taken care of, two months prior to the event, we start prepping the sessions and other on-site activities. Anyone at XWiki can use the dedicated Seminar app to propose talks they’d like to organize or participate in.
By now you’ve guessed we are big fans of polls at XWiki. We love using them to make decisions as a team. Whenever we have too many proposals, we launch a vote to pick the most interesting sessions.
Once we have the final schedule, we feature it on our intranet calendar and sync it with Google Calendar. We also export the schedule as a PDF, so people may use it offline should they wish.

Food, trip, and other fun activities

A large extent of our efforts goes towards planning the day trip, party, and team building activities. Much of the time on site though is spent hanging out, playing games and getting to know each other better.
One of the highlights of the retreat is the hackathon. It provides the perfect opportunity for all of us to work together in person. Anyone can suggest topics and the remaining colleagues will join one of the proposed ideas. Hackathon teams work on their projects throughout the day and get to present the results in the afternoon.
In terms of catering, we try to select a buffet menu that is diverse and satisfies varied tastes and dietary restrictions. Once we have collected team feedback and agreed on the final menu with the location, we share it with everyone.

TeamBuildingSeminar.jpg

Goodies

No company retreat is complete without geeky T-Shirts and goodies. We come up with a custom logo for each retreat. Everyone can send a proposal. The most voted logo is then proudly worn on our t-shirts.

SeminarTeam.jpg

Less fun, but equally important: keeping track of finances

All through the event prep, we make sure to regularly update our budget and expenses. To stay organized we upload all contracts, invoices, and tickets to our wiki and use livetables to filter and sort documents.

Feedback

At XWiki, we love giving and receiving feedback. As we aim to make retreats better every year, after each event we run an internal survey to see what went well and what could be improved.

That’s about it! Organizing a team retreat is no easy feat for our HR team, but it’s always worth it. As we’re writing this post, we’re in the last stages of planning our next seminar, which takes place in exactly one month from now. We’ll be starting out in Paris, then traveling to the Loire Valley. Looking forward to another good one and we’ll make sure to come back with updates!

Silvia Macovei, Head of Cloud Business

May 18 2018

How to update the color theme of your XWiki

We all know that the more aesthetically appealing something is, the more drawn we are to it. This is why an attractive theme that matches and acts as a complement to your brand or the subject of your data is key.

Here, at XWiki, we provide you with a number of great options in terms of look & feel and, recently, have launched five new color themes you can apply on top of the Flamingo Theme Application. These custom color themes were created by our Usability team and are offered for free to XWiki users.

Preview the five color themes below and take advantage of the quick installation guide right after them. We are also curious if you'll be up for the challenge we launch at the end of this article.

Snowdrop - provides a spring-inspired color theme with white and light green.

Snowdrop_color_theme.jpg

Mandarin - provides a clean and fresh color theme with orange details.

Mandarine_color_theme.jpg

Cotton Candy - provides a colorful theme with a delicious palette.

CottonCandy_color_theme.jpg

Dawn - provides a color theme that uses transparencies on top of a bordo background.

Dawn_color_theme.jpg

Pantera - provides a dark color theme with yellow details.

Panthera_color_theme.jpg

Your favorite can be easily installed using the Extension Manager (follow the link for the extended documentation). Here is the brief guide to installing a new color theme:

1. Go to the Administration Panel of your XWiki instance (upper right corner);

2. Select Extensions from the Global Administration: Home menu;

3. Select Extensions (Search for new extensions to add to the wiki) from the Global Administration: Extensions menu;

4. Search for the color theme you like (Cotton Candy, Dawn... );

5. Follow the installation instructions;

6. Go to Global Administration: Themes, select the Look & Feel menu;

7. In the Color Theme tab select the one you just installed and save.

Have fun using them and let us know if you have any feedback. 

In a future blog post we'll be talking about how you can create your own color theme, so we are looking for beautiful ones done by you. Let us know if you want to showcase your work and share it with our readers emoticon_wink 

Nov 07 2017

How to write a SOP with XWiki Procedures

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations. XWiki offers you a versatile and ready-to-use structure for all interested domains: management, IT development, marketing, HR, transportation and many more. This is a solution suitable for any department of an enterprise searching to put in place a procedure which would streamline their processes.

Here are 4 steps to create easy-to-follow SOPs:

1. Do your research

A key planning activity for writing effective procedures is to understand the process that will be documented within the procedure. That starts with research or, in other words, collecting information.

This would include doing things like interviewing process owners and process doers. They are the go-to people when requesting related information because of their insight and involvement into the process. In addition, research should help you build objectives by learning process capabilities and by benchmarking industry leaders performances in targeted areas.

Do: Include screenshots, images, videos and best case practices.

Don't: Avoid connecting tasks to specific tools, as they might change over time.

Search tool

2. Establish the bigger picture

Your task is to create a situation where employees aren’t simply just following procedures. They want to understand the roles they play in company success.

By setting goals aligned to the organizational strategy, they will be more motivated to improve the procedures as they will grow along with the company. Therefore, keep in mind that your procedures would need to explain the actions towards the accomplishment of your business plan, while documenting the involved steps and the effects of interactions with other processes. 

Do: Show where a procedure's success falls under the company's growth plan.

Don't: Forget to brief in all departments involved in the well-going of the procedure. 

Procedures categories

3. Provide a structure 

A written procedure is a step-by-step guide to direct the reader through a task, so keep things simple and clear. With XWiki Procedures you have the chance to expand procedures to a company level, or just keep it neat for a team. Give your procedure a structure that will ease the efforts done by your employees instead of sending them on a time consuming path.

Do: Insist on the sequence and correlation of the tasks, as it will help when following them.

Don't: Leave out steps just because they seem obvious. They never are. 

Procedures sidebar structure

4. Involve employees

Give employees ownership so they can contribute to the way things are happening in your organization. For most companies, the problem isn’t necessary with the procedure, but with how the procedure is presented to employees. Make them enjoyable, easy to follow, and most of all - appreciate those taking the time to improve them.

Do: Brainstorms and offer guidance before instilling a new procedure, so everyone is fully on-board. 

Don't: Just add a procedure, take the time to explain all things left unclear and amend where necessary. 

Assign user responsibilities

Conclusions:

1. Research what the competition does and what steps you need to follow, customize it to your needs. 

2. Emphasize the bigger picture and how procedures help your company thrive. 

3. Take the time to make the procedure structured, easy to follow and have clear tasks.

4. Give ownership to those working on the procedure. Encourage them to improve it. 

TRY NOW

Not yet convinced? Try it for 10 days, for free, with no strings attached and no credit card required.

May 29 2017

3 common issues with intranet data import and how to avoid them

data-management.png
Designed by Freepik

Many managers approach intranet migration with the feeling that all they need to do is move all their content onto the new system and everything will work seamlessly. Obviously, most of the time this is not the case. Not only can this approach lead to user experience problems, but it also denies you the opportunity to manage and refine your content database.

Take the time to read about the following three mistakes that most people make when migrating data to their intranet so you can avoid them in your organization.

1. Omitting a content audit beforehand

The mistake of thinking that all content on their current system is equally valuable is the most common amongst companies migrating to an intranet. This leads them to the conclusion that they should migrate all their content over onto the new system. However, as we found out during our 14 years of experience, migrating all your content is very inefficient.
A better approach is to perform a content audit to find out what content you have on your current system, and out of that what you really need.

Your content audit should answer the following questions:

  • How much content do you have?
  • How old is your content?
  • What’s the metadata of your content?
  • How valuable is your content?

We provide help with any migration project from an existing solution to XWiki, by taking over your existing data. As part of our data recovery projects, we implement the following methodology, meant to smooth the transition for you:

OurMethodoEN.png

 2. Forgetting to install the structure to the new intranet

Most organizations upgrade to a new intranet because they want to reap the benefits of a new or better platform. However, moving to a new platform can throw up some unexpected problems in the way your intranet works. A good structured intranet identifies important differences between the old and new platforms, so you can predict problems that might occur after migration and address them now.

This strategy should let you know which data you need to migrate, what you should archive, and what you can delete. All companies should have a content governance strategy in place anyway, but if you don’t currently have one, an intranet migration is a good opportunity to develop one.

For example, your content might end up being stored in surprising places on your new intranet, which could make it difficult for your users to access it as part of their daily activities. Use your governance and structure solutions to predict issues like this and address them before they become a problem for your users.

 3. Doing the migration by themselves

To capitalize all the information and knowledge of your business, it is important that the new solution is able to handle this transition. This is why we offer to assist you with the process. To avoid losing data and to save time, we have developed this import to be fully automated and secure.

These are the top benefits of performing a data import process with XWiki:

  • Each document becomes a webpage;
  • Documents are accessible from any web browser;
  • Edit and View interfaces on the same page (no back office);
  • Decrease or disappearance of information silos;
  • Addition of various features to collaborate around the content: comments and annotations;
  • Our technology allows you to perform massive imports of documents in your wiki, reducing the risk of losing data to almost none.

 

Want to know more? Drop us a line at sales@xwiki.com or try our solution, for free, to convince yourself. No strings attached.

Alina Luchian
Content Marketing Specialist @XWiki

May 10 2017

[Infographic] Reasons to start collaborating right now

Thinking that you can do all by yourself? Well, we think you'll be very much interested in this infographic showing how collaboration impacts success in business.

Download it to get a better view.

infographic.png

DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC

What successful companies have in common

Forbes 500 companies. We’ve all wondered what it gets to be one of them. Researches show that the answer is simple, but the implementation is the tricky part. The way we see it, it goes beyond numerical attributes such as brand value, market share or power of investment.

It’s in the way you think

Let’s start with the beginning. At their core, any self-sustained business, regardless of the industry, has a competent management team, a well-structured organizational chart and a product or solution meeting the needs of an audience.

Easy so far, right?

Well, that was the answer. Understanding how these common attributes differ when comparing an average company to a successful one lays in the way they are approached in the organization. Now’s the tricky part.

So, you ask yourself, what it takes for a company to break the chain of average events and truly be a disruptive force on the market?

Here, at XWiki, we have studied how these things happen and we have concluded that all successful companies have in common the following characteristics:

  • They all communicate efficiently both internally and with their clients
  • The management team focuses on being leaders and not simply bosses
  • They share knowledge within the company both ways

They all communicate efficiently both internally and with their clients

Have you ever wondered how sometimes you are simply not informed in due time about a last-minute meeting or a report has been lost in the long thread of emails?

This is where successful companies get an advantage. They use internal collaborative platforms enabling anyone in the organization to easily get access to any information.

Think about the way global offices work. The difference between time meridians can sometimes pass the 8 hour work day so, basically, when some get to meet their friends for a few drinks, on the other side of the world, the others share stories about last night’s dinner over a cup of coffee.

Getting back to a local environment, you still need to have a global approach on ensuring transparent, up-to-date and easy to access information as your employees will be empowered to do their jobs efficiently. Eventually, your customers will get better customer service, which leads us to the way successful companies approach their audiences.

The management team focuses on being leaders and not simply bosses

An authoritarian approach over managing your employees and especially the millennials, is a sure way to reach a high employee turnover. You can change that by recruiting the right talent from the beginning.

It all starts at the interview stage. Here, at XWiki, we are looking for people who take accountability for their actions, are passionate about their area of expertise and actively take part in collaborative projects.

Image boss vs leader

Source: wittyfeed.com / arving.lakhani2

Ok, now you must be thinking. “How these guys know what to do, when there is nobody there to give orders?”. Well, we only hire people who don’t need orders to make great things happen. XWiki has a culture of empowerment which focuses on fairness, leadership and collaboration. This is why we have only leaders and not a single boss.


They share knowledge within the company both ways

Who knows better what the company is up against on a daily basis if not you employees. They know what resources, processes and steps are needed for a smooth task completions.

Use their expertise as it might impress you, but remember to share knowledge top-down too. Your employees need to be on the same page with the management to act as an entity and not as separate departments always chasing latest updates.

Conclusion

In conclusion we can say that there is no magic formula for becoming a successful company over night. Changing your mindset and allowing time for things to develop naturally is the first step to a Forbes 500 listing.

George Nikolic
Marketing Team Leader @XWiki

Dec 20 2016

XWiki’s special Christmas theme

“Deck the office with pixels of holly, ‘tis the quarter to be jolly” We’re feeling merry emoticon_wink

Decorations, carols in the hallways, gifts, parties, leave days... December has fully taken over offices and working spaces around the world. Whether you’re full onboard or went full Grinch when the first signs of Christmas decorations hit the supermarkets (in November!), chances are that, by now, the Christmas spirit got you.

The holiday season is upon us, and that begs the question: what more can you as an employer/manager to keep your employees happy and motivated? Just like any other Christmas enthusiasts, we thought of contributing to this movement and have taken this spirit to the next level: a special Christmas theme for your company’s XWiki. This way => XWiki Christmas free demo.

We have joined forces with the design team at the North Pole, drafted versions, then got the elves, the snowmen and the reindeers to provide feedback, did the implementation, asked for Santa’s blessing and agreed that this is the perfect picture of the season.

Since we’ve been praising it so highly, here’s a sneak peek of how the theme looks and feels like:

Gather your team around the XWiki Christmas theme and go through this year’s holidays with a smile on every face, even if at work. We challenge you to show us the best use of our special theme, whether it’s a blog post, internal newsletter or anything you might think of.

Let’s make the most of these Holidays! - XWiki’s little helpers

Alina Luchian
Content Marketing Specialist @XWiki