LiveOffice has about 280 Confluence users, working on 20 spaces and about 14,000 weekly hits to their archive resources hosted in the wiki. LiveOffice was founded to help organizations archive, discover and manage their email.
It’s no surprise that LiveOffice opted for the hosted version of our wiki software which provides them with the same SaaS benefits which they find so important for their product offering.
Tell us about LiveOffice
We are the leading global provider of cloud-based archiving and search solutions. We archive emails, instant messages, BlackBerry SMS messages, SharePoint files, Chatter posts and social media, and are now expanding into file archiving. We archive pretty much anything you can transmit or archive. We help companies with their compliance needs for SEC and FINRA regulations, as well as for e-discovery purposes. We make sure that companies can quickly and easily set up retention policies and they can find stuff for when users lose it or need to quickly call upon it for investigations. LiveOffice has been around for more than 13 years, but we got into the email archiving space about 10 years ago; archiving has been our core service.
How did you choose Confluence as your enterprise wiki?
We came up with a matrix for our top requirements, and they basically boiled down to the ability for us to share content with specific groups, easily define users and groups, and also to conditionally share content within a page. That was really tricky for most of the wiki players. That alone eliminated most of the hosted wikis. Most CMS solutions were knocked off the list because we wanted something that was easy to set up, manage, and maintain. We even looked at SharePoint, for example, and at the time, they didn’t really have the ability to manage and create content and expose it to specific audiences.
So, we looked at SharePoint, open source options, SocialText, and others. The other bonus that really won us over was Confluence’s flexibility of options for deployment. The ability to allow us to either host it ourselves or host it with another vendor was very attractive. We could have as much control as we wanted to, and we could also pay someone else to monitor and maintain it. We have an operations team, but they are 100% focused on the business and that’s a cost structure that we’d have to incur if they had to focus their resources on a non-revenue generating application. We chose Confluence Hosted for our collaboration software.
What is Confluence’s main use-case at LiveOffice?
We didn’t really have a knowledge base, so that was primarily the original use-case; build a knowledge base that was conditional and very permissions driven. We had a big need to share with folks, both internally and externally, some amount of our technical data, documentation, partner information, and so forth. We had a huge need to really control who sees what.
Confluence has since grown to tracking meeting notes, tracking product roadmaps, and we are trying to get a forum together for people to post FAQs and make it much more interactive. Also, all of our product documentation flows through Confluence, which is available to the public. I did an extensive study at the time of both wiki players and advanced CMS solutions and you guys really came out on top. We’ve had a good experience with your documentation software over the years. When it comes to all things documentation, Confluence is our hub that we go to. It is our go-to location to figure out how something works.
Have you customized Confluence?
We have been able to do the necessary tweaks on our end within the admin console of Confluence. There haven’t been that many things we needed that weren’t available out-of-the-box, and what is offered is a huge improvement to what SharePoint, our old tool, offers. In terms of ease of use, setup, and the ability to get what we need out of it, I still don’t know of any other wiki software today that we could go to other than Confluence. I just don’t see anything else offered out there that fits our requirements.
Why choose a hosted enterprise wiki versus installing it yourselves?
It came down to the operational aspect – we didn’t want to manage yet another server. The other aspect is we had to get up and running fast. We couldn’t have another service to manage it. There also was no experience with Java based code – we are all Windows-based, so it was a little bit out of our expertise.
What are some of the biggest benefits for your team using our collaboration software?
It’s information sharing and the power of being able to be selective with how you share it. Not having to have multiple data storage spaces is a huge time-save. That’s the biggest high-level benefit for us. Another thing is the ease of which we can order documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and we can easily publish them inside Confluence. It becomes a very straightforward way for people to share content which has saved us a lot of time versus sharing via email.
How are new wiki users on-boarded?
Every user has to have a login. Then, each department has their own Confluence admin, so each department takes care of their own guys. That’s how we manage the spaces and it keeps a lower level of content that shouldn’t be there. We have a few ‘champions’ in each group – they know how to use the enterprise wiki and can answer any questions about how to use it. This model has also helped us to ensure wiki adoption across the organization.
Do you have advice for others considering using Confluence?
Do your homework like I did mine, and I’m pretty sure you will come back to Confluence. Ease of deployment, end-user ease is there in terms of adoption, take a close look at how easy it is to convert documents to wiki-format so users don’t get frustrated with formatting problems. Confluence is also good if you are looking for easy and flexible ways to create different types of content and different ways to federate that content; ex: we use the ‘news’ (blog) feature a lot. Some products will have a great feature set around the basics like the WYSIWYG interface, but then they don’t really scale outwards. When you have a need to scale this to multiple audiences, and to share adoption, the answer is you are always going to have to come back to Confluence.
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