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What’s this all about?

This is the first part of a four part series focusing on the evolution of the Evaluator Resources
space, built on our enterprise wiki, Confluence. What started as a
channel to deliver information to Confluence webinar attendees in an
efficient and timely manner, has quickly evolved into an extensive
knowledge base for helping prospective customers evaluate all of our products.
The goal of the space is to provide rich, useful information and
resources to evaluators via a medium that is easy to maintain and quick
to update. What better medium than a wiki!

Currently, the Confluence section of the space
has the most mature set of resources. My colleagues and I are busy
collaborating on a new framework for the space to provide a consistent
look and feel and solid set of resources for all products. I wanted to
publish this series of blogs before major changes were made, starting
with explaining the problem we faced and how Confluence provided us a
solution.

1. The Problem

Previously, Boots and I would conduct weekly Confluence webinars
in which attendees can ask us questions and learn from each other. At the end
of the webinar we would send a follow-up email to all attendees with a
summary of questions asked and answers provided for their future
reference. The problem with this approach was that we would first need
to wait for the attendance report to be made available by WebEx (which
could sometimes take up to 24hrs) before we could send off our often
bloated email to the attendees. On top of the delay and the manual work
involved in creating the attendance report, we were pushing out
duplicate copies of the same email to multiple recipients, often
linking back to our own documentation, which is built on Confluence. We were being very inefficient and with a small sales team of 10, we need to be as efficient as possible, in all of our processes. Enter Confluence.

2. The Solution

One of the key messages we deliver in our Confluence webinars is the benefit of reducing emails by using a wiki.
So why not use Confluence to document the answers to attendees’
questions? It was right under our noses all along! Instead of manually
creating an attendance report, we could tell WebEx to send an automated
email out to attendees (with a delay of ~2hrs to give us some time to
document the answers) providing them with a single link to the Webinar Questions & Answers Archive. On this page, attendees could find the webinar they attended with the answers to all of their questions. 

QA Archive.png

Webinar.png

3. The Benefits

Time

  • Higher Customer Satisfaction – Attendees now receive
    the answers to their questions just 2 hours after the completion of the
    webinar. Giving timely and quality answers to our customers has always
    been one of our top priorities.
  • Automate Manual Processes – No more waiting for WebEx to make the attendance report available for Boots or myself to manually download.
  • Easier Linking – No more writing of lengthy emails with links back to the Confluence Documentation on CAC.
  • Stop Reinventing the Wheel
    – Ability to reuse answers to questions already documented on the wiki
    instead of trying to dig up answers trapped inside an email inbox.

Efficiency

  • Pull Instead of Push – We have streamlined this process by creating a wiki page that pulls attendees’ attention in to one shared location instead of pushing out duplicate copies of an email to each attendee.

PullPush.029.jpg

  • Unlock the Content – The content is no longer trapped in an email inbox but is instead searchable on the web for all customers.
  • Insight for Future Projects
    – Provided Atlassian with an archive of commonly asked questions that
    could later be analysed to help put together an educated FAQ.
  • Leverage the Power of Confluence – Allowed us to create dynamic links, that do not break, to existing Confluence documentation and even include existing documentation
    in our pages to avoid duplication of content. See below an example of a
    question that is answered by including a page from the Confluence
    Documentation in the Q & A page:
Include.png
4. Kaizen

Once we got the ball rolling with the Webinar Questions &
Answers archive, we thought why not use Confluence to deliver more
resources to our evaluators. We were conscious of the need to not
duplicate content on our website, so I came up with some ideas for sections, including the new Next Steps
guide, which ties in with the emails that we send customers to guide
them through their evaluation. Again, by putting this content on the
wiki instead of in emails, we are able to deliver rich, dynamic and
up-to-date information to evaluators that we have complete control
over, with no bottlenecks. 

Confluence_Overview_Video_Slides.006.png

The most important message to get out of this first
part of the series is that we did not need to ask or hassle any other
teams, such as IT or Marketing, to get this project off the ground. We
saw a problem, worked out a solution, implemented a first cut, and have
since iterated to improve. At Atlassian we are empowered to be the change we seek. My team did just that with the Evaluator Resources space.

In the next part of the series I’ll be focusing on how the content has been organised in the Confluence section of the space using a couple of nifty plugins and macros. Stay tuned for next week’s instalment!

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