FotoWare Centralizes Support Content for Better Self-Service
How Fotoware’s MindTouch-powered site became the company’s first line of support for more than 4,000 customers and 40 partners around the world.
At a Glance
As a leading provider of on-premises and cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) software, FotoWare has extensive documentation needs. In response to planned expansion and growth, the FotoWare team sought a future-proof solution for organizing and extending its product documentation to both customers and partners around the world, as well as internal support agents. They needed to move from an outdated, time-intensive process involving RoboHelp and FTP transfers to a centralized source of authoritative content—one place for authoring, editing, and publishing. They decided to deploy the MindTouch knowledge management platform to meet these needs.
Today, the MindTouch-powered FotoWare site, learn.fotoware.com, serves as the first line of support for more than 4,000 customers and 40 partners around the world, including the U.S., Europe, and Asia. It houses all product documentation for the entire FotoWare product line in a structure that’s user- and Google-friendly. Year-to-date, 76% of traffic to learn.fotoware.com comes from organic search, with the subdomain now capturing more than 1,400 keywords. FotoWare also uses the MindTouch for Zendesk integration to extend timely, relevant content into the agent interface.
In the past decade, the world of DAM has seen a pronounced shift toward cloud-based solutions—a trend that the FotoWare team knows only too well. When FotoWare and MindTouch first teamed up, the company was still primarily providing on-premises DAM solutions. However, there was consensus in the business that even enterprise DAM solutions would eventually be run in the cloud, and that doing so would be beneficial both from a cost and scalability perspective.
Supporting the on-prem software model with updated product knowledge was particularly challenging. Each of the FotoWare on-prem software solutions required its own updated documentation, which needed to be included with every new installer so that customers, partners, and field techs had the documentation they needed to install and configure the software. This documentation also needed to be published to the website for easy online reference. Updating all of this documentation was a time-intensive manual process that was complicated and inefficient.
To keep up, FotoWare needed to streamline its documentation, especially in advance of the cloud-based solutions it soon planned to introduce. “Getting new versions of our documentation out was a bit of work,” says Olav Andreas Frenning, Product Specialist at FotoWare. “At the time we were using RoboHelp to compile our documentation before it went out through FTP. Every time we compiled a new set of RoboHelp files for a project, we’d have to go into the source management system to make sure the updated documentation was included with the installer bundles for our software, and then published to the website itself. It was kind of a nightmare because new installers had to go out all the time.”
This cumbersome process inhibited the ability of the FotoWare team to scale business and introduce new cloud-based product lines at the pace they would have liked. Customers and partners reported the difficulties they were having finding FotoWare documentation using search engines, or even directly on the company’s website, leading to increased ticket volume for the support team. Internally, FotoWare support agents spent a lot of time tracking down content while supporting customers, since FotoWare documentation was not directly integrated into the agent workflow. “What we needed,” says Frenning, “was a live knowledge management system where you could go in and edit articles and make updates in a jiffy.”
To streamline the creation and dissemination of its product documentation and support content in preparation for its expansion into more cloud-based solutions, FotoWare turned to the MindTouch knowledge management platform. “We wanted a single place of truth,” says Frenning, “a centralized knowledge management system containing all the information for all of the ten or so product lines under the learn.fotoware.com umbrella.”
Today, learn.fotoware.com houses all product documentation, how-tos, and guides for all FotoWare products, as well as more technical documentation such as API docs for developers. The content is organized in an easy-to-navigate hierarchy that makes content effortless to find for partners, customers, and support agents. Because MindTouch knowledge is optimized for Google, customers electing to self-serve this way also enjoy an effortless experience, making learn.fotoware.com the frontline for an expanding customer and partner network that now spans the globe.
FotoWare Support also recently launched the MindTouch for Zendesk integration. This allows the support team to have the same support content found on their learn.fotoware.com site directly embedded into the agent’s Zendesk interface. Agents can now quickly find and send customers helpful content without inflating their case resolution time. “In the past our agents would have a separate tab just for finding FotoWare documentation,” says Chris Stival, Support Manager at FotoWare. “This tighter integration with support makes it so agents can search right from within the Zendesk interface without switching tabs or screens.”
Agents can now send a link to useful information to the customer in just a click or two. Keeping content up to date is easier too. “It used to be that the Support Manager would alert someone manually when there was not a solution published for a given case,” says Stival. “It’s now much easier to identify those types of content gaps using MindTouch reports. And our partners love the fact that if they can’t find the answers they need, they let us know and we create them.”
“Documentation-wise, we went from measuring nothing to measuring everything,” says Frenning. “What we’re finding is that far more people are now finding FotoWare on our website. We’ve got tons of Google searches going straight to learn.fotoware.com, so it’s becoming a marketing driver, too.”
Indeed, year-to-date, 76% of visitors to learn.fotoware.com come from organic search. As of June 2019, learn.fotoware.com captures 1,417 keywords, compared to 1,021 for the main FotoWare website, with only 2% keyword overlap. This indicates that the people who need learn.fotoware.com content for support, troubleshooting, or how-to are finding it directly using search engines, without the support subdomain cannibalizing the main site’s keyword traffic.
Looking forward, the FotoWare team plans to continue evolving its MindTouch deployment. This includes allowing agents to log into MindTouch while using Zendesk for more personalized content experiences. FotoWare also plans to make use of an embedded MindTouch capability called Customer Insights that gives agents context around what customers are looking for and content they’ve already viewed. Finally, the team plans to capitalize on the steady increase in organic traffic by giving visitors an opportunity to start a trial of FotoWare-as-a-Service directly from learn.fotoware.com.
“What started as a small company is now growing really fast,” reflects Frenning. “We’ve come to a point where we’re starting to sell cloud solutions and scale on a whole new level, so we have to put solutions like MindTouch in place to be able to handle this growth.”
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FotoWare is a Norwegian software company that in 20 years has become a world-leading provider of Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions. More than 250,000 users and 4,000 customers in a wide range of industries use FotoWare, including The White House Historical Association, The Financial Times, Volkswagen, Metropolitan Police, Axel Springer Verlag, The Economist, Australian Defence Force, and Thomson Reuters. FotoWare is a solution for businesses and individuals to manage, store and share large amounts of digital assets, such as images, videos, and documents. The solution can be purchased as-a-service or run on-premises. The company has 36 employees from ten different nationalities located in Norway, Sweden, Australia, and Russia. FotoWare has partners in 34 countries that sell the solution and offer local support.Visit FotoWare