What will the technical documentation of tomorrow look like? tekom, the German association for technical communication, will try to answer that question at its annual conference in Stuttgart. And the software company DOCUFY has already found a possible answer. According to the Bamberg-based company, the industry needs a radical rethink. It argues that, in the age of digitalization and Industry 4.0, the traditional document is a thing of the past. If each user can individually configure their product, then a document-based content management system is no longer viable. Maximal documents that include every possible product variant are also unfeasible. DOCUFY presents the solution in the form of the Information Space. Visitors to tekom will even be able to experience it physically: The entire DOCUFY trade fair booth will take the form of a multi-dimensional Information Space in which visitors can move around, navigating through topics, and thereby experiencing the future of technical documentation up close.
Bamberg, Germany, August 14, 2017 – The industry association tekom will host its annual conference at the ICS International Congress Center Stuttgart from October 24 to 26, 2017. The conference is considered the world’s leading event in the technical communication sector. Approximately 4,500 conference participants and trade fair visitors from Europe and beyond are expected to attend.
DOCUFY, which develops professional software systems for technical documentation, will shake up the industry with its new trade fair booth. Documentation has always been based on documents. But DOCUFY claims they will obsolete in the modern world of information. Uwe Reißenweber, General Manager of DOCUFY GmbH, comments: "The world is changing. Digitalization and Industry 4.0 are making information increasingly important. It is the lifeblood of the digital world. Rigid, mass-produced products are progressively being replaced by ranges of functions, from which customers can configure individual products. Storing the associated information in individual documents is becoming impossible. The technical documentation of the future requires flexible, self-contained snippets of information that can be created independently and combined as needed. That information must be organized intelligently, so an information system with a unique address for each relevant piece of information at a company is required. That is the Information Space that DOCUFY offers its customers."
Information Space – a system of coordinates for company-wide knowledge
The Information Space depicts objects from the real world. The associated information components are created individually and assigned appropriately. Those snippets of information are called "topics." Each topic has a unique address in the Information Space, which allows the required information to be flexibly compiled and published for a specific application – in the form of a printed document, on a smartphone for use on-the-go, or in an augmented reality application.
Interaction with buyers creates the need for supplementary information in the form of topics
The move away from documents is not only essential when it comes to managing product diversity; information also has to be available in the right place at the right time. It is important to record and store new insights from product servicing or maintenance processes, for example. And other customers’ opinions about the product as a whole or specific features are important criteria in today’s buying decisions. Uwe Reißenweber notes: "Who still books a hotel without looking at the ratings of other guests, or orders a product from Amazon without reading the opinions of other buyers?"
Information is provided dynamically
New topics can be added to the Information Space, assigned or expanded at any time. This guarantees rapid answers to new questions such as "Do current users recommend the product or feature in question?" or "Have other technicians commented on the installation manual?" That new information flows back into the Information Space and further enriches existing topics. The knowledge generated in that way helps companies optimize their products and processes.
DOCUFY will demonstrate just how this concept can be applied in practice right now at its tekom booth, number 2/D04. The current releases of the COSIMA Component Content Management System (CCMS) and the mobile publication platform TopicPilot thereby interact seamlessly.
Talks and showcases for forward-thinking companies
As well as visiting the booth, those with an interest can attend talks and showcases to experience the practical advantages and sustainability of DOCUFY’s software solutions, which will cover everything from tips for users of the CCMS to augmented documentation – the merging of augmented reality with technical documentation. These are some of the talks on offer:
- "Examining writing rules – how strict should we be," with Michael Müller-Hillebrand, Wednesday, October 25, 2017, from 8:45–9:30 a.m. in room C9.2
- "Digitalization 1, 2, 3: How to successfully use augmented reality in customer communication," with Christoph Beckmann, Thursday, October 26, 2017, from 12:15–1 p.m. in room C5.2