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HP Tools Aid in Knowledge Dissemination

HP ART documentation and readiness tools bring better user experiences to Nordic IT solutions provider EVRY

Nordic IT solutions provider EVRY has taken automation and agility to new heights in its training and documentation of IT products and services, and found that even small steps can make a valuable return on user adoption patterns.

By using HP's Adoption Readiness Tool (ART) to help its employees work better with IT management solutions and processes, EVRY, based in Oslo, has gained new advantages in the adoption and understanding of both new and existing technology.

BriefingsDirect had an opportunity to learn first-hand how EVRY mastered production of documentation and readiness tools when we interviewed Sigve Sandvik, Solution Adviser at EVRY, at the recent HP Discover 2013 Conference in Barcelona. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. [Learn more about HP ART.]

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Tell us first a little about EVRY, what your organization is, how big they are, and what you do.

Sandvik: EVRY is Norway’s biggest IT solution provider. We’re the result of a merger between two of the former biggest companies in Norway. We’re approximately 10,000 employees, based in 50 locations, mostly in the Nordic region and the Baltic, and we also have some colleagues in India.

Sandvik

Gardner: So you are both a big user of IT, as well as helping your customers  improve their businesses through better IT practices?

Sandvik: That’s true. My team, called the ITSM Tools Department, delivers tools to our employees globally, and also directly to our customers. But most of my customers are also my colleagues.

Gardner: What are some of the problems that you have had has as you have tried to get the most out of HP Service Manager?

Global tool

Sandvik: HP Service Manager is used widely in EVRY. It’s a global tool, and all employees can access the system. Since it is a global tool, there are lots of people out there who need to know how it works.

For example, if they are entitled to just to call the internal help desk, they can do that. But some may not be allowed to call the help desk. They need to register a ticket themselves. They need to have a place to find information. That’s the main issue when it comes to HP Service Manager, and what we need in terms of documentation and user guides.

Gardner: Tell us about your journey. What did you do and how did you discover HP's Adoption Readiness Tool, or ART? How did it work for you?

Sandvik: Actually, it was a coincidence that we discovered ART. My former manager was attending a conference, I am not sure which one, but it was an HP Conference. He discovered that there is a product out there that could actually help us make our documentation and user guides better.

Before, when we signed up with an external vendor, they helped us with recording the process, for example, and on making a new interaction. They helped us with that, and they also made the voice-over and printouts or the text from the voice. So it was basically a video you can play back.

The problem with that, of course, is that when we got the video, it was already out of date because we had already moved on with the next release of our system. So the product wasn’t optimal anymore. Besides, we had to pay the vendor a certain amount of money, and then if we wanted to change it, they billed us extra for it.

Gardner: Explain how you were able to make the time-to-value compressed. How you were able to create these documents, this training, these assets, but in a way that they weren’t obsolete by the time you were able to use them?

Sandvik: With the external vendor we had used before, the product was already made. We weren’t able to change it, but with HP ART we were in a position where we could, within an hour, make a small simulation and present it in a portable format -- for example as a PDF or Word document. We could also  present it on-screen, with voice, and in multiple languages as well. But the most important thing is that we were able to maintain the user guides and the documentation as we go. So we could just add new parts and edit parts of the documentation we already had.

Gardner: And have you been able to expand the products and services that you have been developing these assets for? How widely are you using ART?

Available resources

Sandvik: Today we are using ART not as much as I would like to. In a perfect situation, I think EVRY would really benefit if we made even more user guides with HP ART.

We have made a lot of user documentation, which we send to our customers, vendors and external subcontractors. The responses we get from these are really good. Also, the response we get internally in our organization -- when they see that we have these products and these user guides -- is that they want more. We would really benefit if we could only find time to make more documentation.

Gardner: For others who may have not been using this real-time and adaptive training capability yet, now that you have been doing it for a while, do you have any tips or suggestions for them? Do you have any words of wisdom for others who are considering this?

Sandvik: There are three things needed to make good simulations. You should concentrate on making small bits. Do not make the recordings too large. You should also think about how you want to present your documentation. Concentrate on one bit at a time, and then put that all together. For example, in an online course, with HP ART, you’re able to assemble several simulations together.

We have made a lot of user documentation that we send to our customers and also to our vendors and external subcontractors. The responses we get from these are really good.

In our online course, where you have the embedded menu, you can run the whole course, or the users can click on a specific item of interest. They don’t have to run through the entire course. They can just click on the specific item they want to learn a little bit more. So I would start by making small recordings first.

I also recommend spending time on fixing the template. When you buy the product, you will have the HP fonts and logo. We’ve spent some time adapting the tool so it has the EVRY logo, colors, and fonts in the template. It looks nice and is familiar to our employees.

Gardner: Have you been able to measure how the users of the product or products gain from the use of ART? Is there a soft or hard metric?

Sandvik: No, we haven’t. Perhaps we should measure how we’ve improved our learning or our own internal use of the user guides. That is perhaps something we will have a look at.

With HP ART, for example, you can also make assessments of where your users have viewed simulations, and then on the next page you will be tested. So we could easily track which employees have taken the given course. We haven’t yet asked our employees if they really use the documentation more.

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At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.