Managing the flow of knowledge and information is a challenge in any organization; getting the right information to the right people at the right time is not as easy as it sounds. We all know that relying on humans is not the ideal solution -- they simply cannot be counted upon to consistently and automatically transfer information to the proper parties.
As a Novell Gold Workgroup Partner, Adaris Technologies had access very early on to Novell Teaming. We initially deployed Novell Teaming in January 2008 to start learning about the product and its many functionalities. We immediately saw the potential of this tool as an incredible way of sharing information among the members of the technical team. We started by creating workspaces in which to store client information. Within a couple of weeks, we had created workspaces for almost all of our customers and the technical team was spending more time in these workspaces than in the Microsoft Sharepoint system we had already been using for two years for this purpose.
It didn't take too long before we also started using it for administrative purposes: to store employee timesheets, company policies, license information, etc.
Then we became curious about the workflow feature and wanted to explore that. In the Novell documentation, there is a good example of building a workflow for a time off request. We followed the instructions, and within about 15 minutes had a fully functional workflow. We then expanded on that example: we added several other stages, notifications and rules. Before we knew it, he had an incredibly efficient way for all employees to request time off, whether for vacations, time banks or sick leave.
Within about two months of the initial installation, Novell Teaming became one of the most important tools we used. The technical team kept finding creative ways of using the client workspaces:
When our engineers work on site, they spend a couple of minutes at the end of every day to blog a summary of their intervention. Within about 15 minutes, the blog is broadcast to the entire technical team via e-mail. That way, the entire team is up to date on what has happened at that customer site.
We use file folders to store important customer information, such as technical diagrams, proposals, license files and certificates.
Our engineers started taking pictures of our customer installations: cabinets, servers, telecom equipment, etc. They then stored those pictures with descriptions in the customer workspace. Now, when a customer calls for support, our technical support staff -- who may have never been on site -- can at least get an idea of what the installation looks like.
Our technical staff uses the wiki folder to store important technical documentation and equipment information using custom forms.
Nothing we have ever used in the history of our company has ever contributed so efficiently and so quickly to the collaboration and sharing of information that is so essential for our team to work as one. If you haven't already taken a serious look at Novell Teaming -- as a customer or a Novell partner -- then I strongly recommend you take some time to give it a try. For all you customers out there, don't forget that Novell is offering 20 free licenses; this is just enough to allow you to set up a pilot project and give Teaming a good try!
Oh, and by the way, that Sharepoint server we had been using for over two years has now been decommissioned!
Customers who would like to learn more about Teaming can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.