As businesses worldwide shift towards remote workforces, the importance of reliable business communications is a crucial topic for many organisations. With more than 70 million users in 100 countries, Mitel is a recognised leader in providing business communications and collaboration solutions.
Mitel strives to make each of its solutions as intuitive and easy to use as possible. The company’s technical writers have created almost 10,000 user guides, technical documentation and other useful information to help customers and partners learn how to set up and use Mitel solutions in any workplace. While a typical document has about 200 pages, some can have up to 2,000 pages, many of which are translated into a dozen languages.
Like many companies, part of Mitel’s growth strategy has involved acquiring other companies. As a result, Mitel’s technical writing team inherited documents, tools and portals used by different companies. Mitel decided to minimise changes to documentation and maintain existing portals to deliver the same experience for existing partners and customers.
“At first, no one worried about having different sources for documentation,” says Ramabhadran P, Senior Manager, Technical Publications at Mitel. “Our technical writing team would update branding and everything else would stay the same. But over time, our documentation environment became much more complicated, making it nearly impossible to scale and maintain.
Technical writers needed specialised training in each authoring tool and script, which included structured Adobe FrameMaker files, FrameMaker scripts, homegrown scripts, MadCap Flare™ and Webworks Publisher. This increased the learning curve for new writers. The differences among tools resulted in inconsistent styles in how documents looked and because content could not easily be shared and reuse among systems, text was often inconsistent as well.