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How a world-class thermotechnology manufacturer uses Confluence to support its field engineers and deliver customer service excellence.

Introduction

Managing and sharing information across multiple business units and disparate repositories is a common problem we see in all types of industries. Not to mention the increased complexity of remote working and maintaining a single source of validated truth.

This client value story takes a look at how Valiantys helped Worcester Bosch consolidate their data on Confluence for improved visibility and control, while improving support for their field engineers and customer service departments.

Worcester Bosch bio

The challenge

Previously at Worcester Bosch, each department had its own way of storing what was effectively the same information – primarily pre-sale and post-sale technical product knowledge.

The Training Department, for instance, required key information on how to install and use products. Customer Service managed information related to promotions and compatibility of products that end-users might ask about. By contrast, the focus for Engineering Services was on fault-finding and internal component information.

Their bespoke GUI application for supporting technical advisors, with product internal layouts, manuals, components, and test information, was deemed to be inflexible and struggled to meet demands when it came to upscaling and sharing information with other interested departments. They also faced an ever-increasing effort to manage duplicate information and a growing product range with an associated diversity of knowledge. Another requirement was the need to support field engineers and technicians working at remote sites where a suitable IT connection could not be guaranteed.

Atlassian and Valiantys to the rescue

Responding to a Bosch-standard IT solution tender selection process, Valiantys generated an overview proposal before providing technical specifications for the solution to be developed.

Worcester Bosch knew that whatever solution they implemented would need to facilitate the creation and sharing of support content, and not just mimic a shared document library.

In essence:

1. Availability of an offline system to be used in the field, comparable in use and design to an online system

2. A framework that allowed customization of individual content types, rather than a forced “one-size-fits-all”

3. Ease of implementation and suitability for all departments working within the existing Bosch infrastructure

Worcester Bosch was already aware of some of Confluence’s features and functions because Bosch’s global intranet had an instance covering a broad range of topics. However, the existing instance lacked an offline mode and would not provide a lot of the key functionality they needed.

This was their first time working with Valiantys and one of the main reasons for enlisting our services was that their existing bespoke platform for supporting advisors in the Technical Services department had reached the point where investment in a more stable and supported solution was needed. At the same time, Worcester Bosch identified the potential to bring other customer servicing departments into the same solution, since information silos and lack of availability was something that needed to be addressed through the right partnership.

Reasons for choosing Valiantys

The solution

The introduction of a Confluence-based solution has allowed Worcester Bosch to migrate from a singular department solution to a state where it is now possible to reach others across the business, while remaining customisable for areas with specific needs.

One of the key considerations at the start of the project is well-known in today’s business climate: the need to support remote working.

As Worcester Bosch pointed out: ‘‘We are lucky to have a robust and secure remote connection solution for those able to get a good internet connection. But it can be hard to imagine just how many locations in the UK that we need to support still don’t have a reliable mobile connection to the internet’’.

– Matthew Waldron – Engineering Services Manager.

In this respect, the core needs of their business did not have to change. Worcester Bosch continues to be able to support its employees so they can give the best customer service possible, and this has really helped with end-user uptake and acceptance of the new solution provided by Valiantys.

Some of the key benefits:

• Access to documentation offline.

• Simplification – one system instead of three or four is easier for everyone to access and maintain.

• A scalable and flexible solution adapted to evolving needs.

• Better control over content approval and new documentation.

• Time savings when finding the right answers to resolve service desk tickets generated by customers and installers.

Added Value

Worcester Bosch chose Valiantys as their trusted partner citing scale, reliability and the ability to support as the key factors. Valiantys also demonstrated an understanding of the goals of the project and the level of freedom that Worcester Bosch wanted to retain. This was reflected both in the Valiantys approach and throughout the implementation process, with “a very approachable and professional team that demonstrated the knowledge to deliver on challenging solutions”.

“Valiantys have been great partners in our Confluence implementation. The expertise, flexibility, and willingness to co-operate with our needs to find a solution has definitely made our investment worthwhile”.

Matthew Waldron, Engineering Services Manager

Big Wins and Benefits

The solution has garnered success across multiple Business Units including Engineering Services, After Sales (Customer Service & Field Support), Customer Training and Business Dev Ops.

Worcester Bosch needed a “one-stop-shop” for key customer-facing departments to collaborate and receive information to quickly answer the wide variety of questions they get asked. They are now also supporting staff training on heating industry topics and, where applicable, providing process guidance and other department-centric information that enables them to focus on providing great customer service.

Emerging from the engagement phase, Worcester Bosch could already attest to better agility, improved processes and happier users in a number of cases. The customer-facing teams now have access to technically accurate information, resulting in a much faster turnaround of customer queries than the escalation process that was frequently required previously. Training resources for employees and customers are also much easier to set up, and as new information becomes available it is really easy to react to comments and communicate information.

Worcester Bosch quotation

What’s next?

So what does the future hold? Let’s hear what Worcester Bosch has to say on the matter:

A lot depends on the availability of an offline solution post-migration to either data centre or cloud in the coming years. Thanks to this project there is a renewed understanding of the benefits and options for an equivalent system and we’re very excited to be exploring these further on the back of the work we’ve accomplished together.
A logical next step or evolution could be to make more of the information in our Confluence instance available to customers directly without the need to call us, or at the very least to be able to support calls into the department with online augmentation.

We're really pleased to have been supported by Valiantys in the implementation and launch of our Knowledgebase project. The team really did their best to deliver and work around some really varied and sometimes intentionally grey-area requirements to provide a tool that we'll still be making the most of in years to come.

Matthew Waldron, Engineering Services Manager

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DOWNLOAD: Collaboration without compromise - How Valiantys helped Worcester Bosch consolidate their data on Confluence for improved visibility and control, while improving support for their field engineers and customer service departments.
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