Six years ago, the network operator terranets bw converted its organisation manuals and company guidelines into a BlueSpice MediaWiki. Above all, this saves time.
It is not easy to exactly quantify the advantages of a MediaWiki in concrete terms. “But we’ve saved a lot of hours and weeks in the last six years,” says Alexander Menges when asked about it. Menges is the technical administrator of terrapedia, the company’s own MediaWiki, which the network operator terranets bw introduced in 2013 in order to bundle its organisational manuals and company guidelines in a transparent and clear manner.
Impulse came from the management
“We previously had to deal with around 80 extensive individual documents, which were created on the basis of MS Word, then converted into PDF files and uploaded to the intranet.” The same procedure was necessary every time a change was made. This was a “huge effort”, says Menges. Both the creation and the later search in the unlinked files.
In 2012, the management finally gave the impulse to look for an alternative, a web-based platform. With BlueSpice MediaWiki a suitable software was found.” Hallo Welt! is a software house of a certain size, but you still know people personally and are perceived as a customer,” says Menges.
Anyone can edit
terranets bw GmbH, headquartered in Stuttgart, is the transport network operator for gas in Baden-Württemberg, which ensures reliable transport with its approx. 2000 km long pipeline network. In addition, the company offers a comprehensive telecommunications and communications network. Currently, more than two thirds of all cities and municipalities in Baden-Württemberg as well as parts of Switzerland, Vorarlberg (Austria) and the Principality of Liechtenstein are connected to this network. Its customers include network operators, municipal utilities and industrial companies.
Since 2013, the company’s knowledge platform terrapedia has provided company guidelines and organisational manuals of the various management systems for each of the 250 or so employees. “The status, validity and responsibility of all documents can be displayed, thus creating the basis for systematically checking or updating them if necessary.
“Anyone can edit directly and the latest version is immediately available to everyone in the company after it has been reviewed by the editor in charge,” explains Menges. The same applies to the company guidelines available in BlueSpice MediaWiki. The powerful search function makes it easy to find everything at any time. “The time saving is enormous. Other platforms are much more complex.
Terranets bw operates various management systems according to ISO standards. These include an information security management system according to ISO/IEC 27001, an HSSE management system according to ISO/IEC 14001 and 50001 as well as BS OHSAS 18001 for health protection, occupational safety and environmental protection. BlueSpice has also proven itself within the framework of external monitoring by the various certification bodies, as the necessary rules including the associated forms are generally accessible and the traceability of changes through auditing has more than convinced the auditors.
Getting to know the wiki mentality
“It was a bit challenging,” says Menges, “to familiarize users with the wiki mentality.” The knowledge platform terrapedia is filled by different users, each employee can edit articles – this is a big difference to the previous organization. And the editor also works differently to MS Word.
In order to familiarize users with terrapedia, user training courses were held in cooperation with Hallo Welt GmbH! during the launch the new platform. Meanwhile Menges is the central internal contact, answers questions on call and offers regular trainings to the employees.
Audits via the MediaWiki
Terranets bw is currently updating to BlueSpice3. Menges expects a great added value from an increased use of the semantic wiki, e.g. for the internal control system. “In the past, you had to create complex excel tables for this. Now you can trace the workflow at any time using the individual signatures without the need for an external application. There is still a lot of potential there. But already in the first five years after its introduction it became clear: “The use of the knowledge platform is much more efficient for the employees of terranets due to the transparency, the overview and the traceability of the processing”.
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