FDBR speeds publication of industry information

German technology trade association enhances intranet with IBM Lotus software

Published on 18-Jan-2013

"After only one half hour of training, all of our colleagues can now publish their own content in a fraction of the time previously required by experienced content managers." - Hendrik Franke, IT director, Fachverband für Dampfkessel,- Behälter- und Rohrleitungsbau

Customer:
FDBR

Industry:
Industrial Products

Deployment country:
Germany

IBM Business Partner:
IT works unlimited GmbH & Co. KG

Overview

The Fachverband für Dampfkessel,- Behälter- und Rohrleitungsbau (FDBR), or Association of Steam Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Piping Manufacturers, serves the interests of more than 160 mostly small and midsize companies involved in power plant and chemical plant construction. Member firms include plant builders, as well as component manufacturers and service suppliers to power plant and chemical plant manufacturers. With annual sales in excess of EUR15 billion, the industry employs approximately 60,000 workers. FDBR is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, and has 14 employees.

Business need:
FDBR needed a system to make it easier for staff members to publish, categorize and manage online technical documents.

Solution:
The association implemented a customized web content management solution based on IBM® Lotus® Notes® and IBM Lotus Domino® software.

Benefits:
The solution eases and speeds online publishing and enhances document categorization.

Case Study

The Fachverband für Dampfkessel,- Behälter- und Rohrleitungsbau (FDBR), or Association of Steam Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Piping Manufacturers, serves the interests of more than 160 mostly small and midsize companies involved in power plant and chemical plant construction. Member firms include plant builders, as well as component manufacturers and service suppliers to power plant and chemical plant manufacturers. With annual sales in excess of EUR15 billion, the industry employs approximately 60,000 workers. FDBR is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, and has 14 employees.

Cumbersome publishing processes

The FDBR mission is to promote technical innovation in power plant and chemical plant construction, and to support the continued development of technical standards. The association also strives to keep members informed of technical, legal, and economic news that affects production processes and ongoing projects. To accomplish these goals, FDBR employees monitor the industry, write technical articles summarizing key developments and publish them on a company intranet. Association members who register can then access these articles organized by associated areas of interest.

Naturally, getting newsworthy information out quickly depends on efficient publishing processes. However FDBR employees were hindered by slow and complicated procedures for posting articles, managing content and maintaining the intranet user interface. “In the past, our employees had to spend considerable time to publish just a single document,” says Hendrik Franke, IT director at FDBR and one of the few people who understood the intricacies of the process. “Clearly, we needed a better system for document publishing and management.”

To address this challenge, Franke brought in IBM Premium Business Partner IT works unlimited GmbH & Co. KG (ITWU), which specializes in the IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino enterprise collaboration platform. The association sought a solution to enable staff members to publish technical content without worrying about the technology. A secondary requirement was to improve document categorization so that members could more easily locate relevant information.

Powering a simplified solution

ITWU previously worked with FDBR to overhaul the company’s IT infrastructure, using Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino applications to centralize email communication. It now used the Lotus platform to map out and develop an entirely new web publishing process that took advantage of existing assets. IBM Lotus Domino Designer software provided tools for rapid application development, particularly XPages functionality, a development environment for Web 2.0 applications based on open standards. “XPages in Lotus Domino Designer gave us everything we needed to create a modern, interactive, and user-friendly web publishing application,” says Carl Goos, chief executive officer at ITWU.

The new intranet solution was rolled out to FDBR employees in early 2010. “We were immediately pleased with the enhanced functionality,” says Franke.

Workflows launched from the Lotus Notes application simplify the publishing process, while keywords enable each article to be categorized, sorted and located by content as well as document type. Published articles are correctly displayed whatever browsers the members use. In another enhancement, the new intranet interface can leverage existing data and functions from within Lotus Notes and Domino. Thus access privileges for FDBR employees, as well as content, can be recalled from existing entries in Lotus Domino. “We have extended the settings in the email and workflow areas of Lotus Notes to the intranet,” says Goos. “This keeps IT management lean.”

A boost to employee productivity

To accelerate document publication and sorting, employees use applications written in Lotus Notes. After double-clicking on the publishing form in the Lotus Notes application, staff members need only attach a PDF document, define the title, enter keywords and save the entry to the Lotus Domino database. The solution automatically publishes the document to the correct category on the intranet. The technology remains invisible to end users. Such simplicity and speed greatly improve productivity in both publishing and categorizing documents. In the first two months of operation, employees published more than 300 documents.
The association’s members also benefit from the new solution. Newsworthy articles are published faster and keywords make documents easier to locate.

For more information

To learn more about IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino software, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/software/lotus/notesanddomino

For more information about ITWU, please visit: www.itwu.de

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
IBM Notes, IBM Domino Designer, IBM Domino

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America September 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, Lotus, Notes, and Domino are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.