Scalable support, as an approved supplier for SAP globally, in developing product documentation and DITA-based training material for general consumption, localised for a specific geography, or customised to meet the needs of a specific customer.
SAP SE is a market leader in developing enterprise applications and software, with locations in more than 130 countries and over 280,000 customers around the world. Since 2011, TWi has successfully collaborated with multiple divisions of SAP to create high quality documentation solutions for partners, customers, and internal consultants. Solutions cover system documentation, configuration guides, online application help, video scripts, and training material for delivery in the classroom, virtually, and via eLearning.
SAP required the flexibility to expand its technical writing capacity in periods of increased demand. For some projects, SAP needed technical writers to integrate seamlessly with its internal documentation teams. For others, it needed an external team to manage and complete an entire documentation project with minimal involvement of internal resources.
In all cases, SAP needed writers who had experience or could quickly get to grips with its structured authoring tools, processes, and standards and guidelines. Producing high quality English source text is essential to minimise the cost of translation into follow-on languages.
SAP is committed to continuous innovation, which brings with it additional documentation challenges. In recent years, it acquired a number of companies and needed to migrate their documentation to SAP standards to ensure consistency across its entire suite of solutions. Equally, internally developed game-changing technology, including HANA and Fiori Apps, need to be explained to target users in a clear and easy-to-consume way.
Industry-wide, how learning and training material is being delivered is evolving. SAP is at the forefront of that evolution and needed a trusted partner to help deliver on its strategic goals.
TWi was selected to partner with SAP and provide technical writers to work on documentation projects across departments, locations, and time zones. To-date, we’ve collaborated remotely with teams in Germany, France, the US, India, Brazil, China, and New Zealand. We’ve added value by supporting development projects in locations where it can be difficult to find technical writers with English language skills and knowledge of SAP tools and technology.
When required, TWi team leads and project managers are integrated to support project planning and upskilling technical writers, maintain open communication with the client, track progress, help build relationships between technical writers and subject matter experts (SMEs), and handle changes to requirements and timelines. This reduces the need for SAP to train and manage external resources.
Our team at TWi looks after all aspects of editing in-house to ensure SAP standards and guidelines are applied consistently. We implement cycles of internal quality review and technical client review to ensure that input and feedback is incorporated and final sign-off is received before publication. When needed, our team travels to an SAP site for training in new tools and technologies. We respond flexibly to the changing needs of the client and have scaled up and down in response to demand.
SAP projects are ongoing. We continuously ramp up on complex new subject areas. We produce product documentation and DITA-based training for finance solutions, data analytics, supply chain management, and transportation management for example. In some cases, the content is for general consumption. In others, it is localised for a particular market, such as an exclusive banking solution for Brazil.
We support documentation efforts for strategic topics like HANA, SAP’s innovative in-memory database platform, and Fiori apps, designed to personalise and simplify the user experience with a range of deployment options on device, on premise, and in the cloud. In parallel, we are working on a number of custom development projects in areas as diverse as agriculture and leasing.
We have also managed the migration of documentation from newly acquired companies, including Right Hemisphere and Success Factors, to SAP standards and trained their technical writers in SAP authoring tools and processes.
The feedback from the field continuously emphasises the high quality and technical accuracy of our deliverables. Our writers have become experts in the language, style, processes, and tools of the client. With our support, a significant amount of internal SME time has been freed up for core activities, such as delivering training, development, and consulting services, resulting in increased efficiency for SAP.
- Consistent and professional support from a single trusted partner with extensive SAP knowledge and a proven track record across the organisation
- Improved documentation quality with minimal requirement for SAP management support
- Enhanced flexibility and scalability for the client, with dedicated technical writing resources freeing up valuable SME time
- Faster time to market for documentation solutions
In January 2013, TWi began supporting SAP Education with the development of single-source, DITA-based training material. This material is delivered globally to customers and partners in the classroom, virtually, via e-learning, and SAP’s cloud-based Learning Hub. It was a time of dramatic change. The TWi team worked hard to understand and work around the challenges we faced. Having extensive SAP experience helped them to learn quickly and partner with us. They added value not only in terms of their authoring, but by co-developing processes and tweaking how we approached a new toolset and standards and guidelines for producing written content. Having worked with other vendors, we found TWi unique in this regard.
The TWi team is fully formed, comprising junior, intermediate, and senior writers together with experienced team leads and a dedicated manager. I’ve been especially impressed by TWi’s flexibility and how willing and able they are to scale – starting with a team of ten, growing to 45 by the end of 2014, and scaling back down in mid-2015 in response to changing business requirements. Consistently high quality standards have been maintained throughout our collaboration. TWi is a highly professional and valued SAP supplier with whom we envisage maintaining a long-term relationship.
– Amy Sellers, Senior Director for Education Portfolio Management, SAP