Business Development Manager - EMENA Region
Most of us who work in knowledge-based companies are used to working with Word, Google Docs and similar document management tools when producing various kinds of documents, for various purposes.
The majority of these tools now support multiple ways of collaboration. It is becoming easier and easier to share these among co-workers, collaborate, save content in the cloud and share it with others. While this works well for most businesses, some have more complex needs:
– Imagine your company is working with large and complex documents. You are creating a 500-page compliance report, financial report or a complex bid. And the experts contributing to the document are dispersed across the globe, says Xait CTO, John Ingve Eielsen.
From left to right: Anders Skogseth-Braathen, Global Business Development Manager and Rune Aartun, Global Sales Process Manager have been responsible for Cegal’s evaluation and procurement of XaitPorter.
Over the past two decades, Stavanger-based company Xait has specialized in solving these challenges. Their core product, XaitPorter, is a complete all-in-one co-authoring software solution for teams to collaboratively create and manage highly complex business documents. They cater to clients that need to create documents like these on a regular basis, and where co-authoring is a crucial factor.
– Oil companies, for instance, need to create extensive licensing round applications. Documents created in XaitPorter can be split into sections that are completed independently of one another. E.g. a license application can be divided into sections that pertain to compliance, allowing different departments to add their information. Finally, it is all assembled into one single document, often spanning thousands of pages.
John Ingve Eielsen, Xait CTO.
– Our strength is the fact that you can structure the document, submit it to contributors and stakeholders, and get input from different sources at different times. All this is then assembled, he adds.
Easy reuse of content is another clear benefit, Eielsen points out. ISO/IEC 27001 certified companies typically have a standard text about their certification. Using XaitPorter allows you to have a certifications section stored, which can be reused across all documents.
– If a change occurs, you can simply change the ISO section, and everything will be automatically updated throughout the document. This saves a lot of time, he says.
Eielsen explains that content and layout are created separately, allowing writers in each section to not worry about the visual part. Finally, the content and the graphics are assembled and exported to a PDF. Everything is stored safely in a private cloud data center located in Norway.
– Storing data in Norway is important to us, and our network structure is based on security. We are ISO certified and ensure full network redundancy and uptime. We offer both physical and virtual security. At the same time, the system is user-friendly, as everything is web-based. All you need is a web browser, he says.
Creating complex documents for the oil and gas industry
Among the companies that have adopted XaitPorter is Cegal, which is a global provider of hybrid cloud solutions, software, and consultancy within IT, geoscience and data management for the oil and gas industry.
Anders Skogseth-Braathen, Global Business Development Manager in Cegal, has been responsible for implementing XaitPorter in their organization.
– As part of their exploration activity, oil companies use applications that require a lot of processing power, because they process large volumes of data and present it visually. We provide a cloud solution with infrastructure, applications and data, enabling them to perform their tasks from any location as long as they are connected to the internet. The processing takes place in our data centers or in the cloud.
– In order to deliver our products and services, we have been answering tenders for many years. Our solutions are complex, and an RFP response may total 300–400 pages. In the past, we used Word and file sharing for our tender process, but we needed a solution that offers more functionality and enables real-time collaboration and co-authoring, he says.
XaitPorter was first adopted by Cegal’s sales team, but today, it’s also being used by other departments, such as Product Development, HR, HSEQ, and Marketing and Communications, Skogseth-Braathen says. Since Cegal has offices throughout Norway, as well as in oil and gas hubs like Aberdeen, London, Houston, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, it is important to have a solution that facilitates easy and seamless collaboration across regions and time zones.
Skogseth-Braathen explains that the operating principle behind XaitPorter is based on templates that are custom-created with the help of a designated contact person at Xait. Skogseth-Braathen is responsible for this process at Cegal, and together they put quite a bit of care and attention into creating the templates, which are tailored to Cegal’s brand identity guidelines and different business needs.
Once the templates are created and the employees have received proper training using the solution, they can start creating content without having to deal with fonts, layout, formatting, or other issues that typically add to the complexity of a proposal management process.
– As long as you’ve taken the time to create really good templates, contributors just need to write their assigned section. They will be quickly familiarized, and all they need to focus on is contributing with their subject matter expertise.
– People are used to working in Word and creating their own graphics and layout. As the process nears completion, this may take a lot of time and effort in order to ensure design consistency throughout the final document. XaitPorter allows you to focus on the content; the template takes care of the rest. Say a lot of text has been added, and then the marketing department decides to make layout changes. In Word, all the text would have to be manually updated across the document, whereas in XaitPorter, the text is automatically updated when there are changes made to the formatting, he explains.
In addition to co-authoring complex proposals, Cegal produces other business-critical documents in XaitPorter.
– We use it for governing documents, role descriptions, product sheets, financial reporting, and more. We use predefined templates, and the content is added by those who are tasked with contributing in the document. This saves a lot of time, and the end result is consistent every time.
Anders Skogseth-Braathen clearly states that XaitPorter leads to time savings. Reuse of templates makes it easier to collaborate across departments, regions and time zones, while ensuring high-quality results. Moreover, XaitPorter integrates with existing systems, such as Salesforce, and Xait has been willing to tailor features and functionality to fit Cegal’s needs.
– Time savings, reuse of content and templates, and quality optimization are the main benefits for us. We get more done with fewer people in less time. This frees up capacity for more value-adding tasks than battling with formatting or emailing new document versions.