Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. Serving customers around the world, the company offers a broad range of observation and measurement products and services. Vaisala is headquartered in Finland with over 2,000 employees worldwide and is listed by the Financial Times as a top climate leader in Europe.
Vaisala offers a large and diversified product portfolio with high documentation volume addressing a wide customer base such as clients, distributors, support teams, sales, and marketing teams. Such volume created a real challenge in trying to provide a relevant and personalized content experience.
What was initially only seen as fulfilling a challenge for the documentation team resulted in benefits across the company when Vaisala chose Fluid Topics as its Content Delivery Platform for all its products.
We sat down with Katy Greatrex, Commercial Product Information Manager and Titta Majala Documentation Manager at Vaisala to discuss how the implementation of Fluid Topics changed the game for the content team and beyond.
Challenge: Scaling the Content Experience
Historically, the company published static PDF documents that would be delivered in several channels including the Vaisala corporate website, print, and dedicated repositories for partner documentation. The first limitation came from the main channel. The website was not optimized for delivering large volumes of product documentation and the search experience degraded rapidly as the complexity of the documentation – number of products, versions, document types, etc. – increased. Vaisala realized that the website couldn’t keep up with the evolving requirements and offer an optimal user experience.
As the company’s digital presence expanded, publishing technical documentation to different touchpoints – websites, and other partner-dedicated folders – grew even more convoluted. The team had to go through a tremendous amount of duplicate effort every time information needed updating in all the relevant documents and repositories while managing dozens of languages. “Often, if information needed to be updated, content owners had to make changes in multiple places and manually publish it,” said Katy Greatrex. Maintaining these different touchpoints manually was time-consuming and created a risk when it came to outdated documentation.
In all cases, searching for product information within lengthy PDFs was not user-friendly and could create frustration for the users, especially in support situations.
Given these challenges, Vaisala’s documentation team began evaluating content delivery offerings that could safely and reliably serve the right content to the right users at the right time and improve the product content experience.
In a nutshell
A corporate website not optimized for the delivery of high volumes of product documentation in PDF format
Duplicated publishing effort required for all channels
Improve the search experience to answer specific product support questions
A unified documentation portal
Self-service information with reliable access to up-to-date and detailed product information
Ability to deploy the portal in several languages in a snap and without IT support
Reliable link generation for sharing content over long period times and across channels
The Solution: Fluid Topics, the Content Delivery Platform
The company launched the Vaisala Documentation Portal in 2021, first internally. The portal went public in early 2022.
All content – structured modular content created in RWS’ CCMS Tridion Docs, existing PDFs, streamed videos, and more – is published to Fluid Topics’ Content Delivery Platform. Users can access the content through the dedicated channels or directly from the smart documentation portal powered by Fluid Topics.
Acting as a central knowledge hub for all Vaisala-related product content, including user guides, technical notes, datasheets and much more, the Vaisala Product Documentation Portal, is now a place for both internal and external users to find product information.
The documentation team can easily define which content each user group is authorized to access ensuring the right information reaches the right user while providing a personalized experience. For example, for partners and resellers, some products are now tagged by access groups.
Vaisala customers can also get answers to their queries by using Fluid Topics’ cutting-edge search engine. Users can create simple or complex searches that filter technical information by product, content type, or keywords and find exactly what they are looking for in milliseconds, according to their profile. The engine offers smart autocomplete, spellchecking, search suggestions, and application of business dictionaries that dynamically refine searches.
In addition to support, the knowledge center is useful during the sales process. Sales teams can take advantage of the portal when preparing tendering responses. “Our team must create a tender response in a short time frame. With the documentation portal, they are sure to find the most up-to-date content. They can build their own collections of documents or create bookmarks which give them instant access to their most important documents” highlighted Titta Majala. Similarly, end-users can review product capabilities during their own buying processes. “Many of our customers evaluate the product on a technical basis. They now have ungated access to public datasheets, user guides and technical notes and have a good insight of the product experience before purchasing”, said Greatrex.
“As a no-code cloud-based solution, Fluid Topics is very easy to use and maintain for our team. We can customize the front-end but also business functionalities with full autonomy, and have a low dependency on IT support.“
Benefits: Offering a Modern, Easily Searchable Knowledge Center
The Fluid Topics implementation was a fairly light project for the IT team and has been a real success. Today, Vaisala has over 2000 publications in the portal, in 20 languages.
„As a no-code cloud-based solution, Fluid Topics is very easy to use and maintain for our team. We can customize the front-end, such as the portal’s look and feel. But we can also customize business functionalities, like the metadata-driven filtering, from the administration console, with full autonomy, and have a low dependency on IT support. This autonomy is one of the main reasons we chose Fluid Topics”, explained Katy Greatrex. As an example, Katy was able to localize the portal’s user interface in 8 languages in about 30 minutes.
The solution has helped the company streamline its digital publishing processes. The team now avoids duplicate publication efforts and can publish and update content consistently for all users, keeping its documentation live on the user side at any time. Vaisala also benefits from reliable link generation that ensures content is always accurate and can be shared indefinitely across channels.
The user experience has been noticeably enhanced. “We have seen great improvement in content findability”, noted Katy Greatrex.
Vaisala is a global leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. Building on over 85 years of experience, Vaisala provides observations for a better world, with space-proof technology even exploring Mars and beyond.
Vaisala offers a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs over 2,000 professionals worldwide and is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.
As the company continues to scale, Fluid Topics will be key in helping Vaisala build a rich self-service experience that can handle more content formats, more products, and more users. “We selected Fluid Topics for its ability to help us scale our technical documentation in no time. We now have a tool that can support us in providing our ecosystem with a great content experience„, added Titta Majala.
Given Vaisala’s commitment to creating a more sustainable future, the documentation team has also identified several products for which they could significantly reduce paper-based delivery by having smaller user guides that would include a QR code linking to other translations. Vaisala expects this initiative to show positive environmental impacts, lowering printing costs.
“I was able to localize the portal’s user interface in 8 languages in about 30 minutes“.