MindTouch (previous CloudAve coverage), who morphed from a Wiki provider to Help 2.0 solution provider, last week announced a new feature to their MindTouch TCS platform, their flagship Help 2.0 solution. Called MindTouch Contextual Help, this helps vendors add contextual help features to their web or cloud based apps. Even though I have been following MindTouch since their open source wiki days, I found this feature exciting because it could play a role in increasing the cloud application adoption while cutting the costs for the application providers. Help 2.0 is about cutting the sales cycle and reducing the support costs. If cloud application providers can embrace Help 2.0 solutions, they can offer their services with Cloudonomics firmly in the cost picture.
BTW, can you remind me what Help 2.0 is?
From the very early days, technical documentation has played an integral role in software business. Its aim was to provide instantaneous technical help for users and cutting down on the support costs for the vendors. In those old days, software was usually accompanied bulky documentation which used to run for hundreds of pages. Once the digital revolution took over, we saw documentation delivered as PDF files in (floppy) compact disks and these PDF files required bulky software to read. As web became part of our daily lives, vendors started posting these PDF files on their websites instead of physical media. Slowly, as wikis became popular, many started using them for technical documentation. Wikis were convenient but it was very difficult to use. Help 2.0 are second generation solutions that evolved out of wikis with better usability and more contextual support.
MindTouch Contextual Help Features
MindTouch will help web and cloud application providers with the following features:
- Out-of-the-box help system
- Lowered dependency on engineering resources
- Increased customer engagement
- Single source sales and marketing automation rules
- A way to reduce support costs by bringing your self-serve support docs straight to your users, right within your app
This is now available as an addon for MindTouch TCS Social Knowledge Base solution.
A big pain point for customers (whether it is legacy applications or cloud based applications) is the lack of contextual help. However, with big IT teams in the organizations, users had a choice of tapping into their expertise when they needed help. With more and more applications moving to cloud and organizations trimming their IT significantly, solutions like MindTouch Contextual Help can fill the gap.
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