TWiki Success Story of sci-worx
This is about the roll out of TWiki as the only intranet platform @ sci-worx
It is 2002 and I am working for sci-worx
, Europe's leading independent IP and design service provider, as a senior design engineer. In the beginning of 2002 I played around with TWiki on my private server
at home and I really liked it. It is a wonderful tool and a very flexible platform for collaboration that I share with a friend of mine - just for the fun of it.
After two weeks I simply installed TWiki on a linux machine in my office and prepared a little presentation for the colleagues of my department. They joined the presentation and some of them got really starry-eyed. To my surprise there was no critism but very interested questions.
It turned out that my colleagues just began to play around with the TWiki installation. After two more days this test installation was used as the main communication instrument in two projects that were run with other departments.
Four weeks later I was asked by the company's COO to make another presentation for the management team and as a result it was decided to evaluate TWiki as a company-wide platform. I put TWiki on a new server and set up a small project team to start a serious evaluation process for 8 weeks. During this time the number of registered users grew to 120. We had intensive discussions about the structure of the webs/topics and so we came up with a dozen webs that represented the company's structure in a practical way.
In the beginning of May 2002 the COO announced TWiki as the official new intranet platform @ sci-worx
and so we switched off the old intranet. Meanwhile content is still beeing moved, filtered, re-structured and added to TWiki and we have about 180 registered users, still becoming more every day.
It was not always that easy to explain the open culture of this tool. And it was not always easy for everybody to accept that everybody
can do everything
. This was pretty new to most of my colleagues because project teams normally don't tend to talk much about their work.
For our installation it was very important to issue some policies/instruction and some "DOs and DON'Ts". Otherwise people would use TWiki as a project repository for project data. It had to made very clear that TWiki must not be used as a replacement for project storage but as an information
tool to tell something about a project.
We have a lot of creative, innovative and open-minded people @ sci-worx
so it was easy for TWiki to become the winning intranet platform (even if some people still say that it looks ugly, but hey, it's up to them to change it
- form follows function).
- 08 Jun 2002
We are still running the Dec 2001 release of TWiki. I installed the GnuSkin
the other day so the look became somewhat enhanced. I also wrote a shell script that shows the 10 most recent changes on the TWiki site and did some minor changes to the skin. As of today we have about 240 users and about 2000 topics with up to 7000 hits every day.
With a few rules that we established in the beginning of the TWiki era in our company, we prevented chaotic topic creation. The content is growing in about a dozen webs. The webs are organized in a way that they represent the departments of the company. Every web is assigned to an owner that is responsible for the web content.
Nearly every project @ sci-worx
has its TWiki page within the projects web with a wide variety of information about project administration, schedules, the teams, etc.
TWiki administration has mostly been done by me as a sideline job (I am really an ASIC designer, not an administrator). Most of the calls concern with forgotten passwords or attachment problems due to spaces in the filename and sometimes people not beeing able to read the fine manual.
I have never seen any occurence of abuse, data loss or any other malfunction of the TWiki system.
Maintenance of content needs very little time but still has to be done. From time to time I check the log files to see if people find what they look for.
Management news, tool support, howtos, project information, flea market, pool car reservations - to name only a few: TWiki as an intranet replacement has proven its worth and has definitively improved our communication and company culture. People are pretty much used to it and would definitively miss it if it was replaced by a static intranet system.
- 15 Oct 2003
Still running TWiki @ sci-worx
In January 2007 sci-worx
was acquired by Silicon Image
. We decided to keep the TWiki based intranet for the engineering folks in parallel to the already existing Silicon Image's intranet portal system.
In June 2007 I was offered a new server so I migrated the TWiki installation to a new server hardware (it was still running more or less the AthensRelease
on a Pentium III desktop PC) and updated to TWiki 4.0.5. The existing installation is still growing because of the merge. Well, let's see how things go, maybe this will turn into a TWikiSuccessStoryOfSiliconImage
- 02 May 2008