Organize Complex Engineering Documents
Sierra Wireless sought out and found a solution to manage their complex engineering documentation.
About Sierra Wireless
Sierra Wireless is a prestigious Canadian engineering company, founded in 1993. Sierra Wireless builds modems and software that connect people with mobile broadband networks over the world. Sierra Wireless is a leader in wireless solutions by being cost effective, innovative and responsive to customers.
The company was instrumental in developing some of the first wireless data devices and remains committed to developing new, innovative products and software for emerging network technologies.
Sierra Wireless offers a diverse product portfolio addressing enterprise, consumer, original equipment manufacturer, machine-to-machine, and specialized vertical industry markets, and provides professional services to customers requiring expertise in wireless design, integration, and carrier certification.
The Business Problem to be Solved
As a world class engineering company, Sierra Wireless has sophisticated product engineering and development processes. These processes result in engineering documents that are hundreds of pages long and evolved over many years and revisions. These documents are often developed by teams of engineers in most cases working from different business centers. These complex engineering documents need to remain secure and be carefully controlled. As the volume of these engineering documents grew, Sierra Wireless needed to find a way to centralize, control and retrieve these documents.
Sierra Wireless determined that a new process and document management tool would benefit the company due to rapid growth and expansion of the company. The review and evaluation process was lead by Sue Parent, Document Control Manager at Sierra Wireless. Under her guidance, a plan was put in place to analyze the business problem in detail, evaluate solutions and locate a vendor that best matched the needs of the organization.
The Solution Process
The first step was to conduct an internal review of current document methods and processes used to manage this engineering documentation. This included an in-depth review of existing tools and methods that might be used or expanded for improved document management. It was determined that the existing tools in use were not true document management systems and thus wouldn’t totally address the company needs.
In parallel with the review and inventorying of existing systems, a detailed requirements list for the future/desired system was compiled. There was also an investigation into what other engineering companies, both locally and in other regions, were using for this kind of technical document management.
During the evaluation phase, six document management software products were evaluated. In depth vendor reviews/meetings and demos were conducted and from this work a short list of three products were selected for further review. The “short listed” vendors were asked to present and demo their systems to Sierra Wireless management and other key stake holders.
Based on the vendors demonstrations, a recommendation was made to do a pilot project with the FileHold document management software system. A small team of Sierra Wireless end users (about 20 people) received basic training from FileHold and from Sierra’s internal manager of Document Control. A small internal system was launched for the 4 month pilot program.
The pilot program was successful. Sierra Wireless purchased the FileHold Software in Oct 2008. Since then FileHold has been widely deployed and adopted within the company. The deployment consisted of employee training (both class room and web meeting) as well as buy-in from key management team members to ensure mass adoption and integration within the company. In the second quarter of 2009 there was additional roll-out of FileHold and expansion of users within the organization.
Sue Parent, Document Control Manager at Sierra Wireless said, “The ease of use and implementation of FileHold’s document management software was key to our decision to move ahead with FileHold. We needed to pilot the application first and FileHold’s flexible licensing with registered users and concurrent sessions made the budgeting of this part of the project simple.”