Taking technical documentation further! – The SCHEMA Conference 2018

SCHEMA Group, the Nuremberg-based manufacturer of high-performance component content management solutions, hosted its annual conference – SCHEMA Conference 2018 – at Nuremberg’s NCC Mitte convention centre on 19th and 20th June. Another two fascinating days were in store for visitors to the annual highlight of the technical writing and documentation industry, which was attended by new and long-standing customers, interested parties and partners of SCHEMA as well as lecturers. The SCHEMA Conference 2018 generated a great deal of interest: more than 500 participants from a total of 13 countries were there to find out about the latest developments in the field of technical writing and documentation.

Presented across a variety of events, the key themes this year were undoubtedly automation and workflows in technical writing, support for iiRDS, the new tekom industry standard for information transfer, as well as augmented reality in conjunction with SCHEMA ST4, SCHEMA CDS and RE´FLEKT. However, the event as a whole focused first and foremost on SCHEMA products: SCHEMA ST4, the component content management system solution used to create all types of product information and SCHEMA CDS, short for Content Delivery Server, which is another solution developed by SCHEMA for the seamless transfer of intelligent information to other systems.

In addition to the large opening event including reports on the current state of development of SCHEMA ST4 and SCHEMA CDS, visitors had the opportunity to find out much more about product innovations at the conference workshops. In his workshop “More fun with Workflow Designer”, Maximilian Herrmann, a trainer at SCHEMA, showed ways to use the key innovation in the recently published 2018 version of SCHEMA ST4 in practice. Pierre Hain, who works for SCHEMA Solutions, expanded on this theme in his workshop “Back to the future – Workflows in the year 2018” in humorous fashion and, by reproducing the children’s game “Connect Four” using workflow scripts, demonstrated just how powerful the innovations in SCHEMA ST4 2018 really are. Heide Ebert, also a trainer at SCHEMA, ran a workshop on how SCHEMA ST4 supports the new iiRDS industry standard. All these workshops equipped customers with the tools and the necessary know-how to face the future of technical writing and documentation with confidence.

Presentations from customers also showed visitors some of the different ways SCHEMA products can be used. In their presentation entitled “Three success factors when using SCHEMA ST4”, Jürgen Wüllrich and Robert Hachula of Pilz GmbH & Co. KG showed what is involved in introducing and refining component content management systems like SCHEMA ST4. Their company has been using the software solution for the past 13 years, and so had a wealth of experience to bring. Saskia Miller and Christina Steidle of B/S/H/ Hausgeräte GmbH, part of the Bosch Group, demonstrated how SCHEMA ST4 can be used to create instruction manuals in their talk on “Our road to interactive manuals – SCHEMA ST4 at B/S/H/ Hausgeräte GmbH”. Basing their presentation on an example, they showed what interactive instruction manuals look like when they are created using SCHEMA products. Uwe Podlasly, technical writer and SCHEMA ST4 administrator at Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA, gave a presentation on “ST4 Workflows at Ottobock – Current use and potential future applications”, showing how his company currently uses SCHEMA and the potential for future applications. As part of the medical industry, the use of workflows in SCHEMA ST4 helps Ottobock save time and the traceability features also provide legal protection.

Automation and workflows in the plenary session

There was a podium discussion once again this year. This year too SCHEMA employee Klaus Kurre took the role of moderator and guided the discussion on “Does workflow support for technical writing make processes more efficient?”. Questions from the audience on process support by SCHEMA ST4 were put by Dr Markus Nickl (doctima GmbH), Ralf Robers (Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics GmbH), Arno Schmidt (Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA), Adrian Schröder (Miele & Cie. KG), Managing Director Stefan Freisler, Matthias Hofmann and Dieter Pichl (all from the SCHEMA Group).
Eighteen SCHEMA partners, including service providers, translation service providers and consultants, were also available during breaks in the conference to answer any questions. This year’s guests included A2, Across, Carstens + Partner, Congree, Doctima, Dokuwerk, Dr. Rieland, eDok, ep Technische Dokumentation, Imprimatur, Kaleidoscope, neo communication, nlg, Schmeling + Consultants, SDL Trados, T3, text&form and Transline Deutschland.

Evening programme and closing speech

The first day’s events once again concluded at the “Bratwurst Röslein” in Nuremberg”s Old Town. The relaxed atmosphere gave participants the opportunity to make new contacts, as well as greet old friends from last year. In what almost felt like a family gathering, participants were able to relax and unwind over a delicious meal.

The second day of the conference was brought to a close by internationally renowned geneticist and best-selling author Professor Markus Hengstschläger with a keynote speech on talent management.

Save the date: The next SCHEMA Conference will be held on 14th and 15th May 2019 in Nuremberg’s Mitte Convention Center at MesseNürnberg.