Netskope is a software company founded in 2012 on the idea that more and more companies are moving over to cloud-based software. Netskope helps companies protect data and protect against threats in cloud applications, cloud infrastructure, and the web. The company is recognised as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Access Security Brokers.

For a company focused on cloud technology and cloud security, what could be more suitable than choosing a cloud-based platform for their technical documentation – Amit De of Netskope tells the story below.

Combining XMetal, MadCap Flare, and GitLab was a pain

Before Paligo, Netskope was trying to combine a tool chain consisting of XMetal, MadCap Flare, and GitLab, in order to get a combination of structured content in XMetal, output and styling from Flare, and GitLab for version management.

Amit says: “We were having trouble integrating our source files residing in GitLab with XMetaL. Moreover, for HTML output that integrates with our software build, we would use MadCap Flare. MadCap Flare would ingest the output generated from XMetaL to generate the final HTML5 output.

This was a really big pain point for us.

GitLab has predominantly been a version controller for engineering source codes. The UI wasn’t that intuitive to use. XMetaL is an aging XML authoring tool. With XMetaL, we had to design the DTDs and customization. There was a cost of ownership involved too.

It lacked features that the current generation cloud-based tools have.

Moving to a full Component Content Management System (CCMS)

The team knew they needed a more complete tool to manage their complex technical documentation set, and the choice fell on Paligo. About the evaluation and migration process Amit says:

“The evaluation process was very detailed. We tried out our most common use-case and Paligo handled it well. The biggest hurdle was to migrate a huge list of topics and publications from XMetaL to Paligo. With a bit of help from Paligo support, it went smoothly.

It was the right time for us to explore new gen tools and we were simply blown away by Paligo and its rich feature set.

To start with, it’s a cloud-based integrated content management and authoring tool.

Cost of ownership is nothing. It is pay per subscription and it is browser-based. So anytime access from anywhere.

There have been instances where I didn’t have access to a laptop and I could conveniently update a topic and publish it using my mobile device.”

We were simply blown away by Paligo and its rich feature set. Moreover, the Paligo UI is so intuitive that it is very simple to manage the CMS, author, and publish.

Smooth onboarding

One of the most important aspects of a successful migration to a structured authoring CCMS is user adoption and a smooth onboarding. Amit says: “We got Getting Started training and advanced training remotely. This helped us grasp the tool faster. Moreover, the Paligo UI is so intuitive that it is very simple to manage the CMS, author, and publish.”

Write once, publish everywhere

Amit explains that they have a great need for multi-channel publishing, and also for a variety of product documents: “We have a gamut of product documents. Each having its own set of instructions. We deliver our documentation in various formats such as PDF, HTML, Zendesk knowledge base, and HTML5 Help Center (integrated online help).

Most of our products integrate with third-party cloud-based apps like Azure, GCP, AWS, Box, Salesforce, OneDrive, SharePoint, and many more.

Our topics and publications use a combination of reused and independent components. As part of our topic-based authoring, we reuse a lot of topics. We can do this e.g by adding filtering tags to our topics. This not just reduces the number of topics we create, but also, it helps us update a topic once and automatically update the topic reused everywhere else.”

Good support is crucial

Structured authoring is great, but sometimes you need a support team to help you on the right path. Amit says:

“The support team has always been helpful with any request, or bugs we report. They listen to our problem statement with a lot of patience and provide a good turnaround time to resolve issues. They are very prompt in notifying their user base with a outages (though it is very rare) and keep us informed with the progress. In addition, I love their email notifications whenever they roll out a major release with What’s New. Also, the free online training that they conduct every now and then is a really great value-addition for their user base.”