AIIM Open Forum

Regional Innovation Drives Global Digitisation

By Jennifer Gitt posted 09-01-2020 06:53


Innovation in the Corporation: An IT service provider and an air conditioning and heating technology company demonstrated flexibility and openness to modern approaches to information management.

The young Alzenau-based company avato cooperates with the University of Applied Sciences in Munich and together they drive digitisation in two global corporations. Outdated approaches in the form of digital bookshelves will be replaced by innovative, intelligent information management within 3 months.

[Read the full article or continue reading the summary in the following.]

Analysis and Metadata Model

The students started the project by analysing and evaluating the requirements and the technology.

  • The students dealt with the customer's point of view and recorded possible problems and questions.
  • They also dealt with the technical implementation of the iPortal CMS to filter out possible adjustments and they analysed the iPortal CDS.
  • Furthermore, they dealt with the conception of a possible future iPortal and created a project plan.

The students also developed a classification/metadata model for documentation in the partner companies.

Information Creation and Migration

After analysis of the existing documentation and customer requirements, templates were developed and agreed with the partner companies. These templates were used consistently in the new information system – both for newly created information and for the migration of existing information.

An information structure was also developed. This supports the work processes of the employees. The partner company can now see information at a glance that was previously scattered.

During the development of the information structure it was decided which units should be displayed where. The reusability of units is the reason why redundancies do not occur.

Before the existing content was adopted, it was subjected to a thorough review by avato Information Managers. The Information Managers removed redundancies, applied templates and created the structures for the new pages. They also made sure that the language and naming were clear and standardised and that the Style Guide was applied consistently. This helped the users to find their way around and thus to absorb information.

The global service provider took over 130 pages from the existing Wiki. The global air conditioning and heating technology company had 30 articles in up to four languages.


The goal and result was a filled, innovative information system for the partner companies. In addition to the templates, content migrations and metadata models, results have been achieved in the areas of design and features. Some of these ideas and suggestions have already been implemented, including the introduction of a continuous improvement process (use of gamification). 


The students learned about information management from a different angle. For many it was a new experience to be involved in a global project with participants on several continents and in different time zones.

The partner companies and avato got the chance to meet more than 20 students in this project. They benefited from the methodically structured and scientific approach of the students and can use the good results in the future.

The project started at a time when almost no-one could estimate how Covid-19 would develop. Personal meetings were replaced by virtual meetings. The students' group work and their evaluation also took place remotely. These circumstances required all the more discipline and coordination. Right from the start, Munich University of Applied Sciences, and in particular Prof. Dr. Ley, stood out as extremely flexible and committed. As a result, the project was able to start without any significant delay and was carried out very successfully despite restrictions. The interest and personal engagement of those involved was also very high among the partner companies and was an important factor in the success of the project.

Note: This article is a summary. Read the full article here.