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Author's profile photo Bob McGlynn

Information Spillover at Americas UA Day

When thousands of artists and engineers work in a small geographical area, something happens called “information spillover”. It means new ideas spread quickly within the area and generate more ideas. It’s what made Murano Italy the birthplace of modern glass making centuries ago, and Silicon Valley the world center for computer innovation it is today. So, coming up on July 23rd, you can expect to see a spillover of new ideas in information development at the Americas UA Day hosted from the SAP Palo Alto office with virtual attendees from all over the Americas.

“This is an exciting time for user assistance, because of the innovation, the new ways of providing assistance,” says Americas UA Day co-organizer, Heather Halter, “By having all of us, across the Americas, come together and share our transformation makes for a great opportunity to connect and collaborate.” Bob McGlynn, another of the organizers of SAP Americas UA Day, says: “We’re packing many presentations into a short amount of time. By limiting the time people have for each presentation, we’re leading by example – our UA needs to be equally concise and informative.”

The Americas UA group has user assistance teams in Canada, USA, and South America. Presenters represent all of those areas, with talks from Vancouver, Sao Leopoldo, Waterloo (Canada, not Napoleon’s downfall), and of course, the SAP UA people in the Silicon Valley. According to Diana Healy, a UA ambassador in Waterloo, “User Assistance encompasses more than just the traditional documentation; there is a push across SAP for more varied information for users, including embedded guidance in the UI, videos, blogs, and social media.”

The theme chosen for this UA Day is “Tomorrowland”. Bob says, “It’s based on the ideas that to talk about the future is to talk about now, because what we do now will inform our future.” According to Diana, “UA also involves innovating the role of KM [knowledge management] people so that we can provide appealing and effective reskilling /upskilling to meet new demands.”

New this year are the online breakout sessions. The breakout sessions are an opportunity for participants to meet by video conference and participate in discussions.

After sharing our information, there will be a spillover to a party for those attending in Silicon Valley. Americas UA Day demonstrates how creativity and innovation are used to design, develop, and distribute knowledge and deliver assistance for users.

And to show collaboration in action – Dwight Anglehart wrote the bulk of this blog with assistance and input from Heather Halter, Diana Healy, Jon Nowland, and myself.

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