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How Algolia is helping Document360 improve UX through Search & Discovery

Content discovery is an indispensable component of a knowledge base platform. Algolia's superior search technology helped our customers to bring relevant knowledge base articles in no time based on the search keywords.

Saravana Kumar

CEO @ Kovai.co

Summary

Document360 is a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based knowledge base portal used by marquee brands such as McDonald’s, Harvard University, and Stackify. Developed by U.K.- and India-based developer Kovai.co, helping customers discover the documentation they are looking for quickly and easily is crucial. Find out how Algolia is contributing to the company’s amazing customer satisfaction by providing blazing-fast search and discovery capabilities and the analytics needed to help its clients improve their own knowledge bases.

Document360
Use case

SaaS

Headquarters

London, U.K.

Customer since

since 2017

Feature usage

Search API, Analytics, Instant Search, Autocomplete, Filters & Facets

Key results
  • Ease of use for developers

  • Fast implementation

  • Boost in customer satisfaction

Key numbers
  • “Super-fast” latency (<10 ms)

The challenges

  • 1.

    Provide contextual search for knowledge bases

  • 2.

    Support great UX (search & discovery)

  • 3.

    Global scale; huge marquee customers

The solution

  • 1.

    Quick to implement API (only 1 day)

  • 2.

    Easy-to-understand documentation for developers

  • 3.

    Fast (millisecond) search response

The result

  • 1.

    “Amazing” UX (customers and developers)

  • 2.

    Low search latency

  • 3.

    Global search functionality

  • 4.

    Valuable search analytics

Identifying a problem that must be solved is at the heart of any successful startup, and that’s how London-based Kovai.co got its start. 

In 2010, its founder and CEO, Saravana Kumar, saw a gap in the availability of tools for managing and monitoring Microsoft BizTalk servers, and the software consultant went to work to fill it. A year later, he founded the company, named after his hometown Coimbatore (or Kovai for short) where he proudly set up the company’s development center. 

Now, after more than a decade, Kovai.co has scaled organically through a frugal mindset of managing money and putting profit alongside growth. It has grown to have a portfolio of four products in the enterprise and B2B SaaS space, nearly 275 team members, and in excess of 2500 customers. 

The company offers a wide range of business software products: from robust enterprise software for Microsoft BizTalk and Azure Serverless platforms to Knowledge Management SaaS.

Its Document360 is a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based knowledge base portal used by marquee brands such as McDonald’s, Harvard University, and Stackify. It provides content producers with a state-of-the-art portal for editing, category management, and analytics while giving content consumers advanced search and optimized reading on any device. 

“We want to make sure our customers are happy and looked after, and their needs are being met by our products — which means constantly innovating. That means understanding how our customers derive value from the product, what pain points we can solve, and looking at how we can provide even more value,” Kumar says.

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Ease of use for developers and a superior search

“First, it is extremely fast: super-fast with millisecond latency. Once content is indexed it’s available right away. The second reason is it’s extremely developer friendly. The developers know what to do. They can straight-away build it with Algolia APIs, which is not the case with Elasticsearch.”

Because Document360 helps its customers create, manage, and publish any documentation they need to disseminate knowledge, the ability for its customers or employees to easily find those documents is indispensable for content discoverability. 

In December 2017, when looking for a search solution to use when developing the product, Saravana’s team investigated Algolia, as well as some competitors including Elastic Search. 

“Algolia definitely ended on top for a few reasons,” says Sarvana. He attributes this to Algolia’s strong API documentation. “To summarize, Algolia has greater ease-of-use and superior technology.”

Amazing UX through fast document search

Because Document360 is a knowledge base portal, providing excellent content discovery is of vital importance. That’s where Algolia’s Search API comes in, which the team has applied inside the product and on customer-facing sites on a global scale. 

Algolia took only one day for the Document360 team to implement; thanks to its developer-friendliness and easy-to-understand documentation, which helped to speed up the launch of the product. “It took just one day to implement Algolia and one week to get the Document360 application — which was developed out of a hackathon — up and running.”

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“Most of our customers give us feedback that search is amazing, or top-class!”

Algolia has become a key component of Document360’s strong customer experience. “Search plays a huge part in user experience,” Saravana says. “These days no one wants to have a hierarchical navigation to find content. You don’t go to a library and look for fiction section and then drill down to try to find the Game of Thrones novel. It’s not going to work. You go to the help desk tool and type in ‘game of thrones.’ and locate the book right away!” 

He says Algolia provides Document360 customers, and their customers, with faster results, without having to dig and sort through tons of documents, and at a consistently super-fast speed across the globe. 

And Document360 is seeing the response it hoped from its excellent Algolia-powered search experience.

Providing modern document delivery

Documentation has evolved over the last decade, and digital documentation with an easy user experience with contextual help has become an expectation. 

“This evolution is because of two major global drivers: digital transformation and the Internet of Things,” Saravana says. “Those two played a major role in pushing companies, like our customers, into delivering documentation online, so it’s always up-to-date and the customer can find the right information anytime, anywhere, on any device.” 

He notes that without search capabilities, a modern knowledge base couldn’t exist, making Algolia a fundamental piece of Document360. “There’s a huge value that Algolia brings us.” 

Document360 uses Algolia’s Analytics feature to be able to share with its customers what searches are being conducted, so they can know what articles or terms are popular. Importantly, if there’s a search term being used and results are not found, the Document360 team can inform its customers where knowledge gaps exist in their documentation. 

“We take those analytics our customers can create content to address any knowledge gap that exists in their knowledge base.”

A voice-oriented search future

In the future, Document360 is investigating how Synonyms and other features may help Document360 to be powered by voice to meet the needs of a new generation of digital assistant-familiar users. 

“That’s exactly where we’re going, and exactly where we think Algolia can help through Synonyms and other rich features.”

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