Soracom provides wireless communication services for IoT such as cellular or LPWA (low power wide area) networks from one device to many. Their key advantage is that connections can be managed by user console or API with many helpful settings and options available. For example, you can easily attach a sensor to an IoT device and acquire data even in places where there is no wired network by using regular cell networks. You also can get nice graphs of any data.
Kawakami: I felt that it seemed interesting from the time it was released, I used it personally, and I thought that I would like to use it for work from there. There were some people I knew from the developer (Nota), so I contacted them and began using it. Thats how it happened.
Did you ever use an in-house sharing tool before?
Kawakami: Previously, there was wiki software, but it wasn't actively used. I'd like to write a document, but it felt a little heavy. Scrapbox was introduced with the intention of removing this heaviness.
Do you feel that what you write about for work was already being shared within the company?
Kawakami: Yes. For example, the technical documentation was written on the wiki to some extent, but only little ingenuity or ideas were actually written.
It's used by all employees regardless of focus area
You mean you use Scrapbox to write more than before, but which departments are using it?
Kawakami: It's used by all employees. I write, the CEO writes, and also not just the engineers, but everyone including the back office, sales, and marketing. The wiki software we were using before used Markdown, so I think that the hurdles for non-engineers were high.
What kind of changes have you had after introducing Scrapbox?
Kawakami: Unexpectedly, the meeting minutes can now be taken reliably. Until introducing it, it seems they were kept in a private memo and not really published. After introducing it, I share reports when I go to events and steps how to use devices, etc. Recently, the number of case reports on how customers are using SORACOM is increasing. Since the pages are linked, the characteristic of Scrapbox is that information spreads naturally from there.
Also, I started writing before, but I wanted to lower the threshold of writing more, and now I am writing lots of rich technical information.
In addition, there is an event called QBR (Quarter Based Review) in which all employees who change their work participate and discuss with each other every quarter. I discussed the next steps before, but now I was able to write the minutes in Scrapbox, update it continuously, and finally reach the goal.
Until introducing it, depending on the memory of the individual, it was ambiguous about who was in charge ... Sometimes things weren't discussed.
Kawakami: For example, when we were developing a new service, we used to talk about it in Slack but sometimes the process would stop there. I used to think "What went wrong with that idea?" but since we moved to Scrapbox, this has been reduced.
What kind of usecases are people using it for, other than engineers?
Kawakami: For our back office, Scrapbox is used to summarize the content that results when sales members talked with customers, how to use in-house facilities, information security updates, and announcements of internal systems related to personnel.
So from personnel to sales, you're seeing a lot of adoption.
Kawakami: Until now, only engineers could use such tools, but now they are used company-wide.
Why was it adopted so widely?
Kawakami: First, I did something like a ramp up. At our company, we have lunch meetings every other week, and they also serve as in-house study sessions, but when I talked about introducing Scrapbox on the spot and about its features, it went quite well from the beginning. It made me interested, so I thought I should try it.
Is there a problem with the tools you had been using?
Kawakami: I think they were vague.
Thanks to the ability to write quickly, the amount of information accumulated in the company is now increasing.
The biggest thing is that the number of documents has increased. I think it's really good to be able to write quickly. As a result, the amount and type of information we keep is increasing. Also, since articles are linked to each other, it seems that synergies have been created. As I mentioned earlier, I can jump from an example page to the pages of individual technology stacks, or to other related pages, so I think that's been a success.
This was translated from the original interview in Japanese on July 24, 2018.
Scrapbox lets you instantly capture and find knowhow at any scale, both solo and with a team.
You can rapidly capture things like notes, manuals, tasks, code, meeting minutes, and research results. All pages are automatically connected with bi-directional links, allowing you to seamlessly work across even tens of thousands of pages.