The 2010/02/25 at 16:48
“In professional and technical software, it is very difficult to create something that is both simple and useful,” explains Martine Joulia-Cubizolles, Managing Director and founder of Novaxel, an EDM (Electronic Document Management) editor created in 1994, with a 3 million euro turnover and 30 employees based in Lyon (France). It has to be said that EDM software has suffered from a particularly dry image until now. Initially reserved for librarians and information technology officers, they then sought to expand their use to all types of activities, in order to ensure their growth. Indeed, all managers handle a large number of documents (products, press articles, contracts, regulations…) that need to be filed away efficiently.
Aware of the difficulty of making a software weighed down by technical rigour less intimidating, Martine Joulia-Cubizolles looked for innovative solutions. “Three years ago, we began by creating a video clip to explain what EDM is and how it can be used intuitively. Thanks to this demonstration based on cartoon images, we managed to demystify our software functions,” illustrates the founder of Novaxel. The video genuinely helped the EDM editor’s professional clients to feel comfortable with the product. “This encouraged us to launch, in January 2009, an free open source software version for private clients. We thus invited Mr and Mrs Everybody to file their personal documents using a pre-prepared filing plan: taxes, banking, insurance, ID, various contracts, product guarantees, bills…” In a grand gesture, Novaxel gave away hundreds of thousands of free versions on CDs accompanying two general public IT magazines.
Chance then played a happy part in the story. Martine Joulia-Cubizolles discovered that her neighbour was no other than the head of the serious game editor Qoveo. Taking advantage of her experience with video clips, she decided to get involved in serious games: “I wanted to remove EDM from its hostile environment, I mean this image that it has trouble shaking, of being a very technical solution.” Act one, Novaxel decided to position EDM in the sustainable economy sector, as technology for dematerialising documents helps avoid printing. Act two, the editor adopted Alex the panda as its virtual mascot. “The panda inspires something affective, a world of gentleness. With him, there are no more ‘fatal errors’. He’s nice, he jokes. So users discover EDM while having fun.” One thing is certain: new recruits from generation Y – the Digital Natives born with Internet at their fingertips – amongst clients such as Allianz will enjoy getting to know Alex the panda. Who presents the Novaxel software tutorial via 10 virtual clips, each around 3 minutes long.