Home > Method, Observations, Software > Two ways to reduce content management costs

Two ways to reduce content management costs

Content Management

I see companies moving from traditional document authoring tools to using XML based format following the DITA standard. Breaking large books to small reusable modular text element.  These element can be referenced and mapped for different purposes using associated metadata information. Examples for document that can be generated from the same content are end user and online documentation, training material and web site. In addition to text this format allows adding content such as images, audio and video using references.

One hidden expense in maintaining documentation is ineffective translation. The main challenge is tracking changes. If there is no way to tell which parts were changed it forces the company to sends the entire document for translation over and over again. This inefficiency add significantly to the overall cost.

By using XML format and version control companies can reduce some of these costs. There are many Vendors that support DITA standard and I already wrote about one Software as a Service (SaaS) solution provider in here.

DocZone have additional advantages that can lower translation cost by using their server-based translation memory tool (see Translation memory).

Hosted Content and Collaboration Tools

I can see a win moving to hosted online collaboration tool such as pbwiki instead of using on-site wiki application installation. There are ton of collaboration tools out there. Some goes way beyond the basic wiki functionality but this is not what that make them appealing in my opinion. The fact that it frees company IT resources from the constant need to deal with back-up, maintenance and above all upgrade should be the motivation. Especially for small company with very limited IT resources. For few thousand dollars a year you get a good enough wiki functionality for up to 75 users.

I will be happy to hear about more ways to cut cost  from you. Small start-up companies can do a lot today to reduce IT expenses and dependencies. For instance utilizing online doc authoring services such as Google Docs or Zoho instead of the expensive MS Office suite.

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  1. February 1, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I agree with you comments about XML and the impact on translation. You mentioned that DITA can be used for documentation and training. I wanted to point out that there is a new OASIS initiative to explore DITA for business documents, bringing the power of components and reuse to traditionally unstructured business documents. People can find out more at:

    http://wiki.oasis-open.org/dita/BusDocs

  2. Keren Dagan
    February 1, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Ann,

    Thank you for your comments and the new information. Do you recommend working with OnDemand type of doc authoring services such as DocZone, Astoria and Idiom?

    Thanks,
    Keren

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