Past Webinars

  • October 3, 2018 Analysts predict that chatbots will overtake websites and apps as your customers’ preferred interface in the near future. How do you get past the exciting, carefully staged demo presentation into the world of real-life customers? Demos are brief and can be successful with only a few lines of conversation, guided by some simple rules. This is how almost all chatbots work today. But tech content is textual and not rule-based. In fact, it is impossible to revamp the many thousands of pieces of content written for human readers into a formal rules-based system. The problem is how to connect the textual content, in any format or structure, with the inner processes of the bot. One way or another we are going to be having verbal conversations with our devices. We will review the various approaches and what the maturity of this technology allows. Presented by: Fabrice Lacroix is the founder of Fluid Topics, the company that puts enterprise content to work. A serial entrepreneur, he has been working for 25 years on the development of solutions that help customers make the most of their content and enhance their operating efficiency
  • August 7, 2018 It's not the same old "here is how to get a CCMS" session you may have heard about or attended before. During this webinar we provide a brief CCMS primer, then dive into core steps to choose a CCMS, and explore a case study of a client who migrated 2 years ago. We explore their drivers for a CCMS, the numbers that make them tick, and where they are two years later. Real data, real history, real ideas. Presented by: Bernard Aschwanden has excelled in technical communication as a trainer, courseware developer, team leader, manager, and business owner. A Past President of the STC and the founder of Publishing Smarter, Bernard works with organizations to create, manage, and distribute content based on technical communication best practices. He guides companies on how to make the business case that content is the most crucial business asset.
  • August 14, 2018 "People buy experiences, not products," said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe's CEO, recently at the Adobe Summit 2018. Almost every company has recognized that it is in the customer-experience business. Understanding the customer journey and the brand interactions across channels and platforms and their impact on the customer experience is crucial for creating a unified CX strategy. But it's a complex system coming with a lot of challenges: Multiple brand touchpoints have a cumulative impact on the customer experience, inconsistent content experiences throughout the customer journey create a fuzzy brand experience, Marketing and Technical Communication "Content Silos," and a cluttered IT landscape create disconnected "content worlds" in both voice and tone, visual consistency and unified accessibility. Join this webinar to get insights into the world of Customer Experience Strategy and how to blend Technical Communication seamlessly into the digital experience of the customers. Presented by: Stefan Gentz, Adobe As the Global Evangelist for Technical Communication at Adobe, Stefan’s mission is to inspire enterprises and technical writers around the world and show how to create compelling technical communication content with the Adobe TCS tools. Stefan is also a certified Quality Management Professional (TÜV), ISO 9001 / EN 15038 auditor, ISO 31000 Risk Management expert and Six Sigma Champion. Stefan is a popular keynote speaker and moderator at conferences such as tekom, tcworld, Information Energy, Intelligent Content Conference, Congility, LocWorld, TCUK, STC, GALA, ELIA, TTT, Translation Forum Russia and many other. He is also a member of the Conference Advisory Board of the world’s biggest TechComm event, the tekom / tcworld Conferences, and an Ambassador for the Globalization and Localization Association. He is also an active social networker on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • April 5, 2018 Content can be created and managed in primarily two different ways – structured, following an XML-based information model or unstructured, without any specific information model. Over the last few years, we have seen a surge in companies (more so in a few particular industries) evaluating or migrating to structured content. • What is the current state of these companies and/or the industries? Did these companies migrate successfully? • Which specific information model did most of these companies choose? Why did they choose what they did? Adobe recently surveyed a diverse group of 2000+ content professionals across 30+ countries to better understand their preferences, usage, and practices around structured content. The results revealed interesting trends in the areas of adoption of structured authoring, structured content management, the journey towards chatbots, and collaboration use cases, to name a few. Join Adobe Tech Comm Evangelist, Stefan Gentz, as he shares the latest insights in structured content management based on the findings from Adobe’s 2017 – 2018 Tech Comm Survey. Presented by: Stefan Gentz, Adobe As the Global Evangelist for Technical Communication at Adobe, Stefan’s mission is to inspire enterprises and technical writers around the world and show how to create compelling technical communication content with the Adobe TCS tools. Stefan is also a certified Quality Management Professional (TÜV), ISO 9001 / EN 15038 auditor, ISO 31000 Risk Management expert and Six Sigma Champion. Stefan is a popular keynote speaker and moderator at conferences such as tekom, tcworld, Information Energy, Intelligent Content Conference, Congility, LocWorld, TCUK, STC, GALA, ELIA, TTT, Translation Forum Russia and many other. He is also a member of the Conference Advisory Board of the world’s biggest TechComm event, the tekom / tcworld Conferences, and an Ambassador for the Globalization and Localization Association. He is also an active social networker on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Recorded: March 28, 2018 As we look forward to the 2018 Content Management Strategies/DITA North America conference in April, we devote time to identify industry trends. We asked managers, information architects, writers, training developers, and more how they are addressing the challenges of meeting customer information needs. Dawn Stevens, President of Comtech Services and Mark Gross, President, DCL will walk us through the results of the 2018 Trends Survey, a study we have been conducting since 2012. With five years of data, we can trace the changes in how we think about developing and delivering content. Join DCL and Comtech Services as we review the results of the 2018 survey and compare it with past results. Learn how information developers are coping with new customer demands for innovative approaches to development and delivery. Learn what tools teams are using and how they respond to technical innovations. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services and Mark Gross, Data Conversion Laboratory Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training. Mark Gross, President, Data Conversion Laboratory, is a recognized authority on XML implementation and document conversion. Mark also serves as Project Executive, with overall responsibility for resource management and planning. Prior to joining DCL in 1981, Mark was with the consulting practice of Arthur Young & Co. Mark has a BS in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from New York University. He has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business, the New School, and Pace University. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of automated conversions to XML and SGML.
  • Recorded: March 15, 2018 The OASIS DITA Adoption TC is pleased to announce Keith Schengili-Roberts presentation on DITA Worst Practices. While people are interested in hearing about successes, we can actually learn more from failure. Not only do we discover what not to do, but also how to avoid the circumstances that led to it. DITA Adoption Chairperson Keith Schengili-Roberts has seen a lot of good and bad things happen to DITA implementations over the years, and part of his job is to investigate what works, what doesn’t, and why. This presentation is designed as an instructive and humorous lesson on what *not* to do when implementing DITA within a documentation team. From constraints that went too far, management decisions that went awry to quixotic tool decisions, Keith will cover DITA tales that are both funny and horrifying. Listen to his best (worst) DITA practices! Presented by: The OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee Keith Schengili-Roberts, OASIS DITA Adoption Committee Chairperson / IXIASOFT Keith is a DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, DITA evangelist and technical writing nerd. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto's iSchool, and Durham College. He is also an active member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, and can often be found presenting at conferences, working with customers, and researching how DITA is being used and sharing those results with the DITA community. Keith's popular industry blog DITAWriter.com has become a focal point on DITA resources and best practices. Connect with Keith on Twitter @KeithIXIASOFT.
  • Recorded: February 27, 2018 Join us to learn how companies are using Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) as the single source to power their learning content, including leveraging learning objectives to drive personalized learning. Dawn Stevens, President of Comtech Services, and Amber Swope, President of DITA Strategies, are co-chairs of the Learning & Training OASIS subcommittee and will explain how DITA can provide the structured foundation for your learning initiatives. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services and Amber Swope, DITA Strategies Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training. Amber Swope is an internationally recognized expert on the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) who specializes in helping teams develop their information architecture and implement DITA. With over 20 years of experience in the information development field and 12 years of DITA expertise, Amber helps teams design and optimize their environments to improve efficiency and reduce costs. When she’s not busy helping to change the world with XML, she can be found playing soccer, walking her puppsters, and enjoying Portland, OR.
  • Recorded: February 26, 2018 Although you don’t need DITA to write according to minimalism principles and you can certainly take a non-minimal approach when writing in DITA, the two go together like chocolate and peanut butter. In this presentation, Dawn explores the relationship between DITA, minimalism, and other technical communication best practices, demonstrating how each aligns with and complements the other. She provides guidance for forming your DITA information model and authoring guidelines to reflect writing best practices while maximizing the benefits DITA offers. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services at LearningDITA Live 2018 Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training.
  • The CIDM invites you to take advantage of the wealth of industry-related information you’ll find in the Best Practices newsletter. This bimonthly publication, directed by Dawn Stevens, is written by publications managers for publications managers. Following the trends of the industry, the Best Practices newsletter is only available electronically. Please note that by subscribing to CIDM's Best Practices Newsletter, you are opting-in to our publications channel which includes the monthly eNews and also the bi-weekly CIDM Matters via email.
  • Say Yes

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    Recorded: January 30, 2018 Borrowing the title of Fisher and Ury’s popular work, this session suggests strategies and invites conversation around the challenge of negotiating with your business partners—no matter who they are in your organization. In today’s environment, our technical content organizations are continually asked to support additional services with fewer team members. But doing more with less simply isn’t always possible. Informing a business partner that you cannot support a request can spark a fraught conversation, but adding more to your plate might risk sending your team into overload. Even asking for trust in your decisions as the authority in your area can be tough. Yet these conversations don’t have to become uncomfortable, and can instead provide an opportunity for dialog leading to mutual gains. You can get what your team needs, draw boundaries, and inspire confidence at the same time. Within the context of technical content’s organizational position and business value, this session will cover core negotiation strategies that achieve win-win outcomes and how to avoid zero-sum exchanges. Since relationships are key, we’ll discuss how to identify allies and when to call on them. Finally, we’ll address the inevitable question of data—seemingly irrefutable information that can turn opinion into hard fact. Presented by: Jill Orofino, DellEMC California born and raised, Jill attended UCLA where she received her B.A. in English, and then pursued graduate studies at Boston University. Jill went on to teach at BU for seven years before moving into high tech. Technical content development, research and writing made up the most of Jill’s teaching experience. Jill loves to learn new things and help others reach their goals. Five years into her career in technical content, Jill assumed leadership of a technical writing team at a Boston start-up called Acme Packet. Management was another natural extension of teaching, championing staff members and motivating them. Jill started at EMC (now Dell EMC) about five years ago, bringing with her a focus on customer experience and a drive for simplicity. Jill led the global technical content teams that support core storage for four years before taking a role in Product Marketing. Jill is now exploring a new part of the content ecosystem and its relationship to the unified customer experience.
  • Recorded: January 18, 2018 The experts will discuss the evidence of trends for more SME-authored content, and investigate the forces driving the trend. They will also share good practices for safeguarding quality content and efficient production when more and more documentation is written by people outside of the information development team. They will also discuss potential benefits to using more SMEs, and raise some questions around the real cost of using SMEs to author content. What does it mean for the tech writing profession if “anyone can write technical documentation”? If you feel as though you have to fight to have information development specialists write your content, come and hear how others are experiencing changing patterns of content development. Share good practice regarding handling SME-authored content as we look for ways to build collaboration without sacrificing standards and efficiencies. Discuss how to leverage your Information Developer experience and skills when folks from other teams are writing content, and brainstorm with the panel the new skill sets we must nurture to be successful in a collaborative environment. Presented by: Sharon Figueira, Toni Mantych and Joe Pennachio Sharon Figueira has eighteen years’ experience as a technical communicator. For the past few years, the main focus of my career has been DITA XML, content management, and migrating content into DITA and a CCMS. My team won the RFQ to migrate Ericsson’s content to a DITA XML/CCMS solution. Since then, we have migrated thousands of pages of content, performing pre-migration analysis, restructuring content, maximizing reuse, and producing variant output. Sharon recently joined IXIASOFT, a leader in the content management software industry. Toni Mantych describes her professional purpose and passion as “Solving client problems with content, and content problems with technology.” She is currently Director of Information Experience at ServiceNow. She has taught numerous courses in the graduate Technical and Professional Communications program as Portland State University and speaks regularly at content industry conferences. Joe Pennachio is a skilled professional with experience building and directing technical teams globally. Significant strategic and operational experience with a strong bias towards executing organization-wide transformation, achieving increased efficiency, and reducing cost. Proven ability for identifying and analyzing critical customer and business needs and implementing change. Joe joined QUALCOMM in January of 2016 as a Senior Director of Technical Communications.
  • Recorded: September 21, 2017 User guides, technical and reference manuals, installation and maintenance manuals aren’t merely the documentation of your products—they are also tools for winning business, increasing customer satisfaction and building loyalty. By understanding how your product documentation is consumed, you can transform operations and improve your product adoption. To gain this insight, you need to change the way you track and mine the behavior of users when they search, read and interact with your technical content. By combining the latest delivery, text-mining and analytics technologies, you will transform tech content into a sensor and its delivery into a data generator, unleashing a tremendous potential of information innovation.

    Presented by: Fabrice Lacroix, Antidot

    Fabrice Lacroix is a known Web pioneer and the founder of Antidot, the company that puts enterprise content to work. As an entrepreneur, he has been working for 25 years on the development of the Internet and of the Web through several major companies.
  • Recorded: August 24, 2017 This is the second webinar from the DITA Adoption Committee, which seeks to educate the global marketplace on the value of DITA for document creation and management. View our extensive set of whitepapers on DITA best practices, and follow us on Twitter: @DITA_Adoption.

    Presented by: Keith Schengili-Roberts, OASIS DITA Adoption Chair / IXIASOFT

    Keith is a DITA Information Architect at IXIASOFT, DITA evangelist and technical writing nerd. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto?s iSchool, and Durham College. He is also an active member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, and can often be found presenting at conferences, working with customers, and researching how DITA is being used and sharing those results with the DITA community. Keith's popular industry blog DITAWriter.com has become a focal point on DITA resources and best practices. Connect with Keith on Twitter @KeithIXIASOFT.
  • Recorded: August 10, 2017 For many manufacturers, the service (after-market) business is becoming more important as they are looking to improve customer satisfaction and service-related profitability. However, the cost of service has proven to be very high and maintenance issues are often dealt with inefficiently; a service engineer often still needs to go onsite to inspect the problem, order spare parts and then go back a second time to perform the actual maintenance.  Moreover, research found that it takes a service engineer up to 50% to troubleshoot an issue as maintenance information is either difficult to find, use or understand due to the way it’s delivered, for instance in the form of complex and ambiguous content in lengthy PDF files. Through smart, connected products thanks to Industrial Internet solutions, manufacturers and service organizations will be able to collect, analyze and capitalize on the data gathered from the use of their products: from early problem identification to predictive maintenance to generating new revenue streams. During this 45 min session Berry Braster will discuss how a solid content strategy (allowing for dynamic and augmented service information delivery) combined with IoT strategies will improve the profitability in the service business in both the short and long term.

    Presented by Berry Braster, Etteplan

    Berry Braster is the Technology Director of Technical Documentation at Etteplan, a specialist in engineering, embedded systems, IoT, and technical documentation solutions with over 2500 employees worldwide. Berry has over 16 years of experience in the field of technical documentation and has assisted many global companies with their content strategies, how to effectively communicate technical information and apply universal standards for content, including Simplified Technical English and DITA.
  • Recorded: July 20, 2017
    The OASIS DITA Adoption TC is pleased to announce Stan Doherty’s presentation on Integrating Markdown Into Your DITA 1.3 Pipeline. Stan will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to supplement an out-of-the-box DITA 1.3 deployment with the software, templates, and processing logic required to author and integrate Markdown-encoded topics alongside your DITA topics and maps.Stan will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to supplement an out-of-the-box DITA 1.3 deployment with the software, templates, and processing logic required to author and integrate Markdown-encoded topics alongside your DITA topics and maps.

    Presented by Stanley Doherty, Ph.D., HPE SimpliVity (Secretary for the OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee)

    Stan Doherty lives in the Boston area and works as a technical publications manager and Agile Product Owner at HPE SimpliVity. He participates as a voting member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, serves as secretary for the OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee, and supports companies in New England considering DITA. Feel free to contact Stan if you are considering DITA, DITA tools, and DITA-aware CCMSs.
  • Recorded: June 8, 2017
    In many industries there’s a shift taking place from the traditional product-focused model to a user focused model. It has become important to bring service information, such as user and maintenance manuals, to this new model as well to get the best possible user experience. This new model contributes to a lower downtime thanks to predictive maintenance, which is a result of IoT initiatives.In this webinar, Berry Braster of Etteplan will explain how business models are changing and what this means for technical communicators and documentation managers.

    Presented by Berry Braster, Etteplan

    Berry Braster is the Technology Director of Technical Documentation at Etteplan, a specialist in engineering, embedded systems, IoT, and technical documentation solutions with over 2500 employees worldwide. Berry has over 16 years of experience in the field of technical documentation and has assisted many global companies with their content strategies, effectively communicating technical information and applying universal standards for content, including Simplified Technical English and DITA.
  • Recorded: May 11, 2017 Improved efficiency is often considered the primary benefit of content reuse. While reusable content can facilitate increased authoring and translation efficiencies, implementing a component content management system designed around enabling reuse can also significantly improve content quality, which contributes to an exceptional customer experience.
    Learn how Waters Corporation enhances their customer experience by using SDL Knowledge Center to align its processes, drive content reuse, and standardize its information products.

    Presented by Joshua Steen, Waters Corporation

    Joshua Steen is the Process and Technology Manager at Waters Corporation where he oversees the content management technologies, content production policies and processes, and content migration initiatives for the Customer Experience and Knowledge Management department. For over 50 years, Waters has developed innovative analytical science solutions to support customer discoveries, operations, performance, and regulatory compliance. Josh has a Master's degree in Technical and Professional Writing from Northeastern University. Prior to joining Waters five years ago, Josh was the Documentation and Training Development Manager at McKesson Corporation, supporting healthcare management and claims processing software applications.
  • Recorded: April 13, 2017
    Working with global teams is more than just the mechanics of coordinating different time zones and understanding local holidays. It is about the human aspect of recognizing and understanding a different view point – perspective to help improve your process and communication to complete your work. This presentation will explore how you can understand different cultural viewpoints to improve your communication and improve your work flow. Real life examples, quotes, and examples from experts will be used to aid in the suggestions presented to you.What the Audience will learn:
    • Active listening communication
    • Communication style with a diverse team
    • Sharing and relationship building

    Presented by Leticia Guzzetta, Imagination Technologies

    Leticia Guzzetta has been a Technical Publications manager at Imagination for 3 years. She has 17 years management experience and 30 years tech pubs experience. Leticia has working knowledge and experience on improving publishing processes and content strategies with some expertise in XML, DITA, CMS, CCMS, and FrameMaker. At Imagination Technologies, Leticia manages the MIPS documentation writing projects and team. She works closely with her overseas peers to improve and modernize Imagination’s publishing process. Leticia has a BA and MA in English.
  • Recorded: April 5, 2017 Historically, technical content has been written for humans. But with the rise of artificial intelligence, machines will consume this content to solve problems automatically or help solve problems. This means that machines need to leverage the content in the easiest, most unambiguous possible way. Structured content authoring has been created to optimize the writing process (minimize cost and increase reuse). This way of writing has a lot of impact on what algorithms and content can do with it. Through a set of examples, we will review the benefits and limits of structured content, and how structured content impacts what modern tools and algorithms can do. Presented by: Fabrice Lacroix, Antidot Fabrice Lacroix is a known Web pioneer and the founder of Antidot, the company that puts enterprise content to work. As an entrepreneur, he has been working for 25 years on the development of the Internet and of the Web through several major companies.
  • Recorded: March 30, 2017 As we look forward to the 2017 Content Management Strategies/DITA North America conference in April, we devote time to identify industry trends. We asked managers, information architects, writers, training developers, and more how they are addressing the challenges of meeting customer information needs. Dawn Stevens, President of Comtech Services and Director of The Center for Information-Development Management, and Mark Gross, President of DCL, walk us through the results of the 2017 Trends Survey, a study we have been conducting since 2012. With five years of data, we can trace the changes in how we think about developing and delivering content. Join DCL and Comtech Services as we review the results of the 2017 survey and compare it with past results. Learn how information developers are coping with new customer demands for innovative approaches to development and delivery. Learn what tools teams are using and how they respond to technical innovations. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services, Inc. and Mark Gross, DCL Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training. Mark Gross, President, Data Conversion Laboratory, is a recognized authority on XML implementation and document conversion. Mark also serves as Project Executive, with overall responsibility for resource management and planning. Prior to joining DCL in 1981, Mark was with the consulting practice of Arthur Young & Co. Mark has a BS in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from New York University. He has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business, the New School, and Pace University. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of automated conversions to XML and SGML.
  • Recorded: February 22, 2017 Although traditionally businesses may still regard technical documentation as an afterthought, there is a change as product information is more and more regarded as an integral part of the product, businesses are looking for more efficiency gains and cost savings, and the future role it will play in the way information will need to be delivered using technologies like Augmented Reality, but also how content connects to IoT. During this webinar, Berry will discuss how content quality plays an important role in achieving these goals, as well as discuss how the use of Simplified Technical English and other documentation standards facilitate product marketing and help make content future proof. Presented by: Berry Braster, Etteplan Berry Braster is the global Sales Director of Technical Documentation Services at Etteplan, a specialist in engineering, embedded systems, IoT, and technical documentation solutions with over 2500 employees worldwide. Berry has over 16 years of experience in the field of technical documentation and has assisted many global companies with their content strategies, how to effectively communicate technical information and apply universal standards for content, including Simplified Technical English and DITA.
  • Recorded: January 18, 2017 Proponents argue that organizations adhering to an Agile methodology are better positioned to meet the needs and expectations of their customers, react to market needs and changes, and realize the greatest value from their resources. As a growing number of information development teams jump on the Agile bandwagon, with or without their product development teams, they must evaluate whether or not Agile meets its promises. However, traditional waterfall metrics tend to measure process and productivity, such as ensuring a defined workflow has been followed or calculating development hours per page or topic. Agile benefits, however, center less on how things were done and more on the resulting outcome, such as customer satisfaction or team collaboration.  Managers need to adapt and change what they are measuring to obtain a complete picture of what they are accomplishing with their move to Agile. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services Inc. Dawn Stevens is Vice President of Operations and partner at Comtech Services and Associate Director of the Center for Information-Development Management. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training.
  • Recorded: January 12, 2017 DITA 1.3 introduces scoped keys, which expand the key functionality introduced in DITA 1.2. In DITA 1.2, a key could have only one definition with a root map. This limitation proved a barrier to a fully-realized reuse strategy for many documentation teams. Scoped keys enable a key to be redefined at multiple levels (key spaces) in a map, with each key definition effective within its own key space. A key space can be the entire root map, a sub-map, a topichead or topicgroup, or even a single topicref, meaning (for one thing) that a topic can be reused many times in a map with its keys being resolved different in each instance of the topic. The scoped keys functionality makes use of a new keyscope attribute added to the appropriate map node. This attribute is not required; unscoped keys can still be used and continue to function as they did in DITA 1.2. This webinar explains the evolution of keys between DITA 1.2 and DITA 1.3, and presents several basic examples and use cases for scoped keys. It also explains key spaces and the interaction between multiple key spaces in a map. During this webinar, the presenter will use the oXygen XML editor with the understanding that other XML editors might choose to visually represent the scoped key functionality differently. Presented by: Leigh W. White, IXIASOFT Technologies Leigh is a DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, where she helps documentation groups evaluate their workflows and content models and transition into the DITA CCMS. Leigh has spoken on DITA, content management systems and content conversion at a number of conferences, including DITA North America, DITA Europe, Intelligent Content, DITA-OT Day, the STC Summit, Lavacon, and Writers UA. She is the author of DITA For Print: A DITA Open Toolkit Workbook and a contributor to The Language of Content Strategy and The Language of Technical Communication.
  • Recorded: December 14, 2016

    In this session, join Dr. JoAnn Hackos, OASIS DITA Technical Committee and ISO standards developer, and Bill Burns Vasont Systems' Applications Engineer, for an understanding of a new way to develop and publish standards. Learn why the status quo (Word docs and other unstructured file submissions) doesn’t work anymore. Understand how structured content and content management can reduce content-development overhead. Learn what tool vendors have been doing to make structured content development and content management less painful. Discover how content can be output to multiple devices in multiple formats without extra effort.

    Presented by: JoAnn Hackos Comtech Services and Bill Burns, Vasont Systems

  • Recorded on December 14, 2016 ago. Marketing and Technical Publications teams often develop content in different tools and store content in separate content management systems, which makes it extremely difficult to share content and deliver a unified and consistent customer experience. Gone are the days when you had the luxury of getting phone calls from confused customers. Today, consumers would much rather tap or swipe their way to your competitor. To address this problem, Adobe has created an end-to-end solution for DITA authoring, publishing, and component content management based on Adobe Experience Manager. This integrated solution speeds up the delivery of technical content on the market-leading platform that has helped marketers deliver compelling digital experiences. Join Stefan Gentz, Product Evangelist, and Dustin Vaughn, Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe as they discuss and demonstrate this DITA CCMS and how to integrate technical and marketing content. Presented by: Stefan Gentz and Dustin Vaughn, Adobe Dustin Vaughn is a Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe who manages a team of experts in Adobe's Technical Communication and eLearning products. Dustin has over 10 years of industry experience and has served as a panelist, speaker, and Adobe representative at various conferences. He designs, develops, and hosts technical, solution-oriented demonstrations for strategic global customers. As the Global Evangelist for Technical Communication at Adobe, Stefan’s mission is to inspire enterprises and technical writers around the world and show how to create compelling technical communication content with the Adobe TCS tools. Stefan is also a certified Quality Management Professional (TÜV), ISO 9001 / EN 15038 auditor, ISO 31000 Risk Management expert and Six Sigma Champion. Stefan is a popular keynote speaker and moderator at conferences such as tekom, tcworld, Information Energy, Intelligent Content Conference, Congility, LocWorld, TCUK, STC, GALA, ELIA, TTT, Translation Forum Russia and many other. He is also a member of the Conference Advisory Board of the world’s biggest TechComm event, the tekom / tcworld Conferences, and an Ambassador for the Globalization and Localization Association. He is also an active social networker on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Recorded: November 30, 2016 DITA short descriptions have gotten a bad rap over the years, and what was designed to be an essential tool to help technical writers craft better topics and aid readers to narrow down their search for the right content, is perceived by many to be a chore or an afterthought. IXIASOFT DITA Specialist, Keith Schengili-Roberts and JANA Inc.'s Senior Structured Data Analyst, Joe Storbeck got together and wrote an OASIS white paper how and why crafting effective short descriptions are among the most important things a DITA-based technical writer can do. Keith and Joe will examine how to write effective short description for concepts, references and troubleshooting topic types as well as for maps and APIs. This presentation will cover why short descriptions are a good idea (really!), how they make finding content easier for readers, can increase the SEO for your online documents, and much more. If you are looking to understand why short descriptions are important and how to craft them properly, don’t miss this presentation! Presented by: Keith Schengili-Roberts, IXIASOFT and Joe Storbeck, JANA Keith Schengili-Roberts is a DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, DITA evangelist and technical writing nerd. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto’s iSchool, and Durham College. He is also an active member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, and can often be found presenting at conferences, working with customers, and researching how DITA is being used and sharing those results with the DITA community. Keith's popular industry blog DITAWriter.com has become a focal point on DITA resources and best practices. Connect with Keith on Twitter @KeithIXIASOFT. Joe Storbeck has been a technical communication professional for over 30 years, and has an extensive background in the development of structured data and data application methodologies. He has led technical documentation teams for some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, including IBM, Citibank and AIG, and now leads the DITA consultation and development team for San Antonio, Texas based JANA, Inc. Joe is also a member of the following OASIS committees that are charged with the development, maintenance, and promotion of DITA: DITA Technical Committee, DITA Technical Communications Subcommittee, DITA Adoption Technical Committee, and Lightweight DITA Subcommittee.
  • Recorded: November 29, 2016 Continuous delivery (CD) and application release automation (ARA) are usually associated with software. These methodologies can be extended to other parts of your business, such as technical documentation. The output of a build/deploy/test/release software process and a build/publish tech doc process are similar – both produce sets of files that can be executed, uploaded, or published to multiple sites. When companies or organizations think of CD and ARA, they most often apply it to the software build/deploy/test/release process. There are many sources of information about how to do this, such as reference books, blogs, communities, and conferences where information is shared and new ideas arise. Let’s look at another way to apply CD and ARA in a company or organization. The process for technical documentation can also follow the build/deploy/test/release pattern.   At Electric Cloud, the process to build and publish (deploy and release) technical documentation was manual and time-consuming. A typical documentation set for a software release consists of six targets. The build process is run through the authoring tool and can take up to 30 minutes to build only one target. During this time, the authoring tool cannot be used to edit other files, and the PC performance can be adversely affected. To publish the documentation, the technical writer has to manually push the file set for each target and keep track of the progress. The publishing process can take up to several hours, depending on the number of targets to publish, the number of files for each target, and the number of servers to which the targets will be published. In this presentation, Jennifer will show how she modified her documentation workflow from doing things manually to having multiple documentation targets automated and publishing them to one or more sites. Jennifer will briefly describe the manual build and publish processes and how long it took to perform them as well as challenges of running this process consistently. Then she will describe and show how these processes were automated and summarize the improvements (spoiler alert: 50% speed up) resulting from it. This is an example of thinking outside of the box when it comes to improving your documentation processes by implementing DevOps, a methodology usually used in software development and release. CD and ARA can be applied to processes used by enterprise teams as well as small teams or groups in other areas of your business. The implementations are similar – only the process details are different. Presented by: Jennifer Chew, Nuage Networks Jennifer Chew is a senior technical writer at Nuage Networks in Mountain View, CA. Prior to this, she worked at Electric Cloud, Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems, and IBM. She is always looking for ways to combine her engineering experience with her writing projects.
  • Recorded: October 13, 2016 Change is difficult and often avoided, and everyone knows insurance companies are risk averse. However, that didn’t stop a small team of technical writers from upending the way they created content for California Casualty. By embracing modular structured content, unproven in their industry at the time, they were able to dramatically increase content findability which had a ripple effect on their entire business. Now California Casualty is an example to other insurance companies on how change can sometimes be a good thing. Join our webinar with Susan Lalor, Senior Information Designer at California Casualty, to find out how her team was able to accomplish this transformation. See how internal stakeholders and content users are just as important as customers. And most importantly, learn best practices for sowing your own seeds of transformation. Susan Lalor wrote her first computer user manual in 1982 when she wondered how the big blank screen sitting on her desk actually worked. She knew then that technical writing was her passion. For the last 13 years, she’s worked as a Senior Information Designer for California Casualty where she is a champion for single sourcing and user experience. She’s also been lucky enough to dabble in web and graphic design, project management, and business analysis over the past 30 years. Susan has a B.S. degree with a concentration in professional writing and has been a STC member since 1998. Chip Gettinger is VP, Solutions, SDL. He manages a team working with SDL customers to maximize their own customer experience by deploying SDL Knowledge Delivery applications. Chip has over 20 years’ experience in global publishing, content strategies, customer experience management, business management, and content management solutions, working closely with industry organizations, partners, and customers in technology solutions and deployment.
  • Recorded: August 23, 2016 Standards are as old as human societies: their forebears are the coins and weights that were used for trade as far back as the historical record goes. In this presentation, JoAnn Hackos explains how information development managers can adopt standards that are relevant for our world. Know how standards demonstrate that we are part of a worldwide community dedicated to ensuring that we define and adopt recognized best practices. Learn how we can work together globally to ensure that we define and implement best practices to develop information and deliver it effectively. Dr. Hackos explains which standards are available and which are under development. She will help you learn how you can benefit from standards in your company or organization. Presented by: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc. Dr. JoAnn Hackos is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado, which she founded in 1978. She is Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. Dr. Hackos and colleagues are called upon by corporate executives worldwide to consult on strategies for content management, development and organizational management, product interface design, customer studies, Web and traditional information architecture, and tools and technology selection.
  • Recorded: July 27, 2016 Over the last decade, corporate technical publications departments have invested heavily in migrating their content away from proprietary authoring and publishing tools (e.g., MSWord, Adobe FrameMaker) and implementing the DITA standard for content markup. These companies have invested millions of dollars into content conversion and implementation of DITA-based authoring and content management systems. In many ways, these DITA implementation projects have proven to be hugely successful, particularly with regards to content reuse and reduced cost of localizing content to multiple languages. However, one promise of DITA has often fallen short: the goal of true “single source publishing.” The majority of technical publications groups are still publishing to print as the primary output format, followed by online help, and in some cases, eBooks. But, one major gap is still present for most technical publishers: automated publishing to mobile devices. Even though smartphones and tablets have dominated the industry for the last several years, virtually no one is publishing content in a way that fully uses the native capabilities of these mobile devices. Instead, they are settling for the inherent limitations of PDF or HTML files. Dan Dube outlines 5 tips to help technical publishers go “the last mile” to fully leverage their DITA investment and deliver content to popular mobile device platforms like Apple iOS and Android. This webinar will also help to answer the burning question: “Why aren’t EPUB or PDF the best choices for delivering DITA content to a mobile device?” Presented by: Dan Dube, Compass Behavior Dan Dube is a seasoned veteran of the XML content management and publishing industry, with over 30 years of experience working with structured content and automated single-source publishing solutions. Dan is best known as the co-founder and former CEO of DocZone, the industry’s first cloud-based solution for XML authoring, content management, localization, and multichannel publishing. (DocZone was acquired by RSI in 2009.) Dan is now CEO and co-owner of Compass Innovative Behavior Strategies, a New England-based provider of behavior therapy services for individuals with autism and other developmental delays. He still maintains a presence in the publishing industry as an independent consultant.
  • Recorded: May 24, 2016 There’s a joke going around that asks: where’s the best place to hide a dead body? Answer: on the second page of a Google search. It underscores the fact that if your technical content does not appear at or near the top of what your users are searching for, it might as well not exist. You can mitigate the problem in DITA content by devising an effective taxonomy and inserting effective metadata into your topics. IXIASOFT DITA Specialist Keith Schengili-Roberts has explored this topic and presents his findings on the processes that can be used to make your DITA-based content easy for your users to find. Presenter: Keith Schengili-Roberts, IXIASOFT Keith is a DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, DITA evangelist and technical writing nerd. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto's iSchool, and Durham College. He is also an active member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, and can often be found presenting at conferences, working with customers, and researching how DITA is being used and sharing those results with the DITA community. Keith's popular industry blog DITAWriter.com has become a focal point on DITA resources and best practices. Connect with Keith on Twitter @KeithIXIASOFT.
  • Recorded: May 10, 2016 In the age of IoT, connected devices have opened up a whole new way of supporting your customer. Learn how you can leverage real-time device information to provide your customers with an immediate diagnosis and troubleshooting walkthroughs before they even notice the problem. In this session you will learn:
    • How to create adaptive decision workflows as part of your documentation
    • How to trigger the right workflow at the right time based on device information
    • How to serve the workflow to customers through your web or mobile application
    Presenter: Hannan Saltzman, Zoomin Hannan Saltzman is the Vice President of Product Management at Suite Solutions. For the last 15 years, Hannan has served in senior R&D and product positions, focused on helping organizations extract critical business insights from their information assets using smart analytics. At Suite Solutions, Hannan and his team develop innovative products that help organizations reduce customer effort by providing personalized and consistent product information across customer touchpoints.
  • Recorded: April 19, 2016 In this presentation, we embark upon re-thinking the entire content production cycle, and we use The Toyota Way as our philosophy. Expect fun and engaging conversation that will make you question some or all of the time-honoured content production processes and to start looking for waste. We will discuss the Lean principles in Japanese car manufacturing and apply them to content production. We will debate that not only can this be done today, but also that it can be done well. Finally, we will look how using Lean together with a good quality DITA/CMS solution can lead to incredible results in reducing production time and costs, improving team morale, and achieving superior product quality. By product, we, of course, mean content output.

    Presented by: Nenad Furtula, Bluestream and Galyna Key, Datix

    Nenad Furtula is partner and a VP of Sales and Marketing at Bluestream Database Software. Nenad has been working with XML and bringing XML related products to market for over a decade. Currently his primary professional interest lies in building and socializing a DITA-enabled value-based component content management system called XDocs. Since discovering the field of technical communication 15 years ago, Galyna remains convinced that it is the coolest and most creative discipline out there. Over the years, she stopped trying to figure out whether she is a project manager, product manager, engineer, designer, tester, localisation expert, or a knowledge architect and decided to have fun changing her hats on a regular basis. Galyna is currently leading the transformation of customer learning experience (LX) at Datix. Previously, she did the same at Autodesk, where she built a high-performing LX team from the ground up. She holds two Master’s Degrees; one in Philology and another one in Technical Authorship, and she is a Fellow of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators.
  • Recorded: March 29, 2016 As we look forward to the 2016 Content Management Strategies/DITA North America conference in April, we devote time to identify industry trends. We ask managers, information architects, writers, training developers, and more how they are addressing the challenges of meeting customer information needs. Dr. JoAnn Hackos, President of Comtech Services and Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), and Mark Gross, President of DCL, walk us through the results of the 2016 Trends Survey, a study we have been conducting since 2012. With four years of data, we can trace the changes in how we think about developing and delivering content. Join DCL and Comtech Services as we review the results of the 2016 survey and compare it with past results. Learn how information developers are coping with new customer demands for innovative approaches to development and delivery. Learn what tools teams are using and how they respond to technical innovations. Presented by: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc. and Mark Gross, DCL Dr. JoAnn Hackos is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado, which she founded in 1978. She is Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. Dr. Hackos and colleagues are called upon by corporate executives worldwide to consult on strategies for content management, development and organizational management, product interface design, customer studies, Web and traditional information architecture, and tools and technology selection. Mark Gross, President & CEO — founder of Data Conversion Laboratory, is a recognized authority on XML implementation and document conversion. President and CEO of DCL, Mark also serves as Project Executive, with overall responsibility for resource management and planning. Prior to founding DCL in 1981, Mark was with the consulting practice of Arthur Young & Co. Mark has a BS in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from New York University. He has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business, the New School, and Pace University. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of automated conversions to XML and SGML.
  • Recorded: March 23, 2016 Manuals are rapidly becoming the last items people rely on to find information about the products they have purchased. Leafing through the pages of a printed copy seems too old today. In fact, even finding the printed manual may be difficult in most environments. Instead, we search for answers to our questions using the ubiquitous Google search. Most of the manuals that were in our kitchen drawers are available online but do we really want a PDF of a manual to try to page through? PDF searches are pretty much useless for finding the specific answers to our questions or solving our problems. Instead of a PDF, we’d like a page with the answer, something we often can find without going to the product website. Topics are the new information resource. Presented by: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services and Nenad Furtula, Bluestream Dr. JoAnn Hackos is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado, which she founded in 1978. She is Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. Dr. Hackos and colleagues are called upon by corporate executives worldwide to consult on strategies for content management, development and organizational management, product interface design, customer studies, Web and traditional information architecture, and tools and technology selection. Nenad Furtula is partner and a VP of Sales and Marketing at Bluestream Database Software. Nenad has been working with XML and bringing XML related products to market for over a decade. Currently his primary professional interest lies in building and socializing a DITA-enabled value-based component content management system called XDocs.
  • Recorded: March 9, 2016 What can we as information developers do to help our users sort through the plethora of information available to them and find that small nugget of truth that will help them complete their task at hand, solve a nagging problem, or make a purchasing decision? How can we create an uncluttered path through the forest that takes them directly to our content, eliminating distractions and unnecessary forks in the road? A corporate taxonomy helps make searching simple and increases the chances for users to find the answers they need on their first try. Unfortunately, the effort to create such systems and the tools required to support them can be prohibitive. In this presentation, Dawn Stevens and Joe Gelb will discuss the importance of a corporate taxonomy, outline the process for defining and testing it, and demonstrate its crucial role within dynamic publishing platforms delivering focused content across all customer touchpoints. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services Inc. and Joe Gelb, Suite Solutions Dawn Stevens is the Vice President of Operations and partner at Comtech Services, Inc. Dawn specializes in information development, instructional design, and management consulting. With 25 years of experience, including 13 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training. Joe Gelb has over twenty years of experience helping enterprises implement, maintain and capitalize on structured content. At Zoomin, he has spearheaded the development of advanced technology solutions for content delivery. Prior to founding Zoomin and Suite Solutions, Joe was the CTO at Live Linx, a leading provider of software and system integration services for technical product information, where he designed and implemented solutions for aerospace, defense, manufacturing and hi-tech companies. Joe holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
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