Past Webinars

  • Recorded: January 20, 2016 DITA-based technical documents are inherently sophisticated and complex hyperdocuments. They are developed through complex revision processes, often by highly-distributed teams. Thus DITA documents and their management present a number of challenges inherent in the nature of sophisticated technical documentation. While the value of this sophisticated approach to documentation has tremendous value to organizations as a whole, it can make the life of individual authors much more challenging, leading to the common complaint “DITA is too hard”. This talk presents the link and configuration management challenges inherent in sophisticated hyperlinked documentation and discusses the features of DITA and DITA component content management systems that address these challenges. If authors and managers understand the challenges inherent in DITA-based authoring they can at least set their expectations and provision tools and resources appropriately. What can attendees expect to learn?
    • The way in which DITA documents are sophisticated hyperdocuments
    • What “configuration management” means in the context of DITA-based documentation
    • The fundamental link and configuration management challenges DITA hyperdocuments present
    • The DITA features that enable and support hyperdocument
    • The link and configuration management features DITA-aware component configuration management systems must provide in order to support authors.
    • A little bit about Aikido
    Presented by Eliot Kimber, Contrext, LLC. Eliot Kimber is a founding and active member of the DITA Technical Committee. He has been working with structured markup for more than 30 years. Eliot is also a co-editor of the HyTime standard. Eliot currently focuses on the application of DITA to the business challenges of Publishers. Eliot is the founder and principal developer of the open-source DITA for Publishers project. Eliot lives and works with his family in Austin, Texas.
  • Date: June 12, 2019 Abstract: Ever since DITA was first used, the greatest obstacle to adoption has been usability. Whilst technical authors have been prepared to learn the intricacies of DITA, others in the content creation lifecycle have been more obstinate. Bluestream together with Simply XML will show how the extensible XDocs CCMS can be integrated with clear browser and desktop authoring environments to allow subject matter experts to create and collaborate on content without ever having to see a tag. Presented by: Rik Page is Sales and Marketing Director at Bluestream Software and has been working with both component content and document management solutions since 2001. During this time he has worked with custom DTDs and Schemas, S1000D, iSpec2200 and DITA. His experience covers a wide range of industries including education, banking and finance, manufacturing and healthcare. A keen advocate of technology and innovation Rik has taken part in multiple consultancy projects and helped formulate solutions all over the world. Over more than two decades, Doug Gorman commercialized the structured writing methodology known as Information Mapping. In the process he realized that XML(DITA) could be used beyond Technical Publication Departments to modernize the enterprise content supply chain. The authoring and repository tools, however, would need to be easy to use. XML would need to be utilized but hidden “under the covers.” Simply XML’s authoring tool, Content Mapper, is a Word Plug-in where the author sees a Word User Interface and the CMS uses DITA XML. Content Mapper is designed for organizations that understand the value of XML as the content architecture, but with many of the 1 Billion plus non-technical authors who use MS Word on a PC. Content Mapper is integrated with Bluestream’s XDocs CCMS to help organizations achieve better content for readers with the important efficiencies of content reuse, single source publishing, and other process improvements.
  • February 5, 2019 Your technical content is a valuable yet hidden asset: It impacts every stage of your customer journey and forms a significant - and often, the largest - component of your overall web presence. Easy access to personalized content is therefore key to the overall digital and user experience for your customers. In this webinar we explore the role of taxonomy and metadata to deliver on the promise of role-based and personalized experiences, taking into account a variety of content types. Presented by: Joe Gelb has over twenty years of experience helping enterprises implement, maintain and capitalize on structured content. At Zoomin Software, he has spearheaded the development of advanced technology solutions for dynamic 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.
  • 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.
  • June 16, 2020 Unlike a decade ago, organizations face few barriers to entry if they want to develop structured content in a DITA-based ecosystem. The increasing adoption of Git as a content platform, and the maturing of DITA-focused products like oXygen have removed many of the cost barriers to implementing DITA in an elegant and scalable way. Whether a stop on a longer-term transition to a CCMS or the final destination, a mostly open-source DITA tool chain can be a valuable proving ground for a sophisticated content strategy. In this presentation, you’ll learn how process, information design, scalable repository design, and smart use of oXygen and Git can be more than a short-term solution. You will also learn where Git falls short and when you should be using a DITA CCMS. Presented by: Frank Miller president/ founder of Ryffine is an industry thought-leader whose career has focused on leading enterprise client engagements and building an information development community, Frank has been involved in dozens of successful DITA implementations. In addition to partnering with many leading names in the information development and content management spaces, Frank enjoys sharing his insights on trends and facilitating the adoption of best practices throughout the community. Presented by: Rik Page is EMEA Sales and Marketing Director at Bluestream Software and has been working with both component content and document management solutions since 200. During this time, he has worked with custom DTDs and Schemas, S1000D, iSpec2200 and since 2005 DITA. Rik's practical experience ranges from data capture/content creation through to dynamic multichannel delivery. This has been achieved in a wide range of industries including banking and finance, manufacturing, central government, and education. A keen advocate of technology and innovation Rik has taken part in multiple consultancy projects and helped formulate solutions all over the world.
  • March 4, 2020 Technical documentation is rarely created by lone writers, so there is a constant need for collaboration. Collaboration can be with other writers or with people with other roles, usually referred to as subject matter experts, who may be part of your organization or external experts. In order to be successful, the collaboration needs to be enabled by integrating it as part of the usual processes or workflows each user performs. In this presentation, we will explore a few collaboration scenarios that show how to implement continuous improvement loops for published documentation, how to integrate documentation as part of the product development workflow, and how immediate collaboration can take place. Presented by: George Bina is one of the founders of Syncro Soft SRL, the company that develops oXygen XML suite of XML editing, authoring, development, publishing and collaboration tools. He has more than 20 years of experience in working with XML and related technologies, bringing many innovative ideas to reality and contributing to XML-related open-source projects. He presented at many XML, DITA, and technical communication conferences, giving passionate presentations and challenging the technological status quo, trying to get the audience to think outside the box, and re-imagine the future.
  • Recorded: October 29, 2015 Were you taught how to write a classical five-paragraph essay in elementary school? Did you ever learn about beginning paragraphs with topic sentences? Do you know that legal documents like contracts have standard sections in a standard order? Do you think action steps should be in the order they are performed? If none of these structures are new to you, you already know something about structured writing. Yet, the thought of moving to writing with a consistent, prescribed, and semantic structure often strikes fear into the hearts of technical writers and subject-matter experts alike. In this webinar, learn why structured authoring is essential to clear and consistent communication. Consider why using a semantic structure enhances the quality of your writing while also making it available for repurposing and retrieval. Rather than considering structure something to avoid, think of it as something to embrace to make your writing more understandable for your readers. And, consider ways to help those who resist a move to structure to understand its benefits by providing them with a supportive authoring environment. Presented by: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services 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: February 17, 2016 As software has moved to the cloud and evolved into Software as a Service, there’s been an increasing need for software documentation to evolve as well. Documentation processes and project management methodologies that relied on long release cycles don’t work in the more agile world of continuous software updates. While working through this evolution, the Microsoft Dynamics AX Content Publishing team was hit with a massive layoff, reducing a team of 40 people to a team of 10. Suddenly, the idea of reinventing how we worked and how we delivered content in a more agile way took on a much more extreme meaning. Over the past year, we’ve worked through a true reinvention. We developed a model where the role of the writer has changed to the role of Content Strategist, the role of the manager has changed to one of empowering the team rather than trying to solve the team’s problems, the role of creating content has moved to a variety of subject matter experts, and the role of ensuring content quality has been distributed across teams who work most closely with customers. We’ve learned a great deal through this reinvention, and this talk shares the highlights of what we’ve learned. This talk looks at how the Microsoft Dynamics AX Content Publishing team reinvented their roles, authoring tools, and content creation and publishing processes in an environment where staffing levels are so low that writers can no longer write. You’ll learn about this team’s experience in moving away from traditional content publishing practices and instead, collaborating with other subject matter experts in planning content, identifying appropriate authors, incenting subject matter experts to create the content, and leveraging teams outside of Content Publishing to ensure content quality. The talk covers aspects of change management, influencing without authority, collaboration, partnering, creative problem solving, and teamwork. Presented by Ann Beebe, Microsoft Dynamics AX Ann Beebe has been leading content publishing teams at Microsoft for 18 years. She’s managed the documentation teams for Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Business Framework, Visual Studio, Home and Small Business Server, and is currently leading the documentation teams for Microsoft Dynamics’ AX and GP products. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ann managed documentation, training, and corporate communications for Barfield, Cauthen & Associates in Atlanta, and managed documentation and usability teams for Sales Technologies, Inc. in Atlanta.
  • Recorded: February 25, 2016 A content strategy may fall short in delivering on expectations for many reasons – among them failure to send a consistent message about what you expect content developers to do with the strategy, and failure to guide developers as they implement the strategy in their content. Until recently, our practice was to develop a strategy, present it to the team, and leave it to managers and developers to decide how to implement the strategy in their content. This approach produced inconsistent implementation of the strategy, resulting in a lot of content that seemed to have been developed by different organizations. Ron explains how Siemens PLM implemented the content strategy team, shares lessons learned and successes thus far, and describe next steps. Presented by: Ron Hickman, Siemens PLM Software Ron Hickman is Director of Learning Media Development for Siemens PLM Software. He has been with Siemens PLM Software (and predecessor companies) for more than 36 years, leading several different teams, including the Americas customer support team and the Teamcenter Program Office. He joined Learning Media Development in February 2011 as senior manager for Teamcenter documentation and courseware, and became director of Learning Media Development in June 2013. When he’s not working, Ron enjoys time with his family, including 5 grandchildren, hiking, and serving in the community.
  • June 5, 2019 In today’s market, companies with service organizations are responsible for contributing 30%+ to overall company profit. While much of the effort in the last five years has gone into automating task management for Service Managers and technicians, a large gap remains in the way service organizations effectively find, use, and capture critical content specific to the task. Service Information Delivery solves the age-old struggle of providing accurate and relevant content to field service personnel as the task or job is being performed. It also captures and shares data during the process and provides audit trail and analytics upon completion. All critical functions to help the Service organization perform at the highest level within the business. Attendees will learn: 1. What is Service Information Delivery? 2. Why Service information delivery is critical in today’s business environment? 3. How can this impact the overall Service business and bottom line? Presented by: Stephanie Castillo is VP Business Operations – Titania Partnership, a leading provider of expert services and software. For more than 20 years Stephanie has been managing global documentation initiatives and writing teams for global organizations. Throughout her career she has architected solutions, managed global implementations, defined processes, and supervised requirements gathering and tools selection projects for multichannel content publishing systems as well as global translation management systems. Stephanie holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, BA in communications from University of Wisconsin. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband, running and playing soccer.
  • 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: 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.
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