Past Webinars

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • February 5, 2020 If you are implementing a large-scale infrastructure project such as a cCMS implementation or migration to DITA at your organization, then you know about predictable costs such as purchasing hardware, licensing software, and training writers. Predictable expenses are easy to manage and plan for as you know when they will be due, and at least approximately how much they are going to cost. There are, however, other potential costs that may be unknown, either because your requirements have iterated since the original project scope was defined or you have uncovered something unexpected in your environment. These unpredictable expenses can add risk to the overall project timeline or impact the actual cost. They may be challenging to fit into your existing plan or require additional planning. In this webinar, Sabine Ocker will discuss some top hidden costs and provide insights on how to identify, plan for, and mitigate the impact of common examples such as changes to project scope, lack of appropriate standards, and content conversions. Presented by: Sabine Ocker has 20 plus years’ experience helping companies solve their interesting business problems. Solutions have included DITA migrations, content conversions, new tools or CMS, information modeling, content strategy, multi-channel publishing, and taxonomy development.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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: 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.
  • May 12, 2020 In its eighth year of collecting data, the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) and Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) asked managers, information architects, writers, training developers, and more how they are addressing the challenges of meeting customer information needs. During the webinar we walk through the results of the 2020 Trends Survey, a study we have been conducting since 2012. We trace the changes in how we think about developing and delivering content. Learn how others in the information-development community are planning to respond to new customer demands for innovative approaches to development and delivery. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, President, Comtech Services and Director of CIDM has 28 years of practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. Dawn is the perfect advisor to identify and remove the challenges you face in producing usable, technical information and training content. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines her solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to lead our team of consultants and specialists in providing the expertise you need. 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.
  • March 6, 2019 In a world where Google sets the gold standard for providing relevant search results, how can technical documentation teams create findability that is always spot-on for every single reader? Relevance of search is determined by a combination of content metadata, contextual knowledge about the user, and the search query itself. The challenge therefore resides in collecting and analyzing these elements, and applying them systematically to every search query to create truly personalized search results. Presented by: 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: 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

  • April 11, 2019 Salesforce is ubiquitous. It is being used to drive self-service portals, support internal staff, increase sales, and much more. However, Salesforce can now be made more powerful and give you even greater competitive advantage. Whether you are using Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, or Community Cloud, you are sharing your information. Bluestream will show how you can help your customers to easily find great support information through community searches, right beside your community forums, blog posts, and Salesforce KB articles. Dynamically update content through Bluestream’s end-to-end solution. Use XDocs’ sophisticated tags to customize information based on user profiles, permissions, and languages, and deliver customer- and configuration-specific documents, policies, or procedures. Presenter: 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.