Operational Innovations in Content Management: The Release of Vasont 9.0

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Suzanne Mescan
Vasont Systems

This past August, Vasont Systems released Vasont 9.0, the latest version of our single-source content management system. Our goal for this version was to provide more effective content reuse for organizations with multiple editorial groups, remote authors, or enterprise-wide content contributors. The system’s most compelling new enhancements were created in response to feedback from current Vasont users. At our annual users’ group meeting, Vasont users had three main goals in mind for the coming year: they wanted to further improve their productivity, meet their compliance requirements, and generally improve and update their overall editorial process. Our team responded with the following new enhancements and features of Vasont 9.0 to help users meet those goals as quickly as possible.

Improve Efficiencies through Automated Business Logic and Faster Processing

No matter how quickly a system works, today’s technology users always want it to go faster. For Vasont users, that meant that they were eager for even faster processing times. Our team understood that need, so they took it one step further.

First, Vasont 9.0 has streamlined common content transactions so that they produce less network static and can process content faster. This not only makes the whole system faster, but it also avoids slowing down the entire network—a common problem for large organizations.

Then, our team increased the efficiency of the entire Vasont 9.0 system by adding new processing options and new user-defined processing options. A processing option is a built-in system customization that gives users more control over their business logic and allows event-triggered task automation. The system has more than 100 new processing options, bringing the total to 500 options available. Vasont 9.0 also enables users to write their own processing options, triggered by workflow and content modification events. This additional user-defined customization ability not only saves time in increased efficiency and money by automating tasks but also allows the organization to avoid costly vendor customization fees altogether. One user, Mercury Marine, has set up processing options to allow content to be shared automatically between Vasont and other systems in their organization.

Meet Industry Compliance Requirements with Improved Versioning

Our users are constantly under pressure to meet various industry and government regulations. Vasont 9.0 helps users deal with demanding compliance requirements and comprehensive content tracking needs by providing enhanced versioning capability, including a user-friendly interface to access the detailed component-level version information. That means that for each chunk of content stored in Vasont, users can easily find out who was the last person to update it, what the update was, what the original content looked like, what time the update occurred, and whether or not it was approved. In addition, users can add comments to any time-stamped version of a piece of content in the system. Several Vasont customers who have government contracts are particularly excited about this enhanced feature.

Complete More Complicated Tasks with Advanced Editorial Tools

In discussions with our clients over the past year, we confirmed our belief that one of the most powerful content management tools Vasont provides is advanced link management. In this updated version, we made that tool even more powerful. In most traditional content management systems, users have to manually reset links when a referenced piece of content is moved to a new location within a document or across multiple documents. In Vasont 9.0, we made that automatic. The system automatically resets the link behind the scenes—saving time by ensuring more accurate content and better tracking of content reuse.

During the development of Vasont 9.0 we also found that it is extremely useful to be able to track how much of your content is being reused, so we created the content reuse report. This printable report enables users to quickly prove their ROI by clearly demonstrating exactly how content is being reused within the system. The savings are instantly apparent. As soon as the content is loaded into the system, the report immediately provides statistics demonstrating how much more efficiently the content can be managed by using a content management system with powerful reuse and link management features. Users find these reports particularly useful when demonstrating the value of content management to the upper levels of their organizations.

Finally, one of the most impressive ways that Vasont has saved organizations money is by drastically lowering translation costs. With this latest version of the system, we have continued to increase those savings by expanding the system’s Unicode support. Unicode allows organizations to store content in a wide variety of languages, including those with unique character sets like Japanese, Korean, or Arabic. Vasont 9.0 enables users to “mix-and-match” any Unicode format, including UTF-8 and UTF-16. For example, users can load UTF-8 content into the system and extract it as UTF-16 content. If a chunk of content in a Korean instruction manual needs to be updated, the system can send just that chunk to the translator, rather than the entire instruction manual. This saves a large amount of time and money. Vasont 9.0’s enhanced Unicode support will allow users to manage translation with even more flexibility, allowing them to earn even more savings.

Expect More Improvements in the Future

Our ability to effectively develop a single-source content management system that really addresses the challenges that technical writers face was based on our sister division’s more than 50 years of experience in the information management and publishing services industry. Today, Vasont is a leading single-source content management system used by numerous Fortune 1000 companies and organizations from a variety of industries to manage and produce multilingual documentation, such as users’ manuals, technical documentation, scientific and reference materials, and other publications. Many of our clients, for example McGraw-Hill and Detroit Diesel Corporation, have recognized a return on investment (ROI) in less than a year of implementation.

Based on the insight we gathered from our customers, we were able to develop a more robust and exciting new version of Vasont. Our willingness to listen to the customers’ feedback and the initiative to address them will continue to bring success in the future. By extending and improving our single-source content-centric model, Vasont 9.0 offers industry-leading enterprise content management capabilities designed to maximize productivity, improve operational efficiencies, and increase an organization’s ROI.

Suzanne Mescan is Vasont Systems’ Vice President of Marketing for its flagship Vasont software, a content management system for cross-media publishing that enables enterprises to create, manage, and publish content across numerous media channels. She has more than seventeen years of experience in the information management and publishing field. www.vasont.com

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