»The complex and interlinked systems of technical communication require careful conceptual preparation, systematic system selection and professional implementation. This is the only way to meet user expectations and ensure sustainable benefits from the IT system landscape.«
Marco Hattemer, Senior Consultant
System landscape in technical communication
We are familiar with the typical system landscape used in the field of technical communication to efficiently create, manage and publish information in line with requirements:
- Content Management Systems / Component Content Management Systems / CCMS
- Catalog Systems / Product Information Management Systems / PIM
- Translation Systems / Translation Memory Systems / TMS
- Terminology management and control systems / TVS and TKS
- Information Distribution Systems / Content Delivery Portals / CDP
Talk to us about your specific tasks relating to the selection, introduction or optimization of IT systems. Our comprehensive, vendor- and solution-independent consulting services are tailored to your wishes and needs on a modular basis.
Editorial systems / CCMS
An editorial system - also known as a Component Content Management System / CCMS - performs a variety of central tasks in technical communication. Like clockwork, all the cogs must mesh to ensure the desired result at the end of the process chains:
- Modularization and metadata
- Reuse and reuse of content
- Versioning and variant management
- Language, localization and translation management
- Workflow and project management
A large number of suppliers have established themselves on the market, promising system solutions for these and other tasks. We know the market, the systems and the best practice solutions and guide you safely through the jungle of providers.
In addition, we provide one-stop support for editorial conception and standardizationto make your content fit for editorial systems as well.
A clear strategy for the deployment and interlinking of the required systems helps to make sustainable decisions. In this way, opportunities for the future can be generated from the constant change to which our industry is subject.
Are you currently facing one of the following or a similar task?
- Progress of digitization or introduction of a digital twin of the product
- Print reduction or change of focus to electronic information provision
- Dovetailing of "classic" textual information with instructional videos, animations, AR/VR applications, etc.
- Distribution and updating of information in content delivery portals / CDP
These and similar tasks raise the question of leading and dependent systems, interfaces, organizational structures and responsibilities and, last but not least, the wishes, requirements and needs of the target groups and other stakeholders.
We support you purposefully
- Determine the strategic goals for your information management
- Analysis of the existing information landscape (systems, processes, interfaces)
- Creation of a comprehensive system strategy and a time and cost plan for the realization, implementation and integration into your IT landscape
- Cost-benefit calculation (ROI) and argumentation of the system strategy for your project application
There are many IT systems and providers on the market. But which solution best suits your requirements and needs? And what is the quickest way to make an informed decision and minimize your investment risks?
In any case, your concrete requirements form the basis for a systematic and methodical system selection. Possible sources of requirements are:
- Wishes and expectations of the direct (and indirect) stakeholders of the system
- Information processes and interfaces
- Legal and normative requirements of your industry
- IT specifications, quantity structures and similar frameworks
We have already compiled extensive catalogs with typical requirements for a large number of IT systems. This allows us to determine your specific IT system requirements with little time and expense.
We advise you on the entire process of system selection
- Requirements analysis, creation of a requirements catalog and invitation to tender
- Development of editorial use cases and creation of a specification sheet
- System presentation based on use cases and decision matrix
- Cost comparison and evaluation of offers
The introduction of a new IT system costs time and resources that are often not available in day-to-day business. A systematic approach to implementation helps to minimize potential investment risks.
Even if modern IT systems offer extensive functionalities "out-of-the-box": The complexity of the systems and the need to integrate them into your concrete information, processes and workflows require a lot of coordination with the manufacturer.
We accompany the implementation of your system
- Takeover of project management and communication with the system provider
- Creation of a requirements specification and coordination of necessary adjustments and implementations with the system provider
- Creation of a test concept / test cases and support for testing and system acceptance
- Reconcile and monitor change requests during implementation
- Creation of a concept for the rollout to departments and locations
- Creation of a training concept and support for know-how transfer
"Save" and optimize system
Systems do not always run smoothly. The reasons for this can be manifold. But fortunately, many weak points can be remedied without changing the system. We provide fast first aid and offer sustainable support for system optimization.
The causes of difficulties are not infrequently to be found in the fact that the system, processes and editorial content are not aligned. Existing work methods, data structures, content and output formats were simply transferred to the new system without questioning them for reasons of time or resources.
Our first aid kit to get things running smoothly again:
- Analysis of information processes, IT system landscape and interfaces
- Analysis of the data and information quality of the editorial content
- Update and adapt editorial concepts, processes and system configurations
- Training and editorial coaching on the application of the new concepts
Data model / XML schema
When introducing an XML-based editorial system, you are spoilt for choice: Do you use the XML schema supplied, do you adapt it to your specific requirements or do you develop your own data model?
The XML Schema Definition / XSD has established itself as the leading standard for XML-based data models. Modern data models are topic-oriented and define functional and semantic structures.
Proven standard data models on the market include, for example:
- DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture)
- PI Mod
- DocBook V5.x
- S1000D (data model of the aviation standard)
We know the advantages and disadvantages of the different solutions and help you find the right data model and adapt it to your needs.