Recently I read a discussion thread at a LinkedIn Tech Comm group in which Aaron, my CEO, claimed MindTouch didn’t support single sourcing. He was promptly contradicted by a MindTouch customer, Amanda Cross of ExactTarget, and prominent Tech Comm leader who just kicked off a guest blog series here at the MindTouch blog. Later on another MindTouch customer from EMC echoed Amanda’s call that they too use MindTouch for single sourcing.
Recent studies concluded by Greenfield Online, Datamonitor, Ovum analysts and Genesys, concluded that companies in the United States lose about $83 billion annually in product abandonment, customer churn and defections due to customer support failures. Globally, across the 16 largest economies, the total loss to support failure was $338 billion annually. The main reason these losses continue is a lack of actionable insight to the consumers’ support expectations and the real customer experience with products. Companies using twenty year old static support architecture, commonly referred to as Help 1.0 environments, are virtually blind to their customers’ sense of product and support fulfillment and are considered by support industry experts to be particularly vulnerable to support failures.
Many companies operating these Help 1.0 environments today are managing their help documentation through CMS platforms like IXIAsoft, SDL TriSoft, SDL LiveContent, DocZone, Astoria, Componize and other DITA XML based products. Though these are powerful tools, and represent a significant investment in document and knowledgebase asset management, they have fallen short of their full ability to empower support leaders with insight because they’re typically tasked to publish to static Help 1.0 dead end publishing points like PDFs, CD-ROMs, and HTML.
I’ve just returned from the 2011 Lavacon conference in Austin, TX where I presented "Who Cares About Your Live Content?". The audience at the conference included content strategists, techpubs, elearning and techcomm managers. There were great sponsors present, such as: Adobe TCS, Astoria, SDL LiveContent, IXIAsoft and Madcap Flare.
I’m sharing my deck with you here because I think it’s a great crash course on the real world benefits of help and product content across an entire organization.
Also TechWhirl provided a great overview of my talk.