System Helps Global IT Company Cut Product Cycle Times
Global IT companies measure product lifecycles by weeks and months, not years. The faster a new product or upgrade reaches the marketplace, the greater the revenue potential. In this race for advantage, any company that can improve its time-to-market stands a good chance of leaving its competitors in the dust.
One global IT giant – which delivers products to consumers in 170 countries – sought an edge by streamlining the process required to customize product documentation for those countries.
The company cannot ship products without the accompanying installation manuals, legal disclosures and other related documents, and translating and publishing that material in 35 languages became time-consuming and labor-intensive. While the company refused to let this localization process delay a product launch, the constant pressure of tight deadlines often forced the technical publications team to log heroic efforts, working nights and weekends, and incurring additional overtime and production costs.
Because this global enterprise launches dozens of products each year, the documentation requirements threatened to overwhelm the technical team. Corporate cost-cutting meant that adding more staff was not an option. To ease the strain and keep a lid on costs, the IT company turned to Innodata Isogen to help streamline the process.
With our extensive experience in working with multiple languages and single source publishing systems, Innodata Isogen swiftly assembled a team of localization experts to help the company convert its documents and style sheets into one master template that could be automatically updated for each of the 35 languages.
After the initial business requirements analysis, the Innodata Isogen project team hit the ground running, setting-up the workflow functionality and identifying the appropriate publishing tools. A key step was finding the tools that would enable the team to build a standards-based infrastructure that could support the reuse of information. The team aimed to create one master document that could be used as a source template, rather than crafting a different style sheet to accommodate 35 languages.
To that end, the team revamped an XML-based content management system that would support the reuse of content, ensure version control, validate links and provide advanced search capabilities. Once the workflow was in place, the team began configuring the English language XML environment. The team then configured both the multilingual content and process with a localization vendor.
This proved to be a challenge. The team had to find a publishing tool that could support Arabic, Thai and Hebrew, in addition to the other languages. They also had to create a style sheet that would account for the nuances of particular languages, like Thai, which doesn’t have spaces between words. This made the task of inserting HTML tags particularly difficult.
Despite these challenges, the team finished the multi-lingual publishing system in accordance with the client’s deadlines. Since then, Innodata Isogen has created a database of all target language documents, which can be updated from a single source, to ensure that the technical publications team always has the latest data available for future releases.
By standardizing a people-intensive, time-consuming and paper-driven process, the project is driving significant cost savings for the company. Another benefit is greater flexibility for future operations. The technical team can now handle an increasing workload with the same staff, no longer burdened by rigid deadlines and the need to perform redundant work.
This additional flexibility is also improving time-to-market for new product launches. The company now has the advantage, because it doesn’t take as long to prepare the necessary documentation. This will drive top-line revenue growth for the company and help to increase its market share and ultimately generate higher profits.