The business case for better tech comm



Sarah O'Keefe discusses how you can improve business results with better technical communication.

Sarah O'Keefe discusses how you can improve business results with better technical communication.



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The business case for better tech comm The business case for better tech comm Presentation Transcript

  • background image flickr: spierzchalaThe business case for better tech comm Sarah O’Keefe (@sarahokeefe) Scriptorium Publishing (@scriptorium)
  • Sarah O’Keefe @sarahokeefe❖ Founder and president, Scriptorium Publishing,❖ Based in North Carolina❖ Coauthor with Alan Pringle of Content Strategy 101 (September 2012!)❖ Interested in collision of content, publishing, and technology
  • Before we begin…❖ Everyone is muted except for the presenter❖ Please ask your questions through the Questions area in the webcast interface❖ The presentation is being recorded; attendees do not appear in the recording
  • Agenda❖ Business case components❖ Typical tech comm business cases ❖ Address legal and regulatory issues ❖ Control cost of tech comm ❖ Improve marketing and product visibility
  • “They’ll never pay for that.” flickr: johnloo
  • They don’t see the value. flickr: jamescronin
  • Justify your approach. flickr: bagsup
  • Business case components❖ Current situation❖ Recommendation❖ Costs❖ Benefits❖ Risk assessment
  • Business case patterns❖ Address legal and regulatory issues❖ Control cost of tech comm❖ Improve marketing and product visibility
  • Legal and regulatory flickr: jdickert
  • Legal and regulatory❖ More efficient compliance❖ Avoid legal complications
  • Control the cost of tech comm❖ Efficient content development❖ Reduce the cost of technical support❖ Content collaboration
  • Myth: Cheap documentation flickr: mjryall
  • Typical problems❖ Content is available only in a single output format (usually PDF)❖ Content is useless: ❖ “In the Name field, type the person’s name.”❖ Content is hard to understand, not available in right languages
  • Cost of bad content❖ High call volume to technical support❖ Product returns; lost sales❖ Regulatory submission delayed or rejected❖ Contradicts marketing❖ Huge globalization costs❖ Content duplication
  • Efficient content development❖ Reuse❖ Formatting and production❖ Localization
  • Reuse flickr: mikecogh
  • Formatting and production flickr: a_cooper
  • Localization flickr: ezioman
  • Scaling your content workflow
  • Reducing the cost of technical support flickr: vitorcastillo
  • Call deflection flickr: billrice
  • Some statistics on technical support❖ 6–20% of revenue (higher number for smaller companies)❖ $6–36 per transaction (lower number if outsourced) Source: Softletter and the Association of Support Professionals,
  • $150,000 $112,500Cost savings (per year) 1% call deflection 2% call deflection $75,000 $37,500 $0 under $5M $5–$10M $10M+ $100M+ Company revenues
  • Obstacles to efficient phone support
  • A troubling pattern flickr: pasukaru76
  • Conflict between tech comm and tech support flickr: jdhancock
  • Content collaboration flickr: smemon
  • Tech comm plus…❖ Technical support❖ Product design and development❖ Training and education❖ Software❖ Online help❖ Product interface labels
  • Collaboration workflow
  • Marketing and product visibility❖ Supporting marketing with technical content❖ Increasing product visibility❖ Building user community
  • flickr: shoppeolinaReinforce the marketing message
  • flickr: bokchoi-snowpea
  • sell-digital-products-from-your-wordpress-blog-securely-1059
  • Increase product visibility flickr: frikitiki
  • Content requirements for product visibility❖ Searchable❖ Findable❖ Discoverable
  • Building user community flickr: roberto8080
  • flickr: tadsonbussey
  • Align tech comm with business flickr: mulmatsherm
  • Business cases❖ The organization’s business goal is A.❖ Tech comm needs to do B to support/ accomplish/improve A.❖ Doing B will cost X and increase revenue/save Y over n years.❖ Y > X.
  • Sample business cases❖❖ 8 case studies❖ Sample cost calculations
  • Content Strategy 101 Transform Technical Content into a Business Asset ❖ Available September 2012 ❖ Currently in final proofreading/production/ panic stages Sarah S. O’Keefe and Alan S. Pringle Foreword by Ann Rockley ❖ Print, EPUB, and Kindle ❖ Or FREE on
  • Upcoming events❖ Content strategy for tech comm webcast with Alan Pringle❖ To DITA or not to DITA webcast with Alyssa Fox and Toni Mantych❖ Lavacon conference (Portland, OR)❖ tekom/tcworld (Germany)❖ Register/more information at
  • Questions?