TWB Position Paper - Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)


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Position Paper on Value of Technical Publications in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

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TWB Position Paper - Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

  1. 1. Position Paper on Value of Technical Publications in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) 1The Writers Block 1
  2. 2. 2The Writers Block 2
  3. 3. Introduction This paper presents the value and need for TWB – Leading Technical Documentation qualitative Technical Publications in companies Outsourcing Company providing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. TWB is a leading technical communication outsourcing company that provides services in Technical publications include a wide variety of technical documentation. material such as Process and Workflow Documentation, User Guides, Online Help, White Papers, Classroom Training Materials, Reference TWB is the ideal choice for leading vendors of ERP Guides, Administration Guides, Standard Operating solutions. TWB helps customers with all their Procedures, Installation Manuals, Web-based technical documentation needs such as user guides, Training Materials, and Product Demos. administration guides, installation manuals, process and workflow documentation, configuration documents and training materials. ERP implementation in an organization results in extensive changes in staff and work practices. These changes necessitate documentation of the TWB works closely with client teams located globally, updated processes and workflows, along with the and assists them in meeting their worldwide product creation of user manuals for the software and its announcements and launch deadlines. TWB’s modules, training material for employees, and documentation services enable customers launch product-specific configuration documents. their products with world-class documentation. Industry analysts predict that every major “Knowledge is people, money, learning, flexibility manufacturing company will purchase and and competitive advantage. Knowledge is more implement the software, with leaders redirecting relevant to sustained business than capital or 50% to 75% of their R&D budgets to e-commerce. labor. And yet knowledge remains the most Further, the rapid growth and evolution of ERP has neglected asset of a business. TWB helps you led to the development of ERP II, which is intended unlock and share your technical knowledge with to help businesses gain a competitive edge. the world.” However, despite the rapidly increasing popularity of ERP solutions, the complexity of the implementation of the software makes quality documentation important to both the vendors of ERP solutions and those organizations that purchase them. The documentation needs to be simple and comprehensible to end users, which necessitates the involvement of Technical Documentation Specialists in the creation of these documents. In this paper we will discuss the importance of technical publications to ERP, to facilitate the growth, implementation and evolution of ERP solutions. “TWB believes that the technology cannot exist without being communicated effectively.”The Writers Block 1 1
  4. 4. ERP Industry – Technical Publications Growth and Penetration of ERP in India Challenges and Solutions ERP software in India was originally treated as support software and used for back office functions. Some of the greatest documentation challenges As companies began to understand the diverse that most companies face today include: applications of ERP, it was shifted from maintenance of back office functions to the whole of the company.  Timely availability of quality documents during product release  Cost cutting in a multi-vendor business Asia-Pacific environment  Managing large volumes of documentation for 15.10% new products releases Projected CAGR 12.40% Asia-Pacific An enterprise system is implemented to develop a business or make it more effective. This is a large investment, and with competition increases and 10.10% lower profit margins, keeping implementation costs low is important. 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Year Up to 80% of the total cost for an ERP system is connected to maintenance activities. A major factor that affects the maintenance of the system, positively or negatively, is the quality of “The Indian ERP market experienced CAGR documentation. If the documentation is not (compounded annual growth rate) of 25.2 during satisfying, it needs to be restructured, which leads the period of 2004 – 2009. The market was $83 to a sizeable increase in maintenance effort and million in 2004 and is projected to be over $250 total costs. TWB provides documentation with million in 2009, according to a research report.” professional quality. Further, ERP systems are standardized systems, Growth and Penetration of ERP Globally which often need modifications to suit the requirements of a specific organization. It is essential for the documentation to be updated The first marked increase in the ERP market was in accurately and effectively, to reflect the changes 2004. The 14% increase made ERP a USD 23.6 made after customization. billion business. Benefits The total revenue increased to over USD 28 billion by the end of 2006. It is of note that ERP license revenue increased by 18% in 2006, For a leading vendor of ERP systems, association according to AMR Research Inc.’s ERP Market with TWB has benefited them immensely in saving Sizing Report 2006-2011. costs and producing professional documentation along with services such as: “Overall, this is the healthiest the ERP and  Transferring complex technical data into easily enterprise applications market has been since the 1990s.” Jim Shepherd, Vice President, AMR. understandable language  Protecting technical and commercial data of newly developed products The ERP license revenue increased markedly in  Managing knowledge management and content 2007, growing to 19%. The sale of ERP packages management solutions, single sourcing, and remained stable to small, medium, and large data migration. businesses alike.The Writers Block 2 2
  5. 5. Value of Technical Publications Technical Communication for Communication for Different Levels of Transferring Product Knowledge Technical and Product Knowledge The purpose of technical communication is to transfer In technical publications, audience is the focal product knowledge to end users in a comprehensible point. Hence, the style, language, and content must manner. The strategies of communication and levels vary depending on the type of audience being of information vary depending on the type of product addressed. It is because every user has a specific and audience. role in the implementation and usage of the technology. Therefore, it is important that documents be created keeping in mind the role of Providing end users with information about a the person who will use the document. product’s operation and maintenance is critical to the market performance of the product. Hence, the need for quality documentation is imperative. For example, when you document a software application designed for highly technical users, it is sufficient to provide the users with quick reference In today’s business scenario, technical publications information to use the application. are often developed as an afterthought. This usually results in inaccurate and incomprehensible documentation, which, in turn, renders the users For users who start without technical or product incapable of using the products. knowledge, it is important to provide detailed product information along with instructions on how to use the product. Accurate, readily understandable, and quality documents determine how a product sells in the market and result in increased customer satisfaction. Attractive Publications as Useful Marketing Tools Faulty Assumptions that Result in Problems in Documentation Besides transferring knowledge, technical publications are also used for marketing a product. The faulty assumptions listed below result in Before a product is released in the market, incomprehensible document: information about the product needs to be effectively communicated to the customers.  Developers know their products better than anyone else – due to time constraints and limited Well-designed, accurately presented, and attractive resources, many companies assign their marketing collaterals increase the market prospects documentation tasks to the programmers. This of a product and reduce support costs. more often results in the creation of technology- centered information, while end users require task-oriented information.  Documentation of complex applications requires a longer learning curve for the writer - learning the product will not be a major obstacle for writers with the right technical background.The Writers Block 3 3
  6. 6. Conclusion  The Importance of ERP: An ERP system provides support by combining different internal and external organizational functions. These systems are often customized to meet the specific needs of specific organizations. Documentation in an ERP project serves two functions: first, to specify the changes that have been made to the standard ERP package; and second, to help the users operate the system. Good documentation is clear, easy to read and simple to understand. It helps users operate and maintain systems with ease. Good documentation allows the ERP system itself to be used effectively to enhance the business and its processes.  Value of Technical Publications: Technical Publications are very essential for transferring product knowledge to end users. Provisioning of proper material to use the technology and products enables the user to accept and efficiently use the product. Faulty assumptions about documentation lead to inaccurate and hard-to-understand material. This also decreases the chances of marketing the products in the global market.  Role of Documentation Outsourcing: The complexity involved in implementing an ERP system requires that vendors and purchasers consider outsourcing their documentation needs to well-established Technical Publications Solutions providers. This helps the company cut costs and at the same time deliver their products with quality documents.The Writers Block 4 4
  7. 7. TWB Services TWB is India’s leader in technical communication outsourcing and education. TWB offers a complete suite of services that allows our customers to effectively publish their technical knowledge with their people and processes. TWB’s customers range from Global 500 – including Cisco, Accenture, McAfee, LG, Samsung, Citrix, SAP, Siemens, AOL, Intel; Indian technology majors – including Infosys, Wipro; Global defense majors - Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, DRDO, HAL; and exciting technology startups. TWBs expertise in technical communication ranges from IT Products and Outsourcing, ITES, Banking, Financial, Aerospace, Defense, Ship Building to Hi-tech Manufacturing, and Discrete and Process Manufacturing. TWB’s services include: Technical Marketing Technical Product Documentation Quality Solutions Documentation Management  Datasheets  Administrator’s Guide  Datasheets  Copy Editing and Proof Reading  API Document  Cheat sheets  Managing Writing  Configuration Guide  Solution Briefs/Solution Brochures  Editing Services  Functional Specifications Document  Presentations –  Layout and Design Products/Corporate Profile  Installation Manual  Creating SLAs  Brochures and marketing collateral  Interface Document  Web content  Interactive Electronic Technical Business Documentation Manual (IETM)  Audio and video scripts  Maintenance Manual  Business Proposals  Press releases  Online Help  Legal Disclaimers  Direct mail  Operation Manual  Policy Manuals  Newsletter design copy  Product Demo  Style Guide Design  Sales catalogues  Product Specifications Document  Template Design  Sales sheets  Product Overview Document  Quick Reference Guide Business Communication Content Management  Release Notes  Short Reports  Requirement Analysis Document  Single Sourcing  Proposals  SDK Document  File Version Control  Case Studies  Troubleshooting Manual  Document Naming Conventions  Lab Reports  User Manual  Consistent Document Formatting  Memos  Open Source Documentation  Data Transformation  Progress/Interim Reports  Programmers Guides  Writing for Electronic Media  Functional Specifications Document  Use Cases Web site Development Illustrations  Online Help /Context Sensitive Help  Web 2.0 development  Troubleshooting Guides  Graphic Designing  Web content   Info graphics  Web applications Qualitative Analytics for  2D & 3D animation Decision Support Translation and Localization  Line drawings and illustrations Services  Economic Business Research Process Documentation  Industry Analysis  Software Translation Services  Workflows  Market Opportunity Analysis  Document Translation Services  Standard Operating Procedures  Competitive Business Analysis  Localization (L10N) Testing  ISO Documentation  Company & Prospect Profiling  Internationalization (I18N) Testing  CMM Documentation  Reporting Solutions  Assessment of Unmet Market Needs Records Management Deployment and Support  Status and Potential of Technologies  Document Management Solutions  Benchmarking of Strategies Vs  Record Management Storage and  Installation and Configuration Competition Retrieval Guides  Forecasting  Operations Manual  Sales Force Effectiveness  Market Assessments  Competitive Intelligence  Opinion Leadership  Emerging Markets - evaluation and researchThe Writers Block 5 5
  8. 8. TWB Software Tools Expertise Our technical proficiency in software and authoring tools includes: Unstructured Content XML Structured Editors Multimedia/Authoring Development  Epic  Adobe Flash®  Microsoft Word®  FrameMaker+SGML  Adobe Dreamweaver®  Adobe FrameMaker®  X-Metal®  Microsoft FrontPage®  Adobe InDesign®  Adobe Captivate®  QuarkXPress® Macromedia Captivate  Adobe PageMaker® Graphics/Animations  Multimedia/Authoring/ Illustrations  Adobe Flash® Supporting tools  Adobe Photoshop®  Adobe Flash CS4 Professional  Adobe Fireworks®  Adobe Flash®  Adobe Illustrator CS3  Adobe Flex®  CorelDRAW Online Help  Adobe AIR®  Microsoft-Expression Graphic  Adobe Dreamweaver® Designer  Adobe Acrobat®  Xara Xtreme (Windows & Linux)  JavaHelp  Microsoft Silverlight®  CuteDraw  Adobe RoboHelp 7.0  Adobe Authorware®  Publisher3D(for animation)  HelpScribble  Adobe Director®  Sketsa SVG Editor (for vector  WebWorks Publisher  Adobe Captivate® graphics)  PowerCHM  Trivantis Lectora®  Techsmith Camtasia  Doc-To-Help  ASP.NET  Arbortext IsoDraw (technical  WinCHM  JSP illustrations for 2D and 3D)  HelpSmith 2.1.1(Windows)  JAVA  Fast-Help  MadCap Flare Standards Graphics/Animation  Help-Server  NVU Help  SCORM 1.2 / 2004  Adobe Flash®  AICC XML  Adobe Photoshop®  W3C  Adobe Illustrator®  Section 508  Adobe Fireworks®  XMetal®  QTI XML  Microsoft Silverlight®  Microsoft Word 2003®,  Microsoft Word 2007® Databases Development and Publishing tools CMS/ LMS  Microsoft Access  XSLT/XSL  Microsoft SQL Server  EDD  Sharepoint®  Moodle Flowcharting  Joomla,  WordPress  Microsoft Visio  Media Wiki  iGrafx  CMS Builder  EDraw  Author-it (formerly AuthorIT)  RFFlow  Alfresco  Flowbreeze  Smart DrawThe Writers Block 6 6
  9. 9. Industries Served TWB services a wide range of technology and knowledge-driven industries, helping them meet their markets better. These include:  Banking, Insurance and Financial Services  ITES/ KPO/ BPO  Consulting and Business Services  Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology  Defense, Aerospace and Hi-Tech Manufacturing  Process Manufacturing and Allied Industries  Education and Learning  Steel, Ship Building, Construction and Aviation  IT, ITES  Telecom and Digital Communications TWB has been the preferred technical documentation outsourcing company for: The TWB Building US Office: No: 4062, 19th Main Road, TWB HAL 2nd Stage, 11701 Norwegian Wood Drive Bangalore – 560008 Austin, TX 78758 India. Landmark: Behind Carlton Towers Telephone: Telephone: +91.80.40741400 / +1.512.586.8357 +91.80.41256367 Corporate Enquiries: corp@twb.inThe Writers Block 7 7