Taking Our Information Assets to the Next Level: Kyocera Case Study May 8, 2008
In this presentation, you will learn <ul><ul><li>How a small group of technical communicators is re-engineering its inform...
Some Background <ul><ul><li>Kyocera is an $11B company built around ceramic technology with a strong emphasis on building ...
A Global Company Kyocera Mita's largest market is in Europe, followed by North America and Japan
Kyocera Mita Products Monochrome Printers  Monochrome Copiers/MFPs Color MFPs
Many Product Configurations An important consideration in copier and printer selection is speed and volume
Many Software Formats and Languages We support a growing number of software platforms and languages
So… <ul><ul><li>The number and complexity of our products and platforms has been growing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both ...
Backing Up About Two Years… <ul><ul><li>The Technical Communication Manager recognized our customers’ need for flexible, c...
A Chronology: The Training Process <ul><ul><li>The Silicon Valley DITA Users Group: regular attendance at these monthly me...
A Chronology: Analysis> Conversion> Training> CMS Is Turned  On <ul><ul><li>Our vendor conducted a document analysis sessi...
Where We Are Now: Writing DITA Topics in the CMS <ul><ul><li>The Technical Communication team holds weekly DITA authoring ...
Where We Are Now: Some Unforeseen Side Effects <ul><ul><li>Since the CMS tracks every version of each DITA topic, there is...
Where We Are Headed <ul><ul><li>We will support the full set of translated languages and locales to meet our customers’ ne...
Where to get Help: Valuable Resources  <ul><ul><li>SVDIG (Silicon Valley DITA Interest Group) and the members, presenters ...
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Taking Our Information Assets to the Next Level: Kyocera Case Study

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Presented by Ann Adams at Documentation and Training West, May 6-9, 2009 in Vancouver, BC

Kyocera Technology Development produces software for printer drivers and networked device management. The technical communicators are responsible for creating user assistance and system administration manuals. We also edit UI strings and hardware messages and manage translation for 23 languages. Our information assets contain many common elements, but they were difficult to manage without a single-sourcing strategy. Consequently, we created and translated similar or even identical phrases and sentences over the years.

We recognized that if we could manage these assets efficiently that this would dramatically reduce translation costs and free us to create new and richer content that would better support our customers. The foundational strategies that we agreed upon up-front were writing in DITA topics, manging those topics in a content management system, tight integration with a translation tool set and implementing a hosted solution (Software-as-a-Service). To accomplish this, we have implemented an automated end-to-end authoring, reviewing, publishing and translating solution. We looked at every aspect of our group’s output. The result was a radical overhaul of our processes that affected not only the tech comm group, but everyone with whom we interact. Software developers and QA, translation vendors and in-country reviewers and company personnel at our manufacturing facility in Japan can now all connect to our system and work with our data in real-time. The variety of users and the many possibilities the system has opened up is leading us into new territories, as we train and support this varied constituency. This presentation describes how authoring in DITA topics and managing those topics in a content management system has contained translation costs while improving overall information quality.

Since we enjoyed benefit from others’ experience and stories, a recounting of what worked well (and not so well) as we implemented our system can help those who are contemplating a similar move.

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Taking Our Information Assets to the Next Level: Kyocera Case Study

  1. 1. Taking Our Information Assets to the Next Level: Kyocera Case Study May 8, 2008
  2. 2. In this presentation, you will learn <ul><ul><li>How a small group of technical communicators is re-engineering its information development methods and output </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What prompted the change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where DITA and a CMS fit into our strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we prepared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where we are in the process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlights of our experience so far </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How we see the short and long term future playing out </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Some Background <ul><ul><li>Kyocera is an $11B company built around ceramic technology with a strong emphasis on building products that are environmentally-friendly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kyocera Mita is the printer and copier division of Kyocera, contributing $2.5B to corporate revenue. Ceramics in the drum and the toner result in long life and low TCO. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kyocera Technology Division is a group of approximately 80 developers creating driver and utility software for Kyocera’s printer business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KTD’s Technical Communication group supports the printer software developers with user assistance, user guides and localization coordination. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. A Global Company Kyocera Mita's largest market is in Europe, followed by North America and Japan
  5. 5. Kyocera Mita Products Monochrome Printers Monochrome Copiers/MFPs Color MFPs
  6. 6. Many Product Configurations An important consideration in copier and printer selection is speed and volume
  7. 7. Many Software Formats and Languages We support a growing number of software platforms and languages
  8. 8. So… <ul><ul><li>The number and complexity of our products and platforms has been growing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both trends will continue: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The number of supported platforms continues to expand, for example, 64-bit PCs, Mac OS X and beyond, embedded systems, more flavors of UNIX. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New output format. XPS is a major change for the entire industry. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More target languages for software under development. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Backing Up About Two Years… <ul><ul><li>The Technical Communication Manager recognized our customers’ need for flexible, configurable user assistance that could be produced in an agile fashion. He came to the conclusion that the only way to accomplish this was to adopt a single-source strategy. Further investigation convinced him that the key would be topic-based writing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>With the strong support of management behind him, he hired a new employee with experience in content management and structured authoring, but not DITA. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The technical writers on staff started reading and discussing the new concepts and how to implement the change. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. A Chronology: The Training Process <ul><ul><li>The Silicon Valley DITA Users Group: regular attendance at these monthly meetings was key to what followed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Technical Communication group met weekly to watch a training video on XML. This provided background on the concepts upon which DITA is based. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We held a three-day DITA training from the authors of the Open Toolkit User Guide. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We attended a STC Writing Workshop. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. A Chronology: Analysis> Conversion> Training> CMS Is Turned On <ul><ul><li>Our vendor conducted a document analysis session with us. We selected two forms of Help and one User Guide to analyze. The Help analysis was very straightforward, the User Guide analysis a bit more challenging. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The user guide conversion to DITA was simplified by the fact that the vendor flattened the variety of topic support to a single type. The many possibilities for tag use and formatting has led to a number of adjustments as we go along. For the Help conversion, we easily achieved equivalent output. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Before implementation, the vendor returned and gave us two days of training on the system. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The content management system was loaded with the converted data. Later, the translation memories were added. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We were ready to go… </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Where We Are Now: Writing DITA Topics in the CMS <ul><ul><li>The Technical Communication team holds weekly DITA authoring meetings. We address authoring issues, and expand upon our authoring guidelines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We hold weekly status meetings with the vendor. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are authoring a new User Guide with a DITA format. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are using the CMS workflow to review one another’s work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are testing our translation tools and will translate our User Guide once the authoring finishes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are working to format our terminology databases in the CMS to more easily synchronize them with the terminology used by the hardware engineers in Japan. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Where We Are Now: Some Unforeseen Side Effects <ul><ul><li>Since the CMS tracks every version of each DITA topic, there is high visibility as to just how many times each writer had to go back ad correct a typo or add a tag. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is challenging for authors to estimate how close they are to completion since the process is so new. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On the other hand, there is much more visibility as to how much content each writer has actually created, since it is all visible to the entire team. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Where We Are Headed <ul><ul><li>We will support the full set of translated languages and locales to meet our customers’ needs. Full integration with authoring will reduce overhead and turn-around time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kyocera will be better prepared to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>expand the language support set. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>support additional forms of output, such as Eclipse-based help or knowledge bases. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>support new types of products, such as published APIs, and services, as well as their incremental updates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>implement “author memory.” Similar to Translation Memory, author memory automates reuse of source content. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Where to get Help: Valuable Resources <ul><ul><li>SVDIG (Silicon Valley DITA Interest Group) and the members, presenters and organizers are very generous with their time and expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The contributors to dita-users on Yahoo Groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other DITA User Groups outside of Silicon Valley. Thanks to Bob Doyle and his recording efforts, many of these local presentations are now online. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Questions?

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