SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

January 09, 2008 11:49 ET

Best-in-Class Author Structured, Interactive and Smart Documents to Reach Today's Segmented Audience

84% of Manufacturers Are Publishing Product Documentation in Multiple Formats

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 9, 2008) - A new benchmark report by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks company (NYSE: HHS), titled "Dynamic Publishing" finds that the Best-in-Class are creating customized documentation through single-sourcing environments, making them interactive with 3D data and software emulations and finally integrating them with PLM and data sources to provide only relevant product information.

Manufacturers are being driven to improve how they create custom documentation mainly because of they have reduced documentation schedules (54%) but also through a combination of increasingly segmented customer needs (39%), increasingly customizable products (38%) and demand for precise documentation (34%). Despite these challenges, the Best-in-Class are 50% more likely to hit their publication deadlines while simultaneously hitting targets for their documentation and localization budgets.

Aberdeen's research found that from a technology standpoint 80% of Best-in-Class performers who indicated using content management systems also reported leveraging a formal integration with the authoring application.

Chad Jackson, Research and Service Director for Product Innovation and Engineering at Aberdeen, observes that, "The Best-in-Class are not creating custom documentation through brute force, they're doing it in a smart way by embedding intelligence into the document so it can customize itself on the fly. Furthermore, the Best-in-Class are creating a completely different experience by embedding interactive representations of the product in the documentation."

The report offers the following recommendations for companies to optimize their product documentation processes:

--  Capture and reuse localized and customized content with configuration
    logic embedded in application software
    
--  Integrate documentation applications with Product Data Management
    (PDM) and data sources to automate the creation of massive customized
    documentation
    

The report is made available through the underwriting of Astoria Software and Just Systems. To download a complimentary copy of the report, please visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4360

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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