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Subject: RE: [dita] Business value of DITA

Dear Michael and DITA users,

Here is the perspective from the Content solutions organisation of Nokia. I am including anticipated benefits and benefits realised so far. 

The anticipated benefits are based on the Proof of Concept exercise carried out between 07/03 and 12/03. Realised benefits are based on the current pilot (draft information products already published) and four other Proof of Concept exercises going on with different user domains within the mobile phones part of Nokia.

I have not included benefits which are directly related to modularity and single-sourcing rather than DITA.

Realised benefits:
* Using DITA reduces the effort and time required to add new user domains to the common architecture 

This is important to us, as just like all other large corporations,  we have a number of diverse user groups and a small content solutions organisation to serve them all.

After the major initial effort of specifying and developing our mobile common architecture based on DITA (deciding what to retain from DITA concept, task and reference and so forth), it has been relatively easy and painless to prototype new information types and to add new elements and types to the architecture.

Example: we developed a number of common domains for our mobile environment, which can be applied to different user groups by simply declaring the domains in the DTD.

Example: when we carry out a proof of concept exercise for a user group such as an internal R&D group, we can quickly develop prototype DTDs and demonstrate the impact of joining a modular XML content architecture. We do not have to develop new transformation overrides for new elements as we can use our existing transforms for the demonstration, even though the elements may be new. When making a decision about joining a common effort, managers are very interested to see rapid demonstrations of what the content will be like in practice before committing to moving to modular XML.

Our current experience is that using DITA reduces the time required and makes expansion much easier. Cost savings are estimated to be about 50% when a new user domain joins the common architecture.

* Having a ready made architecture framework and examples of existing implementations speeds up the development process

I have previous experience of developing an XML modular content architecture from scratch in Nokia. The process can take years. After downloading DITA and doing a few days of transformation development work, we were able to output some content to demonstrate what a modular XML service information product might look like. 

Using DITA we could quickly move forward into implementation phase - 6 months from start of exploring DITA to start of first pilot (at least half of the time was required to handle issues relating to content management rather than the content architecture itself). 

Most of the good information design principles to which we aspired are already embodied in DITA and we gained confidence from seeing implementations in IBM and in other companies. DITA offered many improvements compared to the architecture we had developed ourselves (even though there are a lot of basic similarities).

Anticipated benefits:

* Cost and time savings of being able to exchange information with other DITA architectures

Like all big corporations, we provide information delivered by other companies and we also bring into our documentation information from many different partners and original equipment manufacturers. Each time we exchange information, there is a cost in terms of resources, time and effort. We do not yet have any partners to share information with, but we hope that we will be able to provide information in DITA so that it can be output without extra investment and be able to include content from our partners and OEMs with minimum time delay. 

We hope that each DITA user will be able to use their own specialised topic types, yet still be able to generalise and share information (at the cost of some loss of information or extra processing).

* Support for implementation of universal content topics to increase reusability of topics

As we are at the beginning of our reuse quest in mobile phones, we have not yet been able to demonstrate tangible reuse benefits in production, although we have demonstrated it in prototypes. We have been planning how defining linking outside the topics and other DITA-supported features combined with conditional markup and content management system support will enable us to create universal reusable topics. We intend to improve the level of reuse, which we were able to achieve in the modular XML content architecture we developed from scratch in the networks side of the business. Given the volume of information we create and localise, even a slight increase in the percentage of reuse represents a significant saving. 

Michael and other DITA users, I hope this information is helpful. Please tell me if you would like more flesh on the bones. 






-----Original Message-----
From: ext Michael Priestley [mailto:mpriestl@ca.ibm.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 4:39 PM
To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita] Business value of DITA

Looking for a range of perspectives on why you or your organization are
interested in or are using DITA. Actual case studies are great, but
anticipated benefits are worth knowing as well.


Michael Priestley
Dept PRG IBM Canada  phone: 416-915-8262
Toronto Information Development

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