Cost Savings and Online Help

Subject: Cost Savings and Online Help
From: Elna -dot- Tymes -at- SYNTEX -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 1994 13:45:09 PDT

We all know that the trend is toward increasing dependence on online Help
systems and other related varieties of software documentation stored for use
in something akin to a hypertext environment. The problem is that "we all
know" isn't good enough for number-crunchers who want to see data related
to savings in dollar amounts or hours/days/weeks per user saved because of
a switch from paper docs to online docs, or variations thereon.

I'm now on a mission to collect references to hard-number studies that show
actual savings because of the presence of online Help systems, or online
references. Pointing to the amount of bookshelf space saved because
reference manuals are now on CD-ROM won't work, primarily because many of
the machines in this industry's environment don't have CD-ROM drives.

I have some of my people doing keyword searches for articles/references, but
they haven't found much. One such article turned up in a recent issue of
Proceedings of the Naval Institute (!!) so we KNOW somebody's paying attention
to this topic.

We also know by inference that Microsoft, Apple, and Xerox have probably done
work in this area as a result of things turning up in new product releases.
But where is the hard data that shows cost savings or time savings?

Pointers, please?

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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