reasons for online -Reply

Subject: reasons for online -Reply
From: Lisa Baker <LISAB -at- WORDPERFECT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 1994 11:50:16 -0700

I know that saving money was the motivation at one company I worked for. The
tech pubs
department was seen as a money spender, not a money earner. So how best to cut
costs? Put the cost burden of access to documentation on the customer. Just
give them
one manual and let them print out anything else as they needed it from online.

Is that common? By providing online docs are we meeting the customer's needs?
This discussion comes up on a regular basis...and I recall the same thing at IBM
who at
the time realized they were the largest publisher in the US and thought they
ought to get out
of the paper business. What eventually has happened to the corporate mandate of
"everything online" in my experience so far, is they realize they won't save any
money if they
lose customers over it. So we are continually cutting page count and beefing up
assistance, whether it be throught the help file or by helping the interface
communicate better. I think this process will continue in the near-term as the
gets better and as paper costs increase.

I am very interested in reducing package costs and saving the company
money--that only
serves in my best interests as well. But we certainly have to fulfill the
user's needs while
we do it, or we lose our savings with our lost customers.

And, we need to start thinking about how the technical communicators "product"
provide a market reason to purchase the product, and not just add to the cost
burden of
Lisa Baker lisab -at- wordperfect -dot- com
Master Technical Writer - WordPerfect, Novell Applications Group
; A child's face can say it all. ;
; Especially the mouth part of the face. ;

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