After years of impartiality, we’ve decided to focus on what we do best: helping people get started. Regardless of your choice of doctype, we know that writers and publishers still need the right tools to be successful. We want to help people learn to take charge of their xml publishing projects.
After the acquisition of Arbortext by PTC, we saw an steady increase of new customers having problems implementing Arbortext based on insufficient information from inexperienced PTC sales staff and reseller-partners.
When I started working with Arbortext products, I was also learning XML, XSLT, publishing, content management, all at the same time. I was lucky enough to have a part-time expert consultant available to me to help get me started. She did the initial print stylesheet development, and taught me as she went. I was learning the technology while learning on a concrete example that, more importantly, was an actual deliverable! None of the training was generic or unrelated to what, eventually, I needed in order to deliver published documents on-time and with high quality print composition.
In addition, I was able to apply the lessons to begin the rest of the multi-channel outputs (3 versions of HTML, Palm Reader, and eReader) and have the expert consultant review my early work, help with hints to better optimize my code and polish my final output, as I took over and she phased out.
The expert was expensive, but we came in far, far under budget with respect to her. Having an expert do intensive training for me (as well as the early authoring staff), on our data, producing product-ready deliverables went a long way to getting me ready to maintain and enhance our publishing environment long-term.
It also got me ready a lot faster than we expected. We kept her on retainer for a period of time after the intensive training period. And we more than got our money’s worth. We were able to control our costs with regard to her: she was never sitting around or doing work that I was destined to do, or doing work that wasn’t a product of her expertise.
It was a system that worked so well, we’ve been doing the same for our customers ever since.
We signed on with PTC as a direct result of hearing customers cry out for expertise that would help them get their staff proficient in the Arbortext products and technology. These were customers with limited budgets, that wanted to keep the work in-house, and grow the necessary expertise with existing staff resources.
We decided that we would answer the call and help customers who wanted what we wanted: working, polished, reusable content that could be published easily and efficiently with staff resources who were capable of making it happen.