Browsing articles tagged with " outsourcing"

Visual Learning Ecosystems (VLEs) Part 1: The Future of Technical and Marketing Communication

Feb 12, 2018   //   by Barry Saiff   //   Blog  //  2 Comments

We live in an age of rapid technological development. Information is becoming more and more essential and valuable. Content is everywhere, delivered rapidly, via every form of media.

Are you getting exactly the content that you need? How can you tell? Much of the content we consume is curated for us, for example, our Facebook feeds.

Let’s say you want to master a new field of knowledge. Of course, you can use the internet. But, how do you go about it? If you are unfamiliar with the field, you may not be able to distinguish credible information from inaccurate or misleading information. Also, maybe you don’t like reading long passages. Perhaps you prefer to watch short videos, or view content that has graphics and text. The presentation of information greatly affects the quality of the content, and the experience of the user.

What is the answer?

One way to address the needs of learners is something we call a VLE, a Visual Learning Ecosystem. VLEs combine media elements such as animations, videos, graphics, and text to create large sets of educational information, presented to consumers based on their choices and their learning experiences.

VLEs can be incorporated within products, or interface with those products, to provide real-world, practical educational experiences, addressing the short attention spans and visual and auditory preferences of modern consumers. VLEs can facilitate customers through pre-sale or post-sale content, and make possible immersive, interactive, experiential learning journeys, customized based on the consumer’s wants and needs.

Creating VLEs requires a mixture of skills and talents. Experience creating graphics, videos, animation, and films alone is not adequate. VLE teams also need textual content experts such as technical writers, instructional designers, marketing professionals, and various creative, content, and technical professionals. Unique among technical content development companies, Saiff Solutions actually employs all of these types of professionals.

Our reputation for excellent content quality, and our commitment to integrity and outstanding customer service, will allow us to deliver on your vision of interactive educational journeys, and your commitment to creating an exceptional customer experience throughout the sales cycle.

Are you ready to achieve a level of success that leads the world? Contact Saiff Solutions today.

VLEs are the cutting edge of information design, interactive learning, customer service, and marketing. Have you experienced using a VLE, or something close to it? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

This is the first entry in an educational series exploring the power of VLEs. If you haven’t already, subscribe to our newsletter (form above), and receive updates on our latest blog posts, webinars, and other educational events.

Happy New Year!

Jan 10, 2018   //   by Silka Jade De Guzman   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Saiff Solutions, Inc. wishes all of our followers and supporters a Happy New Year and a prosperous and joyous 2018!

Once again, we are sharing with you our year-end/year-start questions. We use these questions every year to support our growth and development. Use them as you see fit, to empower yourself, your organizations, and your loved ones.

Give me my 2018 action plan for success!

 

 

2017 Recap: Saiff Solutions’ Best Year Yet!

Jan 9, 2018   //   by Barry Saiff   //   Blog  //  No Comments

FINAL-BANNER

2017 was an amazing year for Saiff Solutions – our best year yet! Here’s how our year went:

Quality Still Matters

The year started with the biggest project in the six-year history of Saiff Solutions. We provided text and graphics for a vehicle diagnostic and repair software company. To meet the needs of this client, we grew from 11 full-time employees at our office in Tagaytay City, Philippines, to 51 employees in a period of only six weeks. We were able to manage this rapid growth while maintaining excellent quality. This client was not the first that has effusively praised our quality.

By the end of the year, we started projects with three more clients, expanding our scope to marketing content creation and motion graphics – animations, videos, and e-learning modules, while also adding technical writing and technical illustration work.

This growth was only possible because there are companies that still care about content quality. We have found that to many companies, but not all, quality matters. We have our best successes working with clients who care deeply about the quality of their content, and understand that their customers also care.

Our Growing Presence

We were Platinum Sponsors of the largest LavaCon to date. LavaCon, the leading global conference on content strategy and technical communications management, had over 350 participants at their November 5-8 Conference in Portland, Oregon. On November 5, Barry Saiff and Dave Wilks led a 4-hour workshop, Achieving the Extraordinary: Content Development Management Success, with 29 active participants. Later that evening, Saiff Solutions hosted the Speaker Reception for 80 LavaCon speakers, and the Participant Reception for several hundred participants, both at Kells Irish Bar in Portland. These were the best LavaCon parties ever! All week people thanked us for hosting the receptions. The attendees had so much fun that Saiff Solutions has decided to host the LavaCon opening night receptions every year!

On Monday, November 6, Barry led a one-hour session, Content Development Estimates and Proposals: The Groundwork for Success, with over 40 participants. This was a very illuminating discussion. To find out more about our LavaCon experience, read our blog post here.

Saiff Solutions hosted four webinars in the second half of 2017, with hundreds of registrants each month – over 1,500 in all. We’ve covered different aspects of technical documentation, ranging from leadership and management to intrapreneurship and project tracking. Find out more about the webinars here.

Here is a direct quote from someone who took us up on the free phone consultation we offer at the end of each webinar: “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your advice is much appreciated! Thank You!!!”

Would you like some assistance with your content strategy or team challenges? Would you like some ideas on how best to navigate bureaucratic hurdles? Let us know.

6TH Anniversary - version 4-01A Happy Community

Saiff Solutions grew in many ways in 2017. Our community engaged in various activities that enhanced professional development, team effectiveness, and personal well-being.

We conducted a variety of skills trainings with local and international partners. As part of one training, writers created ebook drafts that delved into interviewing SMEs and working in an Agile environment. Weekly grammar trainings helped writers and illustrators brush up on their English skills.

 

In addition to regular trainings in client products and services and the tools and technology of our trade, our training program for 2018 will focus on five areas:

  1. Mathematics, logic, and critical thinking
  2. Graphics: technical illustration, graphic design, animation, and film
  3. English: speaking and listening effectively
  4. English: writing – basics, grammar, and technical writing methodology
  5. Transformation/Change: how to adopt new habits and gain freedom from past limitations to achieve greater effectiveness

Saiff Solutions treasures the bonds between our staff. On May 29, we had an all-day company outing focused on fun, to help us unwind from work and get to know each other in new ways. Then on October 28, we went to Gratchi’s Farm Getaway for a day of team-building activities, to improve our teamwork and discover strengths we didn’t know we had. On December 22, we celebrated our hard work and success in a 70’s-themed year-end party. These activities didn’t just spice up our busy work lives with fun and excitement, they also gave each member of the Saiff Solutions community a sense of growth, fulfillment, and belonging.

Thank you for supporting and believing in us over the last 6 years.

Here’s to an awesome 2018! Happy New Year!


 

We are sharing with you our year-end/year-start questions. We use these questions every year to support our growth and development. Use them as you see fit to empower yourself, your organizations, and your loved ones. Click the link here.

 

Events: Virtual Summit on Advanced Practices in Technical Communication 2016

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December 6-8, 2016

The Content Wrangler is sponsoring The Virtual Summit on Advanced Practices in Technical Communication, a free, three-day event designed especially for technical communication professionals. The event features 12 free one-hour sessions from some of the industry’s best and brightest talents — experts in agile outsourcing, XML authoring, content strategy, content management, translation and localization, intelligent content, plain language, customer experience, and more. Learn more.

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As part of The Virtual Summit, Saiff Solutions, yours truly, is sharing its knowledge on Managing Technical Writing Outsourcing in an Agile Environment on December 8, 2016 at 6pm EST. Register below, it’s free!

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Technical Communications Leaders

Oct 5, 2016   //   by Christian Cahapin   //   Blog, Evaluating Technical Writers, How-To, Managing Technical Writers  //  No Comments

7-habits-of-highly-effective-technical-communications-leaders-banner

You can be an effective leader, regardless of your position. These 7 habits go beyond the basics of developing good content, to answer this question:

As a technical communications leader, at any level, how do you influence the work environment, improve the processes, and educate the people to make continuous improvement possible?

1. Be a Customer Advocate

be-a-customer-advocateWhile you may have less product knowledge than an engineer, you can view the product from a user’s perspective. Share your input and advocate for product and process improvements. Support similar efforts initiated by others. Focus on quality.

2. Advocate for Process Improvementsadvocate-for-process-improvements

Process improvements can benefit everyone on the team, and improve product quality. Can the quality assurance team test the documentation? Can technical writers edit the user interface text and error messages? Can written documentation reviews become a factor in the performance evaluations of all product team members? Would documentation review meetings improve quality?

3. Care About All Customer-visible Content

If you’re only writing the customer documentation, there is a chance that no one with your skills is editing other user-visible content. Even if you cannot edit this content, you can educate others about key technical writing practices. For example – One concept, One term – each word should be used to mean only one thing. This avoids user confusion, and saves translation funds. Another key technical writing practice: short sentences.

4. Be an Effective Intrapreneurbe-an-effective-intrapreneur

Think about how to create change – look before you leap. Understand the who, what, and how of change. Who are the key stakeholders and decision-makers, and what motivates them? What do they care about? How can you best bring them on board? What are their backgrounds – cultural, professional, educational? Start with curiosity. Listen. Discuss. Ask questions.

5. Know Your Audience

know-your-audienceWhat do you know about the users – education levels, roles? How do they use the product and access the documentation? What percentage read the documentation in English? Collaborative efforts with other teams can aid your research. One way to learn more is to conduct a user survey. While gaining approval can be an uphill battle, the insights gained from a well-designed survey can make the effort worthwhile.

6. Promote Appropriate Technical Communications Methodologies Gentlypromote-appropriate-technical-communications-methodologies-gently

Not every organization needs to use the latest methodologies. What worked elsewhere may not work for your team. Bring others along with you – educate and involve engineers, quality assurance personnel, marketers, and product managers in assessing and exploring new methodologies. For example, some organizations can benefit from adopting topic-based authoring, without XML or DITA.

7. Keep Perspective, and De-stress

keep-perspective-and-destressMistakes provide tremendous opportunities for personal and organizational growth, including improved processes, communications, and skills. Accept these moments and make the most of them. Learn from successes and failures. Remember that what is truly irreplaceable is human life. Learn what you need, and what your coworkers need, to reduce and relieve stress.

Consistently practicing these 7 habits will support your development as an effective technical communications leader, continuous process improvement in your organization, harmonious work relationships, and improved content and product quality. Be the change you wish to see.

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Saiff Solutions In The Media

- TechWhirl
- Nominated for 2015 Rice Bowl Asean Start Up

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Testimonials

“After Symantec acquired Brightmail in 2004, Barry played key roles in integrating the information development team and their content into Symantec’s then-developing Unified Content Strategy. Barry [Saiff]’s experience, product and content knowledge, and leadership qualities helped the Brightmail team to become a trailblazer within the company. The processes, tools, and practices they helped to develop for content management are used throughout the company, thanks in large part to Barry’s participation in numerous cross-departmental teams. Barry is a natural leader who can effectively contribute to any endeavor. He has a passion for serving customers that drives him to create and evangelize process improvements and to collaborate effectively with diverse groups and individuals. I would be glad to work with Barry again.”

Alexia Idoura (nee Prendergast)
Senior Manager, Symantec
February 16, 2011

Read more testimonials here.