Beware the "Independent" Consultant Who Wants to Build You a Content Management System

Posted by Barry Bealer on Jun 24, 2015 8:12:00 AM

Beware the "Independent" ConsultantIt all seems like the logical next step. Hire the independent consultant who has been analyzing your business requirements for several months to build your next content management system. Who better to lead your organization to the CMS promise land? It doesn’t matter that building software is not their expertise, nor does it matter that they don't actually have a development staff. You like the leader, the onsite business analyst is strong, and you’ve had a great working relationship for a long time. This rosy picture plays out more often than one would think. There is no ill will or deceitful practice, it’s just a natural progression of a business relationship. But over the years we have found many pitfalls with this approach:

  1. Staff it and they will build ...something: If the consultant is truly “independent", they will have no interest in building a software solution. However, if they feel they can build the solution because they are leaving money on the table, they cobble together a development team made up of independent contractors and possibly partner with a small development firm that allows them to act like a general contractor, but none of the project team is an employee. This loosely organized tech team may not have the appropriate skill or bandwidth to complete the project, nor have many of them ever worked together before and they each may have different approaches and methodologies to develop the software.
  2. Analyzing and building are two different things: This is the "no duh" statement but often overlooked.  Just because a consultant can analyze and document business and technical requirements does not mean they have the vision or skill to build a solution that meets requirements. Think architect versus carpenter. Building a custom solution can get very messy very quickly and unless the consultant has the software development discipline (i.e., Agile experience), requirements will go unmet, shortcuts will be taken, and I venture to guess the schedule will be missed.
  3. Where is the “independence”?: Having an independent consultant bring together and lead the development team to build a solution is a lot like asking a lawyer to pick the judge they want for their trial. Of course the lawyer will pick the judge who sides with them more often. The same is true for a consultant who brings in a development team. It’s a biased situation. No one is really creating the checks and balances to hold the development team accountable. If the consultant remained independent, there would be a separation of church and state and a better likelihood that the project would succeed.
The observations above are all situations that we have encountered over the past 15 years since we started RSI Content Solutions. This is not to say that some independent consultants can’t pull off a software development project, but in our experience these projects usually don’t end well. How do we know this? RSI was once the “independent” consultant who one day was asked to build out a CMS. It felt so right, but quickly we learned we needed to operate differently and we did struggle. We eventually got it right, but it was a lesson from over 10 years ago that we still remember. Our suggestion is to make sure you keep your “independent” consultant truly independent and let the software solutions up to the people who do it every day.

Topics: best practices, CMS project, Barry Bealer

DocZone Unveils New User Interface at STC Technical Communication Summit

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Jun 22, 2015 7:55:00 AM

STC-email-blast-banner

DocZone, a component content management system for technical publications, unveiled their new user interface at booth 316 the STC Technical Communication Summit in Columbus, OH. This latest version of DocZone provides an entirely new user experience through an intuitive user interface that minimizes actions required to store, search, tag and reuse content while allowing users to quickly and efficiently publish their technical documents to multiple formats and languages.

“DocZone has been a trusted industry leader for over 10 years,” stated Marty Wetzel, Director, Global Account Management at RSI Content Solutions, the makers of DocZone. “This new interface gives DocZone a fresh and modern look that I’m sure our clients and prospects will appreciate.”

“We chose the STC Technical Communication Summit as our launching pad for the new interface because we see this conference as one of the marquee events in the technical publishing space,” continued Wetzel.  “We are excited for the opportunity to demo DocZone at the conference and expect a great turnout at the event.”

For fifteen years, RSI Content Solutions has been a trusted content management solutions provider for both traditional and technical publishers alike. Learn how organizations with technical publishing needs like Citrix, Epson, ITT, Cummins, Kyocera, and many others use DocZone at www.doczone.com.  

Topics: DocZone, #stc15, STC, Society for Technical Communication

RSuite Sponsors MarkLogic World NY | Free Registration!

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Jun 16, 2015 9:30:48 AM

MLWNYC

Topics: RSuite, MLW2015

See the NEW DocZone UI at STC | June 22-24

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Jun 12, 2015 8:55:15 AM

DocZone_at_STC

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Topics: DocZone, #stc15, STC, Society for Technical Communication

User Conference | Familiar Faces

Posted by Lisa Bos on May 5, 2015 10:19:02 AM

Karen McLean, IEEE, Publishing Technologies
Ken Rawson, IEEE, Publishing Technologies

The 2015 RSuite User Conference is off and running!

Welcome to all and thank you again to our customers who are attending and speaking this week. I can't wait to hear from The World Bank, HarperCollins, and Human Kinetics, and, of course, from our friend Matt Turner of MarkLogic.

Also, a special thank you to our sponsors:

  • MarkLogic
  • Access Innovations
  • EContent
  • Temis

The RSuite User Conference is one of my favorite annual events. One big reason is the opportunity to see colleagues, customers, and partners from around the globe.

Here are a few familiar faces from our day 1 breakfast reception.

 

Robert Smilowitz, RSI Content Solutions

Kristen Humphrey, Artlin Consulting, LLC

Michael Fishkow, RSI Content Solutions
Steven Calderwood, Human Kinetics

Paul Mastorides, AIP Publishing

David King, Thomson Reuters
Raghuram Ponnaganti, Thomson Reuters

Katelyn Gorbey, RSI Content Solutions
Sarah Silveri, RSI Content Solutions

Debbie Eicholtz, HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Paul Eisenberg, RSI Content Solutions

 

Topics: #RSuiteUC15

RSuite User Conference | MarkLogic Keynote

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Apr 29, 2015 3:24:00 PM

Change is in the air and publishers are taking new approaches to creating products, finding new ways to reach customers and, behind it all, adopting new ways to think about and manage data.

Register for the RSuite User Conference now.

Closing RSuite User Conference keynote speaker, Matt Turner, CTO of Media and Publishing at MarkLogic, will share his experiences working with publishers tackling the tough problems facing publishers and information providers when he presents "Revolution Across the Information Industries".  Innovation, adding context to applications and working with data to capture the big picture are all on the menu and it all adds up to an important moment in publishing and a real revolution in the information industries!


Register for the RSuite User Conference now. As a reminder, only 3 spots remain for RSuite User Conference Tech Day which will provide attendees with a look under the covers at the technologies used to create RSuite solutions along with insights and information needed for clients to understand what's possible and begin to take ownership for development of their system by beginning to develop enhancements and extensions internally on their own.


 

Topics: MarkLogic, #RSuiteUC15, #Keynote

RSuite User Conference | Two Weeks Away!

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Apr 24, 2015 10:41:00 AM

Email sponsor headers

Can you believe it? There's less than two weeks remaining until this year's RSuite User Conference on Tuesday, May 5th (Cinco de Mayo)! Are you registered?!

If so, you'll attend three RSuite client case studies:

  • The World Bank. This case study highlights one of RSuite's newest clients who has been in production using RSuite for just under a year.
  • HarperCollins Publishers: This case study highlights HarperCollins Publishers who has been in production using RSuite for over a year.
  • Human Kinetics: This case study highlights Human Kinetics who who has been in production using RSuite for over three years.

You'll also have the chance to attend breakout sessions such as:

  • Product Management Fireside chat
  • Dashboard and Reporting
  • DITA features

Learn more about the future of RSuite, client case studies, and product demonstrations on the RSuite User Conference registration page. Also, in addition to the user conference, Wednesday, May 6th will be reserved as a technical training day.


RSuite CMS is powered by 
RSuite CMS is powered by MarkLogic

Topics: HarperCollins Publishers, #RSuiteUC15, Human Kinetics, The World Bank

RSuite User Conference | Official Agenda Announced!

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Apr 16, 2015 12:04:00 PM

Register now!

2015 #RSuiteUC Sponsors

RSI is pleased to announce the official agenda for this year's RSuite User Conference on Tuesday, May 5th (Cinco de Mayo!). On May 5th, you'll attend three RSuite client case studies:

  • New client: Highlighting a client who has been in production using RSuite between 6 and 12 months.
  • In-Production client:  Highlighting a client who has been in production using RSuite for over a year.
  • Long-time client: Highlighting a client who has been in production using RSuite for over three years.

You'll also have the chance to attend breakout sessions such as:

  • Product Management Fireside chat
  • Dashboard and Reporting
  • DITA features

Learn more about the future of RSuite, client case studies, and product demonstrations on the RSuite User Conference registration page. In addition to the user conference, Wednesday, May 6th will be reserved as a technical training day and only 5 spots remain! 

A huge thank you to our sponsors, MarkLogic, Access Innovations, Inc., TEMIS, and EContent.


RSuite CMS is powered by 
RSuite CMS is powered by MarkLogic

Topics: RSuite User Conference 2015, Agenda Announcement

RSuite User Conference 2015 | Publishing Automated

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Apr 2, 2015 9:05:00 AM

RSuite User Conference 2015 | Register now

RSI Content Solutions is pleased to announce the return of the RSuite User Conference on Tuesday, May 5th (Cinco de Mayo!).

During the RSuite User Conference, you'll see publishing automated through:

  • Customer presentations
  • Product roadmap
  • New feature reveals
  • and more!
RSuite is Multi-channel publishing

Tuesday, May 5th will be a day for the RSuite community to come together to listen, learn, and participate in shaping the future of RSuite. In addition to the user conference, Wednesday, May 6th will be reserved as a technical training day and is limited to the first 25 registrants.

Please reserve Tuesday, May 5th on your calendar to join RSI and your fellow RSuite Community members in Philadelphia at The Hub Cira Centre and see why customers say that RSuite reduced their production time for their flagship product from 12 weeks to 4 days. Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

MarkLogic is the exclusive gold sponsor of the RSuite User Conference.

RSuite CMS is powered by MarkLogic

Topics: RSuite, RSuite User Conference, #RSuiteUC15

Congratulations to Steve Quirke for Winning Philadelphia SmartCEO's Executive Management Award!

Posted by Sarah Silveri on Apr 1, 2015 8:59:00 AM

Steve Quirke | Executive Management AwardCongratulations to Steve Quirke, V.P. of Operations at RSI for winning the Philadephia SmartCEO's Executive Management Award! More than 300 C-level attendees gathered to celebrate 40 Executive Management Award winners in Philadelphia's Crystal Tea Room last Thursday, March 26th.

Philadelphia SmartCEO recognized this year’s Executive Management Award winners at a cocktail reception and awards ceremony on Thursday, March 26 at the Crystal Tea Room. Forty Greater Philadelphia executives were recognized for their creative management vision, leadership philosophy, innovative strategy and undeniable work ethic. The 2015 Executive Management Award winners collectively generate more than $42 billion in annual revenue and employ over 60,000 individuals in Greater Philadelphia.

“All too often, senior leaders in an organization become unsung heroes. This is why SmartCEO designed the Executive Management Awards. The 2015 Executive Management Award winners are not only leading their companies and co-workers to achieve great things but they are also making huge contributions to their communities,” says Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, President of SmartCEO Events. “We are honored to recognize each of these individuals and celebrate their accomplishments.”

More than 300 executives, friends and family attended the business cocktail event to celebrate the winners and their achievements. The evening kicked off with a cocktail hour and high-level networking. The awards ceremony opened with high-energy music and a video presentation welcomed each award winner to the stage as they were applauded for their impressive achievements.

Topics: RSI, Executive Management Award, Steve Quirke, Smart CEO