Astoria Software and WittyParrot Initiate Quantum Shift in Structured Authoring

The Astoria-WittyParrot integration allows multiple departments to reuse corporate Intellectual Property curated by technical documentation without using XML-based tools

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and CUPERTINO, CA—November 6, 2017 – Astoria Software, a division of TransPerfect, today announced the release of its integration with WittyParrot. The combined product allows non-XML content creators in Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support departments to reuse corporate intellectual property encoded in XML by the Technical Documentation department. The result is an unprecedented level of content sharing that allows the entire organization to speak with one voice without the burden of using a common set of authoring tools. Astoria Software and WittyParrot will showcase the solution, and a customer deploying it, at the LavaCon Conference in Portland, Oregon.

A Quantum Shift in Structured Authoring

Structured Authoring—most commonly associated with authoring in XML—suffers from restricted adoption for one principal reason: it asks all users who wish to be content creators to also be conversant with the bewildering details of XML elements, attributes, cross-document linkages, document-type descriptions, and so on. Companies seeking to surmount this barrier have chosen one of two approaches. The first is to force everyone to use non-XML tooling, which is easier for creators outside of Technical Documentation to understand, but which also sacrifices well-defined content structures and standard content-reuse mechanisms that make content useful and resilient. The second approach is to refactor all content into a lightweight-markup language such as MarkDown, which makes it easy for subject-matter experts to put ideas, concepts, thoughts, and descriptions into written form. The problem with languages like MarkDown is their inability to enforce either a content structure or an in-context reuse that would otherwise optimize information sharing.

The Astoria-WittyParrot integration takes a better approach. It allows creators in the Technical Documentation department to describe an organization’s intellectual property with all of the purposeful structure, rich metadata, and classification taxonomy found in XML-based authoring. Astoria provides all of the tooling and capability for version control, branching, revision, translation, and distribution. Approved content flows from Astoria to WittyParrot, where its seamless integration with Microsoft Office products allows Marketing and Sales users to consume such content within Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Teams, and Outlook. Sales and Customer Support users working in customer-relationship management (CRM) packages such as Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce have a similar experience. Where organizations employ artificial intelligence to drive automated customer-service agents (i.e., “chat bots”), WittyParrot ingests micro-content managed in Astoria to provide content for its “Intelligent Q&A” module. Intelligent Q&A allows users, including an organization’s customers, to make natural-language requests and receive accurate, approved answers automatically.

The result is a quantum shift in the way the Technical Documentation team disseminates corporate intellectual property across the organization and to its customers. Each team uses the tooling best suited to its method of operation, and the content—be it multi-paragraph topics or sentence-level micro-content—retains all of the relationships, metadata, and taxonomy information encoded by the structured-authoring team.

Making the Quantum Shift

Attendees to the the LavaCon Conference in Portland, Oregon, will be able to speak with representatives of an Astoria Software customer that has incorporated the Astoria-WittyParrot integration. As one such representative describes it,

“One of the things we have had to overcome is the challenge of sharing content between departments. The appeal for us is that it allows other departments to use vetted content, content that is accurate for a customer-facing audience, without having the technical skills to author in DITA, and that’s huge for us.”

The documentation team at this company has pushed easily shareable tasks, like those you might find in a frequently-asked-questions list, from Astoria to WittyParrot so that Customer Support and Sales Engineering personnel can reuse that content in Microsoft Outlook and Word. In another project, PowerPoint slides for instructor-led learning will reuse DITA content authored and stored in Astoria. According to another representative of the same company, the benefit is tremendous because, “When you update the DITA material in Astoria, it’s automatically updated in PowerPoint!”

The Astoria Software Market Approach

In describing the transformation afforded by the Astoria-WittyParrot integration, Michael Rosinski, President and CEO of Astoria Software, commented, “The CCMS application vertical is dominated by vendors that focus on XML technology and related standards. Astoria Software is proposing an entirely new approach that allows the widely adopted Microsoft Office application to use content originally authored in XML. This means that content developers trained in Microsoft Office—and that’s millions of people in thousands of organizations—will reap the benefits of rich, structured content without having to learn anything about XML.” Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support organizations are usually shut out from reusing the intellectual property described by the Technical Documentation department. Yet personnel in these first three groups spend far more time talking to customers than any technical writer. Mr. Rosinski observed that, “The focus over the last decade on customer-relationship management can now be leveraged with WittyParrot. Sales and Marketing teams building customer-specific content can reuse the highly valuable content in Astoria, thereby increasing the return on investment made in CRM and technical documentation.”

Speaking with One Voice

Organizations of all sizes face too many barriers when trying to find and reuse approved, accurate descriptions of intellectual property. Intranet portals and CRM tools offer some relief when such descriptions are otherwise trapped within documents or scattered across repositories and local drives. However, these systems still require users to sift through search results; and, in large organizations with lots of portals and CRM systems, users cannot be certain that the results are showing approved, accurate content. Anil Jwalanna, Founder and CEO of WittyParrot, explains, “WittyParrot collates the information you want to share with customers into a single knowledge-automation, collaboration, and communication platform.” The WittyParrot solution makes accessing information easy. Through its built-in “bot” engine or with a few clicks in its user-interface, users bypass complex portal navigation to discover, classify, assemble, deliver and track all the content needed to communicate quickly and accurately with customers. As Mr. Jwalanna puts it, “WittyParrot centralizes the approved versions of all your messaging and best-practices communication, enabling your entire organization to speak with one voice.”

About Astoria Software

Astoria Software is the world’s most successful Enterprise solution for XML Component Content Management to help companies engage with their customers. Cisco Systems, Xylem, ITT, Siemens Healthcare, Northrop Grumman, Kohler, GE Digital, and other Forbes Global 2000 organizations rely on the Astoria platform to build meaningful, purposeful customer experiences around complex, business-critical content and documents. The Astoria platform’s reach extends to its web-based portal and to its mobile-device apps, forming an end-to-end solution that includes authoring, content management, and rendering systems, fully integrated and delivered on public or private clouds. Astoria Software, a division of TransPerfect, Inc., is based in San Francisco. For more information, visit http://www.AstoriaSoftware.com/.

About WittyParrot

WittyParrot is a disruptive, intelligent micro-content automation, collaboration and communication platform for Marketing, Sales, and Support organizations. WittyParrot improves knowledge-worker consistency in communication, productivity and responsiveness by making information nuggets available through bots and widgets. The company’s investments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science enable it to automate both effectiveness and messaging consistency in all knowledge-worker communications. WittyParrot is fully integrated with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office 365, several CRM platforms and various chat-bot technologies. WittyParrot has offices in Silicon Valley, California and in Bangalore, India. For more information, visit www.WittyParrot.com.

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