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Twelve Days of Christmas Day Twelve Happy Customers

The Twelfth Day: 12 Happy Customers

“On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 happy customers, 11 assembled sections, 10 document types, 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”

As we reach the end of the 12 days, our team would like to present you with two gifts: 12 drummers drumming AND 12 happy, new customers. As you review the past 11 days of tips and hints for document production in XaitPorter, you may have already anticipated your gift on this last day.

Integrated systems and automated processes increase the number of bids, tenders or applications your team can manage throughout the year. Rights-based access, security for confidential content and collaboration tools allow qualified contributors and subject matter experts to interact dynamically and directly within the project. User-friendly document assembly, pre-built templates and structured workflows reduce production time, eliminate errors and increase efficiency for your business-critical documents.

From your initial project on day one to today’s drummers, we hope these ideas help you and your colleagues by

  • reducing project stress during busy times and tight deadlines
  • enabling your team to focus on your critical document content, not process or tools
  • fostering collaboration and enhancing team spirit – which will motivate everyone working on the project

The result of all of your hard work? Brand-consistent, high quality documents which you can be proud to share with prospects, customers and other important company stakeholders. Those 12 drummers are playing their tune to congratulate you and your team on a job well done.

From all of us at Xait, we hope you have enjoyed our Xait-themed “12 Days of Christmas”. We wish you a happy, healthy holiday and a great start to the new year.

 

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day-Eleven 11 Assembled Sections

The Eleventh Day: 11 Assembled Sections

“On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 assembled sections, 10 document types, 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”

We love the music of 11 pipers piping during the holidays. But we understand if you prefer a quiet space when assembling dozens of contributions from various stakeholders to produce complex documents for time-sensitive projects.

Typically, the least favorite task during production of complex documents is assembling sections from multiple contributors – especially if you have external or third-party writers. Have you ever received sections for a document in different fonts and layouts? And if you have multiple parties collaborating together on a large proposal or tender, brand consistency can be a nightmare. The result: a final proposal which looks like a “cut-and-paste” from five different organizations.

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Eleven Sections Editing Screenshot

The solution: XaitPorter’s easy-to-use editing tools enable you to apply unified rules so you can quickly assemble each section – ensuring consistency in layout, formatting, labeling and numbering. You can maintain brand integrity and design across the entire document or apply different branding conventions to sections contributed by third parties. Finally, document assembly can be done in parallel, increasing team efficiency and reducing delivery time for your proposal or tender – for some projects by over 70%.

XaitPorter gives the gift of quicker assembly time, better brand consistency and less overall stress in managing your project – so turn up the volume on the Christmas music and enjoy those 11 pipers piping.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day Ten Document Types

The Tenth Day: 10 Document Types

“On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 10 document types, 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”

Those 10 lords a-leaping probably are pretty energetic and agile. However, I would place a wager that most bid and project managers would prefer instead an agile, robust platform which is able to produce ten – or better, 100 – different types of documents.

Many companies struggle with too many platforms for producing documents – requiring different systems for creating proposals, another one for contracts, a third for marketing collateral, and so on. Other collaboration and production platforms are limited to bare-bones functionality: they have a “do it yourself” approach and typically require add-on apps or software plug-ins. And forget about integration to CRM systems or other databases – it’s just too complex.

Our philosophy is to allow our customers to create document types or templates directly within XaitPorter and automate as much of the production process as possible. Therefore, once you create a template for your first proposal, annual report or application, the template is immediately available for the next project. And an added benefit for IT and business: XaitPorter can produce documents for any department in your organization – commercial, executive, marketing, contracts, finance, services, HR.

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Ten Document Types Screenshot

 

With thousands of users across the globe, we don’t really know exactly HOW many types of  documents our customers are producing in their XaitPorter platform. But here is a (short) list of the top 10, and a longer list with many more.

  1. Sales Proposals
  2. Tender and Bid Responses
  3. Annual and Quarterly Reports
  4. Corporate Sustainability Reports
  5. Licensing Applications
  6. Geographical Studies
  7. Ship Design Specifications
  8. Contracts
  9. Regulatory Manuals and Documentation
  10. Product Manuals and Brochures

And also Financial reports, Marketing Reports, Research Trials and Reports, Sales Specifications, Clinical Research Papers, ISO Documentation, Ship Stability Books, FEED Agreements and ITTs, Fact Sheets, Research Grant Applications, IPO Offerings, Sales Reports, Stakeholder Reports, White Papers and many more…

And although we haven’t seen it yet, we guess you could also create a musical arrangement in XaitPorter for those 10 lords.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day-Nine-Integrated Processes Sections

The Ninth Day: 9 Integrated Systems

“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 9 integrated systems, 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter” 

In the classic version of “12 Days of Christmas”, the receiver is given the gift of 9 ladies dancing. Xait proposes a different present, but one which might get you dancing nonetheless.

Time is rarely on the side of a bid manager, project coordinator, sales executive or contract manager. Bid managers need to manage a pipeline of tenders, often with finite resources. Sales executives are usually under pressure to maintain a healthy funnel of offers or proposals. Project coordinators and contract managers may be requested to quickly react to customer requests for NDAs, contract addendums or SOWs. When a proposal, contract or a SOW is requested at short notice, other activities are usually postponed to gather information from multiple systems and resources across the organization. Results: deadlines for other projects slip, important tasks or activities are postponed.

XaitPorter helps you automate this process by integrating with other systems, including CRM (ie. Salesforce), contract management, ERP or project systems. Information in the form of metadata – such as pricing, design, customer information, company, product boilerplates – is pushed from the core system into XaitPorter. The metadata populates the pre-built document templates in XaitPorter, with pre-defined processes governing the information flow to automate the selection of data required for the tender, NDA, contract, proposal, application or other template. The system data is added to the template, which is also populated with the correct boilerplates and standard information. No cut and paste, no typos or errors transferring data from its originating system to your document. No need to stretch resources, call in favors or postpone projects.

With XaitPorter’s integration capabilities and automated processes, you can generate a completed proposal or NDA based on the pre-approved information from the originating system – and it’s almost as simple as a single click. We hope you think this is something to dance about.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day Eight Peers Reviewing

The Eighth Day: 8 Peers Reviewing

“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 8 peers reviewing, 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”

For document production projects, we really don’t need 8 maids a-milking (unless you need subject matter expertise with a proposal for a dairy farm). But the value of subject matter expertise – from peers, partners or other third-party experts – should not be underestimated, as it can transform a good proposal, tender or application into a winning one.

Project and bid managers often need to manage contributions from subject matter experts outside of the bid team or external to your company, such as:

  • Technical or product experts to provide design, system or market expertise
  • Scientific or experts to advise on data, evidence or trends
  • Commercial experts to deliver pricing models, contract structures or terms

These experts could be regular contributors to multiple proposals, or they could be providing one-off expertise for a specific project. In either situation, there may be little time to train them on processes or platforms – and often corporate security rules restrict system access to external parties.

XaitPorter solves this problem by enabling access-based user rights, providing a structured collaboration process and delivering an easy-to-use, intuitive platform for creating and sharing information. Peers and external contributors can write, review and approve content in their section of responsibility directly in the XaitPorter project. Or, they can receive notifications and comments about their contribution via email, then review and respond accordingly. For partner or external expert contributions, XaitPorter’s layout tools make it easy to reformat text and ensure design consistency throughout the document.

Twelve Days of Christmas Day-Eight Peers Reviewing Screenshot

It can be a challenge to bring all of this expertise together. But working with easy-to-use document production tools enables your contributors to focus on the content, not the system or process. The outcome: your proposal captures your team dedication and hard work; your great product, services or solution; and trusted subject matter expertise. And this will help you win bids and delight customers.

So as a gift for the 12 Days of Christmas? We’ll take 8 expert peer reviews or trusted partner contributions every day of the year.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day Seven Ways To Collaborate

The Seventh Day: 7 ways to collaborate

“On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 7 ways to collaborate, 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”

Although 7 swans a-swimming are beautiful, we have an alternative: 7 highly effective ways to collaborate with your team on complex projects for business-critical documents.

When you are working in a large project team on a complex proposal or critical document, do you find yourself swimming (like those 7 swans!) in a pool of emails, voicemails, text messages and chats? That email you received this morning is quickly obsolete when you receive a new chat in WhatsApp or Slack. Then your supervisor leaves an urgent voicemail which is entirely different from the email or message.

Unstructured process for collaborating on complex projects can drive people crazy -problems include delays, duplicate work and conflicting information.

Typical issues include:

  • Unstructured communication such as long email chains which are difficult to follow and action (and don’t get us started with messages sent “reply all”!)
  • Managing security rights and access when working with confidential company or customer information
  • Lack of document or system access for external stakeholders – such as contractors, suppliers, vendors and other third parties – who are working on the project
  • Mistakes in routing information or assigning tasks to the wrong contributor
  • Lack of context for edits and comments
  • Travel or out of office delays – or simply forgetting to send a comment or note during the course of a busy day

At Xait, we have heard all of these challenges – and more – since we launched the first XaitPorter platform 15 years ago. So for the 7th day, we propose 7 solutions to improve collaboration…

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Seven Comments Screenshot

7 Ways to Collaborate within XaitPorter:

  1. Project and Task Overviews provide real-time visibility into every project and task to which a contributor is assigned
  2. Role-defined collaboration enables contributors to collaborate based on user role or group membership for a specific section
  3. Email notifications outside of XaitPorter for users on the road or who are unable to log into the platform
  4. Interactive comments so contributors are able to read real-time feedback and respond quickly
  5. Access-based collaboration to enable authorized users to read or edit restricted or confidential information
  6. Transparent rules and processes for collaboration (e.g. time-based, workflow -based)
  7. Dynamic work groups and structured, secure processes for collaboration with external stakeholders – vendors, suppliers, customers and other third-party contributors

So you no longer need to drown in unstructured collaboration processes – get out of the pool and enjoy the swans.

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Twelve-Days-of-Christmas-Day-Six-Skilled-Reviewers

The Sixth Day: 6 Skilled Reviewers

“On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 6 skilled reviewers, 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter” 

We have already established our view on receiving birds as a gift, so no geese a-laying, please! However, we will gladly accept six skilled reviewers.

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Six Skilled Reviewers Screenshot

 

As you read in yesterday’s blog, reviewers are second in the document creation process – after writers, before approvers. Why is this role important? Consider the role of a reviewer in a large tender or proposal, where you will likely have multiple stakeholders for each section. A reviewer is often one of your colleagues – either based locally or in a remote office. However, XaitPorter also enables external, third-party contributors to have secure, rights- or role-based access to your project or document.

Reviewers contribute in a number of important ways, including:

  • Providing subject matter expertise for critical content (e.g. technical, scientific, financial)
  • Reviewing content for accuracy, relevance and context
  • Correcting grammar or terminology
  • Translating (e.g. via an external translation agency) or editing translated text
  • Confirming facts, historical information and data
  • Adding a customer-focused perspective or industry viewpoint
  • Validating your offer or price

XaitPorter enables all contributors to work simultaneously and collaborate in parallel: for example, when a reviewer adds an inline comment to a section, a writer or another contributor can immediately take action.

Reviewers will add inline comments to their section of responsibility, such as:

“Please change the wording to….”

“This translation should read instead…..”

“Could you please clarify the meaning and intent of the following phrase….”

“Please delete this paragraph and replace with….”

…and any number of other editorial comments and suggestions.

What is the value of delivering a high-quality, error-free proposal or annual report which includes contributions from multiple expert reviewers? Expertly-produced documents convey a higher level of authority and integrity than documents which contain grammar or spelling mistakes, factual errors, pricing discrepancies or other faults. For important proposals, tenders or reports, those six reviewers could indeed be priceless.

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Twelve Day of Christmas Day Five Approvers Approving

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Fifth Day: 5 Approvers Approving

 “On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 5 approvers approving, 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”

You might wish instead for the traditional gift of 5 gold rings – after all, who wouldn’t want gold?  But you may discover that 5 approvers approving is more valuable than rings when producing business-critical documents.

Consider the potential complexity of managing the approval process when working on a large proposal or tender. Decisions on the final product or technology design, service guarantees or warranties, delivery schedules and pricing need to be managed in parallel, especially when different departments – like R&D, finance, sales and service – own responsibility and sign-off for their respective contributions to the tender. Final approval is often the responsibility of a busy department head or senior executive who may be hard to reach at short notice during a timeline crunch. In surveys with bid and project managers, over 70% say that managing the approval process is the most stressful part of a project or bid.

How can five approvers prevent that stress-induced gray hair when managing a critical project? By increasing efficiency, control and oversight of the approval process. This helps you and your team to overcome hurdles in receiving timely approvals and meeting critical deadlines.

How does this work within a project? When creating a project or document in XaitPorter, you can set up multiple sections and sub-sections and assign writers, reviewers and approvers for each section. Throughout the document production process, all contributors are able to work in parallel within their respective domains. Notifications are sent from XaitPorter for each step of the process, keeping contributors informed of tasks and due dates.

 

Xait Christmas Ornaments

Twelve Days of Christmas Day-Five-Approvers Approving Screenshot

 

Once the writer and reviewer have both completed their assignments, the approver has final authorization to determine if that section is completed. The approver can add comments, request clarification on content or send it back for more writing or editing. The approver can also reject the section and post the reason why. Once the approver is satisfied, he or she marks the section as complete. All authorized contributors can view the status of each section directly in XaitPorter – increasing transparency with the process and making the project easier to manage. And best of all – no more gray hairs and sleepless nights.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day Four Zoomable Images

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Fourth Day – 4 Zoomable Images

“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 4 zoomable images, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and a project in XaitPorter”

Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and partridge in a pear tree? Hopefully, whoever receives these gifts is a true bird lover. Here at Xait, we offer instead the gift of great layout tools for your documents in the form of zoomable images to make your business-critical documents stand out from the crowd.

 

Xait Christmas Ornaments

Twelve Day of Christmas Day Four Embedded Pictures Screenshot

How do you bring life to your documents? Through images and other visuals. Savvy professionals know that well-placed images increase appeal and integrity. What is the business value of – for example – one company’s proposal, annual report or business prospectus being more reassuring and readable than that of another company? Only the difference between winning a bid, attracting investors or generating sustainable value for your business.

The days are over when you have to take a screenshot of an excel sheet or word image and then import it to a document. Usually the outcome was a low-quality image – grainy, blurry and non-readable.

In XaitPorter, you have the ability to re-use images across multiple documents. Another key feature is version control: this prevents contributors from using outdated figures and images, keeping the integrity of the version at all times. You also can restrict access to images based on role. For example, if you upload a financial image which has restricted access, you can lock down the image so only authorized readers will have access to use it.

How can you use vectorized images in XaitPorter? You can place zoomable images securely and easily into a document. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then XaitPorter ‘s images will help you bring value to your documents.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day Three Key Texts

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Third Day – 3 Key Texts

“On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 key texts, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”  

We can take the traditional route of giving three French hens or – as you might have started to guess – we don’t want more birds! I’d rather have three key texts. Perhaps you might be wondering, “what exactly is key text?”

Xait Christmas Ornaments

Twelve Days of Christmas Day-Three Key Texts Screenshot

In the context of document production, Key Text refers to text that is used to highlight important information in a document. The key text will typically be larger, highlighted or bold text and located in the left or right margin (separated from the body text). It serves as a visual representation to focus the reader’s attention on a critical piece of information that might get lost within a large body paragraph.

So why is this an important feature when creating business-critical documents? Because of a reader’s behavior when reviewing a document: over 90% will read the key text first when they focus on a page. We have found the use and impact of key text to be so important that we have built easy-to-use functionality so you can add key texts directly in XaitPorter.

With typical document production software, adding key text can be an absolute nightmare. And that’s not considering the difficulty of using key text and images together – all of which have to be re-sized and scaled to fit into the new adjusted column space. We have seen and heard from our clients just how difficult adding key text can be for them, so we wanted to ensure that XaitPorter made the process easier and quicker.

Have you ever been frustrated by formatting issues when working with key text and images? That’s the reason why our Day 3 gift to you is, in fact, the gift of time.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Day Two Dashboard Reports

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Second Day – 2 Dashboard Reports

“On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 dashboard reports and one project in XaitPorter”

What project data and information can you view in your dashboard reports?

Overall project overview – including project timelines and progress and

Detailed data and information – including resource allocation; comments and edits; approvals and workflows     

The dashboard will typically be the first screen you see when you log into the XaitPorter platform (unless you are logging directly into a specific project – remember the first day ?)

You can think of the Dashboard as the command center for your overall administrative and reporting tasks. You also have the ability to select which reports you would like to see in your dashboard – as well as deciding where those reports should display – by simply dragging and dropping them into your preferred position. You can also adjust the size of the reports by simply dragging them to different columns. For example, if you have three reports in one column, each will be 1/3 height; but if you have one report in a column by itself, the report will expand to make use of the full column height. It’s super easy for your entire project team to use and customize.

 

Xait Christmas Ornaments

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Two Dashboard Reports Screenshot

This customization allows you to optimize your work space and tailor XaitPorter to your needs – saving you and your team valuable time by having your most important information available at a glance. Here is a little secret as well: you can have many more than two dashboard reports.

Dashboards give you better control and real-time visibility of your project – and this is your gift for Day 2. Wait until you see what we have for tomorrow…

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Twelve Days of Xmas 1 Project in XaitPorter

The 12 Days of Christmas: The First Day – A New Business-Critical Project

‘Tis the season for Christmas trees, holiday decorations and the spirit of giving!

Here at the Xait offices in Norway, the snow is starting to fall, and Christmas carols are in the air. And our Xait team took a break from waxing our skis and polishing our skates so we could share with you our Top 12 Tips to help you efficiently create, edit, produce and publish high-quality documents for your business-critical projects.

In the spirit of the season, we are following the theme of the “12 Days of Christmas”, sharing a helpful tip for each working day as we count down to Christmas.

So whether you are working on a winning proposal, creating a top-quality annual report, preparing a license application or planning a project, read on to discover useful hints and smart tips to help you and your team improve efficiency, save time and produce great documents.

Xait Christmas Ornaments

Twelve Day of Christmas Day One Project In XaitPorter Screenshot

The First Day: A New Business-Critical Project

“On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a new business-critical project in XaitPorter”

So, what is a project in XaitPorter? Well a project can be many things but first and foremost, a project is the foundation of XaitPorter. This is where you will create and edit documents, control access rights and share information with your team – a project is the place in XaitPorter where you live and communicate. And why is this our gift to you on the first day of Christmas? Business-critical projects – like a proposal for an important client, a bid response for a multi-$$ project or your company’s annual report – are the lifeblood of your company. Your team spends hours of time, energy and effort on creating, editing and producing important documents, and XaitPorter helps you manage your projects as efficiently and securely as you would your most valuable assets – which indeed is what they are.

A project in XaitPorter can be a collection of documents such as proposals, financial reports or even ship design documents. Or you can also use a project to create a single document with many sections and subsections, each with their own writer, reviewer and approver. The project is the command center for your creative endeavors while the Dashboard is the command center for your administrative and reporting functions (hint: stay tuned for more dashboard talk in the next blog).

Happy holidays, and we hope you enjoyed your first day. And a business-critical project is better than a partridge in a pear tree anyway.

 

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Struggling with your proposals

Struggling with your proposals? Here is a solution worth exploring;

It’s hard to imagine that Facebook wasn’t around fifteen years ago – or that LinkedIn was in its infant stage, the iPhone was still only a concept in Steve Job’s brilliant mind and Wikipedia was just starting. Collaboration in the workplace usually meant getting everyone together in a room. Conference calls were typically voice calls only, and the first fifteen minutes of the call was usually spent talking over each other until people got the hang of how to interact on the call.

But at the same time, our technology platforms were teaching us how to collaborate, to communicate better, to improve how we worked. As an example in the oil and gas industry, Xait created the software “Publish-as-you-Go” for BP in 2001, the same year in which Wikipedia was launched. It solved the issue of how to efficiently enable multiple people to prepare, work, publish and distribute a proposal or tender. This innovative, disruptive technology platform – known as XaitPorter – has now become the standard for oil and gas companies: In Norway, nearly every company in the oil and gas industry uses XaitPorter somewhere in their working environment.

Why do we seem to still spend so much time on repetitive, time-consuming activities?

A recent AIIM blog post about document practices in the oil and gas sector, explains why some document controlling processes seem to be stuck in time. Now documents are originating electronically: however, the processes haven’t changed. So while technology has improved, productivity and performance is at risk of falling behind if the process and the way people work doesn’t change. Why do we find ourselves being limited to using paper principles in a digital age?

 

The challenge is about managing information. It’s time to let go of legacy processes and embrace new digital ways of working.

 

For oil and gas companies, best practices for managing production of complex documents – like license applications, reports, proposals and tenders – include the following:

  • Standardize and automate functionality within the document (e.g formatting, version control)
  • Automate all manuals tasks and workflows – such as reviews and approvals
  • Embed control functions into the process (e.g. notifications, access rights and security levels)
  • Make it easy to create, manage and repurpose content
  • Enable information to find people (and not force people to search for information)

In summary, savvy companies in the oil and gas industry – or any industry – will ensure employees have both robust, easy-to-use technology and automated processes so they can build a culture of good information management. For teams working on complex or time-sensitive projects, this helps them to not get stuck in the process of working with documents. Instead, they can focus on the value of the information and its impact on the business.


Document Co-authoring Software, Build or Buy?

Document Co-authoring Software, Build or Buy?

When creating complex contracts or time sensitive documents that may be part of a larger solution, the current way of creating documents is broken (too slow; full of errors; challenging to maintain). Is that truly the case for you? So, how do you solve this?

Do you build your own solution, or do you buy something Commercial off-the-shelf? There are positives and negatives to both approaches. But first things first; before you can make a Build-vs-Buy decision, you need to work out your requirements. A build vs. buy decision starts with well-defined requirements. You need to fully understand what your solution actually should do. Different expectations for various stakeholders and internal politics makes this a difficult, but important, task of part of any such project. Your aim might be to release a new product / solution to complement your portfolio of software solutions and you might know the core issues at hand. But, what will the requirements be in 6 months or 2 years down the line? Do you have the resources and know-how to maintain a document solution that meets your customers’ requirements now and in the future? Or is the document and reporting part not an important part of your delivery?

Build or Buy decision

This is why forward thinking companies spend a lot of time researching solutions. Specialist document assembly and document automation suppliers have the experience and expertise to help you understand the sorts of challenges other companies have solved and how they’ve done it. If you have not found any solution in the market that covers at least 60-70% of your requirements, you should consider building. However, there are still risks inherent when building your own document automation, document co-authoring and document assembly solution.

Build or Buy decision

 

Building

  • Many developers believe they are the only ones that can deliver your exact requirements It’s not just a document solution that needs to be built. There is development, maintenance and support, in addition to potential new features that will enrich your solution. Do not underestimate the testing required, with i.e. XaitPorter, it has been tested for more than a decade internally, but also externally with clients and partners globally.
  • On the surface document automation, document co-authoring and document assembly may seem to be easy to achieve with i.e. SharePoint. As with any area of expertise, it’s only when you dig deeper, that you understand the complexity of developing and managing an ongoing development for a document solution – i.e. should it support high res and vectored graphics, how about formatting, layout and numbering, change management etc.
  • A good end user experience is essential, and is only half the battle. Templates need to be updated and maintained. Without the correct document solution for you, maintenance requirements can easily turn your project into a money pit.

If you have identified your project as a “one off “with well-known and defined requirements that are unlikely to change over time, then build it. However, it still needs to make sense economically and you have to have a highly qualified and resourceful development team that you can dedicate to the task. In many cases, it may prove that your requirements are similar to those of other businesses and software vendors. In these cases, buying is more likely to be the better option.

Buying

  • Check various software vendors that provides a document automation, document collaboration and document assembly solution and identify the features and functionality that best match your requirements. Ensure that you leverage the experience other clients have gone thru. Use the document solution vendors to help you to define your business requirements – they may have ideas that could prove beneficial to your case.
  • Ensure that the solution can handle complex document requirements. You may need to be able both to automate content, automate look and field, while providing flexibility to manage change or tailoring for your clients.
  • Confirm that your potential solution works and integrates with your other applications and infrastructure. Perhaps your chosen partner could host for you? Requirements change over time. Ensure that your chosen vendor has a decent API, that supports your business case, both now and in the future.
  • If time to market is important, buying will be much faster than building. Finally, when making a Build-vs-Buy decision, you need to understand the total cost of ownership. You need to calculate all costs for the life of the project, including internal development costs, opportunity costs, ongoing maintenance costs, and integration costs. But, you also need to consider if time to market is important, and whether your development could actually be used to other task that could bring revenue to your company – instead of building a solution.

Total Cost of Ownership

Finally, when making a Build-vs-Buy decision, you need to understand the total cost of ownership. You need to calculate all costs for the life of the project, including internal development costs, opportunity costs, ongoing maintenance costs, and integration costs. But, you also need to consider if time to market is important, and whether your development could actually be used to other task that could bring revenue to your company – instead of building a solution.

It is usually far cheaper and faster to buy than to build. After all, if a problem has been adequately solved in a commercial product, why solve it again? Why not focus on a new and more interesting problem? Chris Doig .Please see link to his blog here.

Total Cost of Ownership

 

Kris Sæther
Chief Commercial Officer, Xait
kris.saether@xait.com

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Xait the Value of Marketing

The value of marketing

We deliver XaitPorter, a document automation, collaboration and production solution to help companies consistently produce stunning, high quality documents, such as bids and proposals. Sales teams often have to juggle the task of creating and compiling content, leaving little or no time to make sure the content is presented in the best possible way, both structurally and aesthetically.

Sven Erik Nisja from Oceaneering sits down with Marianne Molineaux from Xait to talk about how they managed to get their corporate logo launched into space.

Our customers benefits from having the ability to focus on creating great content, and let XaitPorter handle the layout and formatting of the document to see increased company revenue. We fully support the hard work that people put in to build and boost their brand and making sure the value of their marketing is optimised.

For more than 15 years, Xait has helped companies streamline their document production process through collaboration and automation. Our clients understand the importance of making sure that their documents stand out and are ahead of the competition, to win more business.

Schedule demo of XaitPorter

Learn more about how your company can increase the quality of your documents and show the value of their brand.Schedule Demo


Xait Crown Commercial Service Supplier

Xait launches on G-Cloud

G-Cloud is the United Kingdom´s procurement framework that allows public sector IT buyers to easily and cost-effectively award contracts. G-Cloud avoids the time-consuming and costly nature of traditional procurement processes by allowing more efficient route to market than any other framework.

As a newly listed supplier, Xait is able to offer their cloud-based services via the UK´s Digital Marketplace, allowing time and cost savings that encourage buyers to use the G-Cloud framework. The advantages for Xait´s existing and potential customers in utilizing the G-Cloud framework are:

  • You can talk directly with Xait, thus gaining a more in-depth understanding of our capabilities
  • Allows direct comparison between Xait and our competitors
  • Only includes our very latest information and services
  • The confidence of tendering from a well- established and respected repository of suppliers in the IT industry

We encourage you to take a closer look at  UK´s Digital Marketplace.

Xait launches on G-Cloud

For more information on how we can improve your efficiency with XaitPorter!Get in touch

 


Survival of the fittest

Survival of the fittest

The proposal process is often characterized by chaos and last minute panic. You have no idea who’s done what. You can’t keep track of how much work is left. The finished proposals are neither compliant nor complete. And you end up losing proposals because your clients cannot understand your documents.

You put a lot of effort into the proposal process, and you see no results. And what you really should be putting effort into, is the content. What if your process could become streamlined and efficient, so that you could focus on what goes into the proposal?

This is exactly what XaitPorter can do for you. From start to finish, you’ll know exactly what’s going on. And you’ll be able to deliver a winning proposal.

Streamline your bid and proposal process

XaitPorter streamlines your entire bid and proposal process. Everyone can access and work on the same document, at the same time. The built-in workflow lets you assign writers, reviewers, and approvers; all with individual deadlines. And because formatting, layout and numbering is automatically taken care of, you have more time to focus on getting your content right.

How can XaitPorter help?

With its automated workflow, this software lets you manage the process and create your proposal at the same time. You start by creating your outline and assigning tasks, and participants can then begin writing on their section from anywhere, at any time. Everyone will be aware of their tasks and deadlines, and everyone will know exactly what has been completed at any given time. The result? Complete control, efficiency, and improved content.

time saving using XaitPorter vs normal word processor

 

 

Survival of the fittest

XaitPorter is a solution that helps you create winning bids and proposalsSign up for your free demo!

 


The backbone of document solutions

The backbone of document solutions

Many businesses today struggle with documentation and reporting for their solutions as it is not necessarily the “core” part of their technology stack. Document automation and document assembly is often a key part of this process. The questions may then be time to market, followed by concerns in regards Total Cost of Ownership, risk reduction and a build or buy scenario. Time to market may be critical and a build decision can be expensive and time consuming, not only to build, but also develop and maintain. The easy choice is then to choose a combination of SharePoint and Word. And, this is great for many – but not all.

To improve a document or information centric process, one should have the ability to edit and create content by either adding new content, reviewing and approving the content, or reusing content by both copying and linking to master content, which ensures integrity across all of your documents. In addition, features such as document automation, document assembly and high quality publishing in a secure environment not reliant on files can be key for your decision on what type of solution to elect. Policy-based contract creation and workflow approval system designed to dynamically build both standard and custom configured contracts based upon pre-defined business rules with the ability to change key values, while the documents and reports are instantly updated is a challenge with a file based solution.

The shortcomings of a file-driven document

With a database driven document solution one can produce print quality documents, and programmatically ensure the variables are taken care of in all your live documents. The shortcomings of a file-driven document solution increases the complexity of managing your documents efficiently. Nor does a file-driven document solution effectively provide the foundation for compound content management and is more or less impossible to use for master content management. A file-driven solution also makes it difficult to optimize the use of the key information that derives from your solution.

With a Word document as back-end, you need to break content into several sections and thereby several files. Another agonizing challenge with files is versioning and formatting issues – and change management. This is easy with a database driven document management OEM / aPaaS solution. A database driven solution allows you to produce documents more efficiently and with higher quality. And, all of this can be done programmatically to enable document automation and document assembly with pre-approved sections that are tailored for the end user. Yes, database driven document solutions can be 100% template driven as with a document management solution such as SharePoint, but is also offers significantly added value to documents with variables, change management requirements, graphic requirements and more.

The backbone of document solutions

For more information on how we can improve your efficiency with XaitPorter!Get in touch


XaitPorter as an aPaaS, helping your business be more efficient

Automatic for the people

Efficiency and automation are two concepts that go hand in hand in Xait. In a bid to be more efficient, you should drive your business towards automation. By using XaitPorter as an aPaaS, you will help your business be more efficient, hit your targets and get those bids in on time. According to Gartner, aPaaS is defined as an Application platform as a service; a cloud service offering development and deployment environments for application services. For you, this means no local installations, short time to deployment and benefits and security of having everything in the cloud. You can think of it as the foundation on which your applications run. We can’t put a man on the moon for you (yet), but we can make your everyday work less time-consuming. All you need to do is find the river and make your everyday process flow! So what are the benefits of using XaitPorter as an aPaaS solution?Drive

Speed of Deployment

One absolutely key feature of an implemented aPaaS is the ability to quickly deploy applications on top of the platform. Realistically, this is THE key feature for an aPaaS as the whole point of the platform is to give you a foundation for building and launching applications quickly and easily.

Continuity of Systems

A second key benefit of an aPaaS is the ability to run, develop and launch applications all from the same platform. This allows for better visibility into the applications and makes control and upkeep of the applications much easier than using disparate systems. How many times have you experienced the pain of pulling like data for different sources because they are using and running on completely different systems?

Purpose-built Scalability

An aPaaS is purpose-built to encourage scaling. This scaling could happen overnight or take 5 years. The XaitPorter platform will be ready at all times without the need to re-configure the database, which will not only save your business money but massive amounts of time and manpower.

Automatic for the people

For more information on how we can improve your efficiency with XaitPorter!Get in touch


be more successful by staying focused on efficiency over cost

Be a jet; get to your purchase order at lightning speed!

Better efficiency is often neglected, even though it will lead to more profitability, expansion and goal congruence in the long run. In a bid to cut costs, reducing your spending might actually compromise your income, which will be a gift to your competitors who will hereby gain an advantage in the market. If you are more focused on efficiency over cost, Xait’s approach is, that you will be more successful and much more focused on the tasks at hand. This is why you need to take a look at our list below on how you can increase your efficiency by using XaitPorter:

10 ways to increase your efficiency

1. Delegate tasks

Our intuitive software, XaitPorter, easily delegate tasks to the right people to reach your goals more quickly and finish your tasks on time. Select writers, reviewers, and approvers. Set individual deadlines. The result is clearly defined responsibilities, and a streamlined process.

2. Real time project updates

When you work in a word processor, you risk overwriting and duplicating work. In XaitPorter, your document is split into sections. When you work on a section, it is locked for other users to edit. However, others will still be able to see the latest version of the document and its sections as everything is updated in real-time.

3. Project manage at a glance

Your XaitPorter dashboard keeps control of all your tasks, your items left to do and your deadlines.

4. Focus on the task at hand

In XaitPorter, you work with set document templates. You don’t need to spend any time on numbering, formatting or layout, as it is all taken care of. And your documents will always follow your corporate branding guidelines. Because you always have access to the latest version, you can track the development of the document from day one. In addition, XaitPorter gives you a complete audit trail.

5. Collaborate from anywhere

XaitPorter is a cloud solution, you can see and work on the latest version of your documents from anywhere. You can easily invite partners, sub-contractors, and consultants to work with you; making your efforts truly collaborative.

6. Easy navigation

If you have ever tried to navigate a document of 1000 pages, you know that it’s a tedious task. In XaitPorter, you navigate through your document using the automatically generated table of contents. Your document consists of several sections and subsections, and you can easily move from one to another.

7. Reuse information

Because XaitPorter is built on a database, you can easily copy and reuse content, outlines and workflows.

8. No more post-its

In XaitPorter, all your comments are stored in one place. You add and respond to comments directly in your workspace.

9. Safe as houses

Since everything is stored in the cloud, you will never run the risk of losing your precious documents.

10. No more waiting 

Support is always at hand, only a few dials away if you get stuck…


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