Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna

S5E3 Regulated Content: Enhance compliance and collaboration with Quark Software

April 30, 2024 Zohra Mutabanna Season 5 Episode 3
S5E3 Regulated Content: Enhance compliance and collaboration with Quark Software
Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna
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Inside Tech Comm with Zohra Mutabanna
S5E3 Regulated Content: Enhance compliance and collaboration with Quark Software
Apr 30, 2024 Season 5 Episode 3
Zohra Mutabanna

Curious about the publishing requirements and nitty-gritty of regulated content? Just one compliance slip can mean lost time and dollars. Tune in to this episode to discover how Quark Software can help you cut costs and enhance your compliance, collaboration, and automation efforts.

Richard Worrell and Emerson Welch from Quark Software join us for a riveting discussion on the ins and outs of regulated content creation, where every detail matters. You'll learn strategies to ensure your documentation is bulletproof against the most stringent regulatory standards. Prepare to understand the weight of non-compliance and how aligning with corporate styles and guidelines isn't just about ticking boxes—it's about safeguarding your brand's integrity and market presence.

With regulated content, collaboration is key. Rich and Emerson walk us through the advantages of using Quark Publishing Platform.  By leveraging tools like Microsoft Teams within Quark's advanced workflow engine, we learn how multiple authors can seamlessly contribute to a single document simultaneously—an orchestration that not only maintains compliance but accelerates content delivery.

Lastly, we talk about how Quarky, the artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, can assist with managing multilingual documents.  We explore how the AI assistant can identify reusable content, streamline quality assurance, and refine content strategy.

Resources to check out

Guest Bios

Emerson Welch, VP Global Marketing at Quark, is responsible for driving Quark’s marketing strategies to strengthen the company’s market position to support business growth. With over 25 years of B2B software product and brand marketing experience, Emerson has successfully led marketing teams for small startups, channel partners and large enterprises. His technology expertise in content automation, creative collaboration workflows, ERP, CRM, IT support services and more, has resulted in a consistently strong track record of enabling sales to grow revenue through a proven combination of evangelism, simple messaging, innovative content and targeted demand generation campaigns.

Richard (Rich) Worrell, Quark's Enterprise Senior Product Manager, leads a global team dedicated to driving content automation and intelligence solutions for large-scale organizations. He is responsible for delivering Quark's product strategy and its enterprise product roadmap. With expertise in enterprise architecture and a proven track record in product roadmap development, Richard leverages his deep understanding of enterprise dynamics to drive technical innovation and deliver cutting-edge solutions to customers.

Show Credits

  • Intro and outro music - Az
  • Audio engineer - RJ Basilio
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Curious about the publishing requirements and nitty-gritty of regulated content? Just one compliance slip can mean lost time and dollars. Tune in to this episode to discover how Quark Software can help you cut costs and enhance your compliance, collaboration, and automation efforts.

Richard Worrell and Emerson Welch from Quark Software join us for a riveting discussion on the ins and outs of regulated content creation, where every detail matters. You'll learn strategies to ensure your documentation is bulletproof against the most stringent regulatory standards. Prepare to understand the weight of non-compliance and how aligning with corporate styles and guidelines isn't just about ticking boxes—it's about safeguarding your brand's integrity and market presence.

With regulated content, collaboration is key. Rich and Emerson walk us through the advantages of using Quark Publishing Platform.  By leveraging tools like Microsoft Teams within Quark's advanced workflow engine, we learn how multiple authors can seamlessly contribute to a single document simultaneously—an orchestration that not only maintains compliance but accelerates content delivery.

Lastly, we talk about how Quarky, the artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, can assist with managing multilingual documents.  We explore how the AI assistant can identify reusable content, streamline quality assurance, and refine content strategy.

Resources to check out

Guest Bios

Emerson Welch, VP Global Marketing at Quark, is responsible for driving Quark’s marketing strategies to strengthen the company’s market position to support business growth. With over 25 years of B2B software product and brand marketing experience, Emerson has successfully led marketing teams for small startups, channel partners and large enterprises. His technology expertise in content automation, creative collaboration workflows, ERP, CRM, IT support services and more, has resulted in a consistently strong track record of enabling sales to grow revenue through a proven combination of evangelism, simple messaging, innovative content and targeted demand generation campaigns.

Richard (Rich) Worrell, Quark's Enterprise Senior Product Manager, leads a global team dedicated to driving content automation and intelligence solutions for large-scale organizations. He is responsible for delivering Quark's product strategy and its enterprise product roadmap. With expertise in enterprise architecture and a proven track record in product roadmap development, Richard leverages his deep understanding of enterprise dynamics to drive technical innovation and deliver cutting-edge solutions to customers.

Show Credits

  • Intro and outro music - Az
  • Audio engineer - RJ Basilio
Zohra:

Hello folks, welcome to Season 5 of Inside Techcom with Zahra Mudabana. This season we are focusing on tools, tips and strategies to elevate your craft. Let's dive right in. Hello listeners, welcome to another episode of Inside Techcom with Zahra Mudabana. Today we have two guests. Which is going to be an interesting role for me to ask intelligent questions to both of my guests Richard Worrell he's a Senior Product Manager, and Emerson Welch he is the VP of Global Marketing at Quark Software. Richard and Emerson, please welcome to my show. How are you both doing?

Emerson:

We're absolutely fantastic. It's lovely for you to invite us. Thanks so much.

Zohra:

Absolutely. This is my honor, Richard. How are?

Richard:

you? Yeah, I'm doing well. Thanks for having us on Absolutely.

Zohra:

So I always start my interviews with hey, please tell me a little about yourself. So I will start with Richard.

Richard:

Richard, as part of a product manager's day it varies greatly, but most of all it's about trying to understand our customers' biggest problems, our users' biggest problems, and trying to come up with effective solutions for those.

Zohra:

Thank you, richard Emerson. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Emerson:

Sure, yeah, I look after the marketing for Quark, so that reaches all across the product sets and all across the global regions. Similar to Richard, it's absolutely fantastic. It's really diverse. It's great. There's loads of different things we've got to think about and consider. Everybody's super busy, but I guess one of the key areas and why we're so happy to be here today is focusing around our quite publishing platform sort of area and that really helps technical writers with their day-to-day tasks. So that's an area that we focus on heavily. So we're always in the community across the world at different shows and events and things like that, wherever the sort of tech comms community get together where that kind of content is really really critical. So I spend a lot of my time doing that and have some fantastic conversations with some really cool people that are out there. So, yeah, I really enjoy it.

Zohra:

That's great. That's great. Thank you again, will, for both of you being here on my show. I guess I think I mentioned this when we met a few months ago about how have I encountered Quark, and I know that Quark software has been around for decades and it has made an impression on me. I just wasn't aware that it it had forayed into the space of technical communications and but I think the focus that we wanted to on is regulated content and how quark can fit in that space.

Emerson:

Either one of you please take it away surely, I mean, I can start with this myself, I can give all the highlights and Rich can dig into the technical details, and that's how we work, which I think will work great for this conversation. But I think regulated content in itself it's such a really key area, and technical writers will understand this as well, because you can write technical content for very specific, say, engineering needs or very specific product needs. But there's also content that's highly regulated that might be outside of that, and so really, when we talk about highly regulated content, it's content that needs to be structured and built and edited and submitted in a very specific way for very specific regulatory purposes. So a classic example of that would be, for, say, life sciences or pharmaceutical industries, where, if they're trying to take a new drug to market so a classic example is the COVID experience that we've all been through over the last few years is trying to get vaccines to market very quickly. Now that has to go through process, and that process is highly regulated to actually get a drug from first concepts and creation through to actually people consuming it on the market. So it's a really intense process and obviously people are trying to do it as fast as possible, which is why we always talk about increased time to market of your content.

Emerson:

But coming back to the regulatory side, so every step of the journey of getting that drug to market, something needs to be submitted to the agencies to say we've done these tests, we've done these clinical research, we've done X, y and Z constantly throughout this process. But when it's submitted, it needs to be submitted in a very specific format. Okay, and those formats would be different for different agencies across the world. So the federal drug agency in the US would be different to the European medical agency in the EU. So even though you're taking the same product to market, you might need to present it to the regular content, needs to present it to the regulators in very specific ways and it needs to adhere to the way that the content say, a PDF would have to be formatted and structured in a very specific way. So that's where we talk about regulated content is being able to submit it consistently and accurately in that format.

Emerson:

That sounds a little bit simple, but it isn't. There's loads of complexity underneath it, because then you have all of the variations for different regions and different countries and different agencies, but you also have differences in languages. Another example is that you might be talking about the same content, might be written in the same language, like English say, but it might need to be completely different because it might be Australia and the UK or it might be the US and the UK who have different rules and regulations. So even though the content on the surface may be considered to be one size fits all, it really massively isn't, because there's so many different variations. So we'll probably dig into this a bit more as we talk through.

Emerson:

But in a nutshell, that is regulated content in its very sort of direct sense, but then you also have content that needs to be compliant. So in that way it's kind of regulated as well, and a good example of that is internal processes, so where you're making sure that your content adheres to corporate styles and guidelines and things like that. So hopefully that gives the sort of high level overview of why regulated content is so important. And obviously the fallout from that if you get it wrong is critical, because then you're susceptible to receive heavy fines or claims, accidents. In the case of pharma, for instance, there's direct risk to human health if you label your drugs incorrectly or you don't put specific guidelines on there and things like that that should be there, which is obviously what the regulators enforce.

Zohra:

Richard, do you have anything to add?

Richard:

Yeah, I'm just thinking of tying that to when we think about compliant content as well. If we think about, for the technical audience, people who are working perhaps in like software development or within engineering or producing manuals, it's, you know, whilst there may not be any regulated regulatory factors on that right, it's ensuring there's that consistency amongst the documentation that they're producing, right? So having a consistent style, having a consistent format, having consistent languages and being ensuring that it's consistent, if we're producing things like SDK documentation, that's an appropriate format for people to understand as well. So it's really across a number of different domains, you see this compliant and highly regulated content.

Zohra:

Thank you for explaining what regulated content is For me. I understood to some extent, but not to this detailed extent, what regulated content meant, Also probably because I haven't worked in these industries. So I think I'm going to ask my follow up question, which may sound very simplistic, but I would like for my audience also to understand, because when I think about regulated content again not having worked in those industries, I think, oh, I should have templates, and any tool can offer me that opportunity to create templates, and then I just have to go and plug in that content. But please share with me why that is simplistic. And if not, how does Quark differ? How does Quark software differ in that aspect?

Emerson:

Yeah, rich, shall I start with this one and then hand to you? I think, yeah, the key thing here is is that you are creating templates that are correct and they're, and they're, they're how they should be presented. And if you start with it, with a template that isn't that, then you're going to be, you're going to be submitting content wrong from the start. So so, yes, our software, rich, doesn't it? Actually allows you to create those XML-based templates.

Richard:

I'm sorry just to jump off Emerson there. So it's almost the templates that start. So, like Emerson said, ensuring we have a reusable, consistent template to begin with. But then if we think about our software, it's everything that goes beyond. Once you've created those templates right, it's the complex workflows that then have to happen when you have people collaborating, ensuring it's going through the proper gates, connecting with other systems as well, because we're not just creating this content in a silo.

Richard:

We're going to have various touch points throughout the lifecycle of this content with other systems, yeah, with other applications. So it's also having those consistency within those concepts as well, just beyond the template, and then, as emerson touched upon, consistency in the publishing as well. So I know that if I'm publishing um, if I'm going to refer back to emerson's previous answer if I'm publishing for pdf, it has to be presented in a certain way, which again is templated, or for publishing to html, and and that has to be presented in another way in order to meet the regulatory guidelines. So I think it starts with the template and having that reusable, consistent, xml-based template, but then it goes off beyond, ensuring that actually we have consistency in all of our processes when creating that content and all of our processes when creating that content.

Emerson:

The key part to this really is actually creating components of content. So when we talk about having a template, a template isn't just a flat document. It consists of a number of components within it. So this is where the structured authoring strategy comes in, and this is absolutely critical in what we do to enable automation of content and content to be produced and taken to market faster. So, for instance, you would have very predefined sections within your template for things like citations, for guides, for graphs, for tables, for images, for introductions, for quotations. All of these things are fully laid out and that's really what the template consists of.

Emerson:

We actually call that the content model. That's the name that we give that, and so we always refer to them as content models, and content models can be different for each content type. So you might have a content type which is for print in a financial services anti-money laundering standard operating procedure, for example. So that would be your content type, and then within that you'd have a number of different models, because you might have it for one area of the department and then another one for another one, another one for another one. So there's your sort of um, you know your pyramid structure for that, for those templates. But and the other thing and this is where it brings in the quark, the quark's history as well with quark express, our design product is that you can actually combine graphic design elements within that template, as well as just text-based, copy-based, you know elements as well. This is huge because this allows companies and enterprises, for example, to think beyond just technical documentation for something that you can automate and structure. Okay, so suddenly you can automate content for things like product brochures and investment prospectuses in the case of financial services.

Emerson:

The other thing to add to this as well, which is where we're massively different in the market, is that you can use Microsoft Word to actually author these templates. So a lot of people who offer structured authoring tools all the way say, yes, you need to. You can't use microsoft word. That's one of the biggest limitations of microsoft word, so you need to use ours, which is word like, but it's sort of web browser based, blah, blah, blah.

Emerson:

So what we do is we offer the best of both worlds. We offer the choice. So they can use microsoft word if they want to, because we've got a plugin that enables them to just just write as normal but still be producing that xml based content underneath it. But if they don't like my software, do? We know there's a lot of people who like microsoft word right then, just use the web browser version which we have also, which is universal. So yeah, so when we talk about all those, it's key to remember that it's all based around structured chunks, those Lego bricks of content which are reasonably assembled, automated, for whichever purpose you need it for.

Zohra:

So one thing that I think comes to mind for me is you mentioned structured content, and I'm thinking about the DITA framework Is Quark leveraging the data framework.

Richard:

So we like to think of ourselves, so we do. You can use data if you wish, but we think of. One of the things that's very unique about Quark and QPP Quark Publishing Platform is we like to think about, we're schema agnostic in the sense that if you want to use data or biz docs or even our own proprietary smart content, then you're able to do that. We have the flexibility. Each of them obviously has their own advantages and disadvantages, but, much like you can either use your web-based authoring tool or your word-based, you can either choose to use smart content, ditta or whatever other schema, xml based schema within structured authoring tools as well.

Zohra:

Okay, Another interesting thing that I think kind of resonated with me was all the tools that we use as technical writers are the ones that I have used really seem to have a cross departmental functionality. So things like reviews and just collaboration, they're not as collaborative. There are a few now that have come on the market but it's hard to adopt. But you mentioned that Quark allows that end-to-end workflow. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Richard:

Yeah, so I think so there's a number of different ways we're sort of tackling this collaboration scene. So the first and foremost actually is actually allowing people to use the authoring tool. What we've sometimes seen the adoption problems is driven by people's or the lack of adoption can be driven by people's preferences for applications. Some don't want to use a web and some are word-based. So, typically as well, if, um, you're dealing with external contractors or you have someone that's a subject matter expert dealing with that, they struggle to adopt a web-based and we have our on-premise word plugin as an option for these external contractors so they can simply download that and then plug into NextGen without having to get involved with dealing all the core QPP NextGen functionality. They can just simply get a hold of the plugin and write their component.

Richard:

The other way we're looking at it is we have dedicated review applications as well. So we have something that's called Word Review, which is a scaled-down version of our structured authoring tool which enables Word-based reviews for people. So if you're part of the workflow, it's simply just to review and do the final checks. Then you can just use our word-based review. You can do that in the core platform as well. And then we have other initiatives where we're really looking at things like Microsoft Teams integrations. So a lot of the times these collaboration problems are in technology adoption problem. But the majority of our users are using Microsoft Teams. So if we can bring the structured authoring and review and the workflow to Microsoft Teams to where they are right, bring it to the applications where they are, then we've seen it dramatically increases collaboration.

Emerson:

If I'm allowed to just add something to that as well, I think when we talk about collaboration, we also talk about collaborative editing and co-working and co-authoring. So there's two really obvious aspects to collaboration. One is review and approval, versioning, which comes into that. But the other side is collaborative working, so the ability for people to be working on the same piece of content at the same time and this is where the componentization comes in as well, as you can have one person working on a very specific section of a component and somebody else could be working on a different component in a different section and somebody else could be working on another component, another section.

Emerson:

But all of these technical writers, all of these authors can be wherever they are in the world, using whatever system. You know, we're using the web browser, using the word plugin, whatever but they're all still contributing and working on the same document. And that that's absolutely critical. And because we deal again, this comes up to the highly regulated industries where the subject matter experts who bring you know they bring their expertise in that, in that area, to this content writing process because it's so highly regulated and so important. You put the best people onto the best pieces of the content and so on, just to make sure you're fully, fully covered and fully accurate. So when you do, for example, submit content, you know it's going to be, it's going to pass. So, yeah, that's the side of it yeah, sorry, just one.

Richard:

I was going to say each of those components as well. All of them and system for unique to quark as well can have their own workflow, their own life cycle, in a sense that you're not going to be held up by another department where you are in your stage of your component, will not be held up by someone else working on their component, because they can each have their own life cycle and they can go through their own individual review processes for themselves.

Zohra:

I think this to me sounds like the differentiator, where one is the adoption Richard, you mentioned that the technological adoption, the integration, can sometimes be the limitation which I hadn't thought about, and I think that would probably really streamline the process. And second, where SMEs can jump in and provide their input. Not that you cannot do that with other tools, but since it's highly regulated content, conforming with the requirements can be critical and I suppose with time restrictions, so having that SME input in as part of your workflow so you can customize the workflow, I suppose.

Richard:

Yeah, absolutely. We have a very mature and advanced workflow engine that sits at the heart of Quark Publishing platform and you can set up custom stages, entry and exit criteria, touch points with other systems based on the workflow stage. So, yes, it's fairly mature and advanced.

Emerson:

Yeah, I think the other element as well to add to this is it can be human input, but it can also be data input, and this is where it adds complexity to the process which we solve.

Emerson:

We simplify that complexity because you might have content coming in that's written by a technical writer or an SME, but you might also have content that's actually being synchronized from your wider ecosystem. So in financial services, for example, you might be connected to a service like Morningstar or a Bloomberg dashboard from somewhere which is bringing in very specific financial data which then needs to be placed into the template that we've talked about and then assembled and put together and output it into two or three different formats. It could be web, it could be a mobile app, it could be a PDF. But that needs to be done very, very quickly. It needs to be delivered to the clients and to the customers at 6.30am, for example, before the actual stock market's open, so people have got all the information to hand that they need before the day begins. So that data coming together with human writing, once it's in that publishing state, is absolutely critical. So that's the next dimension that top-level enterprises, for example, would experience. But this kind of data also helps technical writers just in general to structure their content.

Zohra:

Oh, one thing as you were talking about publishing, you brought back a lot of nostalgia for me, Emerson, back from the days of my youth. So thank you for that little bit of walk down memory lane. How easily can Quark be set up? Because some of the authoring tools that we use you install and you get started. What about Quark? Does it require any special integration, or is it something that can be driven by teams that do not have resources to set it up?

Richard:

By most of this stuff. It'll depend on the complexity. So depending how much setup required depends on the complexity of what you're setting up, how many data sources you want to integrate with how many workflows. But we always make it as simple as possible. So another one of our sort of key differentiators is we try we make this as self-service as possible, right. So this has typically been. It's funny you touched upon this, you know a lot of the time these structured authoring content automation tools are always sort of very complex, hard to set up, right, and it's like you need specialist knowledge.

Richard:

You can't do this is so specialist, whereas we're making these all as self-service as possible, right, and democratizing it as to as many different personas as possible. So it's, you know, in terms of creating things like content models. Users can go in there and do that in our tool via a friendly UI, and it's just about defining things like well, what sections do I need? What's going to be within those sections? Right, there's no need for technical XML knowledge. You can do that via a friendly user interface. You can define your data sources. So, like Emerson touched on with the last use case, if I want to pull data from something like Azure Data Factory, we're making those self-serviceable and you can set those. Set those up yourselves as well, and obviously, with our workflow as well.

Richard:

So, in terms of technical knowledge required for for getting started with qpp next gen, we're we're getting that barrier as low as possible, right, we're gonna you're still gonna need some knowledge of okay, well, how do I want to? You know my document to shape up. I need this table and this, but it's a lot more easier than perhaps traditional tools, because I think it's interesting. You touched upon that. Actually, they've always been thought as very complex on a need-to-know basis. This is how you set it up.

Richard:

But we're tackling that problem. That's one of the biggest problems we're tackling.

Zohra:

Tackling right is how can we open this up to create lower barriers and entry um for structured authoring and content automation yeah, I think that is an important piece because the audience that I'm trying to reach, uh, a large segment of them that I hear from are generally non-technical, yeah, and so having a tool that is easy to set up, but that of what that presents with such a broad, I guess, workflow that it makes adoption easier. Uh, thinking about translations again, some of the tools that are on the market are offering components or parts of that that we can integrate and use for translation. How about with Quark?

Emerson:

Yeah, I mean, I think, when it comes to translation. So one thing that we always make clear is that we're not a translation service company, so we don't actually provide translation services. We recommend that you connect. You connect to your service provider that you currently have, or you explore something that might help you get further ahead. But what we do have is an open interface that allows you to basically connect with that wider ecosystem. And on top of that, we have Quarky.

Emerson:

Quarky is our AI assistant, essentially our AI co-pilot, and Quarky can do the first level of translation if you want Quarky to, and do the first level of translation if you want Quarky to. So that's how we sort of do it. We do that first AI layer of okay, that might get you to step one. If that's good enough, brilliant. But if you need to go further than that, there's lots of regional dialects, there's very specific technical terms that require an expert in human translation, for example. Then we allow them to integrate that process into the workflow. So you've got ai and then you've got deeper expertise in translation. So I think that's the surface level rich. I don't know if you want to sort of take that a bit sort of deeper technically.

Richard:

Yeah, yeah, I think, and also just to continue on with quarky as well. So we quarky, we can. We have this term that we like to call bring your own ai. So actually, you know, we again like we don't want to be. You know, we're not a translation management service. We're not an ai service either, and organizations will have their own trained large language models on on their data. We want them to bring those models to quark and we integrate with them so you can communicate with them and and quarky does the same for translation, so you can actually choose which translation management or AI translation service I want Quarky to go and request, like bring into um.

Richard:

When you ask Quarky that the way we look at you know translation, for us it's how can we help you manage the different translations as effectively as possible?

Richard:

We're not doing the, but we know that when you're dealing with these, you know this highly regulated content.

Richard:

You need to be easily able to say okay, from my components, which of these have translated versions? Okay, so let's take my you know my 2023 fund summary section, right. I want to see, okay, that's available in French, german and Austrian, right, and then allowing people to reuse those as much as possible. So whilst we don't do the translation, we want to make the translation process for you as efficient as possible. So if you've translated a component once to German, then you don't need to do that again when you reuse it across multiple documents, so you have it ready to reuse the next time you try and you translate another document that reuses that component. So we focus on making sure that people can manage those effectively as possible and they can reuse as many of those translations that they've gotten from their translation management service or qwerky, as possible as well, so they can actually start to save some money because they're not consistently translating whole documents, they're just translating a single component or chunk.

Zohra:

Yeah, I think that makes complete sense. I had an episode entirely dedicated to just translations, and they talked about how you can save money with this feature, and it makes sense to me that if you have content components that are not going to change over time, then you don't want to keep translating them over and over again. I think saving money is something that all of us are constantly thinking about, so that's great. I think you did touch upon briefly some of the challenges that companies can run into with regulated content, but I think you wanted to do a deep dive and revisit that.

Emerson:

Yeah, I think we kind of touched on quite a few of them, but one of the key that I was mentioning was time to market actually getting content through so it allows them to get their product out there. But one of the key that I was mentioning was time to market actually getting content through so it allows them to get their product out there. I mean, if you just sort of turn that around for a minute, you basically say how long is it? Because of all this red tape in our content, essentially we might actually miss our target of getting our new product to market. And that's the kind of thing it comes down to from a board level. Objective point of view is how fast can we get things out there? And sometimes that you know you can see something new emerging in the market. You just want to get it out there as fast as possible, but you're held back because you've got so many hoops that you've got to jump through. When it comes to content, the more we can make the process really streamlined with less of a touch from everybody, with AI augmenting the process, but still with humans in the loop, which is really important. You know, as long as we the tighter, the faster. The more accelerated we can make that process, the better, and that obviously allows you, allows people doing this to get ahead of their competitors because they get their product out there faster. So that's the first thing is time to market, and we see that across all industries. It's really important.

Emerson:

We work with some government organizations as well and they're trying to get their memorandum approved as quickly as possible so they can pass laws and regulation. Same with legal as well. That's. Another thing is trying to get those things done and dusted as fast as possible without complication and deviation.

Emerson:

Another thing which I know Rich touched on as well, is sort of things like corporate accuracy and the inconsistency you find, particularly on a global scale, and that can be something as simple as just brand guidelines. Yeah, just actually just missing the mark on some of the terminology. Your taxonomy is not good enough. You don't have the right keywords and terms in use consistently. This is huge in knowledge management Just everybody actually being able to tag their content accurately and be able to search and find and discover that content. Because of that, that's really important. So we help with that side of things as well. And again, that's really important when it comes to regulation, because you need to make sure that you are using this correct terminology and it's not deviating in any way, because if it does, then you're putting serious risk into the business and that again can lead to penalties and fines and so on. So consistency and accuracy is really important. And then things like your scalability.

Emerson:

So when you think about we talk to a lot of our customers about their content maturity, so it's a where. Where are you at on the graph, if you like where are you at in your content maturity? You know do. Are you structured yet or not? Do you have a component content management system, a ccms, which is like at the central core, which is the core of Quiet Publishing Platform? Nextgen as well, is the CCMS. Do you have that yet?

Emerson:

Are you producing content for more than one output channel?

Emerson:

So, basically, do you print or do you actually create content for print and web, or print web and mobile and so on?

Emerson:

But when you create that content, are you doing it from the same place or do you have a number of different teams in the business who are all working on this content separately?

Emerson:

And that's the big thing that we always this is where the omni-channel publishing comes into it as well is that you can have multi-channel publishing, which is where, yes, you are producing for different channels but it's being split between different teams, which is not ideal, it's not the most efficient way of doing it, whereas if you can do all of the content for all these channels from just one team doing the writing, obviously that's hyper-efficient and that's super productive and that's true omnichannel publishing.

Emerson:

So that's something else we help with. And again, when it comes to the things that I've just mentioned, if you think highly regulated industries, they need to be fully compliant that if you have different teams working on different content, then you're bringing in that risk of things getting wrong where it's being made inconsistencies, wrong terminology, wrong tagging, content being produced. Other teams, not knowing that it's been produced, can't find it, end up reproducing the content, spending another few weeks writing content that's already been produced that they didn't know existed. So when you start factoring all these things together, suddenly you understand the scale of the problem and you push that onto a global level, with different languages, different regional submission types and so on, suddenly you've got a huge, huge problem. So that's the real sort of root of what we do.

Zohra:

Yeah, as you were explaining these different scenarios, I was getting stressed out just thinking about them Because even though, like you talked about branding taxonomy, right now we are working on updates for legal compliance and that requires highly regulated content, in a sense, and there was cross-functional collaboration, that and it was just a lot of writers on it and, yes, I can almost imagine the stress that went with it because we wanted to be compliant. So this is all great information. We've touched upon some great questions here. We've talked about just integration. We've talked about the challenges that company can face and how we can overcome, how Quark can help us overcome. We've also talked about Quarky, the co-pilot. Of course, ai is all over the place right now and companies are integrating ai in different manners, in different ways, and they think that, okay, some companies think that ai is going to replace writers, but I did hear one of you mentioned that that's not what the product intends, because job security is is critical. Is quark doing anything like that?

Richard:

we're not looking to replace anyone with Quark.

Richard:

Quark is an enabler for automation, so, whether that's discovering content that exists already in flat PDF, unstructured format, finding content that's ripe for reuse, ai can assist.

Richard:

Discovering that.

Richard:

Accelerating the journey to structured content is another use case for AI and really just assisting our authors or subject matter experts with their day-to-day tasks.

Richard:

So, whether it's doing keyword tagging, right, so rather than the accuracy of what you tag your content, where this is obviously a port for a regulation perspective, but also discoverability, if you want to reuse regulatory perspective, but also on discoverability, if you want to reuse it, it needs to be discoverable and just utilizing AI to say, okay, well, can you tag this content up and then the subject matter expert or the author can just simply go through and prune and fine-tune them, rather than actually having to sift through the content, maybe just summarize and do content quality checks, the mundane day-to-day stuff that's obviously important but really holds back the authors or any writer from doing the stuff that matters, which is writing. But then also looking at where okay, well, how can we help them understand and flag up where are we in breach of any rules that we've set? So, just before final submissions, you can do a pre-flight check and utilize ai for that, saying, okay, well, actually you know, the corporate branding or guideline says that actually we should refer to it in this way and you haven't used that. And replacing it that way based on their own taxonomy. Again helping, helping the authors and the writers, not replacing them, just creating more efficiencies.

Richard:

And then help you know, again helping provide insights into you know, emerson talked about time to market, and you know we need to get content out quickly. It can't be lagging behind right. Well, actually, okay, there's a great use case for ai. That actually helps you understand where do your inefficiencies lie. Are we overloading certain writers or work authors, are we stuck at a particular stage for too long, et cetera. So for us, we definitely see it more as an enabler for further efficiencies and automation. I don't know if, emerson, you want to add anything there.

Emerson:

Yeah, I think you've covered the main things.

Emerson:

I guess that at the back end of the process is the intelligence side of it as well.

Emerson:

So this is really important where you, where you're actually capturing analytics and consumption information about how your content's actually performing and then using that as a way to to perfect your strategy and also things like identify the holes in in where your con in your content strategy or your content production.

Emerson:

So again, this links back up to regulation and compliance is that you might find that your team, if it's say, a team of customer experience managers who are providing services to as part of a bank, is part of an anti-money laundering kind of service, but they need to follow steps to be able to deliver regulated compliance service to the customer. And if they don't have the content that's telling them how to actually follow those steps, then that's a massive critical issue for the business Because again, that could result in penalties and fines if they get it wrong. So actually being able to track analytics and saying, okay, where did we go wrong? Did the people actually use the right content they should have used, and then add machine learning on top of that, then that helps you get to those answers faster too, I think I had a great phrase.

Richard:

It touches on your first question. It was AI isn't going to replace your job. The person using AI will. That was the theory I still believe in that.

Zohra:

It is a cliched phrase now, but I think it is important to keep that front and center for me personally, because, as I use more of AI, the very applications that you mentioned are how I think about AI. In fact, one of the guests that I've interviewed talks about a tool that he's created for content maintenance, because content very quickly goes out of date or it's not intentional, of course, but content can go very quickly out of date, especially with continuous integration and how AI can lend insights. It would be fantastic in that scenario, and the tool that he's developed does precisely that. It's not an AI tool, but it allows a writer to run that tool and figure out. Okay, there are content gaps here, especially, let's say, with UI content or a procedure, simple things, a change in label in the UI, and that can flag you. So I thought that was a great application. But then you extend that and if AI can do that for me before I have to do something, that would be fantastic.

Zohra:

This is how we become collaborative and we go from a cost center to a profit center, because that's another thing that I think about. As writers, how do we bring value? It doesn't have to be technical writers, but any content creator, all of us are creating content, so we are all content creators, so to speak. So how do we bring value to what we're doing and to the bottom line, that's all and improve that customer experience? And especially, you know, in a highly regulated world that we are talking about in this episode, it becomes I think it becomes super critical, actually, especially when you're talking about pharmaceutical companies.

Emerson:

here you're starting to deal with real life scenarios, so you don't want to get anything wrong, mr human health, exactly, and another. Another area that we're really working on at the moment and we've we've actually we're demoing this release to our customers at the moment and it's available for full release actually within two weeks, which is brilliant. But this is about converting unstructured data into structured, reusable components. So this is huge, and you may have heard a technical term intelligent document processing but it essentially is area we're using AI. So this is the semantic form of AI. We're using this to actually find and identify flat documents.

Emerson:

So we talk about things like flat PDFs, where we're searching across, finding content that's really useful and then being able to convert that into reusable components and place them within the CCMS so other people can start using them within their content. So this is a really slick and used to be a very professional services heavy function, but we're using AI and our own expertise 40 plus years of expertise to bring all this together and then, as Rich said earlier, self-service this, so make surface this for the people to be able to do it themselves. So, basically, you could find a piece of content from 10, 12 years ago that had something really cool on it that you know you still want to use, but it's not structured. That's not a problem. It's a PDF.

Emerson:

Let's have a look at it. Oh yeah, there's the page. There's the area that I want to use. Actually, that bit next to it is quite useful as well. Let's convert both of them, because I want that graph as well. So let's bring it all through. Let's convert them into components, put them into the CCMS, make them available for reuse and take all the best things about the content that we thought was dead and buried and we couldn't use again. That's a huge process and that's underpinned by AI.

Zohra:

Awesome. Based on the questions that I had in mind, I think we've covered pretty good ground here. Is there anything additional either of you would like to add?

Emerson:

I think security was only the other area that I think we're obviously very focused on. We're ISO 27001 registered, we're hyper-focused on security and I think that links back to AI, with the bring your own AI and protecting your own data Really important. When you've got your own large language models that's built on your own data that you may have taken years and years to build up, you want to protect that. So that's one of the threats of AI is being able to poison data, pollute data, release data into the world that shouldn't be there.

Richard:

So that I think security rich is an area, isn't it, we're super focused on? Oh, absolutely, I think we notice when we're out there talking to people. Right, it's as important security as is as important as all of the cool functions, features, capabilities we're delivering. Security is up there and, um, yeah, like emerson said, it's all about being able to obviously bring your own data as much as possible. The other side of it is we don't want to be sending this highly regulated, confidential content back and forth across different systems, different services, back and forth across the internet. So actually being able to connect your own personal as well, having various deployment options, especially around SaaS, so multi-tenant options, single tenant options, private cloud options, etc. But then it also comes down to just being able to set things like we have a very advanced roles and permissioning security system, what we say.

Richard:

So actually, when you're writing this confidential or highly regulated content, there may be some things that I don't want emerson to see. Maybe at one stage of the workflow, yes, but at this stage it's hidden from him. So we have all of the yeah, we do all of the stuff around data privacy and all of that, but also actually, when creating and writing the content and collaborating, you can do very advanced security requirements with permissioning. So only the right people see the right content at the right time. I guess I was going to say say it's a shameless plug, but I was gonna say we actually have a dedicated, we have a secure. I think it's securityquark, isn't it emerson? I think if you go to quarkcom, we have a whole sub-site dedicated to security, just because of how important it is.

Zohra:

Um, so it's worth checking out uh, so please definitely provide me with that link and I'll add it to my show notes. But I think security is absolutely critical and I'm glad, emerson, you brought that up because the tools that I have used, we've not had the scenario where we've had to set up roles and access privileges, so that's, I think, super critical, especially when you're dealing with regulated content. This is great. Thank you so much, richard and Emerson, for your time on a Saturday morning to come and enlighten me.

Emerson:

It's been an absolute pleasure. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Zohra:

Yeah, absolutely, it's been my pleasure too. This has been great. Have a lovely weekend, guys. We'll stay in touch, will do. Thank you so much.

Emerson:

Speak to you soon thank you bye bye.

Zohra:

Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite app, such as apple spotify or youtube music. For the latest on my show, follow me on or visit me at wwwinsidetechcomshow. Catch you soon on another episode.

Regulated Content in Technical Communications
Enhancing Collaboration With Quark Publishing
Streamlining Content Automation and Translation
AI as an Enabler for Automation