ant a e
Adobe FrameMaker Success Story
Multinational high-speed rail and power company puts the brakes
on costs with Adobe® FrameMaker®, yielding a smoother end-to-end
technical publishing system
Alstom Transport Establishing document control and distribution
www.transport.alstom.com/home Alstom Transport, a major player in the energy and transport sectors, has a reputation for being at the
In partnership with forefront of environmentally conscious and innovative technologies. Its customers expect to receive
Antéa high-level, professionally written materials throughout the sales cycle, and long after, that keep them
http://antea.fr/ up to date on the latest advances in Alstom Transport’s products and services.
The company has six research offices throughout France, Germany, and Italy, which are responsible for
e determining maintenance strategies and producing documentation for the firm’s clients. The offices are
organized by product line. Each group is responsible for overseeing service guidelines for trams and
Industry subway cars, very high-speed trains, high-speed trains, locomotives, intercity trains, and regional trains.
Transportation The company needed to revamp the way their post-sales documentation was edited, produced, and
Challenges distributed and found that both sales and service materials lacked a unified, corporate voice. There was
• Improve post-sales documentation no template in place and no style or text standards with which authors had to conform. In addition, it was
quality noted that in many cases, the post-sales and maintenance literature was prepared by outsourced writers
• Reduce production costs using a variety of in-house and third-party applications—a process that was becoming overly expensive.
• Standardize publishing process
• Foster interoffice collaboration Alstom Transport’s corporate team could not easily edit or oversee the quality of the content before it
reached the recipients. Ultimately, customers would receive a 5,000 to 8,000-page, graphics-heavy
Solution maintenance guide created with a word processing program. “We had multiple challenges,” says Eric
• Integrated technical document
Ribeyre, director of integrated logistical support at Alstom Transport. “We needed a content-management
technology that would help us unify the documentation-delivery process, reduce production costs, and
Alstom Transport uses Adobe
FrameMaker technology to provide gain tighter control over the content itself.”
customers with improved post-sales
documentation, reduce publishing “Our customers expect relevant, readable materials,” continues Ribeyre. “It was imperative that we bring
costs, and standardize its high-volume consistency to our documentation so that our literature reflected a high standard of quality, and Adobe
publishing across the multinational FrameMaker enabled us to do exactly that.”
Ribeyre and his colleagues set out to find a robust, economical publishing solution that supported lengthy,
technical, and graphics-heavy components. For years, the group had been using an in-house hybrid
• Reduced publishing costs
application that relied on open-source Java™, Tomcat, and FOP technologies. However, the team recognized
• Improved documentation quality
that their open-source content-production tool came with a number of limitations.
• Increased client satisfaction
• Enabled easy collaboration across For starters, Ribeyre notes, the company’s existing, home-grown technology was ill-suited to handle
enterprise large documents. It did not support CGM or 3D vector illustrations. Materials that were published were
• Centralized and standardized often unstable and of poor quality. Trying to harness multiple formats created in competing applications
came with a significant price tag. Furthermore, files created in open-source technology did not lend
• Integrated documentation process
with engineering process themselves to secure collaboration.
Systems at a glance An ideal end-to-end solution
• Adobe FrameMaker 9 Alstom Transport contacted the French consulting firm and Adobe partner, Antéa, to help ascertain
• Adobe FrameMaker Server 9 Alstom’s publishing specifications. Quality and stability were of paramount importance, so the prospective
• Adobe Acrobat® 9 Pro Extended
software had to deftly handle large, graphics-heavy files. The company’s writers wanted to be able to
• Adobe Flash® Professional
manage and edit their output before it reached the intended audience and the design team wanted more
control over the content’s illustrations and layout. Above all, the ideal technology would be cost-effective
when it came to implementation, licensing, updates, maintenance, and customization.
“Our customers expect The decision to implement Adobe FrameMaker 9 and Adobe FrameMaker 9 Server was made
relevant, readable materials. swiftly, says Ribeyre. “We evaluated a number of offerings, and only Adobe FrameMaker gave us
complete support for automating and delivering large-scale documents, quickly and efficiently. We are
It was imperative that we
confident that Adobe FrameMaker is the most powerful technical documentation tool on the market.”
bring consistency to our
documentation so that our Alstom Transport was most impressed by the seamless integration of Adobe software into the
organization’s existing IT infrastructure. The firm’s users were already actively engaged in using
literature reflected a high
Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended and Adobe Flash Professional to create and share interactive 3D
standard of quality, and content in Adobe PDF. By adopting another Adobe technology, the company was helping to ensure
Adobe FrameMaker enabled the stability of its content-production system. Additionally, by harnessing the power of Adobe
us to do exactly that.” FrameMaker Server 9, Alstom’s high-volume materials would be output in a secure, feature-rich
Eric Ribeyre publishing environment.
Director of integrated logistical
support, Alstom Transport Collaboration across the enterprise
Deploying the Adobe FrameMaker solution occurred in two stages. In phase one, Alstom’s consulting
partner, Antéa, assigned a documentation job to a research office. Each collaborator contributed
content in XML format, which was then automatically published as a PDF document. In the second
phase, Antéa used Adobe FrameMaker to comb the output for common blocks of information, or
modules. These standard chunks of text and graphics can be reused and assembled for future
documents. “We have developed command lines in Adobe FrameMaker which let us define publication
orders,” says Ribeyre. “FrameMaker will automatically gather the XML information, assemble it
according to the style rules we have predefined, and output it in PDF.”
The organization is simultaneously using two tools which complement its Adobe FrameMaker
authoring solution: Arbortext Editor for editing XML data in the research offices, and Arbortext
IsoDraw for editing illustrations in isometric view, which will be used for the documents. “We do
not yet integrate 3D models in PDF documents,” explains Eric Ribeyre. The PDF document must
therefore remain printable by the clients. “We publish in parallel an electronic document that can
be viewed with an Internet browser, in which we can link digital models to the traditional diagrams.
But it is not a file that is assembled like a PDF document,” he explains.
To fully meet his customers’ expectations and offer the printing function while also preserving the
browsing and reading ease of the PDF piece, the Alstom team uses embedded URLs. “We’re
supplying very complex publications with diagrams and illustrations. When clients want to print a
file, we replace the hot links with the page number and the procedure reference,” says Ribeyre.
For Alstom Transport, choosing Adobe FrameMaker as the core of its automated publishing
solution for post-sales literature is a direct source of profit in a number of ways. First, by breaking
the documentation into blocks, one module can be reused on a number of projects. “Reuse is
significant, allowing us to greatly reduce production costs,” notes Ribeyre.
Second, by empowering its staff with skills to control the publishing process, Alstom Transport is
enjoying a new level of responsiveness and negotiation with its vendors. “The easy learning curve
and intuitive interface of Adobe FrameMaker 9 have led to more productive budgetary discussions
with our suppliers,” said Ribeyre. “Our users have learned the craft and can speak from experience.
In the past, we were working with providers on a project-to-project basis. Today, we use a global
approach rather than by the project.”
A third source of ROI has been in pure customer satisfaction. “Our clients have congratulated us on
the quality of our publications. We have made real progress and have control over our documentation,
in both content and style,” says Ribeyre, who also commends his company’s close work with Antéa.
“Antéa has a very in-depth understanding of the document-creation process, and a great ability to
translate our operational needs for Adobe FrameMaker.”
“We are confident that Looking ahead, Alstom Transport is seeking to refine its publishing processes by integrating new
Adobe FrameMaker is the features. “There is little need for training on Adobe FrameMaker,” Ribeyre states, noting that he
plans to allow each of the six research offices to tailor documents based on client requests. “We’ll
most powerful technical
integrate the solution at the PLM Teamcenter and undoubtedly link 3D digital models to the PDF
documentation tool on document.” Also on the horizon will be the use of Adobe LiveCycle® Digital Signatures ES2 for
the market.” maximum security.
Director of integrated logistical
“We’re very confident that adopting new and complementary Adobe technologies is key to our
support, Alstom Transport positive bottom line,” says Ribeyre. “Thanks to Adobe FrameMaker, we greatly enhanced our
document-publishing skills—which in turn makes it possible for us to considerably improve quality,
better satisfy our customers, and significantly reduce our production costs.”
For more information
Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Flash, FrameMaker, and LiveCycle are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the
Adobe Systems Incorporated United States and/or other countries. Java is a trademark or registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other
trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704 © 2010 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.
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