Re: managing, updating, incorporating 3rd-party docs

Subject: Re: managing, updating, incorporating 3rd-party docs
From: "CB Casper" <knowone -at- surfy -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 05:34:59 -0800

We purchased a vendor product and after evaluating
the docs, decided they needed to be re-written,
rather than simply rebadged. A year later a sister
division decided to rebadge the original vendor
docs, and we were forced to use the same. They
were able to include in the contract a provision
to accept changes to their base documents to get
the docs improved.

The good news is that they are using my changed
docs to feedback to the vendor, the bad news is
that this vendor supplies the same product and
documents to our competitors.

Get the documentation folks involved early in
contract negotiations, to make sure that all
the bases are covered, such as copyright,
can you change their docs, update process,
rebadging requirements, do you want the vendor
name to appear at all, etc. Don't forget the
software itself may have the vendor name, and
who is responsible for changing it. If there
is an online help or GUI, discuss changes to
this as well. Who is responsible for doing
the rebadging, as sometimes we cannot make
the changes directly and it is far easier and
cheaper for the vendor to make the changes
particularly in GUI screens.

Discuss tools as well. I had a vendor who used
Ventura Publishing, and we used corporate
tweaked FM6+SGML. Discuss what formats they
are to provide. Try to get photos of rebadged
products from the vendor as soon as the
prototypes are approved.

CB - in the California foothills

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