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N-able Technologies Uses Madcap Flare To Modernize Online Help And Documentation

Flare Allows N-able to Offer Customers a State-of-the-Art Web Experience, and Provide One-Day Turnaround on Documentation Updates

La Jolla, CA, USA – December 9, 2009 – MadCap Software, the leader in multi-channel content authoring and a showcase company for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft XPS, today announced that N-able Technologies® is using MadCap Flare to deliver state-of-the-art online Help and print documentation. With Flare’s multi-channel content authoring, N-able is providing its customers superior WebHelp navigation, customizing and updating content in a fraction of the time it previously took, and streamlining the simultaneous delivery of its print and online documentation.

“We implemented MadCap Flare documentation tools two years ago and have since seen tremendous process improvement,” said Patrick Calnan, N-able documentation team leader. “With Flare, our workflow is much easier, and I can spend more time working on content rather than extraneous tasks for output. In the past, we could only process one or two updates per week. Now with Flare, we can make those changes in one day, ensuring that our customers have the most up-to-date information available.”

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, N-able Technologies provides award-winning remote network monitoring and system management software for managed service providers and IT departments. Before implementing Flare, N-able used a popular, much less powerful Help authoring tool to create PDF files for print documentation. As such, the documentation team had to use a third-party plug-in to prepare the content for online delivery. The resulting online Help had poor indexing and minimal navigation ability, making it difficult for customers to find the assistance that they needed.

“We provide a Web-based application, so it only makes sense for us to offer Help content that matches the sophistication of our award-winning software,” said Calnan. “It was clear that the time had come for us to shift our focus from PDF print files to online Help as our primary delivery format. With Flare, we have a complete authoring solution for delivering best-in-class WebHelp, as well as continuing to provide top-quality print documentation—all from the same source files.”

The powerful built-in search engine and simplified indexing of the Flare-based WebHelp now make it easy for customers to navigate through more than 600 Help topics to quickly reach the information they need.

Flare’s native XML architecture was also an important factor for N-able, which has a full staff of XML and Java developers building and maintaining its Web-based software. With N-able’s software and Flare both based on XML, it was easy for N-able to take its user interface format and use it as the template for the WebHelp, providing a consistent look-and-feel for customers.

Flare’s XML architecture has also allowed N-able to customize its online Help for customers. For example, one large multinational company required a fourth frame in the WebHelp so that it could display its logo across the bottom of the page. Without any major additional steps, an N-able developer wrote the XML code to add the necessary fourth frame in addition to the navigation, table of contents (TOC), and content frames. The same customer also required versions of the WebHelp in French, Italian, German and Spanish with the XML-based Flare project easily facilitating the translations and preserving the formatting.

“We might have been able to create our content with other authoring tools, but Flare has allowed us to make our documentation modern, sophisticated and professional while keeping it easy to use,” said Calnan. “Our customers have noticed and appreciate the changes we’ve made, and their high level of satisfaction has led to our senior management recognizing Flare’s value as well.”

Two other benefits of Flare are reusable content and support for cascading style sheets (CSS). The lack of duplication means that WebHelp files produced by Flare are just one-tenth the size of

N-able’s previous online Help files, significantly reducing demands on hardware. Additionally, the documentation team is seeing significant efficiencies.

“For example, if I need to modify formatting for our documentation, I can make the font size or color change in the CSS file, and it is instantly reflected in more than 600 topics,” Calnan says. “We can also catch and make changes quickly and easily.”

Recently, N-able implemented MadCap’s Feedback Server, which allows Calnan and his documentation team to gather customer input on the Flare-generated WebHelp content through its rating and tagging features. Going forward, N-able plans to post knowledge-based articles (KBAs) generated from its support calls as part of the Help content with Flare and then use the Feedback Server to allow customers to tag, rate and comment on those issues.

“Though this project is in its early stages, customers have already given us very positive feedback,” Calnan notes. “We look forward to using Flare and Feedback Server in future projects to further extend the dialogue with our customers.”

“As a global provider of leading-edge Web-based solutions, N-able recognizes that the customer experience extends beyond the software to also include the online Help and print documentation that support it,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap co-founder and CEO. “We are excited by N-able’s success in using Flare, and more recently our Feedback Server, to create a rich, interactive experience for the users of its software. And we look forward to working with the N-able team in continuing to set new standards for supporting customers through groundbreaking WebHelp and documentation.”

About N-able Technologies

N-able Technologies is the global leader in remote monitoring and management software for managed service providers and IT departments. N-able's award-winning N-central platform and complementary toolsets, backed by best-in-class business and technical services, are proven to reduce IT support costs, improve network performance and increase productivity through the proactive monitoring, management and optimization of IP-enabled devices and IT infrastructure. N-able is 100% channel-friendly and maintains operations in North America, the U.K., The Netherlands and Australia. Start a free 30-day trial of N-central at www.n-able.com/trials.

About MadCap Software

MadCap Software, Inc. is a trusted resource for the thousands of companies around the globe that rely on its solutions for single-source multi-channel authoring and publishing, multimedia, and translation management. Whether delivering technical, policy, medical, marketing, business, or human resources content, MadCap’s products are used to create corporate intranets, Help systems, policy and procedure manuals, video tutorials, knowledge bases, eBooks, user guides, and more to any format, including high-end print, online, desktop or mobile. MadCap services include product training, consulting services, translation and localization, and an advanced developer certification program. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, MadCap Software is home to some of the most experienced software architects and product experts in the content development industry.


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