Racing school and optimizing PDF workflows

By Scott Mackey | May 7, 2013

I went to racing school and learned something about optimizing PDF workflows…

Ok, it wasn’t exactly racing school it was an Advanced Driver Training course - and they never mentioned the term PDF but follow my crazy train of thought for a moment.

Everyone knows how to drive, don't they?  Debatable, but in general, sure.

If you've got your license you know the basics. There is nothing like going to a course where there are experts to show you the true depth of knowledge and skills required to get the most out of a vehicle. I've driven for years and my passion for cars and performance driving has led me to a couple of courses to hone my skills. It never ceases to amaze me what I don't know or what can be accomplished by someone with the knowledge and experience of a seasoned driver. Sure. What does that have to do with PDF?

Like driving, the basic concepts around PDF conversion – even automating it as part of a larger document workflow – are not hard to grasp. Speak to a PDF expert for a few minutes though and you'll quickly realize the challenges and opportunities are far greater than you thought.

For years our customers have licensed Adlib PDF conversion technology and happily proceeded to implement, configure, deploy and troubleshoot entirely on their own. I can tell you from long experience that those who realize there is much more to gain by getting help and training are getting much more value – and they're getting it faster. It's all in the details

Understanding the nuances of vehicle dynamics and having them explained in the context of the larger goal – to go fast and to do it efficiently – can be transformative in terms of the performance and enjoyment you can get out of a vehicle. Details such as...

  • the effect of tire pressure on how the car behaves in different load situations
  • the importance of looking much farther ahead than you're used to (i.e. if you look at the cone you’re pivoting around, you will hit said cone)
  • the need to test and appreciate the braking, cornering and acceleration tendencies of your car 

These are just a few key elements to getting the most performance and enjoyment out of your drive.
 
Understanding the outer limits and the bigger picture are key for PDF workflows as well. The business process efficiency gained by understanding the subtleties of PDF and process automation is just as important. If you don't include ALL potential inputs to the system, if you stay focused only on what is in front of you – you will "hit the cone"... rather you will set yourself up for challenges very early after deployment. Testing the limits of the system in also key to ensure the satisfaction levels of all users and systems is maintained. Consider for a moment all of the elements of your system…

  • Server hardware and software
  • Business applications
  • Network  infrastructure
  • Dozens if not hundreds of file formats
  • Documents of various sizes, some of which you may have no ability to even view
  • Content which contain unique formatting, special characters, multiple languages, embedded content etc.
  • Information locked in non-searchable formats of varying quality
  • Thousands of users both internal and external
  • Uptime/availability expectations that near 100%

You start to appreciate how getting some expert advice can help ensure the success of your system, accelerate the project, and minimize the costs and risk associated with instability or sub-optimal configurations. Can you do it without help? Yes. Just like driving.

Are you going to get the maximum value out of your technology investment? Unlikely. Is getting help worth it? Yes. What if you could…

  • Reduce deployment time from weeks to days?
  • Leverage an expert for the initial design and deployment when it is needed most?
  • Deploy a system that raises service availability from 90% to 100% eliminating calls from frustrated users or business delays due to downtime?
  • Troubleshoot your system without having to log and monitor a support case?
  • Learn about capabilities you didn't realize were built into the investment you've already made?

If you're like most of our customers you have a broad collection of technologies and business processes to manage so you can't expect to be an expert in all of them.  Utilizing experts like those offered by Adlib can help you to ensure the maximum benefits in the least amount of time.
 
The advanced driving clinic I attended certainly helped me by putting the experts in the seat right next to me patiently doling out wisdom that provided instant and measureable results. Adlib's PDF Experts can do the same for you.
 
Who knew I'd go to driving school and learn something about PDF workflows? ;-)

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