ActivePDF DocConverter Helps Provide a Central Destination for Online Training Materials
The University of Michigan is one of the great public research universities of the United States. Each year Michigan enrolls almost 36,000 students from over one hundred countries around the globe.
Michigan Administrative Information Services (MAIS) is the division of U-M that designs, implements, and supports the university's administrative information systems and processes. Over 7,000 individuals work with these systems on a daily basis and require regular access to online training information and materials. Given the diverse array of desktop environments used by employees, this information needed to be made available in a universal file format, accessible across different client platforms. The university also required a more time-efficient process for the publication of these training materials.
Content developers at the university create training documentation using a variety of different software tools. Prior to implementing ActivePDF solutions, dedicated staff was hired to manually convert disparate file types to PDF for use within the administrative training system, an arduous and time-consuming task. Before long, it became obvious that the university required an automated solution to handle this conversion of large quanities of documents to PDF.
Using ActivePDF Server/DocConverter, content is now developed and ready to be published for campus users in a matter of minutes (as opposed to hours) -one person can batch convert documents to PDF and then publish them directly for users via the administrative training system. The new process means that the administrative services divison can now concentrate on producing high-quality content and efficient delivery of the documents, rather than dedicating resources to the manual conversion of these files. The solution has significantly improved productivity and because the conversion process is centralized at the server level, it is much easier to administer compared to client-based solutions. As a result, software training and maintenance costs have also been considerably reduced.
The university did evaluate other solutions, however the automation of the conversion process and ease of integration into the MAIS environment were major deciding factors in choosing ActivePDF Server/DocConverter over other options. When unexpected technical issues were encountered, ActivePDF's online knowledge base and other support resources proved invaluable on numerous occasions. David Sweetman, the MAIS Application System Administrator stated "since introducing ActivePDF into our PDF conversion workflow, converting documents for publication to campus users takes a matter of minutes - compared to the hours it took to manually convert the documents. This increased productivity enables us to focus on the content and delivery of the documents, rather than dedicating resources to the mechanics of converting files."