[Adobe Customer Story] Palo Alto Networks – Increasing Content Reach with Integrated Technical Documentation

The digital economy is a gateway to greater freedom, convenience, and opportunities for most people. Unfortunately, some people are inclined to take advantage of others, which is why business, individuals, and institutions need cybersecurity. Palo Alto Networks is a major contributor to technologies, processes, and practices that help protect networks, computers, applications, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access.

Palo Alto Networks provides advanced cybersecurity to more than 48,000 organizations in 150 countries, including 85 of the Fortune 100 and more than 63 % of the Global 2000. After 250 % customer growth in five years, Palo Alto Networks determined that it should consolidate its technical documentation and its product and service information websites to simplify operations and provide better customer experiences.

Palo Alto Networks already used Adobe Experience Manager Sites and Adobe Experience Manager Assets for web content and digital asset management, and Adobe FrameMaker for technical documentation. Initially, Palo Alto Networks hired a developer to create a tool that could convert unstructured FrameMaker documents to web-friendly PDF and HTML content. But the time-consuming workflow required a lot of troubleshooting, so Palo Alto Networks decided to switch to structured DITA content.

The technical documentation team was thrilled to learn it could create and publish technical documentation quickly through a seamless workflow using XML Documentation for Adobe Experience Manager, the full-fledged DITA Component Content Management System (CCMS) from Adobe. Palo Alto Networks provided test cases, met weekly with the Adobe development team, and set up a server for in-house beta testing.

“We knew that we could rely on Adobe to develop a superior solution,” says Bernadette Javier, Senior Web Experience Manager at Palo Alto Networks. “Adobe is fantastic at pushing the envelope and integrating its products. Adobe also has teams of developers and experts in both Adobe Experience Manager and FrameMaker to develop a truly seamless solution. In the future, Adobe will provide updates and maintenance to the solution, while we can concentrate resources on delivering world-class security solutions and documentation.”

With XML Documentation for Adobe Experience Manager, writers can update specific topics instead of republishing entire books. That makes Palo Alto Networks faster to market with content changes and updates. Since the integration, Palo Alto Networks delivered 26 books of technical documentation—nearly 7,000 pages of content covering 6,000 topics—in a quarter of the time than with the old workflow.

“Moving to XML Documentation for Adobe Experience Manager has helped us build a solution where technical documentation is a more central part of the website and a bigger part of the customer journey.”

Laralyn Melvin, Senior Director, Technical Documentation, Palo Alto Networks

Metadata in DITA content makes it more searchable, so customers easily find what they need. With technical documentation now a more central part of the Palo Alto Networks website, the company has seen its SEO improve and the number of monthly web visitors reach a record of 1 million.

The full case study is available as a PDF for download here.


Stefan Gentz

Stefan Gentz is Adobe's Worldwide Technical Communication Evangelist. He’s been working in the TechComm and Translation industry for about 18 years now. You can contact him with any ideas for solutions, partnership, TechComm conferences and events, blog posts on TechComm Central, Webinars and just any other idea. You can also join his community on facebook and follow him on twitter @stefangentz and Google+.

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