PSC Group Featured in OOXML document published by Peter O’Kelly

September 9 2011

Peter O'Kelly has published the research paper "Revisiting Open Document Format and Office Open XML: The Quiet Revolution Continues" on Slideshare. This is an update to the 2008 Burton Group OOXML/ODF report that he was the primary author for. PSC Group and one of our customers is highlighted in the document as an OOXML success story:


A Research Director, Inc. (RDI) case study published by Microsoft provides another compelling example of the benefits of open and XML-based document formats. RDI’s service provider PSC Group used OOXML in conjunction with Microsoft PowerPoint to significantly simplify and streamline RDI’s customer analytics. RDI’s case study is an example of an application scenario that would have required an incredible amount of custom application design and development, if the company had not been able to build on OOXML and PowerPoint.
I interviewed RDI Partner Marc Greenspan to learn more about his OOXML experience, and he shared the following perspective:
“Since 1991, Research Director, Inc. has been providing radio broadcasters with tools to help them understand their audiences and help them sell the value of those listeners to their advertisers. Over that 20+ year period, the tools we’ve used to meet the needs of our clients have evolved tremendously.
Our clients were demanding that we deliver output to them in a format that they could use in PowerPoint and Word, because those were the tools they used to conduct their daily business. When we began designing and contracting for development of this latest generation of our system in early 2007, Open XML was just starting to become a reality. Looking around, we couldn’t find anyone that had even begun to successfully implement that technology on the scale we were looking at. So it was a quite leap of faith for us to head in that direction.
We faced numerous challenges during the initial development process. On our first project, PSC (our developer) had to invent many of the tools they used to generate the XML scripts. They needed to work closely with Microsoft to clarify the settings that controlled certain parts of our output. It was time consuming and we were making compromises with the output because it wasn’t clear how to get it exactly the way we wanted it to look. Fortunately, that product was first released to our clients in early 2009 to rave reviews.
As we started on phase 2 of this project, the tools and technology were evolving to a point where we could make more rapid progress and generate the output to look just as we wanted it.
In hindsight the decision to migrate to Open XML was absolutely the correct one for our company. Now our clients are using their preferred software -- in most cases PowerPoint but in some they are using other technology on tablet platforms. Our content generation technology should continue to work with future versions of PowerPoint and other Open XML compatible programs. And most importantly, we are providing a useful tool that better meets the needs of our clients.”

A great paper to read if you are doing anything with OOXML, ODF, or PDF.