Eye on Oracle

Dec 1 2010   3:07PM GMT

Is Oracle Tutor worth the premium over Microsoft Word?

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Some might ask what the difference is between Oracle Tutor, its process and procedure documentation software, and a simple program like Microsoft Word. In other words, why use Tutor to write a company handbook when you can just do it in Word?

Earlier this month, Oracle rolled out Tutor 14, its latest iteration of the product, which has been around for more than a decade. New features include integration with Oracle’s own Business Process Management software, Microsoft’s Visio flowcharting tool and other XML Process Definition Language (XPDL) formatted tools.

I talked to Deb Piper, senior documentation and training specialist at one of the world’s largest steel producers ThyssenKrupp, about the company’s use of Tutor.

“The main focus we’re using it for is to train end users on how to use our new ERP software,” she said. “We use Tutor in conjunction with (Oracle User Productivity Kit) to get training across to the end users.”

What about Tutor vs. Microsoft Word?

“Tutor is like Word on steroids,” she said.

How so?

“You can customize training based on job roles,” she continued. “You have the flexibility to customize and import and export information exactly as you need it, and very quickly. You get a bunch of reports based on using the system. We use a report that’s a job-to-responsibility report. It’s like a cross reference. You can see per procedure what they need to do to do their job.”

My guess is that large companies are more likely to use a product like Oracle Tutor to keep track of all the documentation within their company. Smaller companies are more likely to be able to get away with not shelling out the dough to get it, and continuing to use Word or some other simpler, cheaper software for documentation.

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