Today, October 21st, between 12:30 PM -1 PM EDT, Barry Bealer, President/CEO of RSI Content Solutions, will be taking a virtual stage at the NISO Two-Day Virtual Conference, sponsored by none other than RSuite client, SAGE Publications.
Barry's presentation, 'Trends in Publishing Automation' will be about publishers and how they have traditionally focused on the development of content along product lines. Barry will speak about how today, publishers are moving towards a product agnostic production focus that requires automation to meet time to market demands. He will then review the current trends in automation technology within a publishing organization.
For more information or to register, please visit NISO's event page.
Philadelphia, PA — October 7, 2014 — RSuite CMS, the leading multi-channel Content Management System for the publishing and media industry, has been selected by the World Bank. The World Bank’s publishing program consists of books, serial publications, technical papers, and multilingual content. They needed a secure central repository that could manage each aspect of their publishing process while also synchronizing metadata with third-party systems. A major goal is to update metadata once and synchronize it across systems automatically.
“As you can imagine, organizations such as the World Bank require significant security to operate their systems,” stated Michael Fishkow, Senior Project Manager at RSI Content Solutions. “Meeting the high-level security requirements with RSuite is a feather in our cap."
“After selecting RSuite in a competitive process, we look forward to the support it will provide as we move into a faster-paced and XML-early workflow,” stated Stacey Frank, Publishing Technology Officer, the World Bank. “The ability to manage production and delivery of our content components, with a tool that will be updated regularly, is a key part of our future plans."
About RSI Content Solutions
RSI Content Solutions accelerates publishers’ revenue and profit growth through better content management. Since 2000, RSI Content Solutions has provided publishers, media companies, and technical publishers with award-winning software solutions that transform their businesses to provide clients with the ability to delivery content in any format, to any channel, at any time. RSI Content Solutions products include RSuite CMS—a content management system for publishers and DocZone DITA—a SaaS XML component content management system for technical publishers. For more information, please visit www.rsuitecms.com.
About the World Bank Group
Since inception in 1944, the World Bank has expanded from a single institution to a closely associated group of five development institutions. The mission evolved from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) facilitating post-war reconstruction and development to the present-day mandate of worldwide poverty alleviation in close coordination with its affiliate, the International Development Association, and other members of the World Bank Group: the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org.
Diane Burley, Chief Content Strategist at MarkLogic explains how RSuite CMS has improved productivity and reuse by ease of search across their sales and marketing departments. MarkLogic also sees RSuite being used as a central repository, not only for sales and marketing, but expanding throughout the company. As RSuite is completely rolled out, they plan to see consistent new uses.
Over the years we have worked with hundreds of publishers spanning many industry verticals. Some publishers do everything in-house, some outsource pretty much everything. The question for me is what is the definition of a publisher these days? Is it an organization that does everything from soup to nuts in the entire publishing process or is it a publisher that outsources as much as possible and only worries about brand management?
According to Oxford English Dictionary (OED) published by our RSuite CMS client Oxford University Press, the definition of a publisher and brand manager are:
Publisher - A person or company whose business is the preparation and issuing of printed or documentary material for distribution or sale, acting as the agent of an author or owner; a person or company that arranges the printing or manufacture of such items and their distribution to booksellers or the public
Brand Manager - the supervision of the promotion of a particular brand of goods
So, do these definitions define today’s environment? Let’s look at two examples:
We do everything publisher
We have worked with some publishers who like to control everything about the publishing process right down to printing and binding their publications onsite. These types of publishers are few and far between these days, but they do still exist. I can certainly understand the desire to own the entire publishing process since I am sure the company is a traditional publisher, have employed many of the people for 20 plus years, and have honed the process to be very efficient. The questions are, can outsourcing a specific piece of the publishing process drive better profits or maybe adding some key automation tools (i.e., RSuite CMS) help deliver more and higher quality content? The “we do everything publisher” is generally a niche publisher (e.g., safety information) and has not had too many competitors in their space to drive change. However, as with everything in publishing, the digital age requires publishing to deliver in multiple formats and print no longer can support the company growth. Therefore the call to automate as much of the process to really drive multi-channel publishing will continue to grow and require change along the way. What these types of publishers need to realize is that change is not a bad thing and frankly, change is inevitable. Selective automation is better than no automation.
We outsource everything publisher
Several years ago I had a rather heated conversation with an executive at a global publisher. I asked her what exactly they do in-house anymore since it seemed like all they wanted to do was to outsource the entire publishing process and enjoyed beating up their vendors to hit their quality standards and profit targets. First, I’m sure the offshore vendor deserved some of the beating up. Second, I’m sure some of blame was due to poor input from the publishers. In other words, there was blame on both sides, but the fact was that this global publisher became nothing more than a brand manager in my opinion. Other than the acquisition team, everything else was outsourced (mainly offshore). Is this the face of publishing today? I suppose that companies who are attempting to drive profitability as much as possible feel that outsourcing everything is the best alternative. Long gone are the days when the art and craft of publishing required a solid team who were dedicated to the higher cause of publishing. It’s about brand management and its about profits in this scenario.
We selectively outsource publisher
Now I am sure there are publishers that fall in between these two examples where they do a lot in-house and selectively outsource production processes. If I had to guess, I think that is where most publishers fall today. The question that still remains is which direction is the industry headed? Will publishers become so highly outsourced in their production process that they only manage their brands or will they want to continue to control every step along the way? My guess would be that most publishers are going to continue to move towards the brand manager model and outsource and automate as much as possible to drive profits because of the pressure of replacing print with digital revenue. Unfortunately that is not a dollar for dollar replacement and publishers will be forced to do something in a very short period of time or begin a slow decline until they go out of business.
When publishers look to automate their publishing process, I hope they take some time to look at the amazing results our RSuite CMS publishing clients have achieved by implementing our software. When we set out to build a better publishing automation tool, we never envisioned our clients enjoying a 50% reduction is production time, 30% increase in website traffic due to better metadata management, or 100% content processing automation. These numbers are staggering but real and we are proud of how much we have helped our clients drive revenue and profitability within their organizations.
Steven Calderwood, Director, Content Engineering and Digital Delivery at Human Kinetics explains how RSuite CMS allowed his organization to see immediate ROI by enabling in-house journal production. They've also gained a huge increase in quality control for their ebook process and can now meet ebook standards without involving third party vendors.
Sara Sharman, Editorial and Production Manager at The Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET) explains how RSuite CMS has allowed her organization to establish an e-first publishing workflow to publish individual articles before the entire issue is complete, manage ONIX metadata, and future plans to manage video content for their IET TV department.
In this video, Mike McGinniss, SVP of Digital Technology Services of HarperCollins Publishers, explains how RSuite is a new way of thinking for their company. HarperCollins is transforming their publishing processes across multiple business units and RSuite is playing a major role to meet the new vision.
The rapid shifts in publishing over the last few decades has lead most publishers to realize that the tried-and-true processes that served them well in the twentieth century may be hindering their ability to respond to the demands of twenty-first century publishing. Oftentimes part of the solution is a revision to the tools and technologies used to publish content. Technologies and tools can serve to catalyze and support needed change in an organization, but they cannot guarantee a successful outcome.
One person's hero becomes another's zero
It is tempting to look at successful peers for leadership when looking for effective revisions to your publishing workflow. After all, if a set of technologies and tools enables others to succeed, wouldn't the same approach succeed in any similar organization? Apparently the answer is "no" based on the number of failed attempts to address digital publishing requirements. Never forget that the success you see elsewhere is not just fueled by tools and technologies. There's a lot of work involved in the transition as well.
Is it the hammer or you?
It is tempting to blame the technology or tools when a transition begins to go badly. But remember, you cannot expect success with today's tools to succeed if you apply legacy techniques when using them. The tools of an 18th century blacksmith couldn't expect to compete with those of the industrial age. By the same token, modern tools cannot hope to achieve their promise with the techniques of the blacksmith. Modernization is doomed unless the blacksmith also changes. It is easy to blame the tools and technologies when transitions fail. Doing so, however, will only return you to your past - and a slow decline as more adaptable organizaeetions overtake you.
Change is often a slog rather than a glorious revolution. Never forget that it takes real effort to support a transition. Any transition will be accompanied by resistance and temptation to return to the past. Don't forget to prepare for the effort needed to move your organization after the tools are deployed.
Think about likely objections in advance. Be ready to address the real problem that lies behind the objections. Here are a few common examples when moving from traditional to digitally-oriented processes:
"These tools are impressive technologically, but won't work for us. We need something more like our old tools."
This explanation is often heard when those using the new tools or technologies have not had the time and/or training to understand the new environment. It is a challenge to continue production while migrating to a new environment. Unless those participating are properly prepared for the additional effort and given the appropriate resources, there is a good chance the transition will not succeed.
Provide training and resources to the staff as well as a knowledgeable champion who can serve to help facilitate a transition. When identifying such a person don't assume they will be the masters of your current systems. After all, masters of the artisanal processes may not be the right fit for transitioning to a modern machine shop. The current masters are no doubt critical to the future of the organization, but if they are firmly rooted in the current approach they may be slow to adopt new approaches. Sometimes, turning to external sources for these examples can work. Consultants or contractors can sometimes ease the transition. Don't forget to look for mentors in similar organizations who have made a similar transition.
"Our customer would never accept automated formatting."
Often publishing professionals assume that the standards of the 20th century are fully applicable in the 21st century. Remember, prior to the rise of sites like Google with is sparse design and interface web sites were highly designed. While pretty under carefully controlled conditions, as browsers evolved it became costly to maintain high-design sites. Today the web is dominated by utilitarian design and interfaces.
Consider whether your consumer will notice or care about any formatting issue requiring additional programming or effort. Oftentimes formatting issues that seem critical to a professional go completely unnoticed by the consumer. In many cases faster, accurate delivery trumps artisanal design for consumers.
Do the work
Transitioning to a digital-oriented publishing strategy is challenging. It is easy to find reasons to abandon new systems in favor of the old. But remember change is inevitable if you hope to adapt to and deliver digital content efficiently. The benefits available to publishers today can only be realized if you succeed at working your way out of your legacy approach.
In this brief video, Keith Lawrenz, Sr Business Analyst & Content Systems Supervisor at SAGE Publications, explains why RSuite CMS is a great fit for publishers and how RSuite CMS has enabled SAGE to control their content. You'll hear how SAGE had tens of thousands of zip files that they couldn't begin to look at until RSuite CMS was implemented. Now, they're able to search and discover their content within RSuite.
Interested in seeing how RSuite CMS can manage your organization's content?
If you missed the RSuite CMS and HarperCollins Publishers Digital Publishing Transformation webinar which took place on June 10th, here's your chance to view it until September 9th! During this webinar, Mike McGinniss, Senior Vice President, Publishing Services from HarperCollins Publishers and Denis Wilson, Editor-in-Chief of Book Business discussed:
- Pros and cons of transformation projects
- Lessons learned from executing cross-organization and cross-functional projects
- Best practices for meeting aggressive timelines