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What Publishers Can Teach Corporations

By Rajiv Paul, VP Content Technology Solutions, Aptara

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Rajiv Paul, VP Content Technology Solutions, Aptara

There’s an unexpected change occurring in the digital publishing space.  Digital Publishing is opening new avenues for presenting value and targeted content to the consumer. We can’t help but notice, many of our new clients aren’t who you’d suspect. In fact, they aren’t even publishers, in the traditional sense. They are corporations of all sorts.  Everyone from IT hardware companies to popular pizza franchises to law firms are asking us to share best publishing practices and make their content available on a multitude of platforms and devices.

And there is reason for the same. Digital Publishing is opening new doors for:

•New revenue streams
• Cost containment through digital publishing and distribution
• Available of content to the users anytime, anywhere
• Analytics and intelligence to provide relevant information
• Cross selling of additional valuable content to the users`
 

All companies are publishers

For many corporations, publishing has organically evolved into a necessary.  Today, every organization is a publisher, whether you sell books, tractors, space shuttles, medical devices, smart phones, or pharmaceuticals. This is equally true for the service industries. Universities, consulting firms, healthcare providers, real estate agencies, translation shops - just about any company that does anything is a publisher, and now needs to be adept at digital publishing too.

"Using the best practices and workflows we perfected within the Publishing industry, companies can deliver personalized, on-demand content to the right people, at the right time, in the right format and language"

We’re seeing tremendous benefits being realized across corporations as they replace old school publishing approaches. Large volumes of business critical content are being created faster, more efficiently and less expensively than ever before. And, it’s being delivered -- often dynamically -- to devices of all types and in formats that provide the robust experiences that today’s digitally-native users expect.

Multi-national corporations are now distributing their technical and training materials for their stakeholders around the globe, utilizing the digital publishing apps. These content are thus delivered on a timely fashion and also provide a huge savings in printing and shipping cost.

Enter… Digital Publishing for Business

Corporate enterprises are recognizing digital content for what it is − an ultra convenient, flexible way to provide information to customers, prospects, employees, partners and shareholders.  Using the best practices and workflows we perfected within the Publishing industry, companies can deliver personalized, on-demand content to the right people, at the right time, in the right format and language –and on the right device, be it an iPhone, Kindle, PC, Mac, , Android or tablet.

From annual reports, policies and procedures, training materials, marketing collateral, technical documentation, sales literature, analyst reports, newsletters, white papers, and presentations -- basically any content needed to run a business can be presented in digital format, and offer readers so much more.

Digital content can contain a combination of text, images, audio, 3D graphics, and video. They’re interactive, searchable, indexable, findable, embeddable, and printable.  And, they include handy features like last page memory (modern day bookmarks), cross-references (hyperlinks to internal and external content), and the ability for the reader to annotate (take notes).

Digital Publishing is opening new doors across businesses in the area of collaboration. Digital content provides ease in customized search. Co-relation of content is difficult to do in the static print material; however technology advancement like semantic tags provides capability for advanced search and co-relation of content across multitude of technical documentation of financial analyst reports.

Organizations have started to realize the increase in value of content by bringing the community of the users of the content together through the digital innovation. The users are now maximizing the value of the digital content through sharing of notes and thoughts and views across the common interest groups. The intersection of social media and digital content brings the thought leadership of consumers across the globe much closer than it could have been achieved through print media.

Imagine the group of students taking training in usage of high-tech equipment in a city in US interacting with the student in Europe, China or India to get the thought input on the solution and sharing their notes with the other users through social media……The possibilities of the digital media is endless.

What can companies learn from traditional publishers?

For years, publishers looked for ways to trim expenses and become more efficient. As a result, they found partners with new and improved ways of managing, creating, and publishing content. Those who were most successful moved to a component-based XML authoring strategy that separates content from its formatting information, allowing the content components to be repurposed on-demand to create new value streams.

Because XML is platform-, browser-, and device-agnostic, it allows corporations to quickly and easily migrate to a multitude of digital platforms, selecting the right content and formatting it for the right device type, oftentimes on the fly.

In essence, XML “future-proofs” content, which is particularly important considering the pace at which devices are coming to market. Device market share remains in flux, so being agile and quick to port your content to any new device type is a critical factor for success.

With XML at the core, establishing a workflow for the simultaneous delivery of content through multiple channels (print, online and multiple mobile devices) is a simple process.

In order to remain relevant and profitable, companies must catch up.  This is critical to meet (and hopefully exceed) their customers rapidly changing expectations and position themselves to access new markets fast. 

Tapping these emerging digital content opportunities means reviewing the established approaches and definitions that traditional publishers have relied on, and changing the way we think of enterprise publishing. 

Digital Publishing is changing the complete landscape on how the content is being dispersed, utilized, shared and monetized. Today, everyone is a publisher and the innovations in the digital publishing are just unfolding, are you ready to maximize on these opportunities.

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