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As a content management company, we sing the praises of our clients who have created tremendous efficiencies in publishing operations by implementing appropriate tools and technologies to reduce time to market and satisfy a multichannel publishing strategy. The information industry is under tremendous pressure to deliver digital content in many forms to many channels. However, some publishers are moving away from automated workflows and content transformations. Why would an organization forgo automation in today’s complex publishing world? Perhaps it is due to the following:
- Managing offshore vendors – Holding a vendor responsible for meeting quality standards and publishing timelines requires a different set of skills than incorporating publishing tools into an organization. With automation, some of the vendor responsibilities are moved back to editorial and production departments. While an offshore vendor can apply brute force on a case-by-case basis; adhering to structured formats and implementing templates enable content transformations and delivery in a sustainable and automated manner.
- Cutting jobs – Publishers who think that automating workflow is wonderful but equates to cutting jobs may benefit from another vantage point. Just as effective manager works with an individual to align skills with solutions, the same can be said for automated workflows. For example, technology is excellent at machine processing---XML validation, business rules validation, schematron validation. Individuals outperfom on cognitive skills that automated technology is not equipped to tackle---content development, content curation, metadata management, new product sandboxing. Saving time with efficient workflow routines equates to realigning staff to work on value-add tasks.
- Conserving culture – Some organizations don’t like technology that automates workflow. Never have, never will. It takes communication, dedication, and training to change an organization's culture in terms of new technology adoption. Working with older toolsets (eg, Word 2000, InDesign CS3, etc.) provides a comfort level to both in-house staff and external authors. But guarding a culture against change can result in antiquated processes and missed opportunities.
- Hiring vs investing – Increasing headcount is an easier sell than investing in technology. Investing in the right technology means changing the way individuals do their daily jobs but also means changing the way an organization approaches a publishing program that has worked consistently for decades. It is no small task and investing in a new CMS is indeed a financial and organizational committment. Adding up the factors that instigate the pursuit of CMS need to be part of the investment equation---lack of automated content transformation, laborious manual workflow steps, inability to deliver to multichannels, ineffective content organization, dispersed assets, inconsistent metadata, etc.
Rather than calculating ROI on a CMS investment try looking at the payback period when the pain points are resolved. If you can justify an investment in automating workflow and have a payback period of a year or less this could be an easier sell to internal staff and management.
There is little doubt that publishers have a multichannel publishing goal. There is pressure from the consumer and the competition to produce more content, more efficiently, and to more channels than ever before. A balanced approach to making changes to people (ie, structuing teams according to skill sets), processes (ie, automating as much as possible), and technology (ie, implementing appropriate tools and technologies) results in success. It is not just the technology that requires investment. Changing people, patterns, and culture usually requires a greater investment in time and education.
What approaches to workflow automation resulted in success at your organization? What pain points do you continue to face?
The Saturday Evening Post is moving back to its hometown in the second quarter of 2013. The iconic magazine started in 1821 with roots dating back to Benjamin Franklin's The Pennsylvania Gazette, which was first published in 1728. At one point The Saturday Evening Post was the most widely circulated weekly magazine in America.
Perhaps best remembered with images from Norman Rockwell dancing through Americans' collective heads. The Post published stories, poetry, and essays by a dazzling number of great Americans:
- Ray Bradbury
- Kurt Vonnegut
- Sinclair Lewis
- Carl Sandburg
- Edgar Allan Poe
- William Faulkner
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Dorothy Parker
- Jack London
- the list goes on
RSI Content Solutions, a content management solutions provider to the publishing industry, has been named to the EContent 100 list for the 2nd year in a row. Now in its 12th year, this list of companies that matter most in the digital content industry is hand selected by EContent Magazine’s judges who are experts in the digital content industry. Additional companies on the list include Amazon, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, O'Reilly Media, and others.
“Submissions for this year's EContent 100 list were better than ever, and consequently our judges had their work cut out for them,” stated Theresa Cramer, editor, EContent. “What truly makes a company successful in the digital world? That's the question we set out to answer with this year's EContent 100 list.”
RSI provides content management software to traditional publishers, media companies, and technical documentation teams. Its enterprise software solution, RSuite CMS, serves many global publishers and has become a trusted content management system. RSuite CMS has proven to reduce the time to market for new product development by more than 50%, deliver packages of content in a fully automated fashion to licensees, and reduce content conversion budgets through multi-channel publishing.
“It brings us great joy to be honored along with the other distinguished companies who are shaping the industry,” explained Barry Bealer, CEO and co-founder of RSI Content Solutions. “Our staff puts great effort and dedication to support publishers and media companies as they navigate the digital landscape and discover ways to not only survive but also thrive during this exciting time.”
To learn more about RSI and how organizations like Oxford University Press, Elsevier Health Science, LexisNexis Pacific, and many others use RSuite CMS and see the latest features of the software, please visit www.rsicms.com.