- RSuite is being licensed and used by more and more organizations that publish but would not be considered a traditional publisher.
- RSuite continually was touted by our clients as their publishing automation tool that significantly decreased their production timelines.
This week, RSuite CMS, a content management system for publishers, will exhibit at the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts at booth 26. The SSP’s 36th Annual Meeting is one of the year’s must-attend events for professionals in all areas of scholarly publishing: publishers, service providers, librarians, students, and more.
“RSuite CMS has been a supporting member of SSP and an exhibitor at the annual conference since 2008,” stated Jeff Wood, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Business Development at RSuite CMS. “Scholarly publishing is complex and RSuite CMS was created to address the needs of this community---metadata management, XML early workflows, searchable repository, and more."
Since 2007, RSuite CMS has helped the world's leading scholarly publishers manage, produce, transform, and distribute content for books, journals, and digital media. Company representatives will be available at booth 26 to discuss specific publishing needs and demonstrate the latest version of the software.
MarkLogic, longtime partner of RSI, began using RSuite as their content management system within their marketing department in 2014. Two weeks ago at MarkLogic World San Francisco, Christopher Hill, RSI's V.P. Product Management and Diane Burley, MarkLogic's Chief Content Strategiest spoke about how RSuite CMS and MarkLogic are the perfect match for data and search.
Christopher and Diane spoke specifically about how RSuite is both a Content Management System (CMS) and a Digial Asset Management System (DAMS). In today's world of rich content, you have to be able to manage both documents and digital assets. Christopher and Diane also spoke about how RSuite leverages MarkLogic by putting search front and center to the user. Listen in on their brief conversation in the video below and if you like what you hear, request a demo of RSuite CMS!
Every so often we get inquiries from our RSuite enterprise clients or prospects about why there are services required to implement our RSuite software if the pre-configured environment is pretty much useful out-of-the-box? If one digs a little deeper and analyzes exactly what types of services are required, I think a publisher will be surprised that services related to customizing or extending the content management software are actually pretty small. Sure there will be custom forms for metadata capture or custom search forms, but these are generally a few days worth of work at the most. On the other hand, services related to content structure and workflow re-engineering have a huge impact on the services required for a content management product implementation independent of the software package chosen.
Content engineering can be simply defined as understanding the structure of your content and putting a migration plan to make it adhere to some type of standard. In some cases very large publishers have crafted a proprietary content standard, but many adhere to industry standards such as NLM, D4P, DocBook, etc. The amount of services required to transform the content from one format to another can vary widely depending on the amount of file formats and complexity of content. While this effort can be categorized as part of the content management project, it is not part of the content management software.
Content structure and organization reflects how an organization has worked over time. If the publisher was disciplined and remained in compliance with industry standards, the amount of services to get the content into the content management system is minimal at best. Basically, if the publisher has well structured content that adheres to a DTD, then it should just work in RSuite or other systems. The challenge surfaces when multiple products adhere to different DTD's and then the publisher wants to consolidate under one standard. Again, a very good idea, but this is an issue beyond the content management software. Or the publisher has no DTD and wants to migrate all of their content to a standard. Again, an excellent idea, but the effort to complete this should not reflect on the content management software. As one of our engineers has said, "there is no magic button to transform the content, you either have the discipline to adhere to a standard or it will take some work to transform the content so that it does comply". There is no simple solution.
Workflow Analysis and Automation
Services related to workflow are generally consultative in nature whereby a business analyst sits with all parties to understand current "as-is" and "to-be" workflows. In some cases publishers have done a very nice job documenting their current as-is workflows but have a difficult time envisioning the to-be workflows. This is normal and can generally be addressed by creating some pilot workflows and showing the client how the software will help them. In some cases though a publisher which has been doing business one way for the past 20-years can have cultural challenges to change to the to-be workflows. This has been becoming less and less over the past 5-years as the need to embrace multi-channel publishing is critical to the sustainability of the publishing business. In other words, optimizing workflows, creating efficiencies, and actually automating multi-channel publishing are no longer options. It does mean in some cases that people within the publishing organization will have to be re-skilled or let go. That is unfortunately the nature of the game right now for publishers. Workflow equals efficiency which equals cost reductions which equals a reduction or reallocation of staff or an increase in production throughput.
A publisher that requires significant manual steps (e.g., a person needs to review and approve content) in their workflow will not realize the true benefits of implementing the workflow software. Manual steps are still required in the editorial process, but minimizing them is key. An automated step (e.g., content transformation) is the key to gaining the efficiencies that are sought by management. Depending on the complexity of the automated steps, the amount of services required can vary widely. The key is automating the highest value steps in the workflow and minimizing the manual steps. Again, the more a publisher understands how they need to change their process, the less services will be required to implement the content management software. The software will do whatever you configure it to do, but time spent understanding exactly what a publisher should be doing takes time and requires a visionary within your organization to think outside the box.
The Bottom Line
For both content engineering and workflow related services, the more a publisher is organized in these areas, the less services are required for a content management project independent of whether it is RSuite or not. The painfulness of addressing years of neglect in a structured or disciplined production of content can require significant services to unwind the structure, business rules, or lack of adherence to standards. Unfortunately this can be seen as a barrier to implementing a content management system.
While a new content management system could offer tremendous value in content reuse, version control, and production efficiency, the new software cannot magically address the messiness of the content or undocumented workflow. If your team has been organized and have very structured content with a well documented and agreed upon workflow (even if you are using legacy technology), then services to implement a CMS should be relatively small.
If you are embarking on a content management initiative, I would highly recommend that you have an honest assessment of your content structure and your workflow. If these pieces are in order, then you have just increased your odds of a successful content management system implementation and reduced the required services to implement the software.
Do you create, edit, or manage content? You might need a content management system.
Even in 2013, publishers both large and small don't yet have a grasp on benefits of a content management system and how much easier it can make their publishing process. Then again, what do you, as a publisher, consider to be "content"? For different publishers, content means different things. Do you consider it to be a Word document? Is content a PDF, ePub, or something else? Dare I ask if you consider video a piece of content? Truthfully, the word "content" has morphed over the last few years and for publishers and therefore, content has truly become everything from a Word document to a video.
So, let me help clear any confusion and give you, the publisher, a few benefits of what content management system for publishers can do for you:
- Streamline your publishing workflow. With RSuite CMS, there's no need to switch back and forth all day between your email and your content. Upload your content to RSuite, assign it to the next person in your publishing process, then edit it all from within our system.
- Speaking of editing, do you use Microsoft Word when composing and editing your content? Bring your process into RSuite. Transform the Word document into XML automatically to meet your multi-channel publishing goals. RSuite handles the entire end-to-end process.
- Package your content in an automated fashion and distribute it to your licensing partners. In many cases this process can be 100% automated based on the business rules that you define.
I recently read a post by CMS Critic's Holly Write which made me think. Today's content needs to be managed by more than just a straw man content management system. Content comes in all shapes and sizes because no one works from just one program or machine. Whether its an Adobe InDesign file or a Word file, the CMS that your content lives in needs to be more robust than ever. It needs to handle authoring, editing, production, distribution, and of course storage.
Until now, this type of content management system was nearly unheard of. Aside from it being flat-out non-existent, if it did exist, it would be clunky, ugly, and no one who needed to work in it would be able do so. It would simply be too hard for someone without a technical background to operate. Holly Write from CMS Critic stated, "One of the biggest reasons that companies invest in content management systems is to allow their less technical users to manage content." When a publisher explores the possibility of purchasing a content management system, among other things, they look for:
- ease of use
- minimal learning curve
- a beautiful user interface
Interested in seeing how RSuite CMS manages content for publishers? Schedule a demo now.
RSuite CMS, a content management system used by some of the most globally recognized publishers, will be exhibiting at the American Collective Stand S31 in Hall 8.0 during the Frankfurt Book Fair. Click here or below to make an appointment between Wednesday, 9 October and Friday, 11 October to speak with an RSuite specialist.Come learn how RSuite CMS can help you:
- Reduce product development and time to market by over 50%
- Achieve total control of your content using the newly released RSuite 4
- Realize your multi-channel publishing goals!
...and so much more
Time slots are almost completely filled. Schedule your meeting today to lock down your time with an RSuite CMS specialist.
Content management and digital asset management have traditionally been approached as distinct operations. There was limited interaction between content and assets during editorial development mostly coming together as print layouts were created and finalized. Workflows and tools were developed to address the separate requirements around the two components. However, the emergence of digital publishing has greatly increased options around how and what to publish. No longer are publishers constrained to print deliverables. New hardware devices, Internet applications, social media sites, and communication opportunities offer rich opportunities for publishers to use content in a variety of new ways. To take full advantage of this, publishers need to adjust the tools and techniques employed to manage content.
What is needed is a platform in which publishers can manage traditional assets (e.g., .jpg, .gif,.mov, .mp4, .mp3, etc.) to coexist with what was traditionally content (e.g., Word, XML, PDF, etc.). This platform should house both items natively. This becomes a strategic content hub that can be deployed either as a replacement for or as a layer over the existing tools and workflows that may still be required to support existing publishing channels. However, such an approach requires unique characteristics not seen in traditional CMS or DAM systems.
Download our latest white paper and learn how the unification of content and assets is possible today and how you can get started.
Today, stresses on the publishing industry are more accelerated than most other industries. New expenses are added to reach publishing targets and those expenses don't always add to total revenue. A content management system (CMS) helps publishers manage, store, transform, and delivery content in a sustainable and economical way. A CMS is a publisher’s factory.
Want to learn how your organization can benefit from RSuite CMS?
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?