Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Month: February 2010 (Page 2 of 4)

A New, Very Interesting Platform in the Digital Publishing Space: PubFactory

I’ve followed iFactory, which recently released PubFactory, since its inception as a multimedia service agency, going back to my days wearing the editor’s hat at eMedia Professional.  Here’s a company that has spent its youth wisely.

PubFactory is a digital publishing platform that emerges from iFactory’s many years of solving their clients’ pressing Web publishing demands, alongside iFactory’s habit of throwing in a few extra-demanding capabilities of their own.  They’ve taken what they’ve figured out and rationalized the process into a platform, and the platform is impressive.

PubFactory is content online publishing platform “built from the ground up to support books, reference works, and journals in a variety of XML formats, with full support for PDF, images, and other rich media.”  Sounds, good, but not unique, right?  Here’s what I really like hearing about: “…management tools for librarians and administrators, and a full suite of back-end controls for publishers to control their content and manage relationships with their customers.”

The range of options that are oriented to a publisher’s customers is impressive, and includes such things as flexible ecommerce, access models, social media, analytical metrics, to name the big ones, and the flexibility in publishing control is also smart, with strong search and browsing, DOI and various library-specific support, customization, and, basically, push-button PDF and ePUB creation.

This last feature is showing up more and more, as in SharedBook, a multi-source/community/blog-content ebook/pbook generator, to name only one.  The biggest surprise about PubFactory, however, is its sheer scalability.  Using PubFactory, and slated for release in late spring 2010, Oxford Dictionaries Online (part of Oxford University Press) will present modern English dictionaries, thesauruses, and usage guides.  Not exactly a chapbook.

Of course, real-world use is the real test, but iFactory’s decade-plus efforts suggest a good passing grade out of the gate.  I’m looking forward to seeing iFactory’s Director of Publishing Tom Beyer’s PubFactory demonstration at Tools of Change, next week.

Need me to look up a word for you?  If so, or if you want to know more about our upcoming study, A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Systems to Re-Invent Publishing, drop me a line.

Response to iPad Release: Publishers, Take a Deep Breath

Not surprisingly, there’s been a lot of ink spilt on the iPad, from the numerous name-related jokes, to serious considerations, both positive and negative.  I’ve been letting the iPAD news kick about for a while, before adding my two cents.

On the thoughtful side of iPAD-related commentary, as good an example as, any comes from Samir Kakar, CTO, Aptara Corporation, a fellow that knows a thing or two, or million, about ebooks, digital publishing processes, and content formats.

Samir points to some interesting strengths of the iPAD, including its use of the ePub format, even while rightly arguing that “the ePub standard will likely need to be updated to allow publishers to create more detailed layouts and attach various types of multimedia supported by the iPad.” Other important characteristics include the color screen, Apple’s DRM, and distribution and ecommerce platform initiatives like Apple’s iBookstore.

A lot of people are enthusiastic, and especially among the ebook crowd, since Apple comes in as a major play, and, hey, as usual, another of Steve Jobs’ good-looking babies.

But of course, the immediate impact the iPAD will have for book publishers will be modest, at least in comparison to these same publishers’ need to get their publishing processes in order. From the perspective of making money from digital content, publishers need to keep their focus on enriching content with meta-data and striving for one-source/many format publishing. This alone should cause book publishers to take a deep breath or two.

As to iPAD, while I may be wrong in my complaint, at least I’m consistent: As I’ve earlier argued about Kindle being a needlessly restricted device , I’m more annoyed when it comes to iPAD.  Why there’s no voice telephone option—despite the presence of the 3G cell phone signal I/O—simply flummoxes me. Why the iPAD isn’t multi-tasking—such as a MP3/iTunes player, while, say, perusing the Web or epublication—leaves me scratching my head.

But then again, I haven’t seen a compelling enough argument for dedicated ereaders that erase my reservations about too-high prices for artificially constrained communication devices.  Yes, people say that the Kindle is too big to be used conveniently as a telephone, and, obviously, the size/portability questions grow more as the size does, as with the iPAD.

But then, just what am I going to do with all those iPAD shoulder holsters I’ve been making in my basement over the long winter?

I guess I better concentrate on more useful projects, like the upcoming report from the Gilbane Publishing Practice, A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Systems to Re-Invent Publishing.  For more information about this, contact me or Ralph Marto.

EMC and Fatwire Announce Joint Offerings

EMC Corporation and FatWire Software announced that they will jointly offer solutions for Web experience and brand management to help manage online experiences and brand consistency. The strategic partnership between EMC and FatWire includes reciprocal reseller agreements, joint innovation, sales, marketing and services activities as well as a minority equity investment by EMC in FatWire. Under the reseller agreements, EMC will resell FatWire’s WEM product set as its WEM solution and FatWire will resell EMC’s digital asset management software including EMC Documentum Media WorkSpace and EMC Documentum Content Transformation Services as its digital asset management offering. The two companies have also committed to joint product development to extend Documentum-FatWire integrations. http://www.emc.com http://www.fatwire.com/

Gilbane Group joins Outsell

Gilbane Group joins Outsell, Inc., Deepens Coverage of the Technologies Underlying the Transformation of the Information Industry

Burlingame, CA, Cambridge, MA and London, UK—February 9, 2010—Outsell, Inc. of Burlingame, CA and London, the leading research and advisory firm for the information and publishing industries, and Gilbane Group, the leading analyst and consulting firm covering content technologies, today announce that The Gilbane Group, based in Cambridge, MA, has joined Outsell.

The addition makes Outsell the only research and advisory firm with 360-degree coverage of the information industry—established and disruptive information providers, users, enterprises, advertisers, libraries and the technologies underlying the industry’s evolution.

“This event joins two leading analyst firms and broadens Outsell’s coverage in a very important area, where content meets technology,” said Anthea Stratigos, Outsell’s Co-founder and CEO. “In the next decade, the information providers who succeed will ensure content is accessed and experienced in new and unique ways. Technology is fundamental to this strategy, and The Gilbane Group is the acknowledged authority in this important area.”

Founded in 1987, Gilbane provides fact-based, vendor-neutral coverage of advances and trends in content technology, looking at such areas as web content management, multilingual content, enterprise search, enterprise social media, publishing, XML, and XBRL. It also sponsors conferences on content and information management technologies in North America and Europe, including the upcoming Gilbane San Francisco conference (http://gilbanesf.com), and publishes reports on the same subjects that are read worldwide.

The organization will now operate as The Gilbane Group, a division of Outsell, Inc., under the leadership of founder Frank Gilbane, who will remain President. He will be joined by the full team of Gilbane analysts and consultants, led by Mary Laplante, Vice President Client Services and Senior Analyst, and Bill Trippe, Vice President Content Strategies and Lead Analyst.

“As a result of our two firms coming together, Outsell will be better able to serve our core markets of publishers, information providers and enterprises making content technology decisions, as well as investors looking at emerging content technology companies,” said Greg Chagaris, Outsell’s Co-founder and Corporate Development Officer.

“We have enormous respect for Outsell as one of the first firms to define the information industry, and predict the radical transformation in content delivery and consumption patterns that the Internet would bring. We’re delighted that by combining our industry and technology expertise and resources, we’ll be able to deliver even deeper, richer and more complete solutions to our clients,” said Frank Gilbane.

This is the third transaction that Outsell has completed since its 1998 founding. In 2006, Outsell acquired EPS (Electronic Publishing Services Ltd) of London, broadening its global coverage. In 2008, the firm also acquired the Business Research Division of Eduventures to strengthen its coverage of educational content and technology providers.

The Gilbane Group will remain in Cambridge, MA. With Gilbane, Outsell will now have a professional staff of 50 worldwide, in addition to nearly two dozen affiliate analysts and consultants.

See posts by Anthea Stratigos and Frank Gilbane.

ABOUT OUTSELL, INC.
Outsell is the only research and advisory firm focused on advancing the publishing and information industries. Our international team provides independent, fact-based analysis and actionable advice about competitors, markets, operational benchmarks, and best practices, so our clients thrive and grow in today’s fast-changing digital and global environment. Outsell tracks and analyzes over 7,000 information industry companies, as well as the needs, habits, and spending patterns of advertisers, enterprise information buyers, and end users. Outsell’s headquarters are in Burlingame, CA, with offices in London and in Cambridge, MA. Visit us at www.outsellinc.com.

About The Gilbane Group
The Gilbane Group is an analyst and consulting firm that has been writing and consulting about the strategic use of information technologies since 1987. We have helped organizations of all sizes from a wide variety of industries and governments. We work with the entire community of stakeholders including investors, enterprise buyers of IT, and technology suppliers. We have organized over 60 educational conferences in North America and Europe. Our next event is Gilbane San Francisco, May 18-20, 2010 – gilbanesf.com/. Information about our widely read newsletter, reports, white papers, case studies and analyst blogs is available at https://gilbane.com.

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