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Category: Workflow

Polymita Releases FreeFlow BPM Solution

Polymita, a provider of BPM software and solutions, announced the launch of Polymita FreeFlow, a new generation in process management (BPM). Polymita FreeFlow covers business scenarios that need unstructured and collaborative processes and is integrated in the version 6 Polymita. Polymita FreeFlow enables the implementation of unstructured processes at any time or as a part of a structured process. It provides collaboration features, assigning unplanned tasks to users, adding new users or adding new documents or data that are needed to manage the incident, emergency or unplanned change. The users access the same process context that the original process (data, documents, indicators, business rules) and supports collaboration, approval, delegation, alerts and cancellation tasks. Polymita FreeFlow also provides the ability to create workflows, both within a process and independently, with dynamic assignment of roles, on-demand creation tasks from structured processes and their control and supervision, as well as other features. Polymita FreeFlow can be used on-premise, as SaaS or Cloud. www.polymita.com

Across Systems Sponsors Gilbane Webinar on Integration of Translation Management with CMS

Across Systems, supplier of independent linguistic supply chain technology, partners with Gilbane Group in a Webinar on the integration of content management system technology with translation management on Thursday, June 24 at 10 am PDT/1:00 pm EDT. The one-hour Webinar, entitled “The Integration Calculus: CMS + TMS = Turbo-accelerated Creation of Multilingual Product Documentation,” will include a case study presentation by Frank Erven, a language technology consultant and technical writer from Voith Turbo, a leading German industrial manufacturer serving paper, energy, mobility, and service markets. In 2006 Voith’s translation needs had grown by almost 80 percent. The company recognized the quality threat and risk of delay imposed by the volume increase; the need for a professional translation management system that could save time and improve the quality of documents became obvious. In this webinar, Voith shares its formula for success with multilingual product content creation and delivery. By integrating its content management system, Schema ST4, with Across Systems‘ translation management technology, the company now initiates and controls workflows automatically. Furthermore, the company was able to gain a continuous process from source text creation to multilingual document output, which saves it as much as 55 percent over its previous costs. The session will be moderated by Mary Laplante, vice president and lead analyst of Gilbane Group. Attendees to the Webinar will learn how content management, translation management, and smart content drive customer satisfaction. Register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/922916738

Publishing Perspective 2010

By Ted Treanor, Senior Publishing Consultant

Publishing predictions for 2010 abound. As a digital publishing pioneer and visionary, Ted Treanor has been well positioned ahead of the curve, with a unique vantage point to see what’s in store for the industry. At this tipping point, publishing convergence of print and digital has collided with mainstream. Let us know what you think of these predictions.

Let’s see if 13 predictions will be lucky for publishing.

  1. New eReading devices will proliferate. The market is responding like the California gold rush.  Not only will there be new companies launching in 2010, but big electronics firms will have their products. CES will be a haven for digital reading, which will astound everyone.
  2. Pricing experimentation will take center stage.
  3. Digital sales channels both retail and distribution will grow rapidly.
  4. The ePub standard (IDPF.org) will strengthen as an international industry standard. ePub will compete with PDF for the top format for commercial content.
  5. The big surprise this year will be the number of large recognized companies that will strategically target the digital publishing eReading and content space. At least one major communications infrastructure company (possibly wireless) will stake a claim through a publishing partnership. Other prime segments will be computer manufacturers and printer manufactures.
  6. Trade associations will scramble to stay relevant in their attempt to lead members through this time of convergence of print and digital.
  7. Content workflow using XML technologies will become standard for single source production to multiple print and digital editions.
  8. Publishers will attempt to build direct relationships with their reader customers…not very successfully in 2010.
  9. Technology and services companies will further enable authors for self-publishing and in their sales goals. At least one big name author will experiment in self-publishing in 2010.
  10. eCatalogs will become a standard tool in selling content to booksellers, librarians, etc..
  11. Digital galleys will gain in popularity.
  12. E-content will be grafted into print in innovative ways.
  13. New ebook data reports and ebook directories will become ‘must-have’ resources. Gilbane Group has a series of three publishing transformation reports planned in 2010.

Follow me on Twitter @ ePubDr

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ePublishing Best Practices

As part of the review I was doing of the eBookWise-1150, I played some with their publishing tools. The device maker, eBook Technologies, Inc. (ETI), has some tools for publishers, and I tried both a batch processing tool and an interactive one. I say “played” with them because I only tried a few things, and there were many features, especially to the interactive tool. The tools looked very solid. I have also played around some with the Kindle Digital Text Platform. I do this to learn the tools, but also to keep myself honest. We advise clients on these devices and also the workflow surrounding eBook creation. Our clients don’t expect us to know every bell and whistle, but they do expect us to understand what is possible and not possible.

The more eBooks become attractive options for publishers, the more issues of publishing to multiple formats and platforms become important for publishers. Our experience so far has been that the most typical requirement for publishers is the need to produce eBooks in many different formats and not just one (this despite sensible solutions like IDPF’s EPUB format). And they need to do this efficiently. This is a practical reality of the marketplace today as no one eBook format has won the format war, no one channel is dominating sales, and indeed no one channel is typically worth doing on its own. The revenues simply are not there yet. (Indeed, even if you decide that you will only do, say, PDF-based eBooks, the similarities from one channel to the next end with the PDF extension, necessitating technologies like codeMantra’s Universal PDF).

Adobe is one of the vendors supporting EPUB, and their Digital Editions developer site has some good resources. They just added an EPUB Best Practices Guide (in, not surprisingly, EPUB format, so you can download Digital Editions if you want to get right to reading it).

The PDF ISO Standard

Much is being made today of Adobe Systems announcement that “it intends to release the full Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7 specification to AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management Association, for the purpose of publication by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).”

The main hubbub surrounds the contention of several bloggers that this represents another attack by Adobe on Microsoft and its recently-released XPS format, “the PDF killer.” Quite probably so. It’s a subject worth examining, although not superficially.
For today I’d like to consider what it means to become an ISO standard. I think of this as the equivalent of getting a lifetime achievement award from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscars). It means you were pretty good, but you’re now almost dead.

As of December 31, 2005, there were 15,649 published ISO standards, with 1,240 released in that year alone. Under the heading of electronics, information technology and telecommunications, there were 2,447 published standards. How many does your organization conform to? If this impresses you, remember to celebrate World Standards Day on October 14! And for even more fun, there’s the new isomemory game (http://www.iso.org/iso/en/commcentre/isomemory/startpage.html#). I hear it’s fun for the whole family!

You can’t read the published standards on the ISO site without giving them a chunk of cash first. That says something in itself; I’m just not sure what. But you can see listings of the bodies buried in the ISO graveyard. For example ISO 12639:2004 is the TIFF/IT standard, once used widely in the prepress industry, but no longer a player. You can however download it for 176 Swiss francs, 8700 Yugoslav dinars, or about $140 Yankee dollars.

ISO 6804:1991 covers “rubber hoses and hose assemblies for washing-machines and dishwashers — Specification for inlet hoses.” It’s yours for 48 Swiss francs!

I could go on (and am tempted to do so).

At the same time, there are certain relevant standards that have crept into ISO…as Adobe mentions in its press release, all of the PDF sibling are now ISO standards (PDF/X, PDF-X1, etc.). The OpenDocument Format is a standard. And so on.

So what is the significance of becoming an ISO standard when your standard is one that people actually use? Historically, none; more recently, some.

As the publishing industry has evolved into an ever-more-complex microsystem, more and more organizations (and indeed states, countries, etc.) are choosing to endorse standards that have been accepted and published by ISO.

Will more organizations use PDF if it’s an ISO standard? Probably not. That is, unless Microsoft gains real traction with XPS. There are some very high-stakes games being played against the Microsoft/Windows juggernaut, and standards have become a key weapon in the game. Adobe has played a major trump card. Microsoft: your move.

What Do Wikis Mean to Publishers

One of the most important trends in technology over the past two years has been the emergence of Wikis. Like many newish technologies there is a lot of controversy and confusion about Wikis. To many people the word Wiki is linked primarily to the Wikipedia and to the other projects of Wikimedia. To others, Wiki technology is open source collaboration technology. And more recently, Wiki technology has been developed to provide easily installed, high value solutions to a number of enterprise level workflow problems. Over the next week or so, I’ll be writing entries on a number of key questions concerning Wikis and their role in the strategy for forward looking publishing organizations.

Success Stories

One of the themes that we’ll be stressing on this blog is cross-media publishing strategies and we’ll als be offering several sessions on this topic at the SanFrancisco Gilbane Conference in April. We’d like to hear your nominations for examples of products that started life in a traditional print format but have now evolved to successful product offerings with multiple media options. We’ll also like to know about successful new product offerings that were created in a media-neutral approach. To respond, please e-mail me Steve Paxhia at steve@gilbane.com.

Content and Workflow Combined Yield Increased Value

Dick Harrington is the CEO of Thomson. During a December investor’s conference presentation, he clearly described Thomson’s future strategy. Their vision is to be the leading provider of workflow solutions to business and professional customers. Their goal is to develop “must-have” products with high utilization and renewal rates. I would assume that a recurring revenue model is also preferred. As they create technology to leverage their content, they find that they achieve greater leverage and higher margins. This is a very sound strategy.

His decision to divest Thomson Learning aside, it would seem that there are excellent opportunities awaiting College and Educational publishers who employ similar strategies. Students, professors, teachers, and parents could all benefit from tighter integration of enabling technology and multimedia including simulations with more traditional text based materials. Many publishers are already finding success with next generation products that offer customers their choice of media options combined with technology that helps this group of professionals do their jobs better. The key is to focus on customer needs and creating innovative new products rather than creating new media versions of existing products. These new products also have the potential to be licensed for specific terms and usages rather than be sold outright. This model would likely accelerate revenue growth and yield better margins.

We’ll strive to provide examples of successful ventures in later posts…

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