SUPPLIER Q & A 

Supplier Q&A - Andreas Schrader

Publishers have seen huge change over the last five years, especially in the digital space. Martin Maynard asks Andreas Schrader, CEO of vjoon, how his company has faced the challenge of digital and finds out what benefits they have been able to deliver to their customers.

By Martin Maynard

Q. Did vjoon see the digital revolution coming?

A. Four years ago, the launch of the iPad changed digital publishing forever. Having worked with publishers around the world for more than ten years, we understood the importance of supporting this innovation from the beginning. Already a partner with Adobe, we were able to offer a solution based on the integration of our publishing platform with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. For many of our customers who were early adopters of the original iPad software, such as Condé Nast’s WIRED magazine, there was a lot of experimenting by trial and error early on, especially with multimedia. These customers have gone on to produce highly successful and engaging offerings for tablet.

Q. What is the greatest challenge for publishers working with digital?

A. Publishers are faced with having to produce immersive content across multiple channels: print, web, mobile, apps. The more channels, the greater the workload and costs. Add to this that user studies show that pure digital replicas of the printed page in a static app result in reader dissatisfaction and the loss of potential subscribers, and publishers have a huge task on their hands. More channels also mean increasingly complex workflows for publishers. Our approach is to enable the publishing team to focus their efforts within clearly structured processes and automated routines, allowing multi-channel content to be edited in parallel. Using the Unified Publishing Process, we ensure that our customers are able to deliver the right content to the right place at the right time, or to borrow an expression from the supply chain management discipline, it is delivered “just in sequence”.

Q. What is the impact of digital on journalists, designers and editors?

A. One of the main challenges facing publishing teams working with multi-channel content is the added time pressure, usually created by having to produce more with less. Many publishers are using several systems throughout their production process, often resulting in cumbersome and time-consuming practices. At vjoon, we understand this and have optimised our publishing platform to deliver quick and streamlined production processes for our customers. We aim to make creating content as efficient as possible, ensuring content creators can focus on what they do best.

Q. How do you see digital publishing evolving?

A. With the decline in print revenues around the world, publishers are increasingly looking for digital success to plug the gap. Our experience is that the US is leading the push for digital, with Europe taking a slightly more cautious approach with a greater emphasis on the business model. Many digital-only publishers are yet to report turning a profit. Facing these commercial realities, global publishers are understandably looking to harmonise their publishing processes and build single platforms so they can work more efficiently and save costs. This is something Condé Nast International was able to achieve when it decided to integrate its publishing assets across eleven markets, using vjoon K4 for over 89 titles in print, web, tablet and mobile applications.

Q. How can publishers future-proof their digital publishing strategy?

A. Publishers must look for a solutions partner that is continually evolving its offering in line with new technologies and publishing trends, as we did in 2010 with our response to the emergence of tablet publishing, being the first to offer a content management system paired with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. At vjoon, we pride ourselves on our ability to respond rapidly, constantly innovating from within, and incorporating ideas from our customers to improve our products. Central to this is our annual vjoonity user conference which next takes place on the 17th June 2014 in New York.

vjoon, a fixture in the publishing market since 1990, is a leading software developer for managing digital content. vjoon rapidly integrates innovations into its solutions and consistently develops its products to meet market needs. vjoon’s flagship product, vjoon K4, is one of the most innovative cross-media publishing platforms available in the market and lets you deliver your valuable content to any output channel – print, online, mobile, tablet. Customers benefit from more than 500 system installations with 23,000 concurrent seats worldwide. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, vjoon partners with a global network of more than 30 qualified integrators to deliver premium system integration and support services to its customers. vjoon’s UK integration partners are Selcom Systems and Ensemble Systems. Contact our partners today at selcom.co.uk or ensemble.com to discuss your requirements.