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codeMantra Introduces New Collaborative Publishing Solutions (Commentary by Cary Sherburne)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

Editor's Note:  See commentary below by WhatTheyThink's Cary Sherburne

Technology-enabled services empower publishers to better manage, produce, store and deliver digital content 

Boston - codeMantra, the technology-enabled services company serving the global publishing industry, announced today a series of new publishing solutions using advanced collaborative and production technologies.  These publishing solutions, the first in a series to be announced over the next eighteen months, are built on codeMantra’s collectionPointTM platform and provide collaborative capabilities that integrate with a publisher’s existing workflow.  They are immediately available to both new and existing codeMantra customers.  

The newly released solutions provide end-to-end capabilities including automated content production services, digital warehousing and global distribution using a wide range of new technologies. 

Walter Walker, codeMantra’s President, pointed out the increased client benefits.  “Publishers can now take advantage of advanced solutions that are technology-enabled and collaborative, in a process that is more efficient and cost effective and that provides faster time to market for digital content.  For example,” Walker continued, “codeMantra’s Composition Solution offers advanced ‘XML Anytime’ technology, along with project-level and content-level collaboration.” 

The new technologies are built on the established, robust framework of codeMantra’s collectionPoint platform.

 “We have partnered with codeMantra for more than eight years,” Margaret Harrison, Ebook Supply Chain Manager of Oxford University Press commented.  “With the help of their Digital Warehouse and Distribution services, we have increased the efficiency of our global production and manufacturing operations and also built a significant ebook business from the ground up.”

The new technology-enabled solutions (TES) employ a combination of services:

Production Services includes design, development, composition, digital conversion, and collaboration at the content level, at the project level and with third parties.  “Starting at the Composition Stage, all production can be accomplished using codeMantra’s TES Integrated Production Services.  The publisher benefits from an advanced Collaboration and Workflow Management System that accommodates an existing workflow and delivers electronic and print-ready files quickly, efficiently and simultaneously,” said Walker.  

Digital Warehouse enables third party collaboration as well as metadata management, among other capabilities. This service leverages a distributed cloud based infrastructure that enables rapid file transfers globally between employees, suppliers, vendors and distributors.  The Digital Warehouse allows for customization through integration with existing enterprise and legacy systems to ingest data.  The warehouse also enables configuring business rules that trigger specific production or distribution actions. 

Global Distribution includes automated full channel distribution of files and metadata, file validation and compliance, and dynamic change feeds.  Other capabilities include such features as automated widget and catalog creation, pre-configured retail partner setup and dashboard reporting.

Using these services, codeMantra can develop a complete end-to-end solution that composes content and metadata, stores finished goods and distributes content and metadata globally using automatic distribution facilities.  Publishers will capitalize on one or more solutions depending on their specific needs.  All are available in the unified collectionPoint platform (cP)—using capabilities that seamlessly integrate with the publishers’ existing workflows.

Commentary by Cary Sherburne

As the demand for e-books continues to grow, services such as the ones outlined here are increasingly needed.  As anyone who has tried to convert a print book to ebook format can attest, it is not easy, and typically requires a great deal of labor.  Multiply that by the number of formats that books must be prepared for, and it quickly becomes economically unviable.  While there are a number of services that do this more or less automatically, it is the positon of codeMantra that professional human intervention is still needed, which is why the model of technology-enabled services is interesting.

Ed Marino, the company’s Executive Chairman, said, “The labor model for conversion of books to various output formats not assisted by technology is irrelevant.  You need a model that is a combination of technology and services to make a difference.  The technology makes the process more efficient and cost-effective. The beauty of this model is that the content stays in digital form and can quickly and easily be transformed into the output formats required including both print and digital.”  The company supports about 20 ebook formats and, of course, print.

Partnership with a company like codeMantra would seem to be a good business opportunity for both  book printer and book publishers who wish to become more engaged in the delivery of digital content.  I doubt anyone would disagree that this is a growth market that printers and publishers must address in order to remain viable over the long term.


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