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Write Once, Distribute Many: Part Deux

Reaching the people for whom documents are intended is no longer “merely” a matter of sending Word files to the right email addresses, putting books and magazines in the right stores, and/or mailing catalogs to the right houses.

Instead, it’s increasingly about making content available anywhere and everywhere a targeted reader might be – including places where printed material may not be handy or even preferred – and doing so without having to deal with multiple workflows to repurpose the content each time.

This issue is coming to the fore because of the accelerating acceptance of Web sites, smart phones, e-book readers, and the like, which are giving readers choices in terms of searchability, portability, and convenience that they can’t get from paper and are beginning to miss when reading printed works.

Thankfully, many software solutions now exist – most using tried-and-true ECM technologies of different sorts – to facilitate the kind of multichannel distribution options people want. Transforming a document’s content so it can be delivered to and displayed on multiple devices still isn’t fully automatic, but there are a sufficient number of technical standards on tap to make the process manageable. The technology also can be acquired either as a package or on a service basis, so it is now more accessible than ever.

The result is that the business case is now emerging to make multichannel delivery a reality. Savvy corporate and publishing industry executives are waking up to the operational efficiencies, environmental effects, and financial gains that can be achieved by embracing the multichannel model. The trick now is to embrace the changes quickly and willingly lest they lose competitive ground at a time they can least afford to do so.

(More to come, here and elsewhere … stay tuned!)

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