Special Advertising Supplement: Strategic Allies: Global Ebook Outsourcing: A Primer
Panchanathan likens a good outsource solutions provider to a well-designed piece of technology.
"Let's say you have a laptop or an iPad. That device could be used in a large company; the same laptop could be used by a family or by a child," explains Panchanathan of Aptara's scalability. "It's the same device, but different people are finding different uses for it. … So unless there are some very specific and complex requirements that we are unable to cater to in a cost-effective matter, we wouldn't say no to anybody."
These strategy-based partners focus on streamlined workflow—which makes big jobs and small jobs alike economically feasible.
"This is our secret sauce," says Aptara's Ganesan. "At the center of all issues is workflow. I have a team of 150 specialists who deal with content workflow."
Any opportunity to have your business assessed by a third party is, of course, a good opportunity. Especially when that assessment is coming from a company that works with some of the most successful businesses in your field. Forming a partnership not only provides strategy and services; it also allows for insight.
"What [our clients are] saying to us now is, 'Hey SPi, help me understand my business better,'" explains Gregory Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Global Sales Content Solutions for SPi. "Help me get better at this. Help me understand how to develop my whole digital strategy without throwing away print because even though it's diminishing, it's still my cash cow today. How can I keep that driving forward as well as reinvigorate and innovate?"
Partnering With Experts
Most publishers aren't technologists, which is why it can be extremely helpful to partner with a company that's committed to technology. Take global academic and professional publisher SAGE.
"[Digitization is] nothing that we would do or would ever consider doing," says John Shaw, Executive Director of Publishing Technologies at SAGE, which partners with Aptara on digital conversion and a small but growing number of other strategic areas. "[Aptara] focus on it. As our specialty is running a publishing program, their specialty is making sure they can get files into the right formats. They do a lot of it [so they are] able to focus systems and people on doing this properly.