Close your eyes, think of today's ever-changing publishing environment, and it's easy to imagine it in the terms of Atex's apt airline metaphor
New destinations, each more demanding; platforms as airports or even airstrips, perhaps requiring short take-offs and landings, routes demanding new vehicles and yet more powerful engines. And above all, endlessly more traffic to be flexibly and efficiently directed.
Enter Atex Digital Media, ready for take-off.
The last couple of years has seen the editorial solution reconceptualised to create a content management platform that can completely drive the content strategies of a modern publisher: First came the bold new dm.core, designed as a foundation for all other developments, and with the option of an upcoming lighter Cloud-optimised version providing for easier third party integrations and an even more user-friendly editorial environment.
The 'control tower' of Atex Digital Media is the completely-customisable dm.desk with its responsive interface, which combines typical asset management features with the flexibility, scalability and customisation of Polopoly, Atex' proven web experience management platform.
Search features range from simple (and syntax-qualified), through faceted and advanced search, to dynamic searches where the mask is project customisable.
New for 2017 is dm.desk 1.8, evolving from last September's 1.6 release which introduced workflow control functionalities and more options for organising large volumes of information.
With this new release, dm.desk expands its reach, closing the gap between asset management and content management, making it a single platform that can manage incoming materials, production of content for multiple platforms and delivery on digital and print channels, using Atex products or integrating with third parties.
And there's more! Announcing availability of dm.desk 1.8, Atex chief executive Anders Christiansen promised more of these 'single-tool' solutions, as clients look to manage all aspects of content production: "We are currently running five projects with major publishers in Europe and North America that have a single common denominator - decouple content management and content publishing.
"They want to effectively have a single platform and a single tool to manage all aspects of content production, like content contribution, wires, social input, content authoring, picture and video workflow. When it comes to publishing, they want to retain the flexibility to adopt and integrate the systems that are more relevant and up-to-date or, in some cases, retain their legacy solutions and integrate them with the new platform.
"This is where our product development efforts are focused right now and you can expect more announcements in the same direction in coming weeks."
There's a further 'flight' analogy in the way publishers seek new content hubs rather than monolithic solutions which aim (but fail) to address all publishing channels. This leaves the 'last mile' with more flexible and vertical solutions, which can be legacy solutions for applications such as print.
Managing the large data volumes involved in flexible environments calls for 'cloud borne' technologies such as NoSQL databases which scalability and protection not previously possible with traditional relational databases.
Among new features for dm.desk 1.8 are:
• Status-based workflows, fully integrated into the flexible search options and the 'smart folders' architecture;
• Preview of variants for multi-channel articles, to easily review content differences between digital and print;
• Simplified upload of videos - just record and upload from a tablet or smartphone;
• Content partitioning, to simplify organisation of assets across logical areas such as incoming content, production and archive; and
• Full support of NewsML content packages, stories and their related assets (with AP, Reuters, DPA and Washington Post "out of the box").
Some clues of what is to come are in the experimental (but as yet uncertified) "lab features" box which includes Twitter and Instagram integration.
Editorial efficiency and automation is already at the heart of the company's dm.polopoly, used by major publishers around the globe to manage their digital presence. The high-end offering includes social embedding within a story flow, flexible metadata and features such as content targeting and personalisation.
New websites are quick and easy to start, with responsive web design and paywall features built-in. Open, standards-based and modular architecture offers plugin-based extensibility.
These are the latest tools in a portfolio which optimises delivery for 'news first' and 'digital first' publishers as well as those with a strong ongoing commitment to print. The latest version of the Atex Contributor Tool (ACT) for cross channel content management can even automate the production of editorial pages for print editions, creating them automatically and populating them with content. Specifically, dm.print manages print production from multi edition newspapers to glossy magazines.
In the UK, the country's largest regional publisher, Johnston Press uses the browser-based ACT for content gathering on any device in a 'newsroom of the future' project, with staff and freelancers submitting content for live publishing directly to their range of websites. Content can be enriched with social links and automatically tagged using integrated text mining, with users prompted to include mandatory information such as geolocation to ensure rich stories. ACT also includes digital and print previews, helping users write to fit to any shape.
Ready for take-off? Atex is ready when you are - from StarterKit features to address Instant Articles, live blogs, social and analytics, to the huge scaleable-yet-flexible systems on which some the world's great publishers depend.
To talk flights and destinations, routes and timetables, contact Atex locally or