The digital publishing disruption

With opportunities offered by new information technologies, the fast pace of digitization and enhanced connectivity, digital publishing is the future, says Talaat El Naggar.


Digital publishing disruption

The consumer charge towards digital

Digital communication is significantly impacting the Middle East, which is on the cusp of a massive digital disruption. Building on a history of innovation, the region has the chance to transform itself into a leading digital economy and realize significant economic benefits via digital publishing.

It’s undeniable that the publishing industry is undergoing a major change. With technology comes the opportunity to redevelop workflows, introduce efficiencies and reduce costs. Publishers have started looking for new ways to reach customers, be agile and responsive to market trends, and strategically grow their business.

Publishing organizations across the globe are implementing new models to grow their businesses. And with countries like Saudi Arabia slow to embrace digital publishing and distribution, now is the perfect opportunity for key countries in the Middle Eastern region to be innovators in the space before it becomes saturated.

Opportunities in digital publishing

The opportunities in digital publishing

Without a doubt, the ability to replace manual processes with automation is a key opportunity for Middle Eastern publishers. This can be as simple as reinvigorating conventional methods of communication between authors, warehouses and publishers, or as complex as implementing a complete self-publishing system and workflow. Whether the focus is on elevating service levels or increasing commercial returns, the breadth of the opportunity offered by today’s technology is almost limitless.

Software solutions: Print-specific software, such as Canon’s Océ PRISMAprepare, lets publishers prepare documents more productively and more profitably. Pre-recorded templates and drag-and-drop features boost productivity. Repetitive jobs can be automated, enabling publishers to schedule more jobs. And eliminating hard copy proofing saves time, maximizing ROI.

Print solutions: Technology takes print quality and productivity to the next level. Inkjet solutions, such as Canon’s Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma and our VarioPrint i-Series Technology, offer incredible versatility, quality, and speed. And when paired with the right workflow management software, they deliver incredible organizational efficiencies and economies of scale.

Workflow management solutions: The right software can define, control and automate production steps, eliminating human error and maximizing productivity. In turn, costs are reduced while outputs are increased.

Canon’s web-based PRISMAdirect is one such example, designed as a complete end-to-end commercial solution. From customer acquisition and order management through to centralizing print operations, publishers can seamlessly:

  • Manage production workflows
  • Analyze key metrics, such as productivity and efficiency
  • Promote products and services via web shops, and
  • Manage fulfillment and shipping, even integrating tracking with major shipping providers.

And all managed within a single system.

Realising the commercial benefits

Realising the commercial benefits of digital transformation

Technological advancements offer incredible commercial benefits to the publishing sector.

Take the implementation of a digital distribution network, for example. It’s estimated that stock/warehouse costs will be reduced by at least 30% within the first year of implementation.

Having access to statistics is another benefit. Trend analysis adds significant value to any publishing organization and, when used effectively, can deliver significant commercial benefits. When planning attendance at book fairs, knowing those books that sell best in each region can determine the organizational strategy for each fair. If managed correctly, this will increase sales and reduce shipping costs. At a high level, it can even help publishers identify and determine the right titles to manage or authors to work with.

Further benefits which we are helping our partners are seen by the ability of publishers to:

  • Introduce economies of scale with short print runs
  • Achieve maximum revenues from each book by matching sales demand with the number of copies produced
  • Print on demand, selling a product before it’s produced, and
  • Mix and match all of the above to achieve the best profits and cash flow.

Adaptation to the changing market landscape offers significant opportunities for both the global multinational and the creative publishing studio around the corner. With the opportunities in Middle Eastern countries significant, now is the time to step up as an innovator in the space before it becomes saturated.

Shkruar nga Talaat El Naggar

Talaat El Naggar is Regional Business Development Manager, Commercial Printing at Canon Middle East. He is helping publishers and book printers across the Middle East region to transform their business models by providing strategic guidance on end-to-end workflow.

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