Ixxus developed an integrated digital platform built upon Alfresco platform’s powerful content management technology, which is designed to meet Pearson’s end-to-end editorial and production needs. It will act as a centralized global content management and collaboration system (CMS) across all of Pearson English, integrating with the organization’s existing platforms and technologies to provide enhanced content collaboration, production and dissemination.
The platform has the following goals:
- Support the transition from print to a “digital-first” way of working
As part of the ongoing TPD initiative, Pearson is seeking to migrate its content supply chain to digital-first workflows and standardize this across the business. This makes working more streamlined and consistent, while also future-proofing existing content for the rapidly changing digital age.
- Enable global collaboration across distributed teams
Pearson’s globally distributed presence meant that much existing content was stored in a series of siloes, making it difficult for the organization to derive the full value from its assets. Moving to a globally accessible centralized system enables content reuse and allows users to collaborate with each other remotely, improving working processes and lowering production costs. Pearson English also includes a significant rich media output, produced by audio and visual editors around the globe. However, existing collaboration processes involved emailing large attachments back and forth, or – in some circumstances – burning DVDs and sending them via the postal service. Integrated tools for annotation and mark-up of media files mean that editors can collaborate on media online in real time, vastly improving cost and efficacy of working.
- Automate workflows to gain efficiencies, enabling content reuse and new product development
Alfresco’s powerful out-of-the-box functionality provides automated workflows and versioning, streamlining operations and making it easy to trace and audit day-to-day working processes. This allows for shorter, more efficient proofing and review cycles.
The new platform will enable Pearson to make content centralized, discoverable and readily available no matter where a user is based, simplifying collaboration and content reuse (such as creating derivative products for different markets).
The Digital Media Annotator (DMA) provides powerful annotation and editing functionality of media files, allowing users to collaborate and provide structured review feedback, annotated visually on a frame or image. This allows editorial and production staff at Pearson to carry out digital proofing of spreads. As current practice involves annotating and distributing physical proofs using the postal service, this will make working processes far more efficient and cost-effective.
With DMA, editors have an interactive online tool allowing them to play, review and visually annotate media files. As Pearson vendors are often globally dispersed, the ability to collaborate together in real-time on both static and rich media – for example, synchronizing video then evaluating specific frames – is invaluable.
Advanced functionality includes:
- Multi-format capability: images, video, audio, vector graphics, Adobe PDF, Microsoft Office and Open Office files
- Powerful comment and comment filtering functionality
- Pause any video for synchronized review and draw directly onto the frame
- Mobile and tablet compatible, giving freedom to users
The Ixxus Design Hub (IDH) allows users to automatically generate fixed layout EPUBs from InDesign directly from Alfresco, in a manner that is fast, simple and streamlined. Designed to allow production teams to work with familiar design tools, it is perfect for creating image- heavy publications with all the benefits of EPUB3’s flexibility, open standards and rich-media support.
Advanced functionality includes:
- Single EPUB can be created from multiple InDesign documents
- Individual pages can be suppressed
IDH is a MarkLogic-based application, standalone or integrated into Alfresco that works by interrogating the XML structures within an IDML (InDesign Markup Language) document in order to transform them into various outputs, including enhanced XML, EPUB3, and HTML representation of original page layouts.