I have been a MAX attendee at two occasions — in 2012 and in 2015. And boy, are things looking different after just three short years. What I am talking about is the Adobe DPS-platform, which this summer not only changed the name from Digital Publishing Suite to Digital Publishing Solution but also changed focus from an app based tool for publishing digital magazines and brochures to a business critical cross-platform communications and marketing tool around which, all creativity spins.
About two years ago I interviewed Nick Bogaty — head of DPS at Adobe — at an event in the Swedish capital Stockholm, and here he disclosed just a little bit of the forthcoming strategy. That day in Stockholm however it became very clear to me, that in the future — which is now — the corporate market in the shape of mid to large enterprises would be extremely important to Adobe. But did I at that time foresee where we would be today seen from a mobile and creative perspective? Absolutely not!
A glimpse of the future
Digital Publishing Solution is only a few months old, and actually the concept is a merger of the former Pro and Enterprise offerings meaning there is now only one flavor on the DPS-platform. I can mention many improvements on the platform — a brand new interface and tools for continuous publishing are just a few — but it was at this years MAX, we really got a glimpse of the full potential and the future to come. Integration with content from the creative wizard tool touch-app Adobe Slate is just one example of this.
Now we are way ahead of traditional publishing, which in fact did not gain much momentum from entering the digital platform. I know, interactive publications became pretty wide spread, but in many ways it was periodical publishing as usual and business as usual. With the launch of Digital Publishing Solution and the possibilities not only to publish on an ongoing basis but also integrate publishing from a huge variety of platforms, that has very much changed. Not to mention the possibility to let your creativity blossom on the fly and on the move.
Quite another ballgame
At DPS Sneaks the very last day at MAX we were shown some of the eminent features like integration with Adobe Experience Manager, integration with Adobe Document Cloud as well as in-app search, which will be launched early next year. Publishing directly from CMS-systems like Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla along with publishing directly from partner systems like Wood Wing are of course other benefits.
With the launch of Digital Publishing Solution Adobe dramatically has lifted the DPS-concept as a whole. This means however, that the lower segment like small publishing houses and independent publishers are long gone. According to Nick Bogaty there are plenty of other solutions to fulfill that segment. Because as he says:
Content on mobile in focus
“For individuals and small publishers, we feel that there are a number of great options for mobile publishing. There is EPUB, there are new offerings like Apple News, there is publish online via InDesign, and there are small companies, that offer, what we offered in the old DPS product — a way to get fixed page layouts from InDesign into an app”.
When Adobe launched Digital Publishing Suite about five years ago, apps held the promise to revolutionize publishing. That promise has evolved in the publishing industry quite dramatically as, publishers push for attention in the apps space vis a vis other digital channels like the mobile web. This is strongly supported by Adobe’s Senior Product Manager Scott Dreier, who says: “Users want content on mobile — not animated print on mobile”.
Content centric publishing
Over the past five years Adobe’s business has changed dramatically. While initially getting an app out into the marketplace and getting content delivered to that app via InDesign was enough for the customers and the market, it is now not enough any more. So, over the past year Adobe has completely rebuilt the DPS-concept to cater mid to large corporate customers as well as large media companies. Companies who have the marketing muscle to draw a large and loyal following even via apps.
But — and that is probably the most important improvement — it is no longer the app, that is hub. Content — and with this creativity — is the hub. Seen from my perspective this is pretty important. I am not a big enterprise. I am a small, independent publisher living in Denmark where the native language — Danish — is only spoken by some five million people.
What’s in it for me?
Even if we off course use tablets and smartphones like madmen, it in some cases has ben quite difficult to persuade people to go from a printed magazine to a digital magazine. At least when it comes to trade magazines — even if we like to think, that Denmark as a part of the Nordic region is on its toes, when it comes to set an example as technological frontrunner.
I think, that the somewhat modest success in digital publishing in some areas comes down to the essence of what I mentioned before: “Users want content on mobile — not animated print on mobile”. So right now I am building an update to my app, and I am pretty much excited, if success will take off. I think, it will. But let me get back to you on that at a later time. So far I am looking forward to using all the new and exciting features in Digital Publishing Solution — and with my new iPhone 6S Plus and later the new iPad Pro I am especially looking forward to be able also really to go mobile in the creative process.