Summit’s software tools for new publishing solutions

Multilingual editorial, advertising, and monetization workflow in the cloud

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Yashpal Bindra (L), co-founder & BPO and Sunil Khullar (R), Director technology at Summit. Photo IPP

Summit Information Technologies is an Indian publishing software company committed to the use of computers for communication in non-Roman languages – especially Indian and Asian languages and scripts. The company’s advent in the 1990s predates the Internet and it is one of the significant proponents and beneficiaries of both Adobe Postscript and, subsequently, what is described as digital publishing.

For more than 20 years, Summit has provided tools to Indian language newspaper publishers – these have grown in number and evolved to publishing systems or publishing workflows comprising editorial and page-making tools and allied back-office systems for advertising booking and placement.

Most big newspapers with multiple editions use such sophisticated publishing software that integrate content management systems, ad placement systems and page-making software such as InDesign, QuarkXPress or Adobe, word processing tools, web publishing tools and even web browsers into one single interface.

Certain software allow multi-location editorial users to edit copy and design page layout at the same time with their own customized tools. They work simultaneously with advertisement and pre-press executives who can place ads from different locations without the editorial people having to close the pages.

These software tools have played no small part in the expansion of Indian language newspapers into multi-edition and multi-location enterprises that are, over time, taking market share of the ad media budgets, both in print and digital from the large English language publishers.

With the increasing predominance of the internet and social media, Summit has provided several tools that serve as a bridge to legacy newspaper organizations in their transition to fully digital environments that now include sound and video destined for smartphones. The latest iteration of the company’s Liberty software integrates writing and editing tools using the cloud. The browser-based viewing system enables the real-time display of any progress that has been made on a particular assignment. Liberty also creates, edits, assigns, publishes, and archives stories from various desks or teams.

“Other than organizing the workflow, Liberty also enables creative independence and better listing of articles in the view system, and for designing page layout and advertisements. This software is functional in a large number of news media organizations in five Asian countries for publishing to print, web, and social media with a cloud-based content filing system,” says Yashpal Bindra co-founder and CBO, Summit.

Bindra adds, “Liberty is an editorial workflow solution integrating standard tools used in an organization under one umbrella. It has integration with Adobe, MS Word, Photoshop or QuarkXPress, and other software applications. A point to remember is that this solution does not require any specific applications to integrate the workflow – rather it is flexible enough to integrate any software used for typing or editing while enhancing the workflow in a hierarchal system. It works on both Windows and Mac environments and being a database-centric product, it can also provide templates that aid in the design of display ads, web banners, and editorial illustrations.

“The production team can look at the designs, content, and layout as the artwork gets made enabling it to provide changes and suggestions on spot instead of waiting for the same to be completed and revamped later, saving a lot of production time. The integrated software also facilitates the proper curation of ads and layouts for the page and the auto-placement of ads as per instructions. Adkart is another software for multilingual publication and promotion upscaling which also schedules dates, and positioning on the page.”

Summit’s cloud-based advertisement management software includes both Adpro and AdPro Gateway for handling ads for multi-edition and multi-location publications along with display and editing features. AdPro manages print and digital display or classified ads such as web banners or native display ads – in a workflow for booking, scheduling, planning, production, auditing, and billing. It is integrated with several standard ERPs such as SAP, Oracle Apps, and MS Dynamics and also with InDesign and QuarkXPress for print production.

AdPro Gateway is meant for working with remote advertising sales hubs. It allows BPOs and other outside agencies including publishers’ own remote sales offices to log in and handle their part of the process.

One of the key innovations of the IT company is its Smartpaper digital newspaper with an in-house developed and unique AI system for auto extraction of articles with several customizable monetization features for free or paywall options. As Indian newspapers adapt to the digital information and communication ecosystems, several publishers have come up with creative ways to leverage their content engines. For instance, HT Media, one of India’s largest media groups has adopted Summit’s Smartpaper platform to relaunch their ePapers. All its ePapers are behind a paywall.

The Printers Mysore, publisher of Deccan Herald, and Prajavani have used the SmartPaper to launch Mastermind, an English and Kannada bilingual exam preparation digital platform. The subscription-based platform that we wrote about in one of our previous issues is behind a paywall.

Other users of Summit’s Smartpaper technology include Bangladesh’s leading English daily, The Daily Star, the Tamil Daily Thanti’s DT Next in English, Mathrubhumi in Malayalam, and Andhra Jyothi in Telugu.

As Summit continues to develop new media industry and language solutions, it foresees that it will have an even stronger impact on media, corporate, internet, education, eGovernance, and home users. Its cloud-based solutions increasingly address print, online, broadcast, and mobile media domains in English as well as in Asian languages.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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