Layout International – New entrant in India’s CMS landscape

Content management solutions provider for print and digital eyes Indian media

A modern-day CMS is an automated and sophisticated transition from the old days of haphazard content management involving folders, emails and even hand-written notes.

A content management system is key to the smooth and seamless functioning of news media publications, be it newspapers, digital media or television. A modern-day CMS is an automated and sophisticated transition from the old days of haphazard content management involving folders, emails and even hand-written notes.

Most news publications use sophisticated publishing software that integrates content management systems, ad placement systems and page-making tools such as InDesign, QuarkXPress or Adobe, word processing tools, web publishing and even web browsers into one single interface.

Helping publishers in this transition are CMS solution providers, specialists who cater to the needs of news publications. Layout International is one of them. Headquartered in Dubai with a technical infrastructure in the US, Malaysia and Lebanon, Layout International, which has more than 30 years of experience in content management solutions for publishing – print and digital – is now eyeing the vast Indian news media landscape, appointing industry veteran Kapil Arora as the director of Sales for the Asia-Pacific market.

In a recent interaction with Indian Printer and Publisher, CEO Jean-Michel Habis, who is based in Dubai, and Kapil Arora explained Layout International’s offerings for newspapers and digital media and how Indian publishers can benefit from their products.

Jean-Michael Habis, CEO, Layout International

Jean-Michel and Kapil explained that the company’s flagship product, NewsPublish CMS, is known for its robust features, user-friendly interface, and seamless integration capabilities. Designed to meet the demands of modern publishers, the NewsPublish CMS enables flexible content creation, efficient workflow management, audience engagement, and revenue optimization, they explained. 

With a focus on digital transformation, Layout International has already partnered with more than 200 publishers worldwide, facilitating their journey towards enhanced online presence and increased readership. These collaborations have resulted in some success stories wherein Layout International’s clients have streamlined their operations, reduced costs, and initiated new revenue streams.  

One such success story involves Malaysia’s Star Media Group, which partnered with Layout International to transform its traditional print-focused model into a dynamic digital-first strategy. With NewsPublish CMS, The Star, Malaysia’s leading English daily, achieved efficiency in content creation, while integrating its print and digital platforms.

Another client, Japan Times, took Layout International’s help to revamp its entire publishing ecosystem. By implementing NewsPublish CMS, Japan Times centralized its content management processes, simplified cross-platform publishing, and optimized its digital strategy, Jean-Michel and Kapil said.

Kapil Arora, sales director – Asia Pacific

Layout International is also collaborating with South China Morning Post to upgrade its news publishing system. “Our offering is simple and cost-effective unlike many other providers who are pricey, complicated, and difficult,” Jean Michel said, explaining why and how Indian publishers can benefit from their solutions.

According to them, the NewsPublish 7 editorial, news management system offers a flexible workflow; exceptional news content creation and delivery for multi-platforms using one centralized solution; an architecture and infrastructure for combined multi-channel production in one newsroom; automation processes on all workflow levels and; efficiency dashboards.

NewsPublish has a user-friendly interface, is intuitive and easy to use, they said. The multi-channel feature enables effortless distribution of content across various platforms, including websites, mobile apps and social media. The system allows customizable workflows for smooth collaboration and efficient production and review cycles as well as media-rich content creation via which multimedia elements such as images, videos and graphics can be used to enhance audience engagement. The SEO optimization and analytics part has built-in SEO tools and analytics capabilities to gain insights into audience behavior.

“NewsPublish is designed to handle high-traffic volumes and manage large content libraries, with optimal performance no matter the scale. We understand that every news organization has unique requirements. NewsPublish offers extensive customization options, to tailor the platform to your needs. NewsPublish integrates seamlessly with third-party platforms, including ad, payment, analytics and social media platforms. We offer dedicated support and training ensuring a smooth onboarding experience and 24/7 assistance,” Jean-Michel and Kapil said.

The modules include editorial planning, newswire management, editorial management and advanced workflows; ePaper generation, digital assets management, contributor management, dashboards and reports; print page management; digital pages builder; and digital components builder.

NewsPublish 7’s digital system has a story editor, visual content creator, website content editor and live preview. The system can be integrated with social media, video streaming, open AI, the analytics dashboard, messaging apps, etc.

The visual content editor allows the creation of visuals and graphics for social media posts in less than five minutes. The user can upload the in-house photos or choose from over 3.5 million stock images, edit images, add filters and text and save and share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok, etc.

The print page management system allows page production, ad planning and DTP integration, template management, page editing, page and story tracking, integration with Indesign and Quark X Press, and multiple page views on one interface.

In a nutshell, Layout International offers CMS for print and digital, an archiving system, digital strategy design interventions, website development, mobile apps, ePaper solutions, hosting & managed services, SEO and website management and maintenance, Kapil said.

To a question on why they chose India, Jean-Michel said they believe that India’s publishing market has a lot of potential and room for growth. “By opening up in India, Layout International aims to cater to the increasing demand for advanced content management systems in the country’s evolving publishing industry. We also understand the unique requirements of Indian publishers. That’s why we are proud to offer flexible pricing models and a short turnaround time. By bringing our NewsPublish CMS to this market, we are not only contributing to this growth but also providing Indian publishers with affordable and customizable solutions that meet the needs of every publisher, while also delivering projects quickly and efficiently.”

Kapil added, “India has long recognized the necessity for a reliable and steady CMS at an affordable price point. Layout International is introducing a SaaS-based CMS solution tailored to meet the budgetary considerations of the discerning Indian print and digital market.”

Layout International, Jean-Michel said, provides a game-changing solution with the NewsPublish CMS platform. “With a focus on efficiency and effectiveness, Layout International ensures that businesses can streamline their operations and maximize their resources with the NewsPublish CMS, Publishers can effortlessly manage their digital content, streamline workflows, and enhance collaboration across teams. The result? Reduced operating costs, optimized resource allocation, and a strengthened digital strategy that propels organizations towards greater revenue and success in the digital era,” Jean-Michel concluded.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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