Publish Interactive recently announced a partnership with 451 Research to provide the IT research firm its industry-leading content management and research publishing platform.
Brett Azuma, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, and Kiran Shah, Chief Information Officer and Global Head of Professional Services at 451 Research, explain how Publish Interactive will enable their business to play a more integral role in the working lives of their customers.
What’s the biggest challenge for research businesses right now?
Brett Azuma: The ongoing challenge is to become increasingly valuable to clients and deliver that value in a tangible way. My boss always says: clients need to see the value and feel the value.
Kiran Shah: The biggest challenge is to stay relevant as well as visible to clients and potential clients – to stay top of mind. Ten years ago, there was far less information, from fewer sources. Today’s challenge for research firms is to connect users with the right data, with interpretation from the right experts who can provide real insight.
How critical is the role Publish Interactive will play in the evolution of your business?
BA: It’s mission-critical to the development of the business. The platform is now the primary way our clients interact with the research we create. Publish Interactive is aligned with what we need now, and it will enable us to adapt to serve our clients as technology evolves. The platform also enables us to move to market more quickly and reduces the execution risk in getting there.
KS: The key benefit is customers’ ability to find relevant content. With more than 100 analysts, we publish a lot of insights and data, so the feature we’re most excited about is search. For the first time, we’ll have deep indexing of all of our content across every media type. This will provide greater relevancy and rich search results. The second benefit comes from the capability of the publishing platform itself, which can deliver rich media with interactive data embedded in the content. We’ve only just begun to unlock the potential of that capability.
How will this new platform help you to provide value to your customers?
BA: It will allow us to play a more integral role in how our clients work. One of our strategic goals is to become more embedded in their workflows. The platform brings us closer to our clients on a day-to-day basis. It will be easier for them to find what they’re looking for and extract this into whatever documents or spreadsheets they need. The phrase we use now is discover, extract, embed.
KS: Time is money. Reducing the time our customers spend finding relevant content provides huge value, and if we can also expand the breadth of insight available to customers to help them deal with the problems at hand, that value increases exponentially.
Why did you choose Publish Interactive over another solution or an in-house build?
BA: The decision not to build our own system was based on time to market and execution risk. We have great developers, but there’s always some risk. Publish Interactive had already built what we needed. We aligned strategically with Publish Interactive because many of the tools and features in the platform are things we wanted. Also, the platform was specifically designed for the research business. It’s not a generalist content system that had a bit of what we needed; it’s built specifically for businesses like ours.
KS: Publish Interactive was built by people who come from the research world. We’re migrating from a homegrown platform that served us well for nearly two decades. We looked at so many different systems over the years, and really none of them addressed the needs of the research industry as comprehensively as this platform does. Publish Interactive fundamentally knows our world, and all that knowledge is built into the platform’s capabilities.
Do you think this technology will change how you do business? What will it enable?
BA: Working with Publish Interactive is about how clients see us. The platform provides us a key point of differentiation in the market. It helps us externally, and it will also help internally as we restructure our workflows. We have plans to create content in a more modular fashion, and Publish Interactive will help us do that much more easily than other systems could.
KS: The platform gives us the ability to publish content in a more granular way and sell research in different configurations. In the past, we were limited to selling our research in topic- and product-oriented configurations. With Publish Interactive we can substantially expand the types of subscription models to more closely match the needs of our customers. But the bigger change we expect is improved customer engagement, which will undoubtedly lead to growth.