A Special Edition for SMBs

May 12, 2004 by admin

For newspapers today, the workday doesn’t end once the copy hits the corner newsstand. Long after the presses pause between editions come the after-hour attempts to reconcile all the information collected during the newsday. It’s all locked within stovepiped systems as linear as newspaper columns. Each department, from editorial production to advertising and accounting, has its own disparate system. Each night, interfaces frantically move information across these functions like a coffeed-up copy boy, hoping to have it all reconciled before the morning edition. At that point, the data is yesterday’s news, with no real-time, actionable value for the departments that receive it. Current information – especially customer account data – can be of Pulitzer-prize importance to publishers in the small and midsize business (SMB) space* wanting to boost revenue, retain subscriptions and plan promotions.
Now they can with Nexus from Digital Technology International (DTI), an SAP Business Partner. Created for publishers in the SMB space, Nexus provides real-time integration between DTI’s advertising and promotion solutions and mySAP Business Suite. As a result, newspapers can have everything it takes to produce a newspaper and everything it takes to run one, in synch. “SAP does for the business side what DTI does for the production side of newspaper publishing,” says DTI’s Marketing Director Alyson Williams. “With Nexus, newspapers have an end-to-end solution for the first time. No matter where data originates, it’s entered once and communicated instantly across the organization. Nexus is the best solution for newspapers in the SMB market that want faster access to real-time data in order to be more profitable.” And there’s more good news for these publishers as DTI will implement the Nexus solution for a fixed price and timeline.

Integration is the headliner

Williams says disparate systems and day-old data are the industry norm. Fragmented systems between departments and disconnected production and business functions create a never-ending story of higher costs, lower productivity and missed revenue opportunities. Working with publishers since 1981, DTI is an expert at unifying production systems across departments. But merging the production side – editorial, circulation and advertising – with the business end of a newspaper – finance, service, human resources and customer relationship management – was a hurdle not yet crossed. Then, DTI and SAP began working together three years ago. The result was a seamless, dynamic interaction between the DTI and the core business applications of mySAP Business Suite, enabled by the Nexus solution.
Now, there’s no more need for nightly data dumps between systems. As work goes on throughout the day, Nexus keeps the information in synch. That means full integration between all the processes involved in selling, booking, and billing advertisements for both print and web publishing, streamlining operations across mediums. DTI was the first to offer a unified solution for the print and web, cost-effectively eliminating the need for separate staff, systems and processes. A unified system also helps papers sell and distribute all types of media products across multiple delivery channels, from single copy sales and home delivery to reseller sales.
Full financials, including accounts receivable and cost center analysis, deliver an up-to-the minute company-wide financial view, critical to managing a paper today. Powerful tools for reporting and analysis across every area of business meet the needs of knowledge workers and decision makers. Further, a solid foundation for payroll and benefits eases human resource management. With Nexus integrating all customer information gathered at different touchpoints throughout the operation, newspapers also have more information to find, attract and retain customers.

Solving a pressing problem

How do newspapers in the SMB space benefit from all this real-time integration? Users can quickly create or change advertising orders, customer information or billing data just once and Nexus replicates those changes across the organization. Williams notes how the integration in just two areas, circulation and ad sales, can create more cross-selling, revenue-generating opportunities. If an ad sales rep knows the person on the phone isn’t a subscriber, the rep can ask a key question: “Would you like to subscribe?” In doing so, the rep sells an ad and a subscription, deepening the paper’s customer relationship. An up-to-the-minute financial status on each advertiser can also help reps avoid advertisers with a poor payment history.

More importantly, Williams says the Nexus solution helps newspapers solve their most pressing problem: “The chief challenge newspapers face today is subscription retention. With Nexus, different departments can work better together to solve circulation problems,” she says. “A unified view into customer information gives publishers a better understanding of their customers, so they can plan more effective promotions and work within their communities to raise circulation.”

Surviving the mega merger

Consolidations continue to make headlines across the newspaper industry as larger papers gobble up smaller publications. Since DTI not only integrates operations across one company, but many geographically separated ones, Nexus can be good news for newspapers in the SMB market. “These papers typically have fewer technical resources,” adds Williams. “As part of a larger publishing group, they can leverage a high-end solution that they normally wouldn’t have as a small community newspaper on their own.”

Scooping the competition

Williams says DTI differentiates itself from niche players with its integrated, end-to-end solution. Longevity in the market also makes a strong statement to customers. “We’ve been profitable in an industry that’s had a lot of upheaval with vendors coming and going,” says Williams. “When customers invest in Nexus, they get the combined strengths of SAP and DTI behind them to help them get the most from their investments.” If you want data as fresh as the daily news at a speed that’s faster than a reporter on a deadline, find out more about the Nexus solution today at www.dtint.com.

Susan Twombly

Susan Twombly

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