By Dean Roper
GENEVA — At last year’s IfraExpo in
Amsterdam, EidosMedia launched its company to the newspaper industry, stressing
that its developing solutions would be centered around knowledge management.
Although it is still the early days for EidosMedia, a crucial new partnership
announced at IfraExpo and the introduction and realization of products have
peaked interest in this ambitious Italian-based company.
Since its inception, EidosMedia has proclaimed
that its solutions will allow media companies to apply a knowledge management
strategy to a content creation environment. At the heart of its knowledge
management system is the Méthode editorial workflow system. The first two
stages of development of the system addressed content for the Web and radio/TV
— definitely a different approach from the past.
Now, the print sector comes to the forefront with
the company’s latest strategic partnership. EidosMedia General Manager
Gabriella Franzini and President Angelo Grampa announced at IfraExpo that the
Milan-based company and Italian software group HiT have entered into a
partnership. HiT is well-known for developing the IntelliNet NewsFlow system
which is distributed by Agfa for managing production workflow and remote
printing. With the agreement, it now extends EidosMedia’s Méthode system to
be integrated with HiT’s AdvManager, an advertising management and acquisition
solution, as well as a new product being developed by HiT, named Fluide, for the
planning and tracking of print production processes.
“Since we started, we always wanted to address
the content process from the beginning to the end,” said Franzini. “We are
very excited by the possibilities that this partnership opens up.
On the technical side it combines a number of
powerful technologies into an integrated print solution that offers newspaper
publishers more power and flexibility. On the business side it means that both
EidosMedia and HiT can offer their customers complete digital solutions to
manage and track every aspect of the publishing process from sophisticated
knowledge and media asset management down to incorporation of local advertising,
printing and dispatch.”
The layers underneath and between those three
solutions are the keys to this complete offering. EidosMedia says Méthode is
based on eXtensible Markup Language, object-oriented technology and distributed,
multi-tier architecture. The new solution will incorporate many industry
standards, including emerging standards like CIP4 and Job Definition Format. At
the same time, the integration of standard pagination packages such as Quark
XPress and Adobe InDesign and the recent development of a native XML pagination
engine by EidosMedia has further extended the Méthode’s functionality to
print media editorial processes.
For AdvManager and Fluide to work with Méthode,
the solution requires high levels of data interchange between editorial and
production systems. In theory, using the three solutions, dynamic variations of
page contents and layout (including the insertion of local advertising) can be
carried out on-the-fly and are visible to all involved in managing page content
and distribution. The “cooperative pagination” capability would allow
varying editions to be produced with different numbers of pages, color pages in
different positions, localized advertising and news content.
Luca Michelli, with ASIG in Italy, has followed
EidosMedia’s progress closely over the past two years. “They are still
developing,” he said, “but they have a very interesting and strong product.
This latest cooperation really puts them on the right track.”
Some of Méthode’s new suite of products
include Print Suite, the aforementioned pagination engine to be based on the
native implementation of XML-CSS-SVG standards. The company says Méthode’s
system architecture enables it to integrate off-the-shelf page makeup
applications, running on Windows or Macs.
EidosMedia also introduced Rundown, a specialized
module for Méthode for the creation of TV broadcasts. It provides a shared
workspace within which all those involved in a broadcast can plan, create and
assemble the various components of a broadcast, from scripts and captions to
video reports and external video links.
There is also Syndication Server, a facility for
automatically tailoring, scheduling and channeling editorial content to external
clients, allowing Méthode to be used as a B2B information platform.
Although it is a young company, it has already
signed on some prestigious Italian media companies. EidosMedia announced in
Geneva that Rizzoli Correire della Sera, Italy’s largest publishing group, has
signed an agreement to extend the Méthode platform to its magazine editorial
operation, RCS Periodici. Méthode has already been in use for more than a year
at the group’s online publishing operations to produce Web versions of its two
leading dailies, Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.