rfi guide-2

5 questions that find you the right ePaper supplier - Part I

By Mathias Winther Klausen | Jan 13 2018 | Insights | Business

Are you looking for a new ePaper supplier? Or do you not have an ePaper yet, but want to take the leap and start distributing your newspaper or magazine on a digital platform? In either case, here are five questions that help you make the pick that best suit the needs of you and your business.

It’s only natural to have questions before settling on a new supplier, and as a supplier of digital publishing solutions, we often receive a so-called Request for Information (RFI) document from potential customers. We’re always happy to help you clarify your questions, but from time to time we experience that the questions point in a lot of different directions - and the shear amount of information these questions generate is likely to leave you more confused than clarified.

To simplify things, we’d like to suggest five questions, you should always ask yourself when looking for a new ePaper supplier. In this blog post, we'll start out with the first two. 

1. What is the role of the ePaper in your company’s overall strategy? 

The ePaper can have more or less importance depending on the media company. The way we see it, there are basically five strategic approaches regarding an ePaper, so before moving forward, you should consider what’s the general goal of your ePaper.

• Transformation
The ePaper is used to convert loyal print subscribers into digital subscribers by gradually introducing them to the paid digital content. 

Retainment
The most common reason for a cancelled print subscription is bad conscience due to unread papers. With the digital edition, the reader will avoid having a stack of unread papers on the coffee table making it a good way to retain subscribers.

Advertising
With interactive ads and instant data collection, the ePaper’s advertising possibilities is second to none. Thus, making it a highly valuable revenue stream.

Development
The ePaper acts as the pivot of your digital news distribution. By utilising the content of the print paper and the quick, web based news and video content, your readers will eventually start seeking towards the ePaper as their main news source. 

Extension of print
The ePaper is nothing more than a supplement on which the print paper is presented digitally. Convenient for readers who are on vacation or if print distribution fails.

It’s very important that you make it clear what the role of the ePaper is in your business strategy. Based on your definition of the ePaper's role, you can set up measurable KPI's to determine whether your ePaper is performing satisfactory.

 

2. Which basic demands do you have regarding the ePaper solution and operation?

Do you want an ePaper solution that really stands out with innovative functionality and state of the art design? Or would you rather want a risk-free, thoroughly tested solution that is guarenteed to run smoothly? Do you want to be involved every time an update is due, or do you prefer the supplier takes charge and makes sure everything is working properly?

Questions like these are essential when settling on a new supplier, and you should always consider the pros and cons of your decisions.

If you’re looking for a supplier that excels in innovative designs because you want a totally customised ePaper, you need to make sure that you have an agreement regarding operation and maintenance costs. Upgrading is inevitable, and this may cause the need for a redesign, if – let’s say – Apple makes new demands on app designs.

Or maybe you’re looking for a supplier that offers a standard solution with a reliable back-end system capable of processing and publishing a large amount of papers and magazines. If the supplier furthermore offers the solution with forward capability, then you know your expenses, and your supplier is responsible for maintaining your solution. 

Naturally, there will be stakeholders in your company that prefer one over the other, but you need to decide which demands are critical to your ePaper solution and operation, as no supplier can credibly deliver it all. 

You want to make the decision on a well-informed basis, so it's essential that you ask the potential supplier to account for the aspects important to you. Here’s a list of questions we recommend that you ask:

How do you develop the solution? 

Describe the process from first contact to launch of the solution?

How do you ensure that the ePaper is always available?

Which self-service possibilities do you offer?

How do you handle the operation of the solution? 

Which support possibilities do you offer?

Now you're ready for Part II
This concludes part one of our guide to finding the right supplier. By now you should have a better idea of what’s the role of your ePaper in your business strategy. The sequel will focus more on profit increasing areas like onboarding, advertisements and data.

Click here to read Part II.

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Mathias Winther Klausen

Author

Mathias Winther Klausen

Product Manager