Dan Heffernan

Keeping Close to Market Trends as a Publishing Software Partner

One of the challenges of developing software is keeping up with market trends. In the 1980s, when we started our company, trends changed more slowly than they do now, as did technology. Between partnering with our clients and listening to our prospects, it was straightforward to know what new innovations were being introduced in the publishing world. We were able to incorporate these innovations into our software offering and look trendy!  

As we all know, change is constantly accelerating, and keeping up with change requires increasing investment in time and resources. Firstly, we need to stay on top of what the trends are and identify whether they are real trends that have staying power or not. Technological advances can far outpace market adoption, and even if technology provides a spectacular solution, it doesn’t mean the market will adopt it. Secondly, we need to implement the changes that make sense for our software platform. 

Identifying the trends which our clients and prospects will want to be incorporated into the software is a team effort. Because of the many types of publishers we serve (consumer, B2B, scholarly, news media, and service companies) we must be involved in many trade organizations. At the end of this year, we will have attended 20 in-person events held by organizations across these types of publishing in various markets (US, Europe, and UK). These events can be chock-full of information around what is coming, what we should not do, what issues are on the horizon, market trends, and industry shifts. Additionally, as members of these organizations, we are immersed year-round in the conversations with the publishers represented through newsletters, webinars, and online content. 

We also listen to industry consultants and experts, some of whom have focused areas of expertise and others who have more general knowledge. We regularly consult with experts in the publishing business and in technology, since they have their hand on a bigger pulse across many organizations in our markets, and the strategies such organizations are employing. Over the years, we have had hundreds of conversations with consultants which helped us decide whether or not to develop a new feature or integration. 

One of the disciplines that we’ve all had to develop sounds simple but requires experience, practice, and prudence, and that is “filtering.” The amount of noise around us is astounding. But there are diamonds in the rough, and our task is to spot them. There are vast numbers of good ideas, but we have to find the great ideas first and take action on those. We use many eyes and ears here at AdvantageCS to find and evaluate those great ideas. Asking those same consultants what they think can provide priceless input.  

AdvantageCS is committed to constant improvement of our solutions. Our monthly releases bring dozens of enhancements to the table. And we will continue to listen to our clients, prospects, and the markets we serve to determine how our products should move forward.  

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