Hi, my name is Sam Wotring and I’m the product manager for the IQue editorial suite here at MediaSpan . I’ve been with the company for 13 years, starting as a trainer. I’ve also spent some time as a pressman for the Ann Arbor News.
I’d like to begin my blogging endeavor with a brief history of newsroom computerization followed by an explanation of the newest emerging technology.
In 1884, the linotype revolutionized the way news and information was distributed. Between that time and the launch of the information age in the 1970s, little changed with the basics of how newspapers created and distributed their content. With the introduction of the computer, everything began—and continues to—change at an increasingly rapid rate.
The first computerized editorial system was introduced at the Today newspaper in Cocoa, FL in 1970. Typewriters and file cabinets were replaced with word processors and databases, launching newspapers into the computer era. Soon after, a cottage industry emerged providing proprietary computer systems to newspapers. As these systems matured, they grew into a turnkey solution for newsrooms offering many more tools from spell-check to layout programs to RIPs. These tools brought new efficiencies to the newsroom, allowing newsmakers to process more content with fewer people.
Unfortunately, the systems were incredibly hard to configure, terribly expensive to integrate and required highly specialized system and support staff. In the 80’s, the desktop publishing revolution unfolded replacing the mainframe with the desktop PC. This provided a ready solution to many of these problems by leveraging the client/server model.
Off–the-shelf programs such as PageMaker began to emerge, greatly reducing the cost of hardware and software engineering time. System providers could write software that harmonized with these new off-the-shelf programs. Integration, configuration and training costs decreased for the provider and these savings could then be passed on to newspapers.
The 90’s brought us the Internet age, and all the challenges that came with it are still here today (I will cover this topic in more depth in a later blog posting).
Currently, there is a simple way to distinguish between Cloud computing and SaaS (Software As A Service). The Cloud delivers the computing as a utility. SaaS delivers the application (such as CRM) as a utility.
Clouds can be delivered in a range of models from the vendor’s own datacenter, to a third-party, “hosting” vendor, to a true cloud computing environment (examples: Amazon, Google, Microsoft) which takes advantage of the latest technologies such as virtualization to maximize resource utilization.
A SaaS application can be delivered from one of the above mentioned types of Clouds. SaaS allows publishing houses to reduce their expense of server hardware, OS & software updates, specialized training for their IT staff, upfront integration costs and maintenance contracts.
Applications can be deployed in the cloud in two different approaches. Providers can simply install their existing deployed versions of their software, or create new applications that take advantage of a cloud’s services and technologies.
The first approach would allocate the servers and client applications in the cloud. Users would the use a remote client application (Citrix, Remote Desktop, etc.) to access their applications that allow them to create, edit, and paginate content – all remotely. The second approach would allocate only the server portion of the application in the cloud. The content creation, edition, and pagination would be performed on the user’s desktop, providing them direct access to their files. MediaSpan’s editorial offering, SkyQue uses this model. The browser is used to create and edit content from a local workstation and files are saved to the “cloud” and are then downloaded to the paginator’s workstation for page layout. This model solves many issues, such as how are ads moved into the cloud for placement and font licensing.
There are many more advantages to SaaS offerings than I mentioned here. For more information and other points of considerations, please visit: http://www.itworld.com/saas/54844/pros-and-cons-saas-part-1
I welcome feedback and discussion, please submit them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.