News & Tech: Why do publishers need to start looking at a replacement now, if DSM will be around until July 2019?

Lineup Systems: As is the case with most anything, a well-planned, thoughtful approach will be less costly and more effective than a rushed fix. Choosing your DSM replacement will take time - from defining your business requirements and budgeting to vendor selection, deployment and system adoption.

Publishers with a multi-channel product portfolio that includes digital, print, events and marketing services have an opportunity to reorganize as a true multi-channel business by looking for a replacement solution that is capable of managing everything they sell, not just the digital products.

I have seen so many media companies build their sales and operations processes around the limitations of DSM in CRM, finance and analytics, resulting in inefficient processes while limiting the effectiveness of their sales and finance teams. With the retirement of DSM, publishers can restructure their sales processes to focus on increasing revenue and improving customer relations, without being limited by the capabilities of DSM and other legacy IT systems.

News & Tech: What are publishers’ options for replacement?

Lineup Systems: There are several options for a DSM replacement, but the same solution may not be the right one for every media organization. It all depends on what’s important to an organization’s customers, sales team, revenue growth, operations and finance needs.

Digital-only publishers will want to evaluate order management solutions capable of handling everything DSM could accomplish and much more, such as CRM, billing and reporting. They’ll want to look at providers who are actively investing in their product to ensure the solution can evolve with the changing media landscape. They should also look for a provider that can illustrate the value of its solution with recently deployed projects backed by customer testimonials.

Multi-channel media companies have an opportunity to find a replacement solution that can manage every product they sell - from lead generation through to billing. It’s important to keep in mind that for every minute spent entering an order into a digital-only system, it takes five minutes to administrate the booking and billing process – thus cleaning up the “mess” from the missing features of the system. A modern, multi-channel sales system with CRM and finance capabilities should offer:

• Warm leads from historical booking and competitor data

• Relevant multi-channel packages and the flexibility to create ad-hoc bespoke bookings in seconds

• The ability to automatically handle credit control and credit card processing

• Built-in revenue recognition capabilities including site splits, automated accrual/deferrals, billing and invoicing

• Real-time analytics in all areas of the business

News & Tech: What are important factors to consider when examining a DSM replacement?

Lineup Systems: Organizations will want to select a replacement that can accomplish everything they did with DSM including achieving a bi-directional DFP integration to streamline campaign management, orders, targeting, trafficking and fulfillment. It should also work seamlessly with DFP targeted placements while supporting in-flight changes, proposal creation and rate card management, as DSM did.

If an organization wants to optimize business performance by eliminating manual, redundant processes, it should consider a solution that automates those processes.

Payments and invoicing is another important consideration – does the solution streamline this process by generating one invoice for everything the organization sells?

If managing multichannel advertising sales, it will be important to select a system that can handle everything including digital, print, events, broadcast, digital services and commercial printing. 

And finally, it may be important for an organization’s sales team to manage their digital workflow from somewhere other than their desk. If so, a solution with mobile capabilities that allows sales to close business from any device would make sense. 

News & Tech: What should a media organization do to ready their business for this transition?

Lineup Systems: Media companies should begin with defining their business requirements, modeling their existing processes and product catalog, and securing a budget to support the transition to a new system. From there, they can begin vendor evaluation and selection.

Once the replacement provider has been selected, they should establish a well-defined project plan and work with the provider to identify clear and deliverable ROI and KPI targets.

The replacement should be deployed well before DSM’s retirement, allowing enough time to conduct end-to-end user acceptance testing and end-user training.

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