Ignite is part of the ESW Capital Group, based in Austin. The company focuses on buying, strengthening and growing mature business software companies. In June 2018, ESW Capital bought Olive Software, a provider of e-publishing solutions and digital archiving.
News & Tech talked to Ignite CEO Davin Cushman about Olive and other happenings at Ignite.
News & Tech: Why is Olive Software a great fit for Ignite Technologies?
Cushman: We are excited to have Olive become part of Ignite Technologies. It was great to share the news back in February and welcome Olive-powered publishers to Ignite.
Demand for quality digital content continues to explode, including a massive advertising shift to digital away from print. It has been estimated that digital publishing is 10 times greater than it was in 2001, and it is not showing any signs of slowing down.
By integrating the Olive digital publishing platform into the overall Ignite enterprise software portfolio, we saw the potential to immediately deliver incremental capabilities and increase value for both our new Olive customers and our existing Ignite customers.
To share one example that I’m extremely excited about: Olive customers now have access to our capability for sourcing and gaining usage rights for reader-generated images for use on both their websites or in their e-edition. After we enhance the Olive customer experience in this way, we will then turn to our long-standing Ignite customers, particularly those in publishing, to extend the capabilities of the Olive digital publishing platform, providing discounted access to Olive to every Ignite customer with digitization or digital archiving requirements.
News & Tech: In the first few months of Ignite ownership, what key enhancements has Ignite made to the Olive digital publishing platform?
Cushman: Our Ignite engineering teams have made great progress already on two key fronts.
First, we’ve enhanced the Olive Dynamic Newsstand (ODN) Optimized Reader Experience to be fully modernized and mobile-friendly. Content is increasingly consumed on phones and tablets, and we saw this initial update as a critical first step in ensuring the platform is optimized to address today’s reader demands.
Second, based on our introductory conversations with customers, we have developed customer support programs, specifically for the Olive digital publishing platform, that align to what we heard.
To provide options for publishers to address their specific requirements, we offer three support tiers: Standard, Gold and Platinum.The support programs include services such as a review of your Olive platform with detailed reports on audience engagement indicators, including usage trends and patterns, and skin configuration services to enhance the look and feel of Olive ePublications, updating branding and color palette, site rails and table contents, ad positions, and button and toolbar layouts, as well as configurations for desktop and mobile formats to improve overall engagement.
News & Tech: What is next for Olive Software?
Cushman: Digital transformation in the publishing industry, I believe, has not yet reached its zenith, as we’ve only started to scratch the surface of really getting insights from digitized content and readers’ interaction with it. As we look to 2020 and 2021, we see innovations in the realm of smarter digital publishing, which for us is about building audience intelligence, predictive content, and providing dynamic mash-up engagement of new and younger readers. These are just a few of the components of Ignite’s overall vision for the Olive digital publishing platform, and we will continue to engage our Olive customers for input into the product plan as we move forward.
While we look ahead at the possibilities for digital publishing, at Ignite, we also understand the criticality of ensuring platform performance for customers today. Ignite serves thousands of customers around the world. While preparing to accelerate our customers’ businesses in this changing industry with “smarter” innovations, we are committed to ongoing investment in rigorous, build test and deployment platform maintenance to meet a growing global customer base and to address higher levels of mission-critical publishing demands.
News & Tech: What do you recommend to publishers for how to further leverage technology to engage audiences, grow readers and stay
Cushman:We believe that smarter digital publishing is a journey — a series of ongoing strategy decisions and investments that are complex and can become costly very quickly.To assist publishers, there is a lot of expertise to be leveraged, and we recommend building partnerships with technology companies who can augment in-house expertise and provide access to programs to advance strategies. For example, at Ignite, we offer an innovative customer program where existing customers have complimentary use of other solutions to digitally transform more aspects of their business, which includes access to our experts for strategy and implementation discussions. The software industry is all too familiar with the challenges associated with digital transformation. Working together, combining publishing expertise with technology expertise, I believe is the best path to accelerate digital transformation for publishers, and together we can drive toward creating opportunities to benefit from the significant changes occurring in the publishing industry.