For more than a decade, MarkLogic has been a partner to the information and media industry, helping hundreds of customers adapt and thrive in the delivery of content to hundreds of millions of users despite fundamental changes to the industry.
In that span, the Outsell Signature Event has served as a touchstone for our team – and our customers. As the 10th anniversary of its Signature Event nears (being held Oct 5-7), celebrating a decade of media innovation, I thought it would be a good time to look back at how technology and business have come together and how the information industries have radically changed and reinvented themselves.
2007 A View of the Future
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Resort – South Carolina
The theme of the first Outsell Signature Event was indeed spot on. Our work with information providers was already well underway with Elsevier and Wiley adopting MarkLogic content platforms and creating efficient digital delivery systems for books, journals and articles.
But by 2007, our customers were looking to the future and the theme was to create access to the content as information. This meant storing it and making it available not just as a book, journal or article, but as data for any use. O’Reilly created their ‘iTunes for books’ with chapter level access to content in Safari and Oxford University Press reinvented digital scholarship and reduced time to market with unique, topic-based products.
2008 Driving Innovation: Essential Actions
Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Innovation continued to be the theme into 2008 and it was a great theme for MarkLogic’s first participation in the Signature Event.
Our customers were looking to go well beyond digital with role-aware and personalized, workflow experiences (something David Worlock defined for the industry just before this event. BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange harnessed the power of their expert users to create topics and own the conversation. Nature joined the MarkLogic customer ranks to enable dynamic delivery and “micro products.” Innovators like AIP, Bowker and ALM came on board as customers to take a platform approach to managing their content. Going to the event for the first time, we discovered that MarkLogic was already a buzzword for innovation in Publishing.
2009 No Guts, No Glory
Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt – Ireland
The Signature Event headed to Europe for the first time, and MarkLogic followed with new areas of innovation from our customers. We helped pioneer self-service custom publishing with Wiley’s Custom Select and McGraw-Hill’s Create. And the importance of the platform was underscored with the launch of the iPhone – AIP and Nature were able to release apps into the AppStore just weeks after the launch leveraging their platform – you can hear Howard Ratner, then CTO of Nature, talk about this approach in this quick video. We wrapped all this up with our first Digital Publishing Summit which David Worlock recapped.
But the big event for MarkLogic in 2009 was the start of one of MarkLogic’s most ambitious projects: becoming the foundation for LexisNexis content delivery and powering the new Lexis Advance products. With massive, billions-of documents scale, mission-critical delivery of revenue driving products and a reinvention of the business it was truly No Guts, No Glory! The impact is still being felt and we did a recap of this project at this year’s MarkLogic World.
2010 Driving Growth in the Age of Experience
Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne – Florida
2010 was a turning point for much of the industry with the demand for tailored access to content highlighting the need to understand context and make content available no matter its source or original market.
Outsell’s theme had to do with rethinking the experience, and for MarkLogic, the role of the database to deliver this tailored new experience was more important than ever. This was reflected in the huge turnout we had for the second MarkLogic Publishing Summit just after the Signature Event. Our event featured Chris Anderson (then of Wired) and David Worlock each giving a keynote on the impact of change and memorable talks by customers West Academic and McGraw-Hill Platts.
2010 also marked a big change in our media business: While we were talking about ‘Publishing’ at Outsell and in New York in 2010, Warner Bros. was taking us into Entertainment where the operational data the drives the supply chain, going beyond just the content that drove much of our information industry business.
2011 Finding Revenue in All the Right Places
Arizona Biltmore – Arizona
This was the first year I attended the event and it was also the start of the bigger picture for Media at MarkLogic. Metadata in the supply chain become a new topic and we got our second major entertainment customer (the BBC) to help them host and present the 2012 Olympics with a groundbreaking approach that reintroduced the world to Semantic technology.
2011 was also a critical year for the information industries with Springer’s project to create the new SpringerLink completing in a hyper speed 11 months and delivering the very definition of a new generation flexible information delivery platform.
2012 Break & Reset
Four Seasons Hampshire – UK
Coming off supporting the incredibly successful BBC Olympics project (that is still setting records today) our team certainly needed a break and the beautiful Hampshire Location certainly delivered. But in Media the pace of change never lets up, and it was the reset that was on everyone’s mind across the MarkLogic teams in the US and Europe.
For our customers, the new name of the game was precision and scale – getting access to exactly the right information from as large a collection of curated data as possible. Condé Nast replaced its DAM with a powerful metadata-driven system to find and use assets. Thieme reinvented its medical information products [https://www.marklogic.com/resources/london-strive-seek-find/]. And standards organizations starting to leverage this power to rethink the way they deliver their mission critical information with the first project at the ISO leading the way.
2013 Driving Revenue in the New Normal
Salamander Resort – Virginia
Constant, radical, unpredictable change was still the New Normal in Media and delivering in that environment took flexibility and agility.
These were new muscles for much of Media in the 2000s and this Signature Event afforded us a chance to take stock of it with a presentation from our new CEO Gary Bloom. Gary took reviewed the tumultuous history of our involvement in the industry and congratulated the attendees for what he saw as a “decade of innovation.” Few industries could have survived what Media went through and Gary was very bullish that the industry not only survived, but was thriving with innovation and high-value content.
Gary had reason to be optimistic as the lessons from our media customers were being picked up by organizations everywhere: banks were looking to integrate data to getter visibility into their positions, automotive providers like Mitchell1 were looking to connect data across the supply chain and insurance companies needed a better picture of their customers. All were learning that the solution lay in integrating data and linking that data – a task that was about to get a lot easier with the release of MarkLogic 7 and its new semantic capabilities.
2014 Convergence NOW!
Trianon Palace Hotel Versailles – France
By 2014, what Gary was noticing across the wider landscape of commercial computing was also being reflected in the media industry with our customers starting to link not just their content together in the platform, but all their data.
The incredible Versailles setting provided a good opportunity to see how this was impacting the information industries – and across the board it was all about connecting even more data and innovating with Semantics.
The American Psychological Association kicked off a project to connect authors, institutions and research [http://mlwonline.marklogic.com/details.xqy?id=18614] and the BBC expanded its platform to create the Nitro programme metadata API.
The team at ALM Media charted a course to integrate and link all customer data to their content. This groundbreaking strategy that continues to be well ahead of most of the industry, started with the realization that content was everywhere and advertisers could get to their audience – but the media company could only deliver the context of the user if they integrated ALL their operational data. The project kicked off in 2014 and had startling, immediate results of 600% more efficient marketing by early 2015, just after this Signature Event.
2015 Success in the Digital Age
Pinehurst Resort – North Carolina
As the title of the event suggested, the world of media was well into the transition to its latest (and certainly not final) incarnation with data and data strategy central to the conversation at this 9th Signature Event.
For media at MarkLogic, we had learned from our customers that they had to go beyond just getting to digital follow these steps:
- Get to digital with online products
- Break down content silos and morph from publisher to information provider with a central platform
- Add more data from inside and outside the organization and connect internal data on customers and contributors with external data beyond the organization’s boundaries
- Transform the business with a data first strategy
When Anthea Stratigos, Outsells CEO and our host for these events, asked each of us to relate our company’s greatest success for the year, it was organizations that were looking at the big picture and putting data first that had the most to tell. For MarkLogic, our greatest success was NBC Universal’s rapid, three-month development of the SNL 40 app. This immersive app used Semantics to provide context for the show’s rich history and was not only launched in time for the live show but quickly delivered 100 million videos.
But it was Gary Bloom, MarkLogic’s CEO that again stole the show with a story from outside media – in the past year we had gotten involved with the Healthcare.gov project running the marketplace and data services hub. Gary (and all of MarkLogic) were very pleased to report that the system had, despite some very difficult times, signed up over 10 million US citizens, never lost data and was considered to be one of the most complicated IT projects of all time.
2016 Industry at a Tipping Point
Corinthia Hotel – London, October 2-5
And now we are at Year 10 with the best still to come! Information providers are facing challenges from all sides with access to content and the big GAFA firms encroaching on their audiences. But having taken the lessons from the past 10 years to go beyond just getting to digital, our media customers are discovering that they are in a great position: with the explosion of ways to reach audiences and generate content has come the realization that curated, trusted content is what really makes the new digital world go around. Media companies that can deliver this unique trusted content in the unique context of their customers will be able to react to this ‘Tipping Point’ and be ready for the next.
It’s been an exciting 10 years for all of us at MarkLogic and, with the upcoming 10th anniversary Signature Event, we are looking forward to another 10 years of innovation, reinvention and revolution in the ever-changing media industry.