How Wolters Kluwer Is Transforming

Its Publishing Processes With PublishOne

Technology moves fast and innovations come and go. In the publishing industry, being adaptive to change and streamlining operations, whilst supporting legacy tools, requires careful planning. These are key components of digital transformation.  

With thousands of external authors, Wolters Kluwer needed to implement a future-proof platform that could consolidate its publishing workflows, and support its authoring and editorial capabilities in multiple countries. That’s when it turned to PublishOne.

One solution to multiple challenges

Business Analyst, Samyra Dekkers, has been closely involved with the implementation of PublishOne for Wolters Kluwer’s Legal & Regulatory division in the Netherlands. In these publishing fields, there is a huge variety of content, ranging from academic studies to legal commentaries. This requires a flexible publishing platform that can handle the production of different types of content – and multiple publishing processes – all at once. 

Wolters Kluwer also works with a wide range of external authors. At one end of the scale, there are authors who engage with publishing systems once or twice a year. At the other end of the scale, there are contributors who update content on a frequent basis. For this reason, they need a publishing platform that is easy for any author to pick up and use without extensive training. 

Different authors use different editing tools. Many Wolters Kluwer authors prefer to work in Microsoft Word. So the ideal solution is to have one publishing platform that can integrate with multiple authoring tools – such as MS Word and XML editors. The ability to integrate with new and innovative technologies is another requirement. Not only does this provide a future-proof solution, it also supports rapidly evolving security needs. 

Key principles for implementation

There is a certain level of complexity involved in upgrading and updating systems across a large organization. Implementation can never interfere with live production. The PublishOne implementation at Wolters Kluwer is one piece in a much wider technological overhaul. 

Moving to any new system inevitably comes with teething problems. To ensure a smooth transition, the roll-out of PublishOne began with the least complex use cases. The same principle was applied to vendors, beginning with the most experienced users. Another approach adopted by Wolters Kluwer was to get started with PublishOne as soon as possible, rather than losing time by aiming for a 100% perfect implementation. With some key ground rules in place, this gives them room to fail fast and improve. 

Timing was also of the essence. That’s because in the legal and regulatory sectors, there are key moments in the year when switching to a new publishing system would impact the production of live publications. Take tax regulations in the Netherlands, for example. Changes are announced in January, so that would not be the best time to onboard authors working in that field to a new platform. 

When you consider the number of people involved in the publishing processes and the complexity of the change process itself, it’s possible to imagine the scale of implementation. For that reason, key user groups – including editors and production coordinators – were set up to support the roll-out of PublishOne. It’s a fully scalable solution. 

Everyone who is trained can train someone else. The people who have been involved with PublishOne from the beginning receive weekly updates. This enables them to educate others and increase knowledge and expertise in the organization. In fact, people are a crucial part of successful implementation. By involving key users from the start, they get a chance to adapt to change more easily. 

Next steps for Wolters Kluwer and PublishOne

Right now, Wolters Kluwer in the Netherlands is doing a pilot run of PublishOne. Implementing PublishOne on its own is relatively quick and easy. The challenge for Wolters Kluwer is how to successfully implement it as part of a much wider change program impacting thousands of authors. Due to the practicalities of guiding and training so many authors, implementation is likely to take place over a few years.  

To discover more about Wolters Kluwer in the Netherlands, visit their website: