The following paragraphs describe the levels of automation available, in order from the least benefit and investment to the greatest:
Many business activities are coordinated through e‑mail, but for complex projects, e‑mail involves a lot of manual effort. You have to hand off tasks, keep track of deadlines, send out reminders, and make sure everyone has properly participated and signed off.
A workflow system can not only eliminate manual effort by automating tasks such as sending out reminders, it can also automate checkpoints to make sure that every step that's required actually happens.
For example, you may want to generate a PDF automatically at the start of a review cycle. Or when all approvals are completed, you may want to initiate an automated publishing process. If you want to progressively add more automation to your workflow, then you need to make sure that your automated publishing systems are integrated with your workflow system, and that you can easily set up the triggers that initiate automated processes.
Quark Publishing Platform provides automation for as little or as much of your workflow as you wish, from partially to fully automated processes. It also provides a wizard that makes it easy to set up automatic triggering of automated processes such as image conversion and publishing. And through integration of Quark Publishing Platform with Microsoft SharePoint, all of the workflow automation capabilities of SharePoint — such as automated task and project-management features — are available to Quark Publishing Platform users.
Automated Cross-Media Publishing
Professional publishers and corporate publishers (organisations for whom publishing is not their core business) need to make their information available on multiple types of media, both print and electronic, and "cross-media publishing" is how they achieve this. The traditional way to publish across media is first to create the publication in one format — typically print — and then to convert that format for each additional media type. This is time-consuming and expensive, because it usually requires a different team of people to produce each media type.
An alternative is to automate as much of the process as possible, either by extracting the print content and automatically converting it to other formats, or by creating the content in a media-independent format (XML) and automatically publishing it in every format.
Starting with XML lets you achieve maximum efficiency and speed, but it also involves greater changes to your existing processes. For example, your authors might need to start creating their XML content using Quark Author or Quark XML Author for Microsoft Word, and your designers would set up automated publishing processes based on Quark Publishing Platform.
Automated Customisation and Personalisation
Whether you're creating variations of material to meet different specifications or creating personalized information unique to individuals, your customers appreciate and expect to receive information from you that meets their specific needs.
But customizing information for multiple audiences and personalizing it for individual recipients using traditional publishing tools involves a high degree of manual effort, which makes the cost too high to justify. In order to efficiently customize and personalize information, you must automate your publishing process, which requires structuring your information so that it can be automatically customized for multiple audiences or personalized to individual recipients.
There are two aspects to enabling structured information:
If you create your information out of components instead of monolithic documents, you can set up processes using Quark Publishing Platform or Quark Brand Manager that automatically assemble components in different ways for different audiences.
You may also need to generate different variations of a single component for different audiences. To accomplish this, you can use Quark Author or Quark XML Author for Microsoft Word and denote the specific audience(s) for each word, sentence, and paragraph that is variable.