Category: News

Why you should switch from OpenMedia to ContentLine

Tactically smart: switch from alfa OpenMedia to alfa ContentLine for the digital realignment of your company

Switching from our alfa OpenMedia products to the new alfa ContentLine may seem like a big step, because obviously a change in the system means a transition. But you can rest assured that many things will remain the same or even get better. We would therefore like to give you an overview and explain what exactly happens when you update from our alfa OpenMedia products to the alfa ContentLine.

Let us start directly with what remains; for this is already quite a lot!

  • alfa AdSuite
  • alfa ProductPlanner
  • alfa ProductTracker / alfa WebTracker
  • alfa AdPagination
  • alfa ePaper
  • alfa NewsApp
  • alfa Sales and distribution system
  • alfa FeeCon / alfa Honorar
  • alfa PortalSuite
  • Image workflows
  • Status concepts
  • Group and role concepts
  • Access rights

Even though so much remains the same – or perhaps because of it – a migration is the perfect opportunity to start a digital realignment of your business or to efficiently streamline your current processes. Switching to the alfa ContentLine also offers the opportunity to set up modern workstation concepts – independent of the platform.

If all this does not change, what is new anyway? The alfa ContentLine brings a number of new modules to the portfolio, some of which combine one or even two products from alfa OpenMedia – more performance in fewer products, as it were, and the constant switching between programs is no longer necessary. But what does that mean in practical terms? Here is a small comparison:


Direct comparison of the modules

Editorial management with alfa EditorialOrganiser

alfa EditorialOrganiser combines many of the functionalities of alfa MediaSuite, alfa Agenda and alfa ContentExplorer, but the new module can do much more. alfa EditorialOrganiser is THE platform for your content. As an intelligent folder, it holds together everything that belongs together. All standard formats can be saved, edited in a media-neutral way and published in the desired channel with just a few clicks. In addition, alfa EditorialOrganiser has a wide range of planning tools developed in collaboration with editorial teams, enabling you to achieve an optimal editorial workflow!


Print production with alfa PrintLayout

alfa PrintLayout includes many of the functions of alfa NewsSuite and alfa PageOne. Design pages flexibly, write like you print. Our passion for the printed product is evident in our alfa PrintLayout: Intelligent sample templates, layout options without tedious tampering, or even our WYSIWYG real image display – what you see is what you get. So there is more time for the essentials again: The journalistic content. Additionally, we are currently working on another advantage for you that will make working even more comfortable: alfa PrintLayout completely enters the browser!


Content-Management with alfa DAM and alfa WireServices

The alfa Digital Asset Manager (DAM) incorporates functionalities that you already know from alfa ContentExplorer, alfa PhotoReporter and alfa AgencyServices. All digital content – whether pages, articles, advertisements, photos, graphics or, for example, videos – can be efficiently managed with the software and networked in a unique way. In combination with the alfa WireServices module, data becomes information, so that in the daily flood of news and images, the overview is always maintained, without being merely a collection point for classic agency channels. A wide range of search operations makes content easy to sort and evaluate, or it can be made available quickly and directly through targeted and automated searches.

As you can see, the product range is becoming leaner, there is more in one tool than there is in alfa OpenMedia. Depending on your editorial organisation, it is conceivable, for example, that your editor only uses the alfa EditorialOrganiser module, while the desk editor works exclusively in alfa PrintLayout.

You have the chance to establish completely new workflows for your company, which will restructure your work, but also make it simpler and more efficient. You have the option to create individual tasks for specific people, so you can organise your staff into staff reporters or sub-editors, for example, while the media designers design pages. The advantage? The focus is back on content, not on administration.

This shift is also based on a change of database, alfa eCMS merges into alfa Atlas, our content database, which is based on web service access and combines the best of both worlds. Another advantage: since all ContentLine modules access alfa Atlas, searching for or accessing the same data and content is always guaranteed!

Complex and large-scale workplace installations are also a thing of the past, as all alfa ContentLine products are web-based, so that updates can be carried out quickly and conveniently for all users at the same time. Downtimes due to individual updates are completely eliminated.


More details, please!

This overview is too general for you? Let us pick out a few scenarios in detail:

alfa PrintLayout offers a large workspace in such a way you have never seen before. You can edit everything on a single workspace. No more countless windows that impede overview and work and are mutually exclusive, so that certain work steps are forced to be shared. This desktop is your own personal workspace – no one has to tidy it up, everything can stay where you need it. Nevertheless, colleagues can access it when a release has been granted. They can also use these workspaces collectively for departmental or work-groups and thus prepare or hand over content to each other, be it a small news item, photos or a long follow-up article. And if one workspace is not enough for you: create as many as you like – just as you need them!

You have access to the alfa PrintLayout API, you can control the program yourself if you wish. In general, alfa PrintLayout is highly individual and customizable, as we work with stylesheets and macros and can control various events via script.

The alfa EditorialOrganiser is perfectly adapted to interact with alfa PrintLayout, because these modules have not only been developed together, but have also grown together and therefore go hand in hand. This is reflected, for example, in the integrated access management. If you are currently working on an article that is intended for both print and online, you can easily do so without making content or layout unusable for each other. How? The alfa EditorialOrganiser works with article variants: there are virtually two of one and the same article – one for print and one for online – which can be controlled independently of each other and have their own meta and content functions. An article block only comes into effect if the identical article is edited in both modules at the same time. Locked articles are also recognized in both modules, such as info boxes, and “linked”, so that they are independent articles, but their affiliation and placement remains clear. The contents are synchronized, of course, since they are centrally available in a database for all modules. In addition, content can also be automatically added to alfa EditorialOrganiser workbooks if you have set up a search via alfa WireServices. You select the topic and time.

So much for the exemplary interaction of these modules. The alfa EditorialOrganiser can of course do much more than create and publish variants for selected channels. You have an enormously agile topic planning tool at your disposal, which also has a drag & drop function for your content. For example, you can use our planning tables, the so-called “swimlane sorting”, for your topic planning. The planning tables provide an individual overview of the chronological topic planning in regard to departments, i.e. “For which days/times which topics are planned in which departments? This also refers to the publication dates of topics in relation to channels, i.e. “For which days/times are which publications of topics planned for which publication channel?”, as well as publication dates of topics on pages. This allows you to get a quick overview of possible dry spells or over-saturation of a timeslot and to re-plan or rearrange them within the planning table. Another convincing argument: All this takes place in the browser, no installation is necessary and can therefore be used flexibly from anywhere.


Organisation of the migration process

Now that we have looked at the functional part of the switch from alfa OpenMedia to alfa ContentLine, the question remains what the project means for you in organisational terms. After a thorough analysis of your company, a migration period of between three and six months can be estimated. We will accompany you throughout this process:

  • Evaluation workshops on how we can work together to achieve the best possible goal for you
  • Best practice consulting for migration scenarios
  • Planning and conception of hardware and infrastructure for the switch-over
  • Permanent personal, technical and content support
  • Project team as permanent contact partner
  • Joint configuration of the entire system with knowledge transfer
  • Editorial workflow consulting
  • Extensive training courses and workshops for the modules

Don’t worry about the cost trap, because the best comes last: alfa OpenMedia users receive a free upgrade and an attractive overall offer for the comparable modules currently in use!

Would you like to take the next step? Contact us, we will be happy to help you and answer any further questions!