News

Anne Kaske as Editorial Director – Reading/Language Arts

Contentra Technologies, a global leader in integrated content transformation solutions, is excited to announce the addition of Anne Kaske as Editorial Director – Reading/Language Arts to its team.

“We’re very pleased to have Anne join our strong editorial group here at Contentra Technologies, and are excited to have her share her expertise and passion for reading with our clients,” says Bill Faber, Contentra SVP of U.S. Operations.

As a writer and avid reader, Anne believes that reading and language is at the core of every learning experience. She has shared her love of reading and language in the educational publishing space for over 20 years. Anne has developed reading, grammar, writing, and language products for K–12 for small and large publishers, including Pearson, Rigby, Harcourt Achieve, National Geographic, McGraw-Hill Education, Harcourt Houghton Mifflin, Carson-Dellosa, and Zaner-Bloser. She understands all phases of the content development process from concept, prototyping, development, to final product review. Anne has led several teams in creating print and digital reading and language arts materials for student and teacher success. Anne’s strong background includes the following:

• Common Core State Standards for ELA K–12
• State standards, particularly Texas, California and Florida
• Fiction and informational text materials and instruction
• Decodable readers, leveled readers, literature anthologies/searches
• Content management systems, including Habitat and Learnosity
• Manuscript, storyboards, and wireframes
• PARCC and SBAC assessment, including technology-enhanced items

About Contentra Technologies

Contentra provides world-class content, knowledge, and technology solutions to clients globally. Contentra delivers full life-cycle content management services that include content creation, capture, digitization, preservation, and distribution to leading publishers, content aggregators, Fortune 500 companies, and government organizations like National Libraries—all from its ISO-certified facilities. Contentra has five offices across the United States, Europe, and India. In the United States, its major educational clients include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, National Geographic Learning, and Pearson, and its trade clients include Time-Life Books.

For more information on Contentra Technologies, its services, and solutions, please visit www.contentratechnologies.com or contact Bill directly at bill.faber@contentratechnologies.com.

 

 

Nathan Edwards Joins Contentra Technologies’ as Editorial Director-Science

Contentra Technologies, a global leader in integrated content transformation solutions, is excited to announce the addition of Nathan Edwards as Editorial Director—Science to its team.

“We’re very pleased to have Nathan join our editorial group here at Contentra Technologies, and we can’t wait for Nathan to meet and work with our clients,” says Bill Faber, Contentra SVP of U.S. Operations.

Nathan brings a rich history of experience in educational publishing. He spent 10 years with McGraw-Hill Education, most recently as Senior Academic Designer K-5 STEM. Nathan led teams that produced award-winning science programs for elementary and middle school students at all ability levels. In addition he has successfully produced digital and mixed-media materials for science and math, as well as print. His recent focus has been on creating learning experiences that embrace the NGSS philosophy. Prior to joining McGraw-Hill, Nathan was in the classroom teaching middle school science, health, and language arts.

About Contentra Technologies

Contentra provides world-class content, knowledge, and technology solutions to clients globally. Contentra delivers full life-cycle content management services that include content creation, capture, digitization, preservation, and distribution to leading publishers, content aggregators, Fortune 500 companies, and government organizations like National Libraries—all from its ISO-certified facilities. Contentra has five offices across the United States, Europe, and India. In the United States, its major educational clients include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson, and its trade clients include Time-Life Books.

For more information on Contentra Technologies, its services, and solutions, please visit www.contentratechnologies.com or contact Bill directly at bill.faber@contentratechnologies.com.

 

 

Bill Faber Joins Contentra Technologies’ Executive Team

Cincinnati, OH, April 10, 2014—(PR.com)

Contentra Technologies, a global leader in integrated content transformation solutions, is excited to announce the addition of Bill Faber, Senior Vice President, to its executive team. Contentra has offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, and New Delhi, India. Bill will be based out of the Cincinnati office.


"We’re very excited to have Bill join the team here at Contentra Technologies, and we are looking forward to the exciting growth potential that he brings to our company," says Amit Vohra, Contentra’s president.


Bill brings over 35 years of experience in the educational publishing realm to Contentra. His energy and passion for his work is contagious, as is his firm belief that customer satisfaction and effective communication lead to long-term partnerships with clients. During his career, he has managed day-to-day operations, and he has developed and managed sales organizations. Prior to joining Contentra, Bill was Senior Vice President of Business Development for Element-Thomson, a position he also held at PreMedia Global. Bill has also served as Vice President of Operations for Peter Li Inc. and held senior management positions in operations and sales while with the Mazer Corporation.


About Contentra Technologies

Contentra provides world-class content, knowledge, and technology solutions to clients globally. Contentra delivers full life-cycle content management services that include content creation, capture, digitization, preservation, and distribution to leading publishers, content aggregators, Fortune 500 companies, and government organizations like National Libraries—all from its ISO-certified facilities. Contentra has five offices across the United States, Europe, and India. In the United States, its major educational clients include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson, and its trade clients include Time-Life Books.


For more information on Contentra Technologies, its services, and solutions, please visit www.contentratechnologies.com or contact Bill directly at bill.faber@contentratechnologies.com.

 

 

Contentra Technologies joins FIBEP as a provisional associate member

Contentra Technologies is happy to announce that it has joined FIBEP, a provisional associate member from July 2013 onward.


FIBEP (Federation Internationale des Bureaux d’Extraits de Presse) is the world’s largest association for media intelligence and communications insight. Founded in 1953 in Paris, the FIBEP Secretariat is now based in Brussels, Belgium. The current membership holds over 100 members in 45 countries. FIBEP provides customers in all business, governmental, and non-governmental sectors with media monitoring and analysis services that are critical to good decision making and optimal business performance.

 

 

Content Transformation Leader Announces the Adoption of A New Identity

Cincinnati, OH, March 28, 2013 (PR.com)

Planman Technologies, a global leader in integrated content transformation solutions, announced today the renaming of the company as Contentra Technologies. This new name represents the company’s focus on content transformation services and the broadening of its service lines.
Planman Technologies, a global leader in integrated content transformation solutions, announced today the renaming of the company as Contentra Technologies. This new name represents the company’s focus on content transformation services and the broadening of its service lines. Over the past 10 years, Planman Technologies has been a trusted partner in the book publishing, library, and news industries. Now the company is taking its content transformation expertise to new markets and to new industries. The company views organizations across industries as "content publishers," each publisher with its own unique content life cycle and each with an extraordinary amount of content to be created, repurposed, and distributed. As Planman reached out to new industries and new markets, the company decided to take on a new name—Contentra Technologies—to reflect its growth and plans for the future. This new name reflects their expanding expertise, new markets, and specialized offerings in transforming content for publishers around the world. The ownership and management of the company remains unchanged. The change in business name to Contentra Technologies will have no impact on the terms and conditions governing existing master services agreements, work orders in place between Planman Technologies and its clients or partners, and any other planned service delivery milestones or service delivery process. “These past years have been incredible for the company. The goal is to dedicate most of this year toward creating awareness about the brand. Besides, we're the same great people with the same great service,” says Pawan Narang, Senior Vice President of Contentra Technologies. Contentra provides world-class content, knowledge, and technology solutions to clients globally. Contentra delivers full life-cycle content management services that include content creation, capture, digitization, preservation, and distribution to leading publishers, content aggregators, Fortune 500 companies, and government organizations like National Libraries—all from its ISO-certified facilities. Contentra has five offices across United States, Europe, and India. For more information on Contentra Technologies, its services, and solutions, please visit www.contentratechnologies.com.

 

 

Planman Rebrands as Contentra Technology

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Planman Technologies, a company in the integrated content transformation solutions field, has been renamed Contentra Technologies. The new name represents the company’s focus on content transformation services and the broadening of its service lines. The ownership and management of the company remain unchanged and the name change will have no impact on its business operations. “These past years have been incredible for the company. The goal is to dedicate most of this year toward creating awareness about the brand. Besides, we're the same great people with the same great service,” says Pawan Narang, Senior Vice President of Contentra Technologies.

 

 

Living with digital products and multiplatform e-deliverables
Market Transformation Equals Challenges and Opportunities

April 23, 2012
by Teri Tan
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Last year, a major publisher of textbooks, reference works, trade titles, and educational software selected Contentra as a vendor of choice for a project to produce multiple programs for mobile and handheld devices.”This project required an understanding of educational products, as our team had to review the content and make decisions and recommendations relating to file formats that could be produced, such as reflowable EPUB and fixed-layout EPUB. Furthermore, the content had to be tested on multiple devices and platforms based on the client’s acceptance testing criteria and quality parameters,” says Vice President of Sales Amit Vohra. Now that EPUB 3 and DAISY standards are converging, the Ida-reader—a software application produced by Contentra and Danish company xmltekst for dyslexic and visually impaired readers—”will be the first to have the ability to read aloud both DAISY and EPUB 3 files across platforms.” The past eight months also saw Contentra helping publishers convert existing Flash-based content into HTML5. As for meeting tight deadlines and stringent quality control, no one beats Contentra’s newspaper digitization team. Says Vice President of Operations P.S. Narang, "Our team has digitized more than five million pages of newspapers in the past three years using our state-of-the-art proprietary workflow solution. We have also digitized more than two million contemporary newspaper pages in the past year. The challenge lies in delivering 50-plus titles (approximately 4,500 pages) on a daily basis within three hours upon receipt. A robust workflow monitoring system plays a big role in making everything happen on time, every time.” (Contentra works with national libraries worldwide and digitizes newspaper archives from microfilm.) Vohra notes that American publishers are asking for more full-service packaging and digital technology solutions, often with simultaneous delivery. Contentra's full-service packaging model is focused on the K–16 market, and its team has just finished a big primary math project for a well-known educational publisher. ”European and Asian clients have just started to ask for such services, and we see this market expanding.” The goal for the coming year, adds Vohra, is to help clients make the transition from print to digital. “The idea is not only to produce content for digital devices but to help create an ’ecosystem’ by developing e-reader applications that allow e-books to be read on different devices, producing those e-books, and then deploying the content in an e-bookstore where users can purchase the books for that ecosystem. One of the problems of developing an e-book is that it would not look the same on all e-readers, even within the same ecosystem.”

 

 

Contentra Technologies Expands Services to Support Higher Education Products

Jan 30, 2012
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Cincinnati, OH/New Delhi, India - January 30, 2012 – Contentra Technologies, a major content service provider with a global clientele, has announced today the expansion of its Higher Education publishing services division. “While the company’s initial emphasis has been on Higher Ed product management and production, we now have the capacity to increase support on all aspects of managing new product in editorial, design and technology,” states Amit Vohra, Vice President Sales and Operations, Planman Technologies. “Educational publishing is a complex and highly dynamic marketplace. We are finding our clients in Higher Education require increased support in publishing services. They are experiencing internal staff reductions, with increased product responsibilities along with added needs for supported technology.” Planman Technologies has a superior staff of over 300+ high-tech talent poised to provide and support and efforts in Higher Education product and technology. Collectively our experience spans over 25 years in all aspects of development, design and production.

 

 

PLANMAN TECHNOLOGIES LAUNCHES NEW DIVISION

Oct 18, 2011
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DIGITAL LIBRARY SERVICES DIGITAL LIBRARY SERVICES Cincinnati, OH, October 18, 2011 – Contentra Technologies, a major content services provider with a global clientele, has announced the establishment of its Digital Library Services division. The new division will offer support for a variety of library management initiatives including building digital collections, imaging/graphical enrichment of content, storage and retrieval of video and audio formats, conversion of non-digital content and data reformatting services. Contentra Technologies is a fully-owned subsidiary of Contentra Consulting, a leading multi-interest consulting firm providing business services to a variety of organizations, institutions and enterprises in diverse industry and government verticals. Since its inception in 2005, Contentra Technologies has utilized the latest technological advances to furnish a full line of information technology and content management services to its extensive customer base. With its new North American headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Contentra now is poised to extend its digital services to university, public and corporate libraries across the region. Vishal Salgotra, Vice President, Business Development at Contentra discussed the reasoning behind the new division: “While the company’s initial emphasis was on newspaper digitization and various publishing services, over time we have developed a strong presence in the library community. This new division is a natural progression that will allow us to concentrate solely on developing processes to resolve the difficult choices constantly faced by libraries involving the retention, conversion, management and distribution of their current and archival data.” Raju Buddharaju, former CTO/CIO of the National Library of Singapore and currently a consultant to Contentra, added, "As a library technologist, I have watched the concepts of conservation and preservation of digital content change and grow over the years. I am excited to see Contentra’s new focus on library digitization and preservation services that are designed so that access processes also will continue to evolve along with content and context.” About Contentra Technologies Contentra Technologies is a fully-owned subsidiary of Contentra Consulting, a leading multi-interest consulting firm. Providing across-the-board support in Information Technology and Content Services, Contentra Technologies offers newspaper digitization, data conversion, publishing services, e-publishing, forms processing and software development to a global clientele, while also supplying knowledgeable resolutions to the special situations and conditions faced by today’s digital libraries. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, Contentra has operations in Cincinnati, Ohio, customer service offices in Brussels and Singapore, and delivery centers in New Delhi and Cincinnati. Contentra enhances client satisfaction by consistently providing services that reflect quality, reliability, versatility, confidentiality and adaptability. Contact: Vishal Salgotra Vice President, Business Development Contentra Technologies Telephone: 513-376-8370 Email: US@contentratechnologies.com Web: www.contentratechnologies.com
 

 

Contentra Technologies appoints Ella Hanna as Director of Business Development

Sept 22, 2011
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Contentra Technologies is pleased to announce the appointment of Ella Hanna as Director of Business Development. Ella is an award-winning Creative and Managing Director with 20+ years of publishing design and business development expertise. She has held leadership positions with Houghton Mifflin, Pearson, Course Technology, Lapiz, Inc., GTS Publishing Services (now Aptara), Monotype, Inc. (now Six Red Marbles) and Ligature, Inc. In her current role, she works closely with customers and operations teams to provide industry-leading services that meet the specific requirements and challenges of the K-12 market. A veteran in the field, she is experienced in all stages of design, and her work includes major print and web-based programs for publishers such as Pearson Prentice Hall, Houghton Mifflin, Great Source, Rigby, Steck-Vaughn, Glencoe, McGraw-Hill, SRA, Candlewick Press, Smithsonian Books, Addison-Wesley, and Scholastic. Orville Dykes, Vice President of Publishing Services adds, "Ella brings vital experience and a track record of proven success to our team. Her expertise across publishing operations, creative development, production, customer relations and consultancy; intricate knowledge of the US market; and professional commitment to excellence will be a driving force as we continue to expand our presence in the U.S. market place." About Contentra Technologies - Contentra Technologies is a global outsourcing firm with offices in U.S., India, and Singapore.They collaborate with publishers and provide complete content services to include editorial development, page composition & design, proofreading, photo research & permissions, illustration development, and digital content creation and conversion services. Their specialties include K-12, Textbooks, Children’s Reference, Library, Graphic Novels, Art & Illustrations, Flash Animation, e-content, Editorial development, Page composition & design, NIMAS conversions, Kindle & ePub, Newspaper Digitization. Some of their clients include McGraw Hill, HMH, Pearson, Marshall Cavendish, Harper Collins, and many others.
For more information contact:

Contentra Technologies Inc
110 Boggs Lane Suite 100
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
USA
Phone: 513-376-8370 (Office)
Email: US@contentratechnologies.com
Web: www.contentratechnologies.com

 

 

Contentra Technologies wins Digitization Tender from National Library of Norway

July 5, 2011
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Contentra Technologies recently won a digitization tender from the National Library of Norway. As a part of the framework agreement Contentra will be providing a full range of services to The National Library of Norway which includes digitization of microfilms, OCR processing and structural analysis of digitized images with text content, production of e-books and consultancy services. This project is a part of the comprehensive digitization programme wherein the National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all its depository collections which contain about 70 million newspaper pages and in excess of 2 million periodical publications, several books and manuscripts.
 

 

Contentra Technologies converts the entire Books & Journals Backlist for John Benjamins Publishing Company

June 9, 2011
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Contentra Technologies, global leader and pioneer in content digitization, has successfully completed a large scale project involving the digitization of all backlist titles for one of the leading academic publishers in Europe, John Benjamins Publishing Company. The project required Contentra to provide full suite of digitization and conversion services to convert the entire backlist of Books and Journals into PDFs and XML formats for John Benjamins Publishing Company. Being a large and complex project, it required a high level of expertise in digital conversion, says Pieter Lamers, Production Manager, John Benjamins, Contentra Technologies years of experience and world class infrastructure equipped with latest technology was helpful in converting our large number of titles in a short span without compromising on the quality of work. This will help us immensely in extending our reach to consumers digitally. We are delighted to work with John Benjamins on such an important project, says Pawan Narang, VP Operations, Contentra Technologies, Publishers today identify the value of e-content and hence choosing the right partner with demonstrable capabilities has become very important. To complement John Benjamins short and long term requirements, we devised specific workflows to accommodate multiple input formats and complexities in the conversion process in order to successfully deliver large number of titles in time sensitive deadlines. About Contentra Technologies: Contentra Technologies is a global outsourcing firm with offices in US, India and Singapore. They collaborate with publishers and provide complete content services to include editorial development, page composition & design, proofreading, photo research & permissions, illustration development, and digital content creation and conversion services. Their specialties include K-12, Textbooks, Children's Reference, Library, Graphic Novels, Art & Illustrations, Flash Animation, e-content, Editorial development, Page composition & design, NIMAS conversions, Kindle & ePub, Newspaper Digitization. Some of their clients include OUP, Marshall Cavendish, Pearson, McGraw Hill, HMH, Harper Collins and many others. About John Benjamins Publishing Company: John Benjamins Publishing Company is an independent, family-owned academic publisher headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, founded over 40 years ago. Over the years JB has been firmly rooted in every imaginable subfield of Language and Linguistics. Further fields of focus are Cognitive Science, Psychology, (Contemporary) Philosophy, Terminology, Information Design, Literary Studies and Art History. In the past decade, JB has been building a significant list of print and electronic publications. JB publications are selected under expert academic editorship and peer-reviewing by and for academic researchers and trainers, and include, in addition to works of pure research, excellent university-level course books. For more information contact: Contentra Technologies Inc. 110 Boggs Lane Suite 100 Cincinnati, Ohio 45246 USA Phone: 513-376-8370 (Office) Email: sales@contentratechnologies.com www.contentratechnologies.com John Benjamins Publishing Company P.O. Box 36224 NL-1020 ME AMSTERDAM The Netherlands Tel. +31-20-6304747 Email: customer.services@benjamins.nl

 

 

Contentra Technologies join hands with Strictly Spanish

May 17, 2011
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Contentra Technologies, leaders in educational publishing solutions have teamed up with Strictly Spanish, leader in K12 Spanish editorial development and translations. This partnership aims to offer a broader range of services to educational publishers while providing high quality, cost effective publishing solutions and services in English and Spanish languages. “Strictly Spanish array of Spanish Translation services and 20+ years of experience in this field makes them aptly suited to be partnered with. Their expert Spanish language translations and/or adaptations would help our customers by expanding their products’ reach into the Spanish market. Strictly Spanish is a company that brings to the table an extremely rich experience of working with top-of-the-line educational publishers for a long time. Their expertise in handling time constraints and adding value to their client’s organization will be immensely valuable in this association,” says Orville Dykes, Director of Publishing Services, Contentra Technologies. says Orville Dykes, Director of Publishing Services, Contentra Technologies. “Contentra Technologies vast market experience, impressive range of capabilities, attention to detail and quality have placed them at the forefront of the production and page composition segment and make them a perfect company for Strictly Spanish to partner with in order to be able to offer our clients the benefits of a complete editorial/production solution. This association works because it brings together two very strong companies staffed with highly experienced people who share a common goal—passion for quality! For our clients, the workflow will be seamless and will look and feel like they are dealing with just one company,” says Susana C. Schultz, Senior Managing Director and Vice President of Editorial at Strictly Spanish. About Contentra Technologies: Contentra Technologies is a global outsourcing firm with offices in U.S., India, and Singapore. They collaborate with publishers and provide complete content services to include editorial development, page composition & design, proofreading, photo research & permissions, illustration development, and digital content creation and conversion services. Their specialties include K-12, Textbooks, Children's Reference, Library, Graphic Novels, Art & Illustrations, Flash Animation, e-content, Editorial development, Page composition & design, NIMAS conversions, Kindle & ePub, Newspaper Digitization. Some of their clients include McGraw Hill, HMH, Pearson, Marshall Cavendish, Harper Collins, and many others. About Strictly Spanish: Strictly Spanish is a business-to-business Spanish translation company located in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, area. They have been providing quality services to clients in need of professional English-to-Spanish translations and/or adaptations for over 20 years. Strictly Spanish Education, a Division of Strictly Spanish, is a leader in K–12 Spanish editorial development and translations and it is widely recognized for developing high-quality products, as well as for being one of the few U.S. companies with editorial offices in the U.S., Mexico, and South America staffed with native-speaking bilingual project managers, translators, editors, and writers. Some of their clients include McGraw Hill, HMH, Benchmark Education, Intel-Assess, TIME for Kids, and many others. For more information contact: Contentra Technologies Inc 110 Boggs Lane Suite 100 Cincinnati, Ohio 45246 USA Phone: 513-376-8370 (Office) Email: sales@contentratechnologies.com www.contentratechnologies.com Strictly Spanish LLC 5714-D Signal Hill Court Milford, Ohio 45150 (T) 513-248-2890 Email: info@strictlyspanish.com www.strictlyspanisheducation.com www.strictlyspanish.com

 

 

Contentra Technologies - Expands US Office and Presence

May 12, 2011
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Contentra Technologies is pleased to announce its new US market initiatives for the Year 2011 and beyond. The initiative includes the opening of its new office in Cincinnati, Ohio in July 2010 and the deployment of a strong and experienced Editorial & Project Management team with a view to enhance customer experience to complement the “Full Service” partnerships with Publishing Customers in USA. We are also pleased to announce the appointment of Orville Dykes as Director of Publishing Services. Orville has worked in educational publishing for the past 40 years. With his extensive knowledge of the educational publishing business, his ability to set priorities and to establish schedules, he is experienced at leading both large and small publishing teams to success. In his current role, he works closely with customers and operations teams to provide industry-leading services that meet the particular requirements and challenges of the K-12 market. A veteran in the field, he is experienced in all stages of production of complete basal programs, individual textbooks, ancillaries and supplemental materials, audio programs, CD-ROMs, videos, and online learning products. Orville brings a strong combination of industry experience through his years of various experiences in the educational market. He has worked as Senior Buyer at McGraw-Hill, an owner of a pre press operation as well as Vice President of Customer Service with setting Pace. Amit Vohra, VP sales of Publishing Services adds, “We opened the Cincinnati office in July with a new office and a robust team. We are encouraged by the response and intend to further expand the editorial development, photo research, and technology and composition capacities. Our ability to handle high volume, complex projects with demanding delivery schedules is key to be truly a “full service partner” to our clients. The developments are a key step towards building a strong presence in the U.S. market place." About Contentra Technologies: Contentra Technologies is a global outsourcing firm with offices in U.S., India, and Singapore. They collaborate with publishers and provide complete content services to include editorial development, page composition & design, proofreading, photo research & permissions, illustration development, and digital content creation and conversion services. Their specialties include K-12, Textbooks, Children's Reference, Library, Graphic Novels, Art & Illustrations, Flash Animation, e-content, Editorial development, Page composition & design, NIMAS conversions, Kindle & ePub, Newspaper Digitization. Some of their clients include McGraw Hill, HMH, Pearson, Marshall Cavendish, Harper Collins, and many others. For more information contact: Contentra Technologies Inc 110 Boggs Lane Suite 100 Cincinnati, Ohio 45246 USA Phone: 513-376-8370 (Office) Email: sales@contentratechnologies.com www.contentratechnologies.com

 

 

Transforming Content For Tomorrow

April 18, 2011
by Teri Tan
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No other vendor has so much going on in the library space. With a clientele consisting of national libraries from around the globe, Contentra offers end-to-end services ranging from microfilm scanning to data crunching. We provide digital library support and portal development, metadata creation, and schema conversion, taxonomy, METS/ALTO output and even cataloguing services. We will be launching consulting services in developing digital libraries soon, says Vishal Salgotra, v-p of business development, adding that the demand for high quality content in different formats has increased two- to threefold in recent years. Traditional book publishers are now more open to technology and are making strategic moves into the digital space in order to maintain their market leadership. At the same time, there are niche digital publishers that are seeing double digit growth within just a few years of operation. Naturally, Contentra is investing heavily in crucial new technologies and software knowledge. Among the new technologies thrown into focus are HTML5 and Flex. There is huge interest from the U.K. and U.S. markets in these. We have done several interactive whiteboards [IWBs] and e-book projects using Flash/Flex in which our team handled everything from story boarding, content writing, animating, illustrating, to programming. Developing mobile and tablet apps is another area that we are working on aggressively, says v-p of sales Amit Vohra. One recent project, Learn & Draw, aimed at eight- to 10-year-olds, effectively illustrates Planmans capabilities. The team developed digital components such as IWBs with interactive videos, background music, and animation to give kids a fun-filled experience as basic facts about various subjects from the print product were included. Last July, Contentra opened a new office in Cincinnati, Ohio, with a strong and experienced editorial and project management team to provide full-service support to American publishing clients. One recent project in literature for grades six–12 fully illustrates the teams expertise. For this project, our Cincinnati editorial team worked with the Delhi production team using a K4 InCopy work-flow, says Orville Dykes, director of publishing services. We will expand our Cincinnati office, enhance editorial development expertise in core subject areas, and continue building technology development capabilities, in our ongoing effort to be a valued partner to our clients.

 

 

Multi format Reader player application launched at CSUN 2011, San Diego

March 24, 2011
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Contentra Technologies in collaboration with xml-tekst developed 'ida-reader' for the dyslexic and visually impaired community. This product was launched at the 26th Annual CSUN Conference 2011 at San Diego. The ida-reader is a user-friendly software product that has the ability to read aloud text content from a variety of file formats like Daisy 2.0/2.02, Daisy 3.0, HTML, RTF, XML or original book pages. The ida-reader reads full-text with TTS and also recorded audio. The reader application has attractive features such as read aloud & text highlighting, bookmarks, text search, library etc., which have been incorporated keeping in mind the special needs of the people faced with challenges in reading text, like dyslexia. From a publishers and institution standpoint, the software does file encryption at multiple levels and protects content which is critical to copyright laws. Please visit www.ida-reader.com to learn more about the product and its unique features.

 

 

Job Moves

January 26, 2011
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Contentra Technologies has appointed Orville Dykes director of publishing services in its Cincinnati office. Dykes has been in educational publishing and manufacturing for 40 years and his appointment is part of Contentras expansion in the U.S. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, Contentra is a content solution provider in all aspects of developing and managing content in books, digital media, scholarly works, newspapers, journals, and magazines.

 

 

Champions of the XML Workflow: Content Services in India

Mar 30, 2009
Transforming content has never been more sophisticated
by Teri Tan
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A robust and efficient single-source multichannel publishing system? That's the promise of the XML (eXtensible Markup Language) workflow. Now the question of XML adoption is no longer when or whether, but how soon. There is much urgency to digitize backlists and join the e-book bandwagon, to turn static pages into multimedia e-learning modules to interest the growing MTV fans and video gamers out there, to convert content into NIMAS/DAISY-compatible formats for the learning disabled and to reuse content to maximize its worth. For publishers, the XML workflow means efficiency, neutrality, flexibility, multiplicity, consistency and portability. It means the possibility of creating content once and publishing it in whole or in part in different platforms simultaneously. The case for XML is overwhelming, and its dynamism has been tested and proven. At Contentra, some 200,000 pages have been converted into DAISY-compliant files for libraries in Europe and Australia. The company has also won a two-year DAISY conversion contract from a public library. We are now actively promoting DAISY conversion services to major libraries, organizations and publishers worldwide, says Amit Vohra, v-p of sales. In addition, Contentra and its U.S.-based joint-venture partner, settingPace, completed close to 75,000 NIMAS-compliant pages for one publisher last year. We have also converted MS Word and PDF into NIMAS-compliant XML for books, Web sites and handheld devices. As for interesting projects, Vohra recalls a geography series that required 35 ancillaries as well as transparencies. The tasks included designing maps, charts and graphs, and researching and writing original content and enrichment activities. We had to find reliable sources of information and reference, maintain editorial consistency with the student book, manage the large volume of pages and, of course, meet the tight deadline. It involved the full scope of our content services—design, development and production. Library services and newspaper archiving are huge, too. Its team recently transcribed scanned images of bibliographic records in various languages into a customized record format with 99.995% accuracy. We have been selected by the World Bank to undertake postproduction work that includes conversion of printed pages to XML and e-book formats such as PDF, ePub and MobiPocket, as well as files ready for on-demand printing. Our team converts about 5,000 printed pages into these formats every month, says director Sourav Chatterjee, whose strategy for 2009 is to consolidate existing businesses through acquisitions. Our success in winning several major projects in different segments, such as newspaper digitization, DTB production and creative services, should buffer us from the impact of the economic downturn.

 

 

More on Creative Services Outsourcing

May 26, 2008
A new hot niche segment
by Teri Tan
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There is a lot more to creative services than just imagination and doodling skill—Contentra Technologies will attest to that. Over at Contentra Technologies, also in Delhi, its design team is hard at work on an ongoing k–12 project chronicling the lives of icons such as Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. Each title requires about 20 lifelike paintings with three weeks to deliver the final artwork. We have completed about 80 since the project commenced in May 2007, says v-p of sales Amit Vohra, whose team is highly experienced in biblical and ancient history illustrations, such as of the Vikings. We have handled more than 130 creative projects of varying sizes and levels of complexity. Take this five-book series that uses biblical stories to teach toddlers counting and shape identification. Since the initial client input was sketchy, we carried out detailed research on the various characters, costumes, habitats, etc. We then provided penciled illustrations to our client for comments, implemented the changes and did coloring. Three more rounds of corrections followed before delivery of final artwork. Usually, we finalize the art in the second round, except for complex projects like this. For greater efficiency, Vohra's 50 illustrators are task-specialized. A typical project team consists of illustrators who pencil the drawings; inkers and tracers who ink the penciled artwork; and coloring artists who do either digital or manual coloring. Proper training is the key. We prefer to hire fresh fine arts graduates and postgraduates and have our art directors train them for specific tasks. It can take several months to a year to fully train a new artist—a long process indeed—but we can mold them according to our specific needs. Despite the challenges, more Indian content services vendors are adding creative services to their portfolio, thus complicating vendor selection. Starting with pilot projects would allow publishers to assess a vendor's experience, capabilities and market knowledge. Equally important is choosing a vendor that is focused on design and art services. Otherwise, the necessary creativity may be missing.

 

 

The Content Crunchers

Mash, mix, move, mutateit's all in a day's work by Teri Tan
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India's content services industry continues to buzz, loudly. For many multinational publishers, an average cost saving of 30% and a pool of top-notch Indian vendors are just what they need to survive the eat-or-be-eaten competition. For vendors, the latest statistics on the outsourcing business are music to their ears: a predicted 35% annual growth until 2010 and a still largely untapped $4 billion educational publishing market. At Contentra Technologies Image digitization is big , and one recent 225,000-image project says it all. The images came from one of the world's largest archival houses, and the varied formats proved to be the greatest challenge. There were A4 and A3 prints, 6cm x 6cm and 35mm negatives, scrapbooks, transparencies and gaslight paper, says v-p of sales Amit Vohra. We put together a highly specialized team of image editors and photographers to finish this project within six months. Contentra has also digitized and converted about four million pages of newspapers, manuscripts, books and journals. The deliverables were issue- and page-level PDFs, JPEG2000 and TIFF images, and XML files (in METS and ALTO). With such projects, the biggest hurdle was the non–English-language and the consequent large file size of the pages. One of the largest newspaper digitization vendors around, Contentra plans to scale up capacity from the present four million pages per annum to 7.5 million. Digitization aside, a project from a leading k–12 publisher showcases the company's illustration and creative capabilities. We were contracted to develop creative art for mathematics products targeting grades 9–12. About 14,000 art pieces were commissioned: 4,000 creative and the rest technical. We assigned a team of 10 illustrators to get through 100 to 150 creative art pieces and about 1,200 technical illustrations within four to five days, adds director Sourav Chatterjee. Another k–12 job required composition, design and creative art services for a series of grades 3–6 books. In total, there were 1,500 art pieces in this 2,400-page project. We also had to key in text from old editions as well as restyle and compose the pages. Maintaining design fluidity was crucial, as the client's requirements—design as well as editorial—kept changing throughout the project. Eventually, we deployed a team of two designers and 14 illustrators along with 30 production staff and completed this project within 12 weeks. Meanwhile, its state-of-the-art media studio is focused on 3D animation (feature films, TV series, short films, docudramas and home videos), games and multimedia products. Says Chatterjee, We offer animation services for the medical, architectural, legal, and educational segments as well as virtual reality and game design for handheld devices, computers and game consoles. This segment is growing rapidly. Meanwhile, multinational publishers, now experienced in offshoring to India, are shrinking their vendor pool and consolidating accounts with mostly those offering full-service capabilities. It's definitely a great time to be one of the bigger vendors. But buyers are out there, not necessarily from the top 10 publishing houses. Smaller publishers are often more comfortable dealing with like-sized vendors giving their projects highly personalized attention. So, for vendors big and small, there are always plenty of fishes of different sizes out there.

 

 

Outsourcing in India

Aug 17, 2007
by Teri Tan
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Content services jobs heading for India used to be 100% in English. But with globalization and localization on every astute publisher's mind, releasing co-editions of core products and ancillaries is becoming commonplace. At the same time, English-language publishers aren't the only ones seeking out Indian vendors: Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European and Scandinavian publishers are following in their footsteps. As a result, languages with double-byte character sets (Chinese, Japanese), elaborate hyphenation and diacritics (Thai, Croatian), and right-to-left or bidirectional text (Arabic, Hebrew) have ceased to be as perplexing as they were a decade or so ago. For vendors, anything that is recognizable by computers and can be tagged in XML is fair game. Language-specific rendering scripts have made it possible. Non-English newspaper conversion/digitization has long been a niche segment. V-p for international sales Amit Vohra recalled, One of our earliest projects involved producing 50,000 pages of Arabic text, and we hired 30 linguists to ensure that both language and content were accurate. More recently, one 200,000-page Danish news agency project arrived at our door with a six-month deadline. We extracted the text using OCR technology and integrated Danish-language dictionary and hyphenation support into the QC workflow. The content was then converted into XML. Contentra has also been digitizing Norwegian newspapers—the daily Aftenposten as well as Adresseavisen and Trondades—for the National Library of Norway. We usually receive microfiches, which are scanned at 300 dpi grayscale. We process the scanned pages according and deliver the final output in several formats: issue-level PDF, page-level PDF, JPEG2000 compressed image and XML, explained director Sourav Chatterjee. Every month, Contentra processes about five non–English-language projects—two newspaper digitizations and three general content conversions—which make up roughly 40% of its output. Besides the languages mentioned above, it has also tackled French, German, Welsh, Swedish and Hebrew projects. Text extraction and quality assurance are the biggest challenges in non-English projects, especially when special characters and diacritics are involved, added Vohra, whose team has just completed two Spanish-language el-hi projects comprising a total of 2,500 pages that require the full treatment: composition, formatting and proofreading.

 

 

The Content Continuum

May 11, 2007
Smart formats, intelligent data, exceptional vendors, oh my! by Teri Tan
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On Planet Content Services, your asset is sliced, diced, spliced, structured, dechunked, formatted and channeled through a variety of platforms. In between, it also gets animated, fattened (or trimmed) and slicked up for optimum results. That's Content Transformation 101: (Over-)Simplified, skipping the veritable alphabet soup teeming with mostly three-letter acronyms (XML, PDF, DTD, CSS, OCR, TeX-get the drift?) Understandably, it's hard to retrofit a print-centric model into one primed for multichannel publishing and capable of absorbing the slew of new technologies bombarding the industry. But you don't have to go the whole nine yards into XML universe right from the get-go and break out in hives. Logically, not every publication needs to be deep-coded to the nth layer. (Okay, now take a deep breath and relax.) The most important thing is this: you can depend on your vendor to hold your hand, wipe your brow and add value to your content. And once you decide to jump into the outsourcing wave, you are in fact in excellent company (literally). Contentra's threefold growth in publishing projects over the last 12 months is no accident. "Basically, toward end of 2005, we identified a potential segment and we aimed for it. We expanded our graphics and illustration capabilities and gave our designers and artists intensive training in publishing requirements. What happened next was a surprise: our new capabilities started pulling in full-color elhi projects in bigger volumes. A case in point: in January 2006, we were doing about 800 to 1,000 pages per month for one client; today, we're delivering an average of 5,000 pages. Another elhi client has also increased its volume to about 5,000 pages during the same period," says v-p of sales Amit Vohra. "The expansion has resulted in more editorial and other developmental services being offered to make up an A-Z range of project management support." Thus said, Contentra gets projects involving illustration and creative services aplenty. "We recently completed one 252-page full-color book in which 184 of the 268 pieces of artwork had to be created from scratch," says director Sourav Chatterjee, who has 50 illustrators and designers among his 800 staff. "Another project involving copyediting and typesetting of 229 full-color pages required approximately 200 illustrations." On the editorial side, Contentra is taking on writing of technical reports and conference proceedings. "The latter are time-critical projects allowing little to no margin for error or delay. Upon receipt of the project, our team makes a detailed analysis of the client's requirements and prepares the style sheet," says Vohra. "Next, we check the formatting, generate the abstracts, keywords, references and headers, and produce the author index and table of contents. The files then go through a final quality audit before being uploaded." Over at its newspaper publishing section, its imaging team handles image archiving and data processing from microfiche, while another 500 personnel convert legacy data to XML. So far, over 400,000 pages of newspaper content have been converted, and these projects come from mostly European publishers. But Contentra does not stop at just conversion. "Take the case of the Manchester United soccer team photobook: it was not in our client's original plan, which was just to archive the newspaper pages. But the potential for such a book became apparent as the project progressed, and we brought it to our client's attention," says Chatterjee. "Helping clients create new revenue streams from their content is one value-added service that Contentra offers. As the enabler in the content transformation process, we are in a great position to help identify the opportunities as they arise."

 

 

Content Takes Center Stage

May 08, 2006Putting content into context has never been this complex or exciting.by Teri Tan
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In the publishing BPO world, everything is contentcentric. Using XML technologies and standards, you as the publisher can now create the content once and publish that same content—in different forms—over many channels, such as via your Web site, on CD-ROM or as e-book files. With its New York office soon to be opened, Contentra is shifting from being U.K.-centric—90% of its clientele is British—to seeing more North American activity. Says senior manager for business development Amit Vohra, "About 65% of our revenue comes from the publishing sector with the rest from other BPO transactions. The publishing projects, 70% books and 30% journals, are handled by our 200-strong Okhla publishing division." At Contentra, part of India's largest multi-interest consulting and business services corporation, its e-paper solution for the newspaper publishing industry is unique in the marketplace. "We are the first India-based company to offer an e-paper solution that addresses conversion of both current and archival content for the Arabic newspaper market. We are currently contracted by a leading U.K.-based newspaper publishing group to convert about 1,500 pages daily from 17 tabloids. The project cycle time is tight: the PDFs would be FTP-ed across at around 4 a.m. Indian time, and we have a four-hour window to deliver the XML files. So we structured the work flow to have most of the XML tagging and special characters converted automatically, and at a very high accuracy level. We also created the digital edition for Web publishing using customized XSL/T, which is then transferred to a user interface specifically designed by our Web development team." For one monthly project of two secondary-level textbooks, Vohra's team takes on the design and prepress tasks. "We have about three weeks from receipt of edited manuscript to first InDesign-based PDF proofs. Each title has over 250 illustrations, and we often have to either redraw or color according to the artwork brief provided. Upon completion, the pages would go to our on-site project manager for approval before they are FTP-ed to our client. We have four days to incorporate the changes, if any, before printing the second proofs." Contentra also offers e-book conversion, abstracting and indexing, nondestructive book scanning, photo research and syndication liaison, as well as content development. Operations-wise, the company is comparatively small, but therein lies its strength. "It allows us to personalize our service to suit each client's needs. We have the advantage of knowing up close and understanding our client's projects and the markets they serve, and being able to conduct our own research to help them work better and generate new products using existing content. By the same token, our team presents a cohesive single-control operation, thus streamlining the work flow, eliminating redundancies and keeping costs low. We are now focused on further developing the relationships we have with the existing clientele, increasing our international presence and strengthening our publishing services capabilities."