At the root of IMT is a tradition of service, grounded in Resource lifecycle realities, and given wings by Publishing’s digital revolution. From these deep roots, IMT grew organically:
- before Information Management was a known discipline,
- as the SME-Author Care and Production Team of an STM niche publisher,
- at that special moment in time when business first took notice of a little thing called the Web
and innovative new technologies made big promises, such as
- “The network is the system”, with unprecedented levels of network accessibly and affordability to governments, academic institutions, businesses, and organizations of all kinds (and even the public at large); and
- The revolution of print production and distribution workflows.
And under all the jokes about dancing bananas, many were fearful that this would be the moment the world changed FOREVER in chaotic and unpredictable ways. Those who had built businesses (big businesses — look at that link again and those talking in that session!) worried that:
- Their business models would evaporate, once everyone had easy, affordable access to content dissemination and distribution streams on the “information superhighway"; or
- Their economies of scale would disappear, as eResource models proliferated and audiences fractured on the “-nets” (Inter, Intra, Extra, and otherwise).
Some even postulated that they were experiencing the death of Publishing. In this milieu, large publishers, created sustainable economic advantage with massive, proprietary content management, digital composition, and automated peer review systems — unleashing an era of feature wars.
Small publishers (niche, society, scholarly, and the like), in order to stay visible and viable in the fray, signed on as “licensees” of these large ePublishing infrastructures, often trading independence for the benefits of cost reduction, dissemination volume, and desirable eResource feature sets.
During this time (and in this chaotic climate), IMT began as part of a fiercely independent Pharmacy publisher. Nannette and her team were wide-eyed, young graduates working with early DTP software and equipped with version 1.0s of affordable relational databases. And they were fortunate enough to know leading innovators in Medicine, PS/PDF, digital type, and the on-demand printing worlds. Together with these folks, they found another way — a way to exploit the opportunities new technology offered, a way to use emerging technologies to create affordable, extensible Resource development and distribution systems that didn’t require crippling upfront investments or loss of authority. From their inception, IMT's services have included:
- Digital content creation and edit systems that worked for those authors we cared for. On their PCs. In the applications they were already using. Without the need to install custom software or disturb their overburdened IT departments.
- Structured data bridges between these author tools, and Publishing enterprise and desktop applications.
And you can still see these same qualities — low overhead (both licensing and learning curve) — in PraXis’ edit, translation, and enhancement interfaces.
As the eResource movement matured and Publishers tamed input costs, IMT’s focus moved to:
- Reducing output costs by flipping print production on its head — by making print an export of electronic. A complete reversal of traditional Publishing processes that acknowledged the new marketplace reality of eResource dominance.
- Enhancing embedded metadata (usually subject-specific metadata) to economically drive eResource creation and functionality across platforms, as well as content reuse — totally new Publisher specialties that drive internal eResource information discovery and start to overlap traditional Library silo-specific specialties.
And then things got really interesting! The feared fractures, and their accompanying proliferations, came to pass. Some, but not all, business models evaporated (think newspapers, here). Sustainable economic, and even usability, advantages were realized.
New Publishing models emerged that relied on aggregating committed audiences around “best of breed” subject matter experts, specialists, and their content. Once again, IMT worked for the independent voices driving the new models — clients like CQ Press, AAFP, ePredix, AORN, The RAND Corporation, and APA. And once again, together we made use of opportunities afforded by new technologies to help these publishers, their authors and users, realize their eProduct dreams. Even, helping them win a few pretty impressive awards along the way.
As we channelled our energies into providing agile, open content transformation systems based on well-established, structured data and web standards for these pioneers, IMT developed a knack for repeatedly delivering solutions that successfully:
- Connect authors to their audiences in discipline-specific, user-friendly ways;
- Bridge gaps between systems (and even products) in low cost, highly extensible ways;
- Meet precious P&L goals; and
- Free up needed capital.
With the PraXis partnership, IMT is simply taking our next step in the service continuum —answering authors' and end users' current frustrations and addressing Publishers', Libraries', and their Service Providers' current system and P&L gaps.
Again, the story is simple! We extend our shared service traditions. Ground our approach in eResource life cycles. Give Library, Publishers, and their Service Providers the freedom to implement new models. And enable our clients to achieve visibility and viability in a chaotic, changing world.