5 Reasons To License a Digital Publishing Platform
June 2nd, 2021
Ready to embrace digital education publishing? Perhaps you already have a digital publishing business and want to expand your business to new areas? Whatever the reason, the first thing you will need is a powerful platform to create, distribute and monetize your content. The question, however, is – do you develop your platform perfectly customized to your business, or do you license an existing platform that has proven its worth in content creation and distribution?
There is no easy answer to this question. After all, every business is unique, with its own set of needs and roadmaps. It might seem that developing your digital platform could be the best way to go, but some have likened building your own platform to building a house, if not more complex. There is hardware and software to consider, maintenance, field tests, bug fixes, scalability, flexibility, and so much more.
Let’s take a look at some of the critical differences in building vs. licensing a digital education platform so that you can make an informed decision.
The cost is not just in terms of the actual material costs, but man-hours and effort. Price is also in terms of time to market. As they say, time is money. Say you decide to build your own platform- you will first need an in-house tech team with the skills and experience necessary to build a robust platform with powerful features and functionalities. Even if you create a web app or website where people can access your content, you will need an in-house team to keep it running too.
According to some estimates, creating a platform could take you 1040 man-hours, while others say that it could cost you up to $120,000 to build your own functioning app. Then there is the fear that by the time you fix all the bugs and have the platform up and running, technology has moved on, and your competitors are offering something better.
On the other hand, let’s say you license a digital platform instead. The platform is already up and running, and you can check out how it has worked for others to make an informed choice. You can even check up on the experience of the team behind the platform. And, if you get to choose a white-label platform, it will be completely customized to your needs with your branding and user experience expectations included.
So, you get to offer a unique brand experience to your users, choose the features and functionalities you wish to include, have an experienced team take care of all the complexities and maintenance. At the same time, you focus all your time and energy on your core business and its expansion.
Plus, with a ready-made solution customized to your needs, you get to launch your platform in the market within a fraction of the time it would take to build and then launch.
Scalability & Upgrades
With a skilled team taking care of the platform for you, there is no need to worry about the rapid pace of technological advancements. The developers will ensure that the platform is updated and upgraded with the latest technologies so that you get to offer cutting-edge experiences to your users. New browsers and enhancements are a factor to consider in the market. If your clients move to a new technical standard, you need to be there before they are released.
Another key aspect is to be able to build a platform that easily scales as your business grows. When you license a proven platform, you know that it will handle not just increases in products but also increases in traffic. For instance, when the entire education system moved online en-masse due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educational publishers and schools were scrambling to accommodate the sudden spike in users. A platform that has already helped publishers and academic institutions seamlessly transition to digital education could be your best bet. After all, why reinvent the wheel?
When you offer users a digital learning platform, you want to give them a complete solution. This means that from accessing course materials to online assessments, rostering, and dashboards for teachers, students and parents should be available on your platform. For this, you need to ensure that the platform effortlessly integrates with third-party apps, such as Google Classroom, Clever, OneRoster, etc.
In addition, the platform should be compliant with industry standards, such as LTI, QTI, SCORM, etc., so that you are not limited in what you can offer. Also, easy integration with standard LMS’ or platforms that schools might already be using, such as Moodle, D2L, Schoology, etc., is vital.
In addition, the platform should be compatible across multiple devices and operating systems, such as Windows, iOS, Android, Chromebook, etc., so that users can access your offerings from any device.
Regulatory compliance is crucial for any digital education platform. For instance, in the United States, all student information collected and maintained online must comply with the COPPA and FERPA guidelines. Similar guidelines, called GDPR, exist in Europe. On the other hand, accessibility, through compliance with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, is also required. Wouldn’t it be much easier and time and cost-effective to choose an existing platform that ensures seamless compliance? Why take a chance with the law by attempting to work out compliance on your own?
Analytics & Reporting
One of the essential functionalities of your platform should be to make sense of all the data generated every day by the users. Being able to access key analytics through easy-to-comprehend reports can help you make strategic business decisions. Don’t leave such a crucial factor in business success in the hands of an inexperienced team. Choose a platform that offers a robust analytics engine, with customizable analytics on content consumption patterns and more, so that you can make data-driven business decisions.
MagicBox™ and its advisory team are ready to help you achieve the best possible results, whether you are already using a digital platform or planning to move to one. Contact us to learn how we can help with customizing the award-winning platform to your needs.