Opportunity in the Wings
When the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2001 E-Stats report earlier this year, publishing represented 12 percent of the $25 billion e-commerce revenue generated by the service sector, placing publishing third, only behind travel services and brokerages.
For publishers looking to gain their share of e-commerce and wanting to implement online technology, Jupiter Research advises:
-Do not shortchange planning, design and testing
-Leverage commerce packages and upgrades
-Rely on package vendors to incorporate desired features
With its 107 journals and magazines, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) produces 30 percent of the world's published literature on electrical engineering, computing and control technology. So when they began undertaking online initiatives in 1999 for their more than 360,000 members, they sought an e-commerce partner that understood the complexities of scientific and technical publishing.
And they found one.
They chose software provider eMeta Corporation to develop the infrastructure for the IEEE's electronic publishing initiatives. The resulting software allows IEEE to manage varying types of users, including IEEE members vs. non-members, libraries, corporation, and universities, as well as licenses. Meanwhile, users can access IEEE subscriptions—both individual and corporate—and choose to pay per view among 670,000 documents or order standards, journals, periodicals and conference proceedings. But for all of the challenges met by the software, only a point-and-click interface shows to both the consumer and IEEE personnel. Reporting tools built into the software also allow the IEEE to gauge the results for their efforts.
The IEEE site has grown dramatically in terms of usage since it launched in March 2000 calling for infrastructure upgrades to an Oracle database to support the traffic. "There were a few days that it was a little unnerving," says Scott MacFarland, director of publishing business development for IEEE. "But today, electronic publishing is the fastest growing part of IEEE business, and it account for a substantial and growing part of IEEE revenue."