Vista Higher Learning

Vista Higher Learning hired DPCI to implement the K4 Publishing System, an editorial workflow management system used by editors, designers, and production professionals to collaborate more effectively.

Founded in 2000, Vista Higher Learning (VHL) is an independent, specialized, and privately owned publisher focused exclusively on helping people communicate across world languages and cultures. VHL’s mission is to create the highest quality language instructional materials that integrate text, technology, and media.

VHL managed editorial, design and production workflow using Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy files. The hope was to design and develop a dynamic workflow that allows the company to be more efficient and to have more control over the publishing process without compromising quality and consistency.

As it turned out, Adobe InDesign and Adobe® InCopy files did not have any functionality to allow editors or production staff to view a history of corrections or to track older revisions of a project file. This cost the company time and slowed down the entire production process.

VHL hired DPCI to implement the K4 Publishing System, an editorial workflow management system used by editors, designers, and production professionals to collaborate more effectively.

First, VHL decided to conduct a pilot of the K4 Publishing System for one book. The Intermediate German Course for Higher Education was selected since it had a compressed timeframe and would help prove out whether using K4 could reduce book production schedules.

DPCI met with VHL editorial and production staff to determine what worked well and what could be improved in the book production workflow. The lead DPCI consultant helped identify problems in the process, and then suggested various improvements, either with adjustments to the existing workflow or through the better use of technology. The technology recommendations included how VHL staff could leverage existing functionality within Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy or how the organization could best take advantage of K4 features.

Next, DPCI gathered functional requirements for the configuration of K4, including user classes, metadata and statuses. DPCI then installed and configured the K4 Publishing System version 6 integrated with MySQL 5.x, Apache Tomcat 6, and Adobe InDesign and InCopy CS4 in conformance with VHL’s workflow and functional requirements. (Note: K4 supports CS5.5, however VHL as of this writing had not yet upgraded to the latest version of Adobe’s creative products).

DPCI then presented the pilot configuration to editorial and production staff, who offered their feedback on the system. From this feedback, DPCI adjusted the configuration and presented it again to staff until all stakeholders approved the final build.

DPCI’s Adobe-certified Field Engineers next trained the pilot group on using K4 with InDesign and InCopy, and then provided onsite support to the VHL team as they produced the German language book within the freshly implemented system.

Editorial and production staff voted the K4 Publishing System pilot as an overwhelming success. Consequently, VHL management decided to hire DPCI to fully implement K4 in 2011 for all new book projects going forward.

Since the pilot project, DPCI has helped VHL explore the full feature set of K4 that pertains to VHL’s needs, test and implement configurations for the entire organization’s needs, and develop a training and support strategy for rollout at both corporate headquarters in Boston as well as at a remote production site in Medellin,  Colombia.

The next step for VHL is to implement more of InDesign’s advanced book features as well as to investigate ways to use K4 to produce e-books. DPCI will be with the VHL team along the way to help support the organization’s strategy and implementation needs around digital publishing.

DPCI and the new workflow in K4 helped VHL dramatically cut production and editorial timelines. “With the assistance of DPCI in the implementation of K4, we were able to reduce production time and take a book that was going to be late to press and actually turn it around on time,” stated Marta Kimball, Director of Production and Design, Vista Higher Learning. “DPCI has been a great partner for VHL to help us transform the way we bring our books to market.”