Quark attempts a rebirth against Adobe dominance

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Quark attempts a rebirth against Adobe dominance

Publishing software company Quark is changing its focus to better adapt to the current online climate and reclaim markets where Adobe has typically ruled.

Quark’s first desktop design package, QuarkXpress, was once the industry standard for desktop publishing throughout the late 1980s and early ‘90s, until it fell to Adobe’s InDesign Creative Suite and lost much of the market share in several regions, including Australia.

Since his entry into the company 18 months ago, new CEO Ray Schiavone has been visiting the Quark customer base to find out their biggest concerns in adapting to the increasingly online publishing world.

“We found that they had been very focused historically on their print publication, and over time with the Web and hand held devices coming on the scene, they have to address different audiences and media types,” Schiavone said.

“Most of the customers had accommodated the onset of the Web by creating a manual and redundant publishing workflow to publish material on the Web or to hand held device.”

“They told us they spent 30 to 40 percent of cost on getting content into appropriate formats for print or Web, which is largely just a manual, cut and paste process.”

From his conversations with customers, Schiavone decided to redirect the company’s focus from a “feature war” over desktop publishing with Adobe, to changing the publishing process for cross-platform content.

Quark’s relaunch is built around this focus, with the introduction of the Dynamic Publishing Solution (DPS), which Schiavone says acts as a single source to automate publishing across different mediums.

“You can write content in one place and the information can be sent to a number of different publications and syndicated out, systems can grab the information, format it appropriately for the publication, and deliver to print, the Web, or a handheld device,” he said.

Quark will still continue to offer its QuarkXpress software to compete with InDesign but Schiavone says DPS is just about offering something extra that he believes Adobe won’t venture into.

“I would imagine that they’re thinking about different directions,” he said.

“Adobe has to worry about a much more broad market, as opposed to us who are just focused the publishing process.”

“I think it would be difficult taking that size company and turning it from a shrink-wrap company into an enterprise software company.”
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