Knut Nicholas Krause, Founder & PresidentBeing the sole provider of Microsoft-certified publishing software in the world, knk provides highly-integrated solutions for publishers of all kinds. Founded in 1988, when publishers were lagging behind in their efforts to introduce up-to-date technology, knk began by decentralizing applications to make them more user-friendly. For example, the company introduced various effective functional modules on PC networks, paving the way for today’s advanced publishing technology. “We were the first company to offer standard products for paid content along with early support to publishers to capitalize on new revenue streams such as event management,” says Knut Nicholas Krause, knk’s founder and president.
Today, knk is a Microsoft gold-certified partner for Collaboration and Content, Data Analytics, Enterprise Resource Planning, Application Development, Application Integration, Data Platform and Data center.
knk uses multiple Microsoft technology products in order to create helpful applications for the media industry. These applications, which offer very significant benefits to book, journal, and magazine publishers as well as other media-centric businesses (e.g. pure digital publishers, music publishers, film production) include ERP, Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management), marketing automation, artificial intelligence (AI), content management (XML) and data analytics. Apart from establishing its distinctive position in integrating financial planning & accounting, cost-control, e-commerce, and logistics, knk also features business software solutions with an entirely content-based architecture. With this software, content can be sold in either pieces or bundles, while simultaneously ensuring proper management of rights and royalties through the knk’s contract, rights, and royalty applications. knk’s editorial office system is connected to Office 365 (or other cloud-based collaboration tools), allowing authors and editors to work on the same document seamlessly. knk offers a wide range of applications with media-specific functionality including media production, content management, advertising, subscriptions, distribution, and rights and royalties.
Illustrating the efficacy of knk’s solutions is a trade book publisher that had been unable to generate any profit for ten years. To address this situation, the publisher (with revenues nearing $100 million) engaged knk as a consultant to introduce process optimization. knk was tasked with modifying the way the publisher worked and then to support these process modifications with modern software. The company first outsourced the supply chain and logistics responsibilities and reduced costs in these areas by a cumulative 74 percent, and then streamlined the information flow and processes in editorial planning, program planning, product cost pre-calculation, media production, marketing and sales, yielding two important results: On the one hand, employee productivity increased-routine, labor-intensive work was automated and editors could focus on their authors, Marketing on creative product marketing activities, and Sales on accelerated development of existing and new sales channel opportunities (the latter aided by significant improvements in meta-data quality and quantity).
While Microsoft product certification certainly makes knk unique and dependable, one more key differentiator is its content-based architecture
Moreover, as a result of a better profit-and-loss forecasting (based on product lifecycle sales curve analytics, introduced by knk) the publisher also reduced the number of titles published—eliminating the number of unprofitable or marginally profitable, higher risk C-level titles by 35 percent while increasing the profitability of the overall portfolio by 14 percent.
The combined impact of these changes increased profitability significantly, and after a brief process-retooling period, the publisher was again very profitable.
A second client in the B2B media space had been experiencing a noticeable decline in their advertising revenues. They had tried but failed to organize and market their event business, lagging behind plan in securing both sponsors and event participants. To bolster the number of subscribers and event participants, knk introduced Microsoft Dynamics CRM, marketing automation software and knk’s Event Management module. In addition, the company also leveraged up sale CRM to emphasize better administration, regular tracking of all activities, and reminders for immediately responding to changes. In the ad sales space, knk’s solution also provided a task-orientated competitor analysis to the client. “This creates activities for Sales, and they can contact customers instantly, discuss with them why they have changed strategies and try to win them back,” adds Krause.
While the Microsoft product certification certainly makes knk unique and dependable, knk’s key differentiator is its content-based architecture, as described above. In the meantime, knk is growing revenue by 25-33 percent annually and aims to continue this growth organically. “We are expanding to the UK and France, and we plan to expand to Asian countries in future with our own offices, and sales and marketing teams,” says Krause. In addition, the company is working on including AI into its ad sales functionality along with participating in various Microsoft hackathons and constantly improving its products—both in functionality and the underlying technology. “With Microsoft taking care of the technology and the development of core business applications, and knk focused on the unique requirements of the media and publishing industry, the investment that our customers make in our software and solutions is protected for years to come,” Krause summarizes.