The Media and Entertainment Industry has displayed evident growth globally, since its commencement. The advent of innovative technologies and their pioneers in this industry and subsequent disciplines has catapulted its development. YUDU is one such innovative pioneer of the digital publishing industry.
Founded in 2007, YUDU is an applications technology company specializing in digital publishing and crisis communications. It upholds a vision of harnessing cloud-based technology to meet growing market needs. It was one of the first companies to help publishers produce digital versions of their magazines and other publications. The organization holds simplicity and ease of access at the heart of its vision, both for its clients and customers, and produces solutions that have been widely liked by users.
YUDU’s Founder and CEO, Richard Stephenson, has been at the helm since the company’s inception in 2007. He holds a joint honors B.Sc. in Economics and Materials Science from Swansea University. He has driven the growth of the company as it has grown in its international clientele, adapted to changes in the publishing industry, and most recently, led the development of the company’s Crisis Management app named Sentinel.
The online shift towards e-reading, ecommerce and apps has opened up new opportunities for YUDU, which Richard has been at the forefront of capitalizing on and helping clients adapt to changing consumer wants and needs. Over the past 10 years, Richard has overseen the growth of the company to become a global leader in cloud based document distribution and corporate communications.
Richard has been running technology led international businesses for the past 30 years and completed his first private equity backed MBO in 2001. Richard past roles include being an Operating Partner with Duke Street Capital, Chairman of Xafinity Holdings Ltd, President of the Supervisory Board of Navimo S.A. and Chairman of Deloro Stellite Ltd.
Although YUDU has developed over 1,000 apps over its ten years in tech, communication is at the heart of the company’s functionality. The organization’s core product is its digital publishing platform, Publisher. It allows anyone to turn a PDF into an intuitive, re-flowable, IOS, Android and Windows compatible digital version.
Clients ranging from retailers like Screwfix to publications like National Geographic use Publisher to create high quality magazines, catalogues, newsletters and more, all with full statistical analysis built-in and optional subscription control.
YUDU’s most recently developed software Sentinel, combines mass alerting via SMS, email and in-app messaging, offline critical document handling and an HR database of contacts. All of this is hosted on a secure cloud server, so that if a cyber-attack, power outage or an act of terror takes down servers and phone lines, incident managers can check that everyone is safe and instruct staff on what to do. Sentinel is used as a business continuity and communications tool by a range of industries including law firms, hotels, and theatres.
Among publishers, the digital transformation has been embraced by some and feared by others. E-book readers like Kindle were hailed simultaneously as the end of the book industry and as a passing fad by its detractors, and more mobile forms of entertainment have broadened the options for magazines distribution and consumption.
With Publisher, the organization was able to take publications into the digital arena. It could also enhance print magazines with video and interactivity, helping media companies and educational publishers reach a massively wider audience with their most innovative content.
Strategizing for Conquests
When people began consuming more media via their mobile phones and tablets and less on desktops, YUDU faced the challenge of making content accessible. Consumers wanted a smooth reading experience without having to pinch and zoom, thus the company needed to rethink how it delivered its clients’ content. PhoneView is its solution to device-responsive document viewing.
“The roadmap for YUDU’s development has always been user-centric. We listen to feedback from our clients and are continually adding new features to our apps based on our clients’ needs, and that is what keeps us ahead of our competitors,” states Richard. The company has a dedicated support team in the UK and is proud of its very high customer approval rating.
YUDU’s strategy is to deliver the best possible product and give the best possible client experience. Expressing his views on adapting to the changing trends in the industry, Richard asserts, “The consumer has migrated from desktop to mobile passing tablets on the way. We have anticipated this trend by developing the technology for displaying rich content on smaller screens.”
The next step for YUDU is to enter into a new territory, of business continuity and crisis management. The company’s expertise in document management, communications and app development has set it up to fulfill the growing need for a reliable, simple software to help organizations keep their people safe and keep the information flowing during an emergency.
Immediate access to business recovery plans on mobiles is vital for instant response. The organization’s publishing background enables it to use its document handling technology to offer features that other alerting systems fail to deliver. Its competitors can’t offer incident managers the ability to share business continuity documents, press statements, clients lists etc. offline and securely in a crisis.
Beholding New Horizons of Achievements
While YUDU continues to offer industry-leading technology for digital publishing, it is broadening its portfolio of apps all the time. The company is expanding its corporate communications offering by combining document handling and communications in its app for sales teams; adding new features, like group specific push notifications, to its existing apps and continual refinement of its app technology in the face of changes to app stores and operating systems.
In the near future, YUDU is growing its Sentinel product into a whole range of business continuity solutions. It has exciting work lined up with security and counter-terror specialists to create Sentinel Alaris and Sentinel Alert. With the Sentinel range of products it is building a strong portfolio of top clients and developing in a strongly growing market.
“Knowing that our apps are going to be used to help organizations safeguard their staff and help save lives in an increasingly dangerous world makes it an incredibly worthwhile work,” states Richard.