Investment in technology solutions for helping clients with their projects is continuing, says Westchester’s business development director Deb Taylor. “We have expanded our API capabilities, broadened our use of the Dropbox platform and tools, increased automation in our composition processes, and enhanced the user experience of our Client Portal,” Taylor says. “We are also developing more tools to enhance the services we provide to our clients.”

Westchester obtained the Benetech Global Certified Accessible certification last September. “Our team has proven capabilities to produce accessible EPUBs for clients, and this certification gives our clients the assurance that their EPUBs will meet accessibility standards wherever their content is distributed,” says Taylor, whose teams have combined their expertise to establish custom e-book conversion workflows and services for Ingram distribution clients. “Additionally, clients who do not have the resources or modified workflow to create alt-text for their digital products can rely on us for such content.”

In the past year, an additional 100 or so publishers of all sizes have come to Westchester for help with their accessible digital workflow and with creating digital content from print titles. “Publishers are working on maximizing the number of titles that meet EPUB and WebPDF accessibility guidelines,” says Taylor, who is seeing an increased demand for interactive content and embedded audio and video within the digital titles that her teams produce for clients. “So we will continue to build on our accessibility solutions and help clients to meet their goals.”

Adding more cloud-based services to the Westchester Client Portal is one way of meeting rising client demands. “This will move more of the project workflow onto the Web, thus increasing the efficiencies around project initiation, collaboration, and review of titles in progress,” says chief revenue officer Tyler Carey. “Our team of developers recently created a customized solution that is essentially an extension of our Client Portal. The request came from a legal publisher who wanted to chunk their content into multiple products and formats via an XML workflow. We had to pull primary data from multiple licensed sources and feed that into an online tool, where editors can upload Word documents, and then finalize the manuscript for both print and digital editions.”

Education content development needs are also increasing globally, especially with the learning gaps caused by the pandemic, Taylor says. “Our expertise in this segment has expanded beyond supplemental and Core 4 subject development. We expect to see growth in all subject areas for print and digital platforms, with even more focus on social-emotional learning and culturally responsive reviews and remediation. All these demands will need to be translated and transadapted as well. Our teams are ready to meet these demands and grow with our clients.”

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