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Naviga Global

Naviga Content Platform

Naviga is the result of a series of investor-driven mash-ups of different publishing technology companies around the world, and as a result it offers a wide range of potentially rich but confusing tool sets

  • Naviga's "Content Platform" is a straightforward and modern Content Management System (CMS) for digital, but focuses on the editorial environment (not website management) and can be difficult to integrate into print workflows
  • The broader Naviga "Content Engagement Platform" is a much wider set of acquired tools that offers automation for almost any area a publisher could want, but the various solutions remain very separate in operation
  • Naviga is therefore best suited to digital-first publishers that still maintain a vested interest in print publications and would like digital CMS, ad operations, and subscription management to be sourced from a single vendor, or alternatively, a news organization building a more composable digital environment, and wishing to cherry-pick from among Naviga's offerings for specific pieces.
  • Customers include The Washington Times (US), Telegraph Media Group (UK), The Independent South Africa

Likely fit

The Naviga Content Platform is a good fit for large independent news organizations or mid-sized chains that have moved to a digital-first strategy but still need to operate a significant print business at the same time. Further, it becomes more apt for a news organization already deploying the broader Naviga Content Engagement Platform (such as Ads and Audience Engagement).

At a glance

Primary Customer Fit

Large News Organizations

Secondary Fit

Mid-Sized Chain Of News Organizations

Most Active Geographies

Global

Official Support Hours

24x7x365 support for critical/infrastructure issues

Officially Supported Languages for User Interface

EN, SV

Third-party Language Support Available?

No

License Model

Tiered pricing based on number of named users

Scope Summary

Naviga Content Platform is primarily an editorial content production platform, while the broader Naviga Content Engagement Platform has additional tools for subscriber and ad management

Tech Base

Hosted on AWS, SOLR for content repository and API, React for interfaces

Cloud Model

SaaS

Headquarters

Bloomington (Minneapolis), USA

Head Count

600

What customers report

  • Componentized content model more suited to digital news publishing than a general purpose CMS would offer
  • Smooth editorial experience is easy to use and takes little training
  • Can be implemented very quickly
  • Company offers a very broad and deep set of features for publishers across its portfolio
  • Search and external source ingest can be slow, and editors have difficulty finding content they want to work on
  • Asset management in Naviga Photos is basic and doesn’t offer high-resolution previews (crucial for print)
  • Print automation is clunky
  • Licensees struggle to pick the right solutions across Naviga’s product range, and the mix-and-match nature of the tooling can make the overall portfolio difficult and resource-intensive to manage over time

Background

Naviga is the result of what’s known in the software industry as a “roll-up:" a combination of different firms into a single vendor, typically to create some sort of suite or at least menu of choices, and/or to expand geographic footprints. This began in 2013, when investment firm Vista Equity Partners acquired Saxotech (Sweden) and DTI (USA) and combined them to form Newscycle, which was renamed to Naviga Global in 2019. Over the years, Naviga then acquired (and sometimes spun off again) a slew of audience, subscription, ad management, and content tools, including another large roll-up firm, Miles 33, in 2021.

Notably for this review Naviga acquired Infomaker (Sweden), which is the foundation of what is now the "Naviga Content Platform." The company HQ is now in Bloomington (Minneapolis), USA, with multiple offices in North America, Europe, and India, as well as Australia and Singapore.

Naviga’s wider Content Engagement Platform (which somewhat confusingly includes the Content Platform CMS) is a set of still very separate tools that haven't really been integrated into a coherent suite, each with their own interfaces and quirks, reflecting the various and sometimes recent acquisitions from whence they came.

On the upside, there is huge breadth and depth in the functionality the company can cover. Naviga Ads, for instance, is a very complete solution for (print) ad operations, ranging from leads, to proposals, CRM, planning, and even accounting. Likewise, the “Audience Engagement Platform” ranges from Customer Data Platform (CDP)-like functionality to paywalls, and gives you the option of deploying your choice of multiple different subscription management tools that Naviga sells. The downside, of course, is that combining these building blocks into a coherent stack and customer experience is far from trivial and will likely involve a serious amount of custom integration work.

Naviga Content Platform (from the former Infomaker) is the firm’s headless CMS. The platform is SaaS, hosted on AWS, with interfaces built in React; and SOLR to store, search, and retrieve content. Editors will mainly use Naviga Writer; Naviga also has Newsroom Planner and Publication Planner for editorial planning and collaboration (which then open up Writer for assignments).

Content is accessible through an API. On top of this, you can build your own site front end yourself or you can license Naviga Web, which is a more packaged front-end based on WordPress. Reminder here that WordPress is not actually used to produce or manage the content, but just as a page and site manager.

As a result, editors don't have a huge amount of control over layout within the Naviga interface: articles get added to “lists,” which then populate web or mobile interfaces, or are exported as PDFs for print. Print previews can be made available within the web interface, though it takes some time to generate these. If print articles diverge from the digital version, this is usually done by copying them (and adding the edited copies to a print specific “list”).

Naviga Writer itself is a relatively modern tool with a clean interface. Content is componentized, and various other types of media, such as galleries or YouTube videos, can either be dragged or pasted into the article; but unlike other componentized interfaces, the editor is not overly burdened by having to build up an article of separate paragraphs for text. However, it’s not particularly strong in creating different variants of content (for instance, for print or for different editions), and rather than supporting this in the content model, Naviga suggests simply copying (and then modifying) the content for that purpose. Specific plug-ins can be developed for Writer, an out-of-the-box example of which is Naviga Photos for simple media management. Various publishers have also developed their own integrations this way.

The company continuously delivers updates to both core components and plugins for the Content Platform. As a result, the near-term road map is described as improvement areas rather than “big bang” new releases. Areas of focus include improving coherence of the UX, expanding options for content sources (such as wires), data and metrics, and print automation.

The Naviga Content Platform is coherent enough on its own; however, given the rapidly expanding portfolio of tools in the broader Naviga Content Engagement Platform, you shouldn’t expect a seamless user experience — or, indeed, implementation experience — when you add other Naviga systems into the mix.

The vendor’s à la carte sales model of offering various content modules brings potential flexibility to a savvy publisher that wants to pick and choose the best fitting brick for their wall. But this potpourri of different solutions may prove too complex as a collection for smaller and mid-sized publishers looking for a more holistic, “out of the box” solution. In particular, prospective licensees should understand that, based on its aggressive acquisition history, Naviga will go to market with different toolsets for the same types of services in different regions.

Package scope (as reported by vendor)

Core platform - i.e., bundled in product (yes/no/beta) Add-On (yes/custom/3rd party)
Content lifecycle: author / classify / edit / approve / publish / re-purpose / archive / dispose
Basic digital / voice / media asset management
Không
3rd Party
Support print publishing
Simple social media re-publishing
Không
3rd Party
Optional modules: forms / polls / social widgets / etc
Không
Connector library (OOTB connectors, APIs, etc.)
Bundled CDN (with DDOS protection)
User registration
Subscription management and fulfillment - digital
Gói thuê bao hoặc gói thành viên
Không
Cá nhân hoá
Ad management - digital
Ad management - print
Quản lý nội dung
Nghiên cứu
Quản lý nội dung
Video management / OVP
Không
3rd Party
Audio management / podcasting
Không
3rd Party
Trực quan hoá và báo chí dựa trên dữ liệu
Không
3rd Party
Classifieds
Commenting / community features/
Không
3rd Party
Newsletter production and management
Notifications and alerts
A/B testing
Không
3rd Party
SEO
Không
Multi-title management with variable inheritance
Complex layout and subsite / subsection cloning
AR- / VR- enhanced services
Không
Phân khúc độc giả
Online user / partner forums
Không
Regular user group meetings
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