Educational Publishers: Perspectives on Outsourcing

The global publishing market in the English language was approximately $270 b in 2008. This market consists of key segments: STM/Academic (scientific, technical, medical, and humanities), Legal, Educational, Newspapers, Magazines, Directories and others (corporate, financial, B2B, trade, etc.). Educational Publishing refers to publishing for the school (K-12 or ELHI), and college education markets. The global educational publishing industry stood at approximately USD 22 billion in 2008.

The recent economic crisis has had an impact on the education publishing market. The US, for example, experienced reduced education budgets. This in turn severely affected educational publishers. Various states in the US are considering a transition to digital forms of content to save costs and keep up with the developments in technology for better dissemination of knowledge. Publishers are now coupling e-publishing and e-learning to create content that relates to the digital generation. Online teaching and virtual tutoring is a growing market, and publishers such as Pearson have incorporated these to create synergies with their existing offerings.

Sourcing work from vendors has become well-entrenched in the business model of the publishers operating in the Educational publishing segment. Publishers such as Harcourt Education, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Reed Elsevier and Scholastic have been outsourcing (and offshoring) for over a decade. It is of immense interest to understand and analyze buyer sentiments with respect to outsourcing. An insight into buyer sentiment will help us answer a few questions like:

  • What are the challenges faced by the industry and how has the industry changed in terms of perceived challenges?
  • What are the satisfaction levels with outsourced/offshored services?
  • What are the areas that still need improvement?
  • What is the buyer proclivity to outsource? Will smaller companies outsource more? The following chapters delve deeper into all these aspects.
  • How has the industry shaped up in terms of functional areas outsourced? For example, is there more demand for content (implying higher value services) or production (low value high volume services)?


Research Methodology
We broke down the 237 responses as per segments to generate this report. We further cross tabbed the education segment responses on the following:

  • Profile of the respondent
  • Size of company and
  • Geography

This break-down provided us with granularity on various aspects such as challenges faced, satisfaction levels, sourcing levels, cost savings, sourcing expectations, etc. This has helped us develop a comprehensive understanding of outsourcing sentiments within the segment.


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Table Of Contents

1. Foreword
2. Research Methodology
2.1 Who took the survey?
2.2 Respondent break-down by company’s employee strength
2.3 Respondent break-down by company revenues
2.4 Respondent break-down by geography
2.5 Demography of Buyer respondents – Educational publishing
2.5.1 Respondents by geography
2.5.2 Respondents by company size – manpower
2.5.3 Respondents by company size – revenues
3. Educational Publishing – Brief Background
3.1 Outsourcing by Educational publishers
4. Understanding Challenges
4.1 What are the challenges faced by Educational publishers?
4.1.1 Publishers experiencing adoption of new technology
4.1.2 Lack of in-house capabilities not a challenge
4.1.3 Does geography impact the perception of “key challenge?”
4.1.4 Does size impact the perception of “key challenge?”
4.1.5 Challenge perception by profile
4.2 Can outsourcing mitigate challenges – which ones?
4.2.1 Do STM publishers think differently from Educational publishers
4.3 Understanding outsourcing sentiment
5. Cost Savings By Outsourcing
5.1.1 Cost savings – by geography
5.1.2 Perceptions by profile
5.1.3 Vendor perceptions on cost savings
6. Satisfaction Levels and Expectations
6.1 Are buyers satisfied?
6.1.1 What are the satisfaction levels vis-a-vis STM/Academic publishers
6.1.2 Satisfaction levels by geography
6.2 What are the improvement areas?
6.2.1 Areas requiring improvement – by company size
6.2.2 Areas requiring improvement – by geography
7. Will Outsourcing Grow?
7.1 Proclivity to outsource
7.2 Where will the growth from?
7.2.1 Which publishers (by size) will drive offshore growth?
7.2.2 Which geography will increase outsourcing, which will retard?
7.2.3 Where will increased sourcing come from?
7.3 Preferred sourcing destinations
7.4 Which services will be in demand?
7.5 Where are the opportunities?
8. STM/Academic vs. Educational publishing
8.1 Variance in challenges faced
8.2 Is there a variance in the expectations from outsourcing?
8.3 What can service providers learn?
9. Annexure
9.1 Sourcing Prism
10. About ValueNotes
10.1 Research Publications
10.2 Recent Custom Projects

Table Of Exhibits

Exhibit 1: Break-down by stakeholder profile
Exhibit 2: Break-down by position in the industry
Exhibit 3: Respondent break-down by buyer profile – Total
Exhibit 4: Respondent break-down by company size (manpower) – Total
Exhibit 5: Respondent break-down by company size (manpower) – Total
Exhibit 6: Respondent break-down by revenues – Total
Exhibit 7: Respondent break-down by revenues – Total
Exhibit 8: Respondent break-down by geography – Total
Exhibit 9: Respondent break-down by geography – Educational publishing
Exhibit 10: Respondent break-down by company size (manpower) – Educational publishing
Exhibit 11: Respondent break-down by company size (revenues) – Educational
Exhibit 12: Share of Educational publishing in the publishing industry
Exhibit 13: Perceived challenges – Educational publishers
Exhibit 14: Key challenges by geography
Exhibit 15: Perceived challenges – by size of publisher (employees)
Exhibit 16: Perceived challenges – by respondent profile
Exhibit 17: Can sourcing mitigate challenges?
Exhibit 18: Key challenges faced by Educational and STM publishers
Exhibit 19: Can outsourcing mitigate challenges – Educational vs. STM publishers
Exhibit 20: Outsourcing sentiments by profile – Educational publishers
Exhibit 21: Outsourcing sentiments by profile – Educational publishers
Exhibit 22: Outsourcing sentiments by geography – Educational publishers
Exhibit 23: Outsourcing sentiments by profile – Education vs STM publishers
Exhibit 24: Cost savings – Overall buyer perceptions
Exhibit 25: Cost savings – Perceptions by size of company (revenues)
Exhibit 26: Cost savings – by geography
Exhibit 27: Cost savings – by profile
Exhibit 28: Cost savings – Educational vs. STM/Academic publishers
Exhibit 29: Cost savings – Vendor perceptions
Exhibit 30: Overall satisfaction levels
Exhibit 31: Satisfaction levels – STM/Academic vs. Educational publishers
Exhibit 32: Satisfaction levels – by geography
Exhibit 33: Satisfaction levels – by profile
Exhibit 34: Satisfaction levels – by company size
Exhibit 35: Improvement areas
Exhibit 36: Improvement areas – Educational vs STM/Academic publishers
Exhibit 37: Improvement areas – by company size
Exhibit 38: Improvement areas – by geography
Exhibit 39: Improvement required in quality! – by respondent profile
Exhibit 40: Outsourcing proclivity among publishers
Exhibit 41: Growth will come from moderate to highly satisfied buyers
Exhibit 42: Outsourcing proclivity – by company size
Exhibit 43: Outsourcing proclivity – by geography
Exhibit 44: Outsourcing increase by >25% – by publisher location
Exhibit 45: Preferred outsourcing destinations
Exhibit 46: Preferred outsourcing destinations – as per buyer geography
Exhibit 47: Preferred outsourcing destinations – STM/Academic vs. Educational
Exhibit 48: Proclivity to outsource functional areas
Exhibit 49: Proclivity to outsource functional areas – by buyer geographies
Exhibit 50: Proclivity to outsource functional areas – by company size
Exhibit 51: STM vs. Educational Publishers – the variance and impact
Exhibit 52: Sourcing Prism

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