Millions in Annual Savings, Additional Cash Flow & Increased Revenue

Creating an Intellectual Property Rights Management System

 

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Business Situation

Pearson, the world’s largest education company, produces textbooks (via Pearson such as Prentice Hall, Addison-Wesley Longman and Scott Foresman), trade publications (Penguin) and provides Assessment services including the GMAT, Stanford Diagnostics and teacher certification exams.

With such a vast array of products, Pearson needed a system that could track the acquisition, usage, sale and accounting for rights acquired and utilized in their own products as well as those of third parties. There were numerous departmental-centric approaches, ranging from manual processes to Excel spreadsheets to simple homegrown systems to handle this complicated functionality. InterSoft was invited to present a universal custom software solution to Pearson that could meet their short and long-term goals for managing the rights process.

Approach

After reviewing the overall scope of the initiative with senior management, it was determined that core system functionality would be developed in modules:

  • A Rights Accounting module to ensure proper accounting for all rights sold including proper and timely payment to authors.
  • A Rights Marketing module to automate the complex processes of marketing, recording and closing sales of intellectual property to third parties.
  • A Permission Granting module to automate the workflow of the granting process, including recording of requests, determining if permission should be granted, communicating with requestors and creating contracts. Tracking payment status and history is a key element of this module.
    • A Rights Acquisition module to manage the entire process of selection of assets and acquisition of them for use in works published by Pearson.

With the development of each module of the Rights Management System, InterSoft consultants met with management and key Subject Matter Experts to gain an understanding of the business processes, needs and goals. During this review process additional functionality, workflow and revenue improvement suggestions were provided by InterSoft. As a result of these reviews a functional, strategic and technical design was provided, reviewed and approved so that development could begin.

Solution

The integration of the Rights Management modules with each other and with the systems that Pearson already utilizes for Inventory Management, Royalty Accounting, Accounts Payable and General Accounting provide a seamless solution to controlling intellectual property for the organization.

InterSoft has been my single best technology development experience, ever. So many times they would guide us with, ‘I understand what you are asking for and why, but what I really think you want is X’. That conveys a level of competence that is hard to find today.

Lawrence Rosenthal

Vice President, Pearson Education

Result

The Rights Management Software System in use by Pearson today provides full featured automation for the acquisition, marketing and accounting for intellectual property. Pearson has realized millions of dollars in annual savings, additional cash flow and increased revenues because of implementing this integrated, full-featured custom software solution.

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