Innovation has been an essential component of Wolters Kluwer throughout its 175-year history. There are direct connections between Jan-Berend Wolters’ and Aebele Everts Kluwer’s innovations in textbook publishing from the 1800’s and today’s innovations at Wolters Kluwer in mobility, collaboration, advanced search, and the evolution towards hybrid content-software solutions.
Wolters Kluwer adopts a broad definition of innovation as the execution of new ideas that generate business value. We innovate by making internal processes more efficient, such as changing our editorial processes so that editors can explain the effect of new legislative developments in near real time. Process innovation enables automated generation of hypertext links among important primary and secondary sources of law, which frees up more time for editors to author commentaries.
New products and solutions for customers are another form of innovation. Wolters Kluwer businesses in specific countries develop core competencies through research and development that become available for use at Wolters Kluwer globally. For example, Wolters Kluwer Spain’s LA LEY Digital improves relevance-ranking of search results and generates dynamic summaries through the use of genetic algorithms. The focus is on better interpreting the intent of the lawyer’s or accountant’s search query to find the shortest route to an answer. Lawyers and accountants in France, Belgium, Italy, the United States, and beyond, are benefiting from our Spanish colleagues’ expertise.
Wolters Kluwer Italy is also focusing on generating better outcomes for legal professionals’ search queries. ITER Processuali, a hybrid content-software solution, walks lawyers through the processes for selecting the proper court for filing a civil action. Each workflow step links the customer to primary and secondary analytical sources, as well as intelligent interactive forms, for actually filing the action. We are extending the technology to any other relatively standardized processes in legal and regulatory compliance globally at Wolters Kluwer.
Wolters Kluwer fosters innovation deliberately through several techniques. It stimulates creative thinking through formal global, regional, and business-unit-specific innovation programs and awards. We hold virtual meetings and face-to-face meetings to share knowledge and generate new ideas. Any solution that wins an award is studied carefully by Wolters Kluwer team members globally. In some instances, an idea or solution translates 100% to another geographic location after it has, of course, been localized for language. In other instances, there are many modifications to the solution in order for it to bring full productivity to our professional customers. The mere act of sharing an idea itself generates new ideas.
Creating business value at Wolters Kluwer is focused on combining content and software into hybrid content-software solutions. We are exploring ways to leverage traditional content and software assets in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet devices, in ways that are optimized for each device. We see emerging interactive video, audio, text, and software solutions in tablets such as the iPad. We see a layer of collaboration emerging in which practitioners join their commentary with that of Wolters Kluwer’s editors.
I truly am looking forward to the next 175 years of innovation at Wolters Kluwer.