AWS & GPP: innovating on innovation

By: Rob Corbidge, 25 July 2023

A partnership forged in the heat of cloud native technology is giving publishers the tools they need to grow and succeed.

Glide Publishing Platform has welcomed the launch of Amazon Web Services Bedrock, with GPP CTO Nedim Dedic saying that "as AWS innovates on our behalf, it allows us to innovate on behalf of our customers."

Appearing on AWS Let’s Build a Startup! show, Dedic was asked by host, AWS Startups Solutions Architect Giuseppe Battista, about the effect generative AI will have on the publishing industry.

"We love it. We don't see it as a replacement. It's about augmenting human creativity, and the human, in our opinion, will always be at the centre of content creation and publishing. It's about adding more tools to your toolbelt," Dedic explained.

"We are super excited about the prospect of AWS Bedrock that's been recently announced and we are looking to innovate in that space as well.  As AWS innovates on our behalf, it allows us to innovate on behlf of our customers."

Bedrock, which makes Foundation Models from leading AI startups and Amazon available via an API, launched in early access last month.

As a publishing industry expert, and in particular of the Content Management System technology that sits at the heart of modern content businesses, GPP CEO Denis Haman was asked by Battista about the background for choosing the cloud-native SaaS delivery model, and what was the process was for arriving at such a point as a company.

"We've been in this space for a long time," Haman explained. "We have seen people over the years build and rebuild Content Management Systems. What we've seen is a constant cycle of bespoking, then having to replatform. Everything is expensive, there's no continuity, and it's inflexible. 

"We lived through that enough times and we thought, 'There just has to be a better way'."

Drawing a distinction with some other CMS vendors, Haman told Battista that customers being told they had a bought a SaaS system only to be told they would have to upgrade it themselves was a clear cut example of how GPP differentiates itself.

"GPP customers get constant capability upgrades, it's a true SaaS solution."

Speaking of GPP'S close technical relationship with AWS, Haman explained that GPP's decision to follow this path was driven by the benefits of the innovative culture at AWS, enabling GPP to similarly innovate.

"We know that AWS innovate at pace, and that allows us to innovate at pace. And that's what our customers need."

Battista asked: "You had one of the largest media businesses in the UK, and you helped them grow their subscriber base by 300 per cent. Do you have any tips for me to grow my subscriber base on this show too?" 

Dedic revealed: "We would love to take the credit, but it's down to the talented and focused team at the Mail who did all the hard work. What we did was give them a building block to their success by giving them a platform that enabled them to create content in a structured and flexible way, and also be able to rebuild their product five times in the last three years. Iterating, keeping what works, removing what doesn't work from the process of publishing. 

"It's the flexibility that GPP gave them, to be able to use structured content in a way they don't need to replatform every time they need to build something, or try a different idea."

Defining what a good CMS should do, Haman was asked if the CMS was in fact the power behind the content throne.

"A good CMS should enable you to focus on your product. Your audience don't know what CMS you're running, but they know what kind of product they're interfacing with. So if you have a CMS that enables you to focus solely on your product, and it gives your journalists a tool to produce to better content, then a CMS is the power behind the throne."

Haman was also effusive about the possibilities AWS Bedrock offers GPP. 

"We are super excited about Bedrock. Rather than the 'public' kind of generative AI, where there are concerns about privacy, where there are concerns about 'how are they using my content?'.

"However, being able to direct that content in a safe way, and provide a 'private' generative AI tool, is both extremely powerful and exciting for our customers. 

"Bedrock is extremely exciting and we can't say more than that right now. We'll look to use Bedrock in its fullness - Large Language Models, image creation - it will be deeply embedded in our platform."