With the Sonatype Nexus Professional 2.1 release the new Nexus Staging Maven Plugin and Nexus Staging Ant Tasks were introduced. They introduce a new staging mode that allows for client side creation of a local staging directory and implmenting a deferred, end of build, deployment mechanism. The maven plugin and ant tasks are available free of charge, making them usable against any Nexus Professional instance, including forges like https://oss.sonatype.org.
With these new tools, It is possible to explicitly target a specific staging profile in the deployment process instead of relying in implicit matching using repository targets. This reduces the setup complexity and makes the configuration less error prone.
While the Maven plugin can be used to seamlessly replace the maven-deploy-plugin, the new tools provide goals and tasks to manage the whole staging flow from the command line including closing, promoting, releasing and dropping staging repositories.
To learn more about using the Nexus Staging Maven Plugin and Ant Tasks consult the chapter Build Promotion with the Nexus Staging Suite in the free book Repository Management with Nexus.