August 31st, 2009 by Cindy Valladares
I just came from a very informative DAM forum, hosted graciously by Miami Dade College (MDC). This full-day event started out with a Case Study by the College, which is the largest institution of higher education in the United States. I wanted to share with you some of the notes I took while listening to their presentation, which focused on their digital asset management journey.
First, a little bit of history. Miami Dade College has been doing digital asset management for a couple of years now. The DAM initiative at MDC started from the workgroup level. Ricardo Delgado, Sr. Graphic Designer is considered to be the “Godfather of DAM” at MDC, but the CIO of the Inter-American campus also supported the efforts.
As you may experience yourself if you’re on this DAM journey, the path is not always smooth, and you may encounter some “renegades” along the way who refuse to see the value that managing your digital assets can bring to your organization. One thing that it’s apparent from the from Miami Dade College story, is that everyone throughout the organization is involved and plays a role in the successful implementation of DAM—it’s important to conduct it as a team effort.
Many questions came from the floor regarding how to involve the stakeholders and get those technology laggards to cooperate. “Training, training, training,” says Ricardo Delgado. Although Portfolio is very easy to use and the learning curve was minimal even for non-technical users, MDC has found that the personal interaction with users through was essential.
And this approach is paying off for the College. When they first implemented Portfolio, they had very few assets into the system, but with hard work, dedication and internal DAM evangelization, they number of assets into the system has grown exponential. Irene Munoz, Director of Marketing at MDC recalls: “Before we delivered the training, we had about 200,000 assets in Portfolio, and just a few months after the training, we have over 335,000 assets in the image bank alone.” This tells me that people understand the benefits, are using Portfolio and are getting it done.
Miami Dade College shared with the forum attendees their criteria for selecting a DAM system. For them, it was important that the DAM vendor had experience dealing with clients of their scale, provided expert technical support, fit into their existing technology, was scalable and flexible to grow at the College’s pace and allowed them to access and distribute a wide range of assets. MDC evaluated several DAM solutions (even some that are not in business any more) and Portfolio came up as the clear winner over other products.
Rene Ramos, the Archives Director at the College, had the daunting task of centralizing and cataloging over 50 years of the college’s history—a huge repository of documents, photographs and videos. For him, the ability to quickly find assets is one of the key functionalities. “Portfolio made us look like heroes”, he commented.
Some other tips that Miami Dade College shared with the attendees:
- Partnership with end users and IT is crucial
- Show successes early on
- Get a solution that’s easy to use to minimize the learning curve
- Look into the vendor’s viability when evaluating a solution
- Choose a DAM system that fits into your existing IT infrastructure
- Take the time to come up with standards for naming conventions, image resolution, file size, etc.
- Create a “cheat sheet” for these standards, and distribute to your end users
The full-day event also included a presentation on Digital Asset Management Best Practices, roundtable discussions focusing on (1) asset organization and (2) implementing DAM across multiple departments, and the ever-popular hands-on workflow session by Extensis’ System Engineer.
If you couldn’t join us for this event, maybe you would like to attend the upcoming Digital Asset Management Forum in Washington, DC on September 9. This event will focus on Managing and Distributing Large Image Collections and featuring a Case Study by the National Wildlife Federation. And we’re also coming to Seattle in October, so stay tuned.
If you’re interested in sharing your digital asset management story, please drop me a note at cvalladares(at)extensis.com.
For those who are wondering, here is our (abbreviated) plan regarding Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) compatibility:
- Updated version of Suitcase Fusion 2 (Mac) is expected within 30 days of Snow Leopard shipping.
- Updated versions of Universal Type Server 2 components are expected within 30-60 days.
- Updated versions of Portfolio 9 Server and clients are expected within 30-60 days.
- Portfolio 8.5.4 client and standalone are compatible with Snow Leopard.
- Portfolio Server 8.5.4 is not supported under Snow Leopard.
We will post more detailed information on our web site shortly.
A Typo film festival right here in our own backyard? Its beginning to feel like Portland, OR is the ‘Mecca’ for Typophiles.
Two weeks ago the city played host to a Movable-type event called “Letterpress Printers’ Fair”. Portland boasts over a dozen commercial letterpress companies .
Now this: Next week AIGA presents Typophile Film Festival 5 which features a selection of typography films from across the globe. Event takes place on Thursday, August 27th at the Art Institute of Portland.
The icing on the cake is the planned launch of a new museum about movable type: C.C. Stern Type Foundry. (an homage to Stern and Faye letterpress printers). The opening is scheduled for this Fall and we will keep you posted.
*image courtesy of typophile.com
I’m excited to see Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows come out as the second new Extensis font management product since I joined the company back in April. After all, it was almost two years ago that I wrote about how and why “Windows font management has sucked” for my Adobe blog.
The main thing is that finally, the Windows version of Extensis’ flagship font management application has parity with the Mac version. That’s huge, and the list of features is as long as your arm. The one feature I still can’t get over is the tear-off previews (check it out here, or see the Quicktime version).
Now, if you want to get picky, there are a tiny handful of differences between the Mac and Windows versions of the application, mostly related to differences between the operating system capabilities themselves. There are a couple of things the Mac version has which are lacking on the Windows version (export fonts by dragging to the desktop, and instantly activate with over-rides by dragging fonts onto the Dock icon), and there are a couple of things the Windows version has that the Mac version does not yet have (auto-activation plug-ins for CS2 apps in addition to CS3 and 4, recognizes and previews .TTC fonts in the system fonts folder). But it really is the same application for two different platforms, with general overall feature parity.
I’ve occasionally heard complaints about the stability/reliability of (older versions of) Suitcase. I’ll say right now that I take quality very seriously, and I am not going to ship a product I expect to be embarrassed by. I feel very lucky in that the underlying code for the Suitcase Fusion 2 products is shared with the Universal Type Server product line. This code was written from scratch a couple of years ago, to be stable and scalable enough for a client/server environment. Now we’ve had two versions of Universal Type Server out the door, so that code is fairly mature… without being antique.
In other news, with Windows 7 just around the corner, you might be wondering what the chances are that the app will run properly on Windows 7? After all, font management hooks into the operating system at a pretty low level, and there is new font-related functionality in Windows 7.
Well, since Windows 7 isn’t shipping to end users yet, we don’t list it as a supported operating system. But we (okay, actually Clint—thanks, man!) did a lot of testing on Windows 7, including on the version that went GM and is supposed to ship. We did just as much testing on Windows 7 as on Vista, in fact! We didn’t find any issues specific to Windows 7 that were left un-fixed, either. So unless something quite surprising happens, we’ll add “Windows 7″ to the list of supporting operating systems when it ships.
Anyway, I’ve been running Suitcase Fusion 2 for Windows on a day-to-day basis for weeks now on my laptop, and I’m very happy with it. I hope you enjoy it, too. You can try out the Windows or Mac version for free for up to 30 days, so why not give it a whirl?
I’m happy to announce that today we launched a major revision to our single-user Windows font manager. Suitcase Fusion 2 is a very large leap forward in font management on Windows, and now has feature parity with its Macintosh counterpart.
“This is a truly huge leap in font management functionality, architecture, and user experience for Windows users,” said Thomas Phinney, Senior Product Manager Font Solutions at Extensis. “Suitcase Fusion 2 is the most modern, stable and reliable font manager available.”
Some of the new features in the Windows version of Suitcase Fusion 2 include:
- Unparalleled font previewing
- Highly configurable plug-in based auto-activation for the latest creative professional applications
- Modern technology
- Portable built-in font vault
- Font searching, tagging and classification options
- System font management
Suitcase Fusion 2 is based on Universal Type Server, which allow users to search, activate and browse fonts much faster than before. “To my delight, Fusion 2 has done a remarkable job in stability, speed and usability,” said James Dempsey, Macworld magazine.
This version includes plug-in based auto-activation for the latest professional creative applications: Adobe Illustrator® and InDesign® CS2, CS3 and CS4, as well as QuarkXPress® 7 and 8. The plug-ins utilize Font Sense technology to ensure that the right fonts are chosen for auto-activation.
The Windows version of Suitcase Fusion 2 is available immediately at an estimated retail price of US $99.95. Upgrade pricing for Suitcase for Windows versions 9 and 11, as well as for standalone Font Reserve 2.6 is available at an estimated retail price of US $49.98.
Digital Asset Management Forum featuring the National Wildlife Federation at George Washington University
August 10th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
Join us for a one-day event featuring real-world implementations with a focus on digital asset management (DAM) strategies and solutions. At this forum you’ll see how DAM enables records management, marketing and IT professionals to successfully manage creative and image workflows. You’ll learn best practices and effective technology usage to centralize your rich media files for easy organization, access and distribution.
- FEATURING: National Wildlife Federation Case Study: Using DAM to Manage and Distribute Large Image Collections
- DATE: Wednesday, September 9, 2009
- TIME: 10:00am – 3:00pm
- LOCATION: George Washington University, The Marvin Center, Washington, DC
- REGISTER HERE
Join us to:
- Learn how the National Wildlife Federation manages internal requests for the thousands of rights managed or royalty-free images in their collection.
- See how the National Wildlife Federation successfully uses a central repository for raw materials to quickly and easily access images for brochures, PPT, and other marketing materials.
- Understand how to create a simple self-service portal to identify a physical location of where non-digital audio and video clips are stored.
- Participate in roundtable and workflow discussions while networking with your peers.
- Learn DAM best practices using Portfolio Server 9.
August 7th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
If you weren’t able to attend Campus Technology or missed the session at the conference, this is your opportunity to learn digital asset management best practices and techniques for improved student visual literacy and enhanced teaching through image catalogs. You’ll see real-life scenarios from organizations like Yale University, National Gallery of London, The World Bank and others.
August 12, 2009 11:00 AM (Pacific) /(Eastern)