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Have you ever read an article on digital asset management and thought ‘What did I just read’? DAMS tech is full of cryptic acronyms. I’ve been known to read around the abbreviations rather than spend time using Google or Wikipedia to decipher complex language. If you’re reading this article there is a high chance you’ve read lots of content around digital asset management systems (DAMS). Let’s explore one of the more exciting acronyms – API. API or Application Programming Interface offers a convenient way to share data or specific features between your Portfolio Solution and other core business systems. For example it can be used to easily add product imagery from your DAM to accompany a product SKU in a specifications data-centric application. Discover more about APIs from

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a previous post. I’d also like to share how one organization is leveraging an API to work smarter and more efficiently: Courtauld Institute of Art Video Do you currently have a process in place that could be improved by utilizing an API? Let me know in the comments section.

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We like tools that help us non-number types speak the language of our managers or accountants. If you’re like us, we’ve got you covered with a simple ‘plug-the-numbers-in’ ROI (return on investment) calculator. The tool helps explain the value of Portfolio Server to key decision makers. If you want to save time, make your work life easier for you and others by leveraging a digital asset management system, this calculator will give you the background and the numbers to help justify a purchase within your organization.

ROI is a fancy acronym used in accounting to determine where a company should invest money. Just like comparing prices on new cars for example for the best deal, companies use ROI to determine where to spend. ROI considers how much money an investment like a Portfolio Server saves or generates, minus how much it costs.

To make these evaluations easier, we’ve created a handy spreadsheet. All you have to do is plug-in the specifics on your project and company to understand your potential ROI. After some easy questions, you’ll have a ROI table that you can copy and paste into a proposal document when making your business case for Portfolio.


Quick Tips

1- It’s just math, thankfully Excel does all the work and you can see and adjust key info to see how things flow and change.

2- Remember the hidden or often forgotten benefits of using a Portfolio solution, quicker turnaround times, more free time so employees can do more (or take lunch) both big for overall morale.

3- If you’re interested in all the calculations behind the scenes have a look here: How to calculate ROI for Digital Asset Management.


1- Start with the “Inputs” tab at the bottom and fill in the shaded boxes in the middle column. You can use the “Example Inputs” and “Example ROI Table” to see an example.

2- Next click on the “ROI Table” tab at the bottom to see a cost/benefit breakdown for your Portfolio project over five years.

Confused? Need help? Contact us.

Since the ROI calculator uses information and assumptions provided by you – results will vary depending on the information you use for your calculations.  The ROI calculator is provided for your use on an “as is” basis only without any warranties of any kind.

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Last month on our sister site DAM Learning Center (DLC) we asked our visitors to participate in a poll: Which helper application makes your life easier?

Before my assets hit Portfolio Server I use a few apps to help with the selection, naming and metadata process. Sure Portfolio can handle all or most of these tasks but sometimes I pare down before adding everything to the system.

Take the poll and see what others have to say: here

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In case you missed it, we have posted a recording of the Webcast we hosted with the National Trust for Scotland where you can learn how the Trust uses Portfolio Server 10 to conserve and promote the nation’s cultural heritage.

Listen to John Sinclair, Photo Librarian at the National Trust for Scotland, discuss:

  • Their previous challenge of manually servicing requests from Curatorial, Conservation and all other departments
  • Linking object metadata in the collection management systems with Portfolio Server 10
  • How they implemented and managed Portfolio Server 10
  • How Portfolio Server 10 saves time, avoids unnecessary duplication, and enables easy self-service access to files

He also addressed several questions from webcast attendees including how to link Portfolio with Customer Relationship Management and Collections Management Systems

Watch the “Learn how the National Trust for Scotland uses Portfolio Server to Preserve Digital Objects” webcast recording

Portrait of ‘Gen. The Hon. William Gordon of Fyvie’ by Pompeo Batoni Copyright National Trust for Scotland

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We had an amazing time at the Technology for Marketing & Advertising event in London a couple of weeks ago. It was our third year attending and we were happy to meet many of you who are as mad about fonts and DAM as we are!

Davin Kluttz, our Senior Product Manager came all the way from Extensis HQ in the US to present two amazingly well received seminars (seriously, they were queuing out the door!) for us.

The first one was “Classy, Clowny or Crude? How your site’s typography affects your brand”, which illustrates how web typography affects your website, and how you can select and implement web typography that is just right for the job. So many people these days think it’s OK to use Comic Sans on their websites. This may come as a shock, but it just doesn’t cut the mustard! Davin illustrated this by showing how some iconic brands would look if their logos were in this font (Chanel, Coca-Cola, Star Wars) which got several laughs from the crowd. To drive the point home, he also showed us several examples of “classy”, “clowny” and “crude” web typography, which gave the audience a feel for the direction in which they should be taking their sites.

The second one was entitled “What does this DAM thing do?”  Ever find yourself pulling your hair out trying to locate an image in a sea of thousands? Don’t you think it would be nice to preview a video on your iPad without a special plug-in? Or even just have access to all your digital content on the go, so you are able to act fast if a client unexpectedly throws a “let’s see it now” lasso around your neck? Well Extensis has a solution for all of these problems  and it was all nicely wrapped up in this presentation, which not only explained what an “asset” is, but also demonstrated how to leverage digital asset management solutions to find, locate, archive and access files, regardless of location.

If you couldn’t make it to the show, couldn’t get in to the theatre or would simply like to see what we had to say on web typography and digital asset management, we have very kindly provided the slides from both presentations below!

Enjoy! If you have any feedback, please let us know – we’d love to hear from you.

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At last week’s digital asset management (DAM) solutions seminar in London, leading British Isles cultural heritage organizations, The National Museum of Ireland, The Welsh Assembly Government, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and JISC Digital Media shared their successes in using Extensis Portfolio Server to create a centralized web-based repository for efficient finding and sharing of assets, thereby ensuring history is preserved for decades to come. Attendees of the one day seminar learned how Portfolio Server can help their organizations preserve cultural heritage, increase efficiencies by leveraging collections management system (CMS) metadata, and seamlessly share digital assets.

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A keyword list is a series of words or phrases used in a digital asset management (DAM) system to organize metadata tags and simplify file searches. Extensis has created a keyword list of terms inspired from our experience with graphic design and marketing communications workflows. The list could also be used for PR, advertising, print and publishing, retail, and media workflows.

A master keyword list includes a predefined list and taxonomy of search terms. This provides users with the convenience and consistency of choosing from an existing list of tags when applying keywords or other metadata to images, photos of people or products, videos, marketing collateral, and sales literature. With keyword lists users can quickly choose from a menu of available keywords instead of manually typing in search terms.

Our sample keyword list for creative workflows can be used as is, or as a starting point. The list can be edited using any text editor or within many DAM systems after import. We recommend reviewing the list with stakeholders, especially those who will be searching or tagging assets. Remove any terms that do not apply, add any relevant terms that were not included, and rename terms as needed to fit your organizational vocabulary. For example, “Customer Story” could be called “Customer Profile” in your organization.

Download the sample master keyword list here.

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This week we released a v9.1.2 update for our Portfolio Server digital asset management software and NetMediaMAX image processing engine.

The new version adds support for additional Camera Raw formats, enhanced Adobe DNG thumbnail and rendering support, and several performance and stability improvements for the Server, Web Client, and NetMediaMAX.

If you’re using Portfolio Server 9, you will want to get this update. Note that this update is for the Server and Media Engine only, requires v3.2 on the Server and Media Engine(s), and that Desktop Clients should all be running the existing 9.1.1 version.

If you don’t own Portfolio Server 9 you can try it out for free. If you’re a Portfolio standalone user, check out the updated camera raw and DNG support in the recent 8.5.5 update.

Portfolio Server update downloads and release notes available here:

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If you’re in Denver this week, join us at the Museums and the Web 2010 conference. We’re holding a digital asset management (DAM) best practices workshop from 1:30-3:30 pm on Friday, April 16th. During the workshop you’ll learn best practices to help you successfully implement DAM in your organization. You’ll also be able to participate in roundtable discussions where you and your peers can share insights about the challenges and successes you’ve experienced with DAM.

If you can’t make the workshop stop by table #52 in the exhibitor hall where we’ll be happy to answer any questions not addressed in the workshop.

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Later this month, we’ll be attending this year’s Technology for Marketing & Advertising show, where we’ll be joined by our client, Dalziel and Pow, who will be presenting a session on their experiences of digital asset management and Portfolio Server. If you’d like to learn more about Dalziel and Pow’s DAM journey and pick up some DAM best practices, please join us:

23rd February 2010: 13.30 – 14.00

eCommerce & Content Management Theatre

We’ll also be presenting our font and digital asset management solutions on stand H22 throughout the show.

Technology for Marketing & Advertising is the UK’s only integrated marketing event. For more information please click here.

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