July 2nd, 2012 by Jim Kidwell
At Extensis, we pride ourselves on being where our customers need us to be. We like to be part of the conversation and are always here to answer your font management, digital asset management and web font questions.
We maintain a social media presence to help you answer questions and better connect with us. Here’s where you can find us:
- Extensis Twitter accounts
- Extensis Blogs
- Extensis Forums - for user-to-user support
- Extensis Facebook page
- Extensis Google+ page
We’d love for you to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and add our blogs to your RSS feed reader.
Of course, if you have any technical support or customer service needs, please contact our teams directly. They’ll get back to you ASAP.
We also like to hear about conversations that include our software in other external forums and chime in to help where possible. If you see something that you think that we could help, please contact us, and we’ll help where we are able.
June 6th, 2012 by Edward Smith
We have posted a recording of the Monetizing Your Asset Collection with Digital Asset Management webcast. View the webcast to learn how online art and photography business In Transit Images is using Portfolio Server to make their photography collections available online for licensing and printing.
May 31st, 2012 by Jim Kidwell
After several years of successive business growth in Australia and New Zealand, we are happy to announce the appointment of John Parnaby as Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
John brings a wealth of digital publishing and IT expertise gained throughout his career. Prior to his appointment at Extensis, Parnaby worked at Future Publishing and BBC Magazines, two of the UK’s leading print publishers, where he purchased and maintained Extensis’ server solutions and technologies.
John’s expertise will be invaluable to furthering Extensis’ technology lead in Australia and New Zealand and providing both existing and prospective Font Management and Digital Asset Management customers support and guidance.
The region’s diverse list of Extensis customers includes: Kmart, Pearson Australia Group, Royal Australia Mint, Target Australia Pty Ltd, Walt Disney Television Australia Pacific Magazines, The Australian Football League, CSIRO, Terry White Chemists (part of Symbion Health) and The City of Sydney.
John will be working closely with Extensis Preferred Partners and Resellers, and is responsible for providing Extensis Professional Services and Technical Support throughout Australia and New Zealand.
May 23rd, 2012 by Edward Smith
In Transit Images Managing Director Bob Hendriks will discuss:
- Challenges they faced with their manual system before DAM, including rising costs and general overhead
- How they implemented and managed the system with no formal IT person on staff
- How they linked their internal system to the Web portal using the Portfolio API to drive their online business forward
- Overall benefits including cutting time savings in half with initial rollout (and 20% savings over time)
- How In Transit plans to manage an expected doubling library of assets year over year
At the end of the presentation, Bob will be available for a live Q&A.
May 31st, 2012
11:00 AM (Pacific) / 2:00 PM (Eastern)
Register for the webcast
(A recorded webcast will be emailed to you if you register but can’t attend.)
An important part of my job is meeting with Portfolio Server users to better understand their needs and workflow. It’s easy to assume that we at Extensis know how Portfolio should work and what features should be in it – I mean, we’re the experts right? The reality is the opposite. The people that use our product day in and day out are the true experts, which is why it’s so important that I get in front of those experts and listen to what they have to say.
Over the past few months I’ve visited Portfolio Server users whenever possible and in their native environment. So far I’ve visited users in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New York City. As I’ve visited with these users, some trends have emerged that I’d like to share:
People Prefer Simplicity
Many of the users I spoke with preferred Portfolio over other DAM systems because it’s simple. They liked how Portfolio doesn’t enforce rigid workflow rules, doesn’t require drastic changes in the way they work, and how easy it is to create new catalogs for new projects that pop up.
A few users even mentioned using Portfolio along side other digital asset management systems that were more complicated because they just needed something simple that would work and could be setup quickly.
People Don’t Have Extra Time
The whole point of digital asset management is to save time, so naturally people don’t want to spend a bunch of time setting up and babysitting their DAM. There should be a net time savings – people want DAM to enable workflow, not workslow.
While some companies are fortunate enough to have people working in dedicated Digital Asset Manager positions, most do not have this luxury. Because of this human resource constraint, a common trend was reliance on automatic metadata generation. Basically, they add everything to a Portfolio catalog and let automatic keyword generation and metadata extraction be their “virtual” Digital Asset Manager.
People Build on Small Successes
Countless times I’ve heard Portfolio users say something to the effect of “We’re having great success with Portfolio, but we’re only using a fraction of its capabilities. We’re looking for ways to expand where and how we use it”. These users originally implemented Portfolio Server to solve a specific problem and are now looking for other problems that can be solved using their existing investment.
In my experience, DAM is more likely to be successful when you focus on solving specific problems as opposed to a shotgun approach. I often encounter users switching to Portfolio from other systems that tried to solve everything at once and took months or years to implement (if implemented at all!). This trend supports the idea that a phased approach to DAM is less risky and more sustainable than trying to fix everything all at once.
What do you think?
Are you a Portfolio user, someone investigating DAM, or maybe a user of another DAM system? I’d like to know what’s important to you. You can let me know in the comments section below, or you can email me at email@example.com.
Hopefully next time I’m in your town we can meet!
Around here, we pay very close attention to the needs and desires of our customers. Over the past few months, I’ve been taking time to visit a number of our Universal Type Server customers to hear how things are going, and how our products are fitting into their workflows. I just returned from a visit to the Los Angeles area this week, and am happy to share some of the feedback that I received.
Primary focus is synchronization
I asked dozens of our customers to identify the most important problems that they’ve selected to solve with Universal Type Server. By far the most prominent response is that they use Type Server “to stay in sync.”
This doesn’t really surprise me all that much. IT administrators who manage thousands of users with thousands of fonts, keeping everyone on the same page, with the same font software is no small task.
Creative teams are fast paced and don’t have time to search for a specific font required to get the job done. It not only slows down the production workflow, it can bog down the IT department’s helpdesk as well.
Font compliance on the rise
A close second, if not almost equal to synchronization, is the importance of maintaining font compliance in the workflow. In plain terms, this means that knowing for certain that you have the appropriate number of font licenses for your projects.
I’m fond of saying, “What piece of software can you have purchased 20 years ago, and still have function on your current machine?” Honestly, I can think of no other software that has such broad, continued support across multiple operating systems.
Because of this, many organizations now have massive collections of fonts that they’ve accumulated over the past 20 years. With likely ongoing changes in personnel, many teams are finding that the person who originally purchased a font is long gone. The documentation supporting the purchase – the end user license agreement (EULA), PO, and so forth – might be missing or never properly filed.
Without a consistent purchasing and font integration process in place, most organizations lost track of font license purchases.
To keep their company, and more importantly their clients, safe from lawsuits, many teams are drawing a line in the sand. Many have split up their font workgroups to two big piles. One for all fonts where they know that they have purchased the correct number of font licenses for their team, and another where they’re not so certain. In the future, if a project requires a font from the “not so certain” group, then a process of research takes place. Looking for previous PO’s, receipts, etc. If nothing can be found, it’s usually a task to locate the original foundry, and purchase the required number of licenses.
I’ve definitely heard stories about the attempts of some teams to locate the original author of an obscure font. There are times where it’s just not possible, so people frequently need to choose another, similar typeface that they can obtain a legal license for.
Seeing the risks of font non-compliance, creative groups want to do the right thing and stay on top of font licensing.
Universal Type Server is being used to help groups maintain that font compliance. Paired with an established purchasing process, Type Server is being used to keep people from inserting random, unknown fonts into the workflow, tracking font usage, and adjusting the purchasing strategy to appropriately meet needs.
If your team isn’t on this path to compliance yet, don’t fret. It’s never too late to get started down the right path. For most organizations, it’s a process that takes time. With minor workflow changes and definitions, you can ensure that you won’t have unlicensed fonts going out the door with your next project.
I’m always interested in hearing stories about how server-based font management is working for your team. I’d love to hear your stories. Share yours with me by emailing jkidwell [at] extensis [dot] com. You can also tweet me @extensis.
February 13th, 2012 by Jim Kidwell
We collect data from our users to better understand the environment within which our software is used. Last week I shared the typical number of fonts managed in Suitcase Fusion.
Today, we turn our focus on the types of machines where people install Suitcase. If you’ve ever wondered how we make choices about our system requirements and so forth, this type of data plays into the decisions that we make.
Clearly the most important data at the core of font management is the support for specific operating systems. Apple can change the way that fonts are handled in Mac OS X, and it’s important that developments we make support what our customers are using. The first data point indicates that the vast majority of our users are working on machines with Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard.
While not as critical for software development, it’s interesting to note which machines Suitcase Fusion users are using. While we’ve seen many creative teams moving toward a more mobile workforce with laptops, it’s clear that many of you are still very happy using desk-based iMacs.
It’s also important to see what type of memory is available for the application to use. Clearly most users have either 4 or 8 MB installed with 16 MB trending upward.
December 7th, 2011 by Edward Smith
Chief Technology Officer at 50 Kaliber Films, Evan Butson, will present on how he helped his company and clients save time by migrating to an open and scalable digital asset management system.
Learn how Evan used DAM to:
- Implement a searchable catalog of 20,000 video assets
- Migrate from Final Cut Server to a platform-independent system
- Track rights management and consent information
- Scale beyond video file management with images, PDFs and other file types
Following the presentation, Evan will be available for a live Q&A session. Join us to see how Portfolio Server can help you save time and money.
December 13, 2011
1:00 PM (Pacific) / 4:00 PM (Eastern)
Duration: 1 hour, including Q & A
December 14, 2011
9:00 AM (GMT)
Duration: 1 hour, including Q & A
(A recorded webcast will be emailed to you if you register but can’t attend.)
December 5th, 2011 by Edward Smith
We’d like to bring your attention to three leading magazine publishers that are using Universal Type Server to manage and distribute fonts to their publishing groups across the globe to secure font compliance across their organizations. Washingtonian Magazine, MetroCorp and Future Publishing have selected Universal Type Server to ensure font compliance and avoid multi-million dollar font lawsuits as recently experienced by NBC
As you may know, font license agreements are just as strict as other software license agreements and come with substantial legal implications for misuse. NBC was recently served with a lawsuit for $2 Million by the Font Bureau Inc., a typographic design firm, which alleges that the network infringed the firm’s fonts in marketing material used to promote its shows.
Companies across the world rely on Universal Type Server to ensure font compliance and avoid these costly oversights.
Washingtonian Magazine, MetroCorp (publisher of Philadelphia Magazine and Boston Magazine) and Future Publishing have all recognized the benefits of a server-based solution over decentralized font management solutions in ensuring font compliance.
Ed Haynes, IT Customer Services Manager at Future Publishing states, “We publish over one hundred titles and Universal Type Server gives us consistency across all of them and provides us with font usage reporting, which is essential for us to monitor our compliance.”
As font use is a key element in the day-to-day running of these publishers, a system that ensures consistency and efficiency without inhibiting creativity is vital.
Colin McSherry, Associate Art Director/ Mac Tech Support at Philadelphia Magazine agrees, “Universal Type Server allows us to delegate a large portion of font management responsibilities to a server that monitors font compliance.”
According to Paul Chernoff, Director of Information Technology at Washingtonian Magazine “Universal Type Server makes it easy for The Washingtonian to distribute fonts used only for a specific article. Recording the font license directly in the server ensures that we don’t accidentally exceed the font’s license.”
Chernoff added, “Before we had Universal Type Server, we always bought licenses for our entire staff; Type Server has made it possible to buy fewer licenses by making font management easier.”
To learn how to keep your creative workflows safe and legal with effective font management, join Thomas Phinney (@thomasphinney), Extensis Senior Product Manager for Fonts and Typography, for this webcast recording that takes an insightful look into the world of font licensing.
April 11th, 2011 by Jim Kidwell
We are happy to let you know that two of the leading worldwide marketing agencies have implemented Universal Type Server to centralize and manage font use across multiple workgroups, offices and divisions.
Young & Rubicam and McCann Worldgroup, both worldwide marketing agency leaders with expansive creative teams, incorporate fonts into their work for some of the most elite global brands. Both agencies selected Universal Type Server for its superior capabilities in managing font compliance, synchronization of teams, cross-platform capabilities and proven track record in increasing efficiencies for IT staff and creative users.
With 186 offices in 90 countries, Young & Rubicam manages a high volume of fonts, as new versions arrive daily from their hundreds of customers. They replaced their multiple font repositories with Universal Type Server to better manage license usage and improve font conflict issues. Young & Rubicam achieved a conflict-free font workflow with only approved and uncorrupted fonts.
“Young & Rubicam deployed Universal Type Server as we sought a simplified way to manage fonts and ensure all of our creative users were using the same versions,” said Herman Brown – VP, Director of Technologies, Young & Rubicam. “Universal Type Server not only standardizes the way our team is using fonts, but has increased consistency and efficiency by providing a single location where our creative users can quickly access them with no question as to whether they are the right versions.”
McCann Worldgroup is the largest marketing agency network in the world. Their installation of Universal Type Server in McCann West standardized what had been a wide variety of font solutions in place on multiple platforms. McCann West achieved consistent use of fonts across six key divisions, while ensuring everyone was in sync and using approved fonts.
“At McCann West, Universal Type Server is used for all creative users, no matter what type of work is their specialty- print, web or broadcast,” said Seth Anderson, VP, IT Director, McCann West. “It is important for us that our solution works on both Mac OS X and Windows. Additionally, with 75 percent of our creative teams working exclusively on laptop computers, having the ability to keep mobile users in sync is incredibly important to us.”
Universal Type Server 2 brings together the highest performing, most scalable font server in the industry with outstanding client usability, a high-performing server and superior Active Directory Integration.