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Educause BookletRecently I attended the annual Educause conference in Anaheim, California. Educause is the main event where higher education professionals and technology companies come together. The big and small vendors were all present including Dell,  Microsoft, Panasonic and McGraw Hill.

Several seminars and events were held and attendees had the chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with the latest trends in technology and how to integrate more easily with the needs of higher education.

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If you’re in IT at an institution of higher learning, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Educause, the nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

This year Extensis will be participating in the Educause Expo at the annual conference, and we’d like to invite you to stop by our booth. We will be demonstrating our digital asset management and font management product lines.

If you’re interested to see how Extensis Portfolio Server can be used to manage your digital assets, or to better understand how Universal Type Server can help you maintain font compliance in your educational institution, drop by booth 353 in the Exhibit Hall and say hello!

While you’re at the booth, scan your badge for a chance to win an iPad!

We’ll be there starting with the opening reception from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18th.


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educauseIn a few short weeks, we’ll be flying to Denver, Colorado for Educause, the premier event for IT professionals in higher education.

We’ll be demonstrating how Extensis Portfolio Server can be utilized in a higher education environment to manage documents, images and video. In addition, be sure to ask how Universal Type Server can be used to manage font installation on your workstations.

Drop by booth 1082 in the Exhibit Hall and say hello! We’ll be there starting with the opening reception from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 3rd.

Educause:


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MDC_Presentation_Blog

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
From left to right:  Ricardo Delgado, Cindy Valladares, Rene Ramos

From left to right: Ricardo Delgado, Cindy Valladares, Rene Ramos

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.


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CampusTech BoothExtensis participated at the Campus Technology Conference, where we had a booth to introduce our digital asset management and font management solutions.  Here is my colleague Jeremy Godfrey, Regional Sales Manager, East at our table.

The conference was well attended with representatives from K-12 and higher education institutions.  People stopping at our booth seemed mostly interested in digital asset management, so we talked and showed the new capabilities of Portfolio Server 9.  People really liked the new Web Client and the web-based server/catalog administration console.  If you haven’t seen the new components, take a look at these short 3-5 minute overview videos.

CampusTech PresentationThere were also many sessions with diverse topics such as online collaboration, video capture capabilities, developing brand, e-learning, and others.  We had an opportunity to give a presentation about how DAM is being used in universities such as Yale to enhance student literacy.  If you missed us at Campus Tech, stay tuned for more information about how to sign up for a webex where I’ll be presenting this same material.


Campus Tech ’09

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Campus Technology Conference 2009

Next week I’ll be in Boston for the Campus Technology Conference to be held at the Boston Convention Center from July 27-30.  It will be my first time at this event that focuses on technologies for higher education.

We’ll be showing our brand new solutions:

You can find us at the Extensis booth #333.  I’ll also be giving a presentation entitled “Enhance Teaching and Improve Student Literacy with Digital Asset Management” on Wednesday, July 29 at 1:30 pm.

Stop by and say hello.


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Campus Technology Conference 2009

If you’re in the market for some new technology for your institution, why not check out this year’s Campus Technology Conference in Boston. The event covers all areas of technology, and how it can be applied to higher education. Extensis will be presenting a session about digital asset management during the conference:

Enhance Teaching and Improve Student Literacy with Digital Asset Management

This session will focus on digital asset management best practices and techniques you can implement to improve student visual literacy and enhance teaching through image catalogs. We will cover how Extensis Portfolio can collect all your images in a central location where you can easily access, repurpose and share them with others in your institution.

Conference Details:

When: July 27–30, 2009

Where: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

For more information and to register, see the Campus Technology website.


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In February, we held a Digital Asset Management Forum at Harvard University.  The event focused on strategies and solutions for the needs of higher education organizations, and featured a case study by Yale University.  Pam Patterson, Senior Instructional Technologist for the Instructional Technology Group in Academic Media and Technology shared with us their digital asset management journey, from the challenges faced before managing their assets to the benefits reaped after implementing Portfolio as their chosen DAM solution.

To me, one of the most interesting aspects of her presentation is how they utilize Portfolio NetPublish to distribute images, audio, video and PDF files to students for course review.  Pam’s team has been instrumental in collaborating with professors, visual library and student interns, to provide web-based resources, such as digital catalogs, in order to enhance students’ learning experience .  If you’re interested in learning more and view some screenshots of their online digital catalogs, you can download the recorded webcast.

DAM in Higher Education Extensis Forum

As part of the forum, I gave a presentation regarding digital asset management best practices, which provided me an opportunity to share lessons learned and strategies utilized by our customers.  We also held round table discussions to allow participants to network and discuss topics of common interest among peers.  Topics included asset organization, and metadata and taxonomy for effective DAM.  Discussion was lively and fruitful.

We closed the day with a Portfolio workflow session, lead by Ed Smith, one of our Systems Engineers.  He demonstrated the use of metadata, keywords, taxonomy, as well as search, archive and distribution capabilities within Portfolio.  Ed belongs to the Integration and Consulting Team at Extensis, and has  vast experience dealing with customer implementations and workflow consulting.  His presentation was very well received by all participants.

At the forum we had representatives from MIT, Cambridge College, Suffolk University, University of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College, Yale University, Harvard University, to name a few.

Our next event will be in El Segundo, California, and we’ll be focusing on digital asset management for the creative services industry.  So if you’re in the advertising and marketing fields, stay tuned for more information.


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The next time you’re talking through the choice of typography for a project with a client, you might think to refer to this study published in Scientific American. Two psychologists from the University of Ann Arbor recently studied how the choice of a typeface affects how readers process the written word.

The study took two identical pieces of text that described an exercise regimen. One group received the instructions set in Arial, a sans-serif face, while the others received the same text set in Brush Script. They then asked the students to say what their perceptions are of how difficult the exercise regimens would be, and how likely they would be to do them.

exercise regimen set in arial and brush script

The results indicated that people tended to think that the easy-to-read instructions set in Arial would actually be easier to accomplish. Participants actually equated the how difficult something was to read with the content of the message.

We’ve already seen another study out of a Michigan University looking at how typefaces influence opinions of restaurant patrons.

So, next time you’re trying to convince a client that Helvetica might be a better choice than Hobo, you might just want to point to this study.


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For those of you interested in digital asset management for higher education, listen up! Extensis is hosting two events in the month of February that will highlight DAM best practices using Portfolio 8.5.

The physical, one-day event will be held at Harvard University on February 19th and will highlight Yale University’s Pamela Patterson. The event will include case studies, roundtables and workflow discussions.

For those that are unable to attend the physical event, don’t worry as Extensis is also hosting a free webcast on February 12th. For more details on registration and logistics on either event, see the Extensis press release here.


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