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Our new Portfolio release adds support for the latest OS X, advanced reporting features, and more

With the explosion of digital assets and media over the past decade, companies are struggling to keep them organized and accessible while ensuring version control. Locating and distributing files has become a major time and productivity killer.

Fortunately, Extensis Portfolio™ makes digital asset management (DAM) affordable for companies of all sizes. Originally released in October 2014, Portfolio transformed the user experience with suggested, guided search capabilities, millisecond results, a sleek new user interface and elegant thumbnail views. It’s used by hundreds of Fortune 5000 companies. And it’s just been updated to make it better than ever.

Get Your Assets in Gear with Portfolio 1.5

Portfolio has added full compatibility with Apple® OS X® Yosemite (v10.10) and advanced reporting options. It’s also faster than ever, with new features that increase the efficiency of importing, copying, updating, converting and exporting assets.

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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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Last week I attended a very informative event in Washinton DC — the Museum Computer Network Conference.  The slogan for the conference was very appropriate:  “LET’S DO I.T. RIGHT!”.  The event provided a program focused on information technology for museums.  I had the pleasure of meeting many professionals in the field, including various Portfolio customers.

One topic that has been sparking a lot of interest in this area is Digital Asset Management.  There were several workshops, sessions and case studies, all related to how museums around the globe are dealing with their monstrous and growing amounts digital assets.  Another important topic to address is why organizations want to manage their digital assets — and there were several discussions about that as well.

The first official day of the conference started out with the popular case study showcase.  This year’s focus was around innovation.  As you can see from the image below, the room was packed, as Matt Shanley, Photography Department Technical Coordinator and Digital Asset Manager, presented on “Digital Asset Management at the American Museum of Natural History”.  Matt has been using Portfolio Server for a number of years now, and shared some success stories, as well as DAM best practices.

Other presenters in this case study showcase include:  Art Institute of Chicago (also using Portfolio) on Rapid Imaging, Museum of Modern Art on MoMA.guide as their digital information kiosks, Denver Art Museum on interactive displays, Indianapolis Museum of Art on dashboards as a way of creating transparency, and Jewish Women’s Archive on open source DAM.

After their five-minute case study presentation, each presenter hosted a roundtable, which allowed participants to ask specific questions about their topic.  In Matt Shanley’s table, questions ranged from DAM photographic workflow, integration with collection management systems, best approach to organizing digital assets, creating a naming convention and folder structure strategy, among others.

Next month, we’ll be hosting a webcast on how the National Gallery of London is managing their digital assets with Portfolio.  Details will be posted on our webcast page, as soon as we finalize them, so stay tuned.


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A shot of a standard Portfolio viewI am one of those people you know who has eleventy squillion (give or take a few) windows/applications open at any point, the resolution on the screen is jacked up as high as it will go, and the font size is as small as possible. I am all about maximizing my workspace, and since 30″ monitors don’t exactly grow on trees I do what I can with what I have. This also has the added benefit of keeping people from seeing what I’m working on since they are more than two feet away and from there even this blog post looks like little squiggles on my screen.

Just over there I have a screenshot of the catalog I use. That’s probably what most Portfolio catalogs look like, since I haven’t really done a lot of customizing to my catalog. (In Tech Support to help people effectively we tend to “run stock” so our tweaks aren’t hiding something or behaving differently than the customer setup.) But what if the thumbnail isn’t as big a deal to you? What if you really need the directory instead? Easy-peasy, as they say. You even have a few ways to go about it! You can either go to the ‘View’ menu and click “List”, hold down Apple or Control and press L, or you can click that middle button in the toolbar above where it says ‘View’. Whatever you do this is the result:

Portfolio using the List View

You have yet another option as well, and that is the Item view. Also found in the ‘View’ menu, the key command is Apple or Control R, and it is the far right button in the ‘View’ section of the toolbar. This gives you more in-depth info on each individual record in your catalog, like so:

Portfolio catalog set to Item View

But wait, you might be saying. What if I don’t care about the description or the path? What if I need to see the photographer’s name, or the custom field in our catalog that we use for everything? Have no fear, Portfolio has it covered. You can customize each of these views by clicking on the ‘Customize’ button in the tool bar. When you do, it will drop down a sheet in front of your catalog with a list of options to choose from:

customize your Portfolio views

At the top make sure you are looking at the view you want to customize, and from there you can tweak all manner of options from what fields are shown to the background of the page. You can even choose a different border for the thumbnails if you like.

So if you are trying to get a bit more out of your Portfolio catalog (versions 7 and 8, standalone and server have this feature, not just 8.5) try customizing your views and see if you discover yet another level of usefulness in your digital asset manager. Also if you have a particular customization that has changed your life, please add it in the comments!


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I left my Blackberry smart phone at home this morning. I was nearly into the office by the time I realized what I had done, making it futile to double-back for a rescue. It’s now more than an hour later and I still feel lost, even though I’m fully plugged in and have phone, email and internet access here at my desk.

We all seem to have our vices in this electronic age, it could be an MP3 player, a Wii, or perhaps a digital camera. My sister for example has a constant blue blinking light attached to her ear. I can’t recall a time I’ve seen her in the last three years without her Bluetooth.

What about software? Do you have software on your system that you find indispensible? Digital photography and computer photo illustration guru, Jim DiVitale has two:

“If you told me I could have only two software programs on my computer, I would give up everything I have except Adobe Photoshop and Extensis Portfolio. They are the only two programs I can’t live without.”

Jim DiVitale uses Extensis PortfolioJim’s photography has been featured in all the leading photography/creative publications from Professional Photographer to Print Magazine. He is also a favorite lecturer and presenter at events including Photoshop World, Seybold, PhotoPlus Expo, HOW Design Conference and American Society of Media Photographers.

If you are interested in hearing what Jim has to say about digital imaging (and perhaps how he uses Extensis Portfolio), you can attend his 3-day workshop in Atlanta at the end of this month. He will also be conducting a multi-city, Adobe sponsored tour across Canada this August. It would be worth your while to check him out if you have the opportunity.


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The temperature hit 99 degrees Fahrenheit this past weekend in Portland. So, to escape the heat as well as celebrate our anniversary, my wife and I took a short jaunt out to the Oregon coast. I took the opportunity to take a few photos of some typography in use on the coast. Most of these photos were taken in Newport, Oregon.

Immerse yourself - Passages of the deep - Oregon Coast Aquarium

It\'s not often that you see serif type on a street sign

graffiti advertising a souvenir shop

Anything and everything for felines and their friends

Fresh from the Pacific Ocean

Script wood letters take talent to create

The Rogue Brewery tasting room entrance

More woodcut signage from the Oregon Coast


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seen.by international fine art websiteSo, say you’re a fashion designer or illustrator and perhaps you’d like to take advantage of this new Web 2.0 thingy to get more exposure and perhaps drum up some business. There are many places to start off, but a decent place to start would be the newly launched seen.by site.

Supported by the German publishing powerhouse Spiegel, seen.by has garnered interest and participation from a wide variety of artists including Wim Wenders. Primarily, this is a good site for displaying and sharing your work, as well as for surfing portfolios looking for contract artists, photographers and designers.

There other sites out there that serve this market, such as Deviantart, Photosig, etc. but who knows which one will end up on top. When marketing, it’s typically best to cast a wide net, and I’m willing to bet that you’ll catch a few fish here.


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2008 Create Awards

If you’re looking to boost your cred, one good way to do it is to enter (and win) a contest or two. Every year, the Create Awards, judge thousands of creative projects in a variety of categories. So, if you have an advertising campaign, design project, photos, video or other project of which you’re proud, consider entering it into the competition.

The entry fees are lower if you put your entry into the mail before May 30th. Anytime after that and the fees go up $20 per entry, so it’s worth getting your ducks in a row ASAP.


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Today we announced that three highly-acclaimed and well respected professional photographers all trust their image collections to Extensis Portfolio.

Steve McCurry is best known for his award-winning color photography who shoots in an intense documentary style that captures both the joy and heartbreak of the human condition. Steve has covered world events including the Iran-Iraq war, disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, the Gulf War and many others.

Steve McCurry’s evocative imagery from Pakistan

Mary Ellen Mark was voted the most influential woman photographer by American Photo Magazine. She is known for her images that fall between social photojournalism and portraiture.

“I often get requests from clients for my images,” says photographer Mary Ellen Mark. “Portfolio’s extensive archiving and retrieval capabilities enable my staff to find the right image in a timely and efficient manner and track its usage.”

Mary Ellen Mark’s evocative twin photo series

Scott Markewitz has been recognized as one of the world’s greatest adventure photographers. His work has appeared on over 350 US and international magazine covers. He is best known for his amazing ability to capture the impossible as it happens on skis.

Scott Markewitz has captured the most amazing feats on skis


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Extensis Portflio helps higher education organize imagesUniversities are perfect places for intellectual exploration and discovery. Of course the entire process can require (as well as produce) a large number of digital assets such as images, documents and so forth.

So, can you best manage all of these assets without getting buried and not able to find anything? A digital asset management (DAM) solution can help you wade through the sea of assets find the items you want, when you need them.

To help you get started, we’ve organized a roundtable discussion where you’ll hear how two organizations, The University of Pennsylvania and The College Board, implemented a digital asset management solution using Extensis Portfolio. Extensis Integration and Consulting Services Engineer, James Grace will also demonstrate the solution and be available to answer questions about how Extensis Portfolio can fit into your workflow.

This session is open to all who want to find out more about DAM, Extensis Portfolio, and how to effectively manage large numbers of images in a higher education setting.

So, here’s the pertinent info:

  • Date: Thursday, May 29th
  • Location: 333 Madison Avenue
    9th Floor, Conf. Rm. #920
    New York, New York
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST. (Lunch provided.)

To register, please fill out the Images in Higher Education Registration Form or call Megan Banman at 503-290-0339.


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