September 24th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
We would like to invite you to join us for a Digital Asset Management (DAM) Forum a the Seattle Art Museum. This event will focus on strategies, solutions, best practices and effective technology usage in digital asset management.
Join other marketing and IT professionals to:
- Find out how Methodologie, top Seattle communications strategy firm, saves time and money for clients like The Coca-Cola Company, Boeing, Potlatch, Microsoft Xbox and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
- Learn DAM best practices for creative agencies and corporate marketing departments with a focus on digital asset distribution.
- Participate in roundtable and workflow discussions while networking with your peers.
- October 14, 2009
- 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
- Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
- Cost: Attendance and lunch are FREE
- Featured Presentation: Marketing and Advertising Case Study: How Methodologie Agency uses DAM to service Microsoft, Boeing and others
We hope that you’ll be able to join us!
If you live in Germany and have an interest in digital asset management, we are hosting two seminars, which may be of interest to you.
Extensis’ country manager for Germany, Torsten Köbel, will be presenting Portfolio Server 9 in Hamburg and Munich in the next few weeks. Torsten will be demonstrating how Portfolio Server 9 allows you to manage, distribute and archive all your images and rich media files, saving you and your organization time and money. You’ll also get some insider tips and best practices on digital asset management.
If you are interested in additional details or would like to register, please click on the links below:
We hope you will join us.
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.
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.
July 15th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
Do many of our webcasts fall directly in the middle of the night for you? Well fear not, we’ve got a great team based in Northampton, UK as well as across Europe who are ready to show off our products for you.
This Thursday we’ll be walking you through new features of Portfolio Server 9, including:
- File access from a central, visual catalog
- Automated web delivery of assets
- Easy administration & user-friendly design
- Remote management of server & users
- Fast asset processing
- Extensive file format support
So, if you’re in the market for a new digital asset manager, or if you’re merely interested in what you’ll be getting for free with your Annual Service Agreement, be sure to join us for the hour long webcast.
- Day: Thursday, June 16th
- Time: 10:00 British Summer Time
- Registration: Extensis Webex Registration
July 14th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
Today Equilibrium announced the integration of MediaRich technology into our Extensis Portfolio Server digital asset management solution.
MediaRich technology provides Portfolio Server many benefits, including a new metadata architecture, resulting in extensive file format support that allows users to catalog and thumbnail virtually any file.
The complete list of file formats supported by Portfolio Server has been expanded and now includes most file types that are critical to creative workflows.
We are proud to announce the immediate availability of Portfolio Server™ 9, our powerful digital asset management solution.
As I’m sure that you can tell, we’ve been very busy of late! The Portfolio Server 9 release comes close on the heels of our recent release of Universal Type Server 2.
This version of Portfolio Server includes a slew of new features and many enhancements. The most prominent new feature is the entirely new Portfolio Web Client. This new feature allows you to catalog, search, edit, batch convert, automate tasks and manage assets from anywhere, anytime.
Highlights of Portfolio Server 9 include:
- A New Adobe® FLEX Web Client that serves as a powerful dashboard for creative workflows.
- All-new Java-based server architecture for outstanding stability and easy integration.
- Scalable MediaRich® media processing engine for extensive file format support and fast media delivery.
- Web-based server administration for remote management of server and users.
- Industry-standard Adobe® XMP® Toolkit integration for reading and writing metadata, allowing data to be accessible across applications.
- Best-in-class integration with Adobe® creative applications with drag-n-drop functionality through Portfolio Express palette.
- Support for Windows® Server 2008 and Microsoft® SQL Server®
“Portfolio Server is very reliable and straightforward to install and administer,” said Colin White, Head of Photography at the National Gallery of London. “With the Portfolio suite of products, we’ve created branded web portals that allow us to distribute a wide range of digital content extensively within the Gallery.”
Portfolio Server 9 is easy to implement and provides a new web-based administration console to manage the server, catalogs and users remotely. In addition, the new server offers greater scalability, enhanced performance and extensible media processing architecture. Under the hood, Portfolio Server utilizes a new powerful media-processing engine from Equilibrium®. The MediaRich® Server offers a new metadata architecture, resulting in extensive file format support and allowing users to catalog and thumbnail virtually any file.
“In Portfolio Server 9 we have enhanced our metadata support, by leveraging the Adobe XMP Toolkit,” says Martin Stein, Vice President of Products and Services at Extensis. “This is an important capability, as it ensures the highest level of compatibility and gives the user the assurance that the information they enter in Portfolio will be transferred to and be readily available within other applications and vice versa.”
Portfolio Server continues to offer an open system built on industry-leading technologies such as Java™ J2EE™, Adobe® FLEX®, JBoss and OpenOffice.org. For end users, this translates into superior usability and unique integration with their existing workflow. For IT administrators, it delivers power and efficiency. In addition, the optional SQL Connect module, coupled with our industry-standards database, provides greater scalability, enhanced performance and superior integration.
If you’re like me, sometimes I prefer watching a software demo before I download a piece of software. It gives me the opportunity to see all of the new features in action, and know the capabilities of the software before I spend the time setting it up.
If you’re interested in server-based font management for your group, or interested in upgrading your current font manager, I’d highly recommend our Universal Type Server 2.0 webcast next week. Cindy Valladares will be covering what’s new in the this version, and how the new features will make your world of font management much easier.
So, here’s the scoop:
What: What’s new in Universal Type Server 2.0 webcast
When: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -07:00, San Francisco)
Who: Extensis Product Marketing Manager, Cindy Valladares
If you are unable to make the webcast, but would like to view a recorded copy of it later, please register for the webcast. When the recorded version is available (typically within 24 hours of the event) a link to the recording is sent out to everyone who registered for this event, whether you were able to attend or not.
June 17th, 2009 by Jim Kidwell
We’re happy to announce that our Universal Type Server 2.0 font management software is now available.
Universal Type Server 2.0 is available in two different versions:
- Professional – intended for workgroups of any size.
- Lite – for teams of up to ten concurrent users.
This version integrates a number of new and innovative features. Most prominently, this release includes
Some of the new features in Universal Type Server 2.0 include:
- Universal Type Server 2.0 Professional is the only server-based font management solution that offers secure and dynamic integration with Microsoft’s Active Directory and Apple’s Open Directory, with full support for Kerberos single sign-on. This integration with LDAP directory services is available FREE for new and existing customers for a limited time.
- External Database Module supports Microsoft SQL Server for enhanced scalability.
- Font compliance reports allow administrators to track users’ access to fonts.
- Administrators can implement a “system font policy” of fonts allowed in users’ system fonts folders, an efficient way to keep rogue and unlicensed fonts out of your workflow.
- Enhanced previews in the Universal Type Client, that include “tear-off” floating previews.
- Auto-activation plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator® and InDesign® CS2, CS3 and CS4, as well as QuarkXPress® 7 and 8
- Administrators can batch apply server settings across multiple users.
- Remotely deployment of server connection settings to Type Client machines.
- Enhanced server-controlled Startup Sets.
- SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) support for server administration.
- Set maximum number of retained backups on the server.
- Warnings to offline Type Client users, when font access is about to expire.
- Ability for administrators to view all workgroups that contain a font, as well as selectively delete fonts from server-based personal workgroups.
- Enhanced font corruption detection and repair.
- The Type Client can now override system fonts.
- Added search criteria for better visibility. For example, the “Added By” search field can be used to monitor when a font was added to the system and by whom.
Universal Type Server 2 upgrade, client access license upgrades and the new Directory Integration Module will be available free-of-charge to existing Universal Type Server Professional customers under a current annual service agreement (ASA). In addition, the Directory Integration Module will be offered free of charge for all new Universal Type Server 2.0 Professional customers for a limited time. Upgrade pricing is available for all current Universal Type Server Lite, FontReserve Server, Suitcase Server, and volume license customers.
Universal Type Server is available immediately. Universal Type Server Professional is available at an estimated retail price of US $1,800.00 for the Server plus $165.00 per Client Connection. Universal Type Server Professional and associated clients include a one-year Annual Service Agreement. Universal Type Server Lite sells for an estimated retail price of US $1,395 and includes 10 Client Access Licenses.
For more information on Universal Type Server family of products, visit www.extensis.com/typeserver.
June 3rd, 2009 by Thomas Phinney
One of the enhancements in the upcoming Universal Type Server 2.0 is the new Directory Integration Module (DIM to its friends), which we’re giving away at no additional charge for the first six months. I’m excited about it because it dramatically simplifies user management, and offers the option of Single Sign-on (SSO), which makes lives easier for users while enhancing network security.
What the heck is “directory integration,” you may ask? Basically, some organizations, and virtually all large ones, manage users and groups on their network with a centralized LDAP directory service such as Microsoft’s Active Directory, or Apple’s Open Directory. Type Server 2.0 can integrate with these services so as to automatically populate the Type Server database with network user accounts from the LDAP directory.
How does it actually work? You (or the person setting up your Universal Type Server) simply enter the DIM serial number to unlock the functionality which is already there in your Type Server. Then you connect to your Active Directory or Open Directory domain from the Universal Type Server User Management web interface, and set up workgroup mappings which permit users on the network to use Type Server. The web interface makes it easy to browse your directory tree, browse just groups or users, or search by name. You can put individual network user accounts into Type Server workgroups, or map directory groups (such as Active Directory security or distribution groups) to Type Server workgroups.
Once you set this up, it isn’t just a one-time import; Type Server will regularly check for changes to your directory service and update itself! So your IT administrator can add a network user to a directory service group, and they will automatically show up in the appropriate Type Server workgroup; or if users are removed from the mapped directory service group, they will be removed from the corresponding Type Server workgroup. Also, mappings can be associated with Type Server roles; members of one security group in your AD server can be mapped to a workgroup as Font Administrators, while members in another are mapped to the same Type Server workgroup as regular users.
If you take advantage of the option to use Kerberos technology to allow Single Sign-on (SSO), the Directory Integration Module makes things simpler for users, too. Instead of having a separate log-in for Type Server clients, users simply log into the network, and their Type Server client automatically gets logged in for them. That’s one less password to remember and login to deal with.
Kerberos is the industry-standard secure network authentication protocol, preferred by both Apple (Open Directory) and Microsoft (Active Directory). It’s highly secure in part because passwords are never sent over the wire to Type Server; users establish their identity when they log into their client machines.
Secure, always in sync, easier to administer, easier to use: Four good reasons for people doing server-based font management to check out the Directory Integration Module in Universal Type Server 2.0.
(Thanks are due to my colleague Chris Corbell, who led the programming of this module, for his contributions to my little write-up.)