Archive for the ‘Pre-media Applications’ Category

Piracy is Your Best Salesman – Really?

February 4, 2010

For years we have had it rammed down our throat that Piracy will be the death of software companies and recently Rupert Murdoch has been making waves about how aggregating his news content is damaging his business and thus wants to start charging for it.

Well it seems that his daughter Elisabeth has made a pretty bold statement about piracy, stating in a roundabout way that it could be a good thing.

“Fans remain the best salesmen of our content, even if that behavior is on the borderline of piracy. Danger of the new world is that we must concede that we’ll lose some control.”

The question for me is how software companies in the Pre-media would police the use of pirated software and how you handle the penalties for usage. It takes some doing for a software company of a governing body to get into our firms to see if what we are doing because they need grounds to do so. For years companies have flaunted the somewhat out of date font licensing laws as the pressure for lower costs from the clients has driven people to ‘bend’  what they feel is ‘fair usage’

Now we see a complete disregard of any laws regarding software and licensing as the borders of commerce are bought down and work can be produced anywhere in the world. And with the world being so interconnected via the worldwide web there is no stopping where or who has access to what and how they use it.

So with Elisabeth conceding that piracy of content is your best salesman, how are companies looking to gain revenue from that content be that software, news, knowledge or anything else that can easily be searched, catalogued, indexed and then downloaded by, well, anyone in the world.

One method spoken about sometime back was to reduce the cost to an amount that more people would be willing to pay. As we’ve seen in a few of my previous posts, the cost of digital content seems to be more expensive than that of the manufactured content; CD vs Digital Download; newspaper vs Online News Subscription; DVD vs Media Streaming; Video Game vs Online Streamed Game; Packaged Software vs Digital Delivery, the list could go on.

So, we see that companies are thinking that by providing the content (whatever that content is) digitally they are able to retain more profit from the service they provide. In my mind they are actually making the content easier and faster to obtain, access and distribute.

Although I in no way condone the usage of pirated software in the everyday business world I find myself wondering who is to blame for the volume of pirate content out there. If you have followed the news on the case of Pirate Bay then you may ask if they are really at fault for providing a method of people trying to find content? Are they not just being used as an example, a warning to other people who want to provide a service and we all remember what happened to Napster, once a sharing site, now turned clean – did the industry kill the mp3 sharing problem? No they aggregated it even more and before you knew it loads more sites sprung up all over the place…. The same can be said for MP3.com

There is no silver bullet solution to this problem and we in Pre-media are probably as guilty as anyone else about bending the rules of content engagement. It could be as simple as loading a music track as your ringtone that goes against the artists wishes, but what I do know is if companies actually listened to the market they would understand and learn how to develop new business models for the modern age. Our children are currently heading for a world of free usage of content as it’s so freely available and that has a massive impact on so many market verticals that we could see complete industries fizzle out because they were unable to diversify their business model.

Author: Gary George

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CS5 – as useful as a ‘Chocolate Teapot’?

February 3, 2010
Adobe Systems Incorporated

Image via Wikipedia

Later this year Adobe will be releasing their latest incarnation of the Creative Suite in the form of CS5. For the avid followers of Adobe development news and those who are registered beta testers you will have seen some of the wonders that this new version will bring.

For the rest of us, we are left wondering what the cost of upgrading will be and whether we are going to save anything by doing it… Let’s face it when we shell out of upgrades we usually do it for 3 reasons:

  1. There are new features we must have or have been waiting for….
  2. Someone is supplying us files that we need to manipulate in the new version of the software
  3. Or we have somehow justified the expense to get the upgrade for absolutely no reason…

There are those of us who have been sensible enough to maintain their maintenance agreements and thus get the upgrades for free anyway. Well not exactly free, but cheaper than buying them at retail cost (with your given CLP agreement discount level) you’ll enjoy these new features without a second thought. Unfortunately these lucky people are the ones that will ultimately force upgrades on others they supply their files to.

Adobe is again focusing on the ability to streamline the creative process by enabling cross application graphics usage that allows for fast pre-media channel outputs, along with their crusade to make everything Flash enabled (well apart from anything Apple that is – that bitter war continues!)

Adobes flagship product – Photoshop – has a whole host of new features that have been touted about the internet. These include:

  • New Digital Photography Features
  • 64 bit processing for Apple Mac computers
  • Porting Photoshop CS5 from Carbon to Cocoa
  • Support for Multiple GPU’s
  • New Brush technologies
  • New Paint technologies
  • New on-the-fly multi-point Warping technologies
  • New Content Aware Technology
  • GPU Video Acceleration Technologies

But I must ask how many of these with have any economical impact on our day to day business? Sure, multi GPU support would be nice for all those with multi GPU graphic cards and new paint technology is great for those artists out there have haven’t already discovered what Paintshop Pro does for them. And what about the long awaited 64bit support – I mean 64bit in desktop machines has only been around for 6 years!? Also, what about the content aware scaling; we’ve already seen their first attempt of this in CS4 which was pretty awesone, but how much does it really get used….?

Although, like most others I will rush out and get CS5, I do question if the expense is really going to be worth it and whether the new features, tools and underlying archecture is going to benefit me to the tune of the upgrade cost – or will be be “as useful as a chocolate tea pot”!? Wouldn’t it be more useful if Adobe placed more analytical tools under the bonnet so we can see the most frequently used tools and the effect our system setup has? Also, how about some Adobe ‘statistics gathering’ on what they really need to improve? Now that would bring true benefit to the endusers and businesses alike.

Author: Gary George

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Premedia & Consumer White Goods?

January 12, 2010

Almost every week  we hear or see something that we think is absolutely pointless – and then there’s some stuff that will revolutionise the way we use devices! So today I was challenged to ‘blog’ about two such devices and how they fit into our pre-media landscape.

Firstly let’s look at what I was directed to….. Yes you got it, a Microwave and a Washing Machine with a 7 inch touchscreen Android embedded system!!!

Seems pretty pointless right?

Well if your client is one of these manufacturers then definitely not, since you probably hold all of the company’s digital assets and brand material and therefore you are in a prime position to offer some sort of content management services and facilities for these devices. There is a whole supply chain process that would be involved in getting content fit for purpose on these new touch devices and sure, they may not hit mainstream consumer purchasing while the technology prices are still high for this type of implementation, but really when you think about it, is it no cheaper for manufacturers to reduce costs by providing less choice – i.e. not have to have so many parts to maintain?

Whilst pre-media companies need to diversify, are they really able to make a leap into consumer device application development? Or is it a step too far? We already see the big boys in the industry providing iPhone apps for their suites of applications to help their clients feel more in-touch with workflow. So they have huge technology & development departments dedicated to application development and who’s to say they won’t be able to transition their already gathered user interaction experience into the mainstream consumer device application market?

I don’t know about you, but I have a nice shiny new touch screen Samsung phone, the downside is the frustration of my fat fingers trying to get to the letters of applications I need instead of constantly selecting the option next to the one I want – so is touch just a storm in a tea cup? or will it be the next revolution of consumer products?

I won’t go into why you would ever want wireless networking, browsing, etc. on your washing machine because I always thought that the fridge that kept track for the contents and add depleted stocks to your shopping list was a great idea, but in practise would it really work? What about the fridge/freezer with an LCD TV embedded in the door? Well great, so you design your new kitchen around the fridge being in the optimal viewing position while you cook dinner!

The future is all touchy feely

With Apple supposedly releasing a tablet style touch screen device in the coming months it is clear that they would have done their research enough to know that the time is right for that style of device (let’s hope that they are not banking on the success for the iTouch/iPhone as a benchmark for people to spend 3 to 4 times as much on a tablet device!). We have also seen a number of conceptual designs for paper style digital magazines/newspapers – again odd since the Kindle/Irex/Sony ebook readers hardly made mass market! There are plenty of new opportunities for pre-media companies to get a handle on where their future profits come from and try and cash in on the new pre-media output channels that are constantly appearing.  All application, user interface and user help systems require assets, supply chains, workflows and content management so have you thought about what your customers are working on in their roadmap to ensure you are considering it in your strategic plans as well?

Author: Gary George

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Helios is like an old Volkswagen

December 22, 2009

I’ve just been delighted when I received a google alert on my old favorite term Pre-media only get get whisked away to the Helios website…. Upon arriving I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, I mean the last time I was here is was pretty awful looking, so I have no idea when they had a face lift, but it is pretty refreshing…

What I liked most was their text within the Ad Agengy/Pre-media section of the site…:

The way that Volkswagen promoted the VW Beetle in the nineteen-sixties greatly changed the advertising world – just like that car moved the audience. If the agency copywriter had known then that this claim would prove right, he certainly would have gone to bed deeply satisfied that night. The VW Beetle assembly line kept running from 1946 until 2003.

Of course, we cannot tell if our “Unbreakable” server solutions will keep running just as long. But we are confident that they will. This confidence is based on the feedback we receive from our customers who have worked with our server software for more than a decade, day by day, and without any downtime. It could run likewise for you.

I like the way they are admitting they are not perfect (but then what product is) but the would like to pitch themselves up there with the reliability of a Volkswagen car…. neat.

Maybe I’ll take a closer look at their product offering for this new Pre-media could and report back, hopefully their grant me a demo licences for a little while to truly have a play.

Author: Gary George

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Cloud computing with a DAM

December 18, 2009

After Sean’s interesting little entry on whether more companies are going to move their application offering into the cloud, I had the pleasure of spending a lengthy amount of time Murray Oles of Chalex. They have taken a rather different approach to providing Digital Asset Management as a service and not as the key application driver. Workflow orchestration is their approach and storing assets is just a process that happens during our working day, and lets face it in our pre-media environments we are all about getting our jobs out and the assets are attached to our jobs, so this is a refreshing approach from a DAM vendor.

There are two things that make this system stand apart from the other; the first one which isn’tunique to what I have seen, but is unique in their implementation to it is the ability to build workflows to manage the process flow of your jobs, now this could be anything from the automation of tasks, to the people that need to review and approve something and right down to the assigning of tasks to people, studios or outsource partners. Now I said it wasn’t completely unique and that was because we have seen workflow in systems offered by Artesia and ADAM, but the workflow is all based around the assests and not the business processes.

The second thing that is pretty unique is that the system is offered completely in the cloud… yes completely – assets and all…. It all sits up there on the Amazon servers, this provides them with the ability to deploy an instance of the basic setup in a matter of hours, for more advanced configurations where the processes need to be mapped and custom panels need creating then these can be developed after the process has been worked out.

The system is using some great technology under the bonnet, such as Cozimo the collaborative, review and presentation system for online digital content in real-time, this is similar to other systems out there from Kodak, Dalim, and ProofHQ but also allows you to annotate video!

On top of these they are able to integrate additional services into the system such as:

  • Google integration –iGoogle “Gadgets” –Google Apps
  • Collaboration services
  • Video previews
  • FLASH previews
  • Web to print services
  • Promo planning
  • Adobe In Design Server engine
  • Translation services
  • On-line page building

Naturally there are the normal features such as published workflow models, resource groups, workflow teams and roles & permission setting along with a dashboard that allows you to keep track of your work assignments. They have also started developing smart forms based in Flex allowing for the information to be dynamically generated.

On top of all this they have an Adobe Air application that allows the users to connect and interact with the assets connected with a specific task. All for either an annual subscription fee or an outright price with annual maintenance fee that is very very competitive against other offerings on the market.

So with the prediction for 2010 being the year of the DAM Cloud Explosion, these guys are well positioned to get ahead of the race with a concept that doesn’t put the digital asset management as the key driver, but rather the business process is the heart of the solution.

We look forward to seeing how this system develops over the next 6 to 12 months as they find more integrators around the world to help them get a better saturation in the market.

My only closing comments would be that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, unfortunately their main website for the products http://www.pakzar.biz does need a bit of a marketeers touch.

Author: Gary George

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The Popularity of Video in Digital Asset Management

December 11, 2009

The third and final blog in the series on Video & DAM that comes from our friends over at Widen Enterprises, this one is written by their video expert Al Falaschi and looks at how video is becoming more popular in DAM systems, I hope you enjoy his view on this.

We would like to thank Widen Enterprises for allowing us to republish their content and please do checkout their content direct on the Widen Blog link that you will find on here.

Video & DAM

The growing popularity of video is well documented… There are a number of reports available. They explain the power and attractiveness of using video, specifically in the enterprise environment.
More than 65% of companies are using online video and that number is expected to continue increasing (VideoBloom, 2009). (Remember an earlier post, Gartner Predicts 25 Percent of Content in the Workforce to be Images, Audio or Video by 2013.) Online video is a key method of delivering and consuming information that educates, entertains, and/or inspires in ways that touch emotions static text on a page cannot achieve.

Director of research and design at Stanford University‘s Persuasive Technology Lab, Dr. BJ Fogg, writes that for a consumer to make a purchase, it requires a “behavior change.” Fogg’s behavior model talks about the convergence of three things that need to happen for the change to occur – a trigger, ability and a motivation. Motivation is strictly tied to “sensation.” Inherently, video combines the use of more human senses than most other traditional sales and marketing tools. Read more about the reason “why” video use is on the rise in business marketing.

How does that impact Digital Asset Management?
Video is a digital asset. As its popularity grows, enterprises will struggle to manage the creation, storage, and distribution of it. Video files are exponentially larger than text documents. Multiple copies of a file in multiple locations use even more storage. Version control is nearly impossible since someone has to remember each file’s location and update or renew it when a new one becomes available or when it expires. Plus, there isn’t always an easy way to search for the right video based on the content. Beyond that, an increase in video will also mean an increase in the amount of bandwidth required to serve the video – a requirement that many SMBs struggle with.

We can learn a lot just by looking at trends within Widen’s own organization and DAM software customer base. There are notable increases in not only the number of video assets being added to our DAM systems, but also in the rate of videos added per year. Due to the raw size of high resolution video, the percentage of the overall file size of our DAM taken up by video has grown extensively. Again, the rate of growth per year is also increasing as we choose to use video more and more for marketing, sales and customer service purposes.

From a sales and marketing standpoint, there are dramatic increases in the coverage of video as a topic in many of our sales calls, and in RFPs that we receive. There are a number of factors that are causing these increases. One is the growing popularity of video. Again, this is well documented. In addition, there is the entire social movement. For video, this requires organizations to not only produce video content, but to make it accessible and publish it to as many online video channels as possible.

An often unnoticed factor is the shift in video camcorder technology from “tape” to “tapeless.” Tape has been a crutch for video storage and backup for… well, for forever. With the new tapeless camcorders recording very high resolution files resulting in very large file sizes with no tape to put them on, suddenly, organizations are faced with storing, securing, backing up, and distributing files that are ten times the size of the files they are familiar with managing. And remember, it is GROWING!

Bottom line, the increasing demand for video will place demands on DAM software and digital asset hosting providers to make sure that video is handled seamlessly alongside all other assets.

Stats on video usage from VideoBloom’s VIEW Index (Video-Enabled Web Index):
100 Web Sites Surveyed

In August of 2009, the VIEW main index for the 100 surveyed companies was 30-75-25, which indicates that 30% of the companies had video on their home page, 75% had video on their site, and 25% didn’t use any video on their Web site.

  • 41% of the 100 surveyed companies have placed their Web videos 1 click away from the home page.
  • 25% of the surveyed companies have placed their Web videos deep into their Web sites, 3 clicks or more away from the home page.
  • 25% use online video in an advanced manner: contextual integration of videos, variety of video players, call-to-action tied to the video.
  • 32% offer a full-fledged “video center” comparable to a corporate TV channel.
  • 21% give access to such video center directly from their home page (one click away).
  • 12% display video ads for products on their site; 7% display video ads on their home page.
  • 36% offer full-screen video option.
  • 4% have video on auto-play (i.e. video starts as soon as the user lands on the page).
  • 11% open video in a new browser Web page.
  • 18% use a pop-up window to display video.
  • Video uses: 48% of the surveyed web sites use video for promotional purposes, 24% use it for informational purposes, 20% use it for demonstrative purposes, 6% use it to deliver news, 5% use it for entertainment purposes, 1% use it for other purposes and 0% use it for UGC (user generated content). (The percentages don’t add up to 75% because many sites use online video for several different purposes.)
  • Video formats: 61% use Flash video, 21% use Windows Media Player, 8% use QuickTime and 4% use Real Player. (The percentages don’t add up to 75% because some websites use more than one video format.)

Author: Al Falaschi Video Expert at Widen Enterprises (www.widen.com), a Madison,WI-based provider of digital asset management software and services.

Poster: Gary George

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PhotoSketch – Fake or Not?

October 6, 2009
Are they really from this scene?

Are they really from this scene?

Many moons ago, yes back in the day when I was a Scitex Imagery One operator, we had an account where we needed to montage scenes together of people dressed in historical outfits. It was pretty cool, but pretty tough going as the image composition tools then were not a touch on the power of Photoshop and other image tools today. I seem to remember the books being called ‘I Was There’ or something along those lines. Anyway these comps took ages for what today would probably take a couple of hours and cost a fraction of the cost – especially if you had all the cut-outs offshored.

Anyway today I was watching a video on Vimeo where Ping Tan, an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, participated in a written a journal of PhotoSketch. Now I know there is some pretty awesome technology out there and we saw some of that reach us in Photoshop CS4 with the addition of the Content-Aware Scale (if you haven’t used it then just watch any video on youtube on the subject, but I like this example here). But is this actually possible? And if they have done this and it’s not just one of those projects you need to do at University and write a paper on, (although the source code is also available to download) it would be pretty awesome, albeit putting plenty of people out of work. So I have my suspicions – even if it was possible and available, would the resulting images look like an amateur has put them together? I guess we will find out in the not too distant future. So for now, take a look yourself and let us have your comments on it.

Author: Gary George

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The Cost of Staying in the Creative Game

September 28, 2009

It’s been some time now since I’ve had to worry about such things, but today companies are faced with the declining economies all around the globe and fight for ways to save money that comes straight of their bottom line. As these companies reach out to outsourcing companies they are shifting the responsibility and requirement of software licensing onto the outsource partner. Great plan! But we are now seeing that our outsourcers are becoming more up-to-date that our own businesses…. How can this be, I mean every year our departmental heads have to submit a budget and it should come as no surprise to them the release cycles of the major software manufacturers; Adobe every 18 months, Quark around 2 years, Font software annually etc, etc. So just why are our business not up-to-date?

burning-money1Why is it we tend to find design agencies rushing out to buy the latest releases, yet our larger pre-media organizations lag so far behind – these are organizations with procurement teams and large accounts departments, departments so intent on saving money that they burn it by not planning ahead.

And why is it so few pre-media companies take advantage of the maintenance plans that the Adobe’s & Quark’s of this world offer; plans that would bring their total cost of ownership down by 50% let alone the amount administration that is then involved in writing business cases for the upgrades to justify to the board why the company needs this software. Is that not  just the price of staying in the game, the cost of supplying the key tools to the business vertical you are in?

(more…)

A Global Pre-media Village??

September 13, 2009

iStock_000006175136MediumI recently posted a comment on the Tunicca Pre-media Lounge questioning the differences between ‘US Pre-media‘ and the ‘Rest of the World Pre-media‘. As I said in the discussion, this was not an effort to invoke WW III and was not intended to get everyone saying “well our Pre-media is better than your Pre-media”! It was more a point for discussion and to help to highlight the different levels of service and innovation around the World. During my Corporate Account role at EskoArtwork the employee of a certain packaging organisation used to return home from technical meetings in the US and say that his American colleagues were years behind what was being done in the Pre-media field in Europe.

Now this is a subjective and emotive topic and it may have been that his American colleagues were saying similar things about their European counterparts. However, it got me thinking as to how such disparity should appear in an industry where the technology is clearly global as system vendors now sell their products worldwide whether that be direct or through distributors and resellers. However, in my experience there seems to be many differences in the deployment and operation of these technologies all over the world.

BRIC Markets

In recent years we have seen a massive rise in the access to emerging countries (such as the BRIC markets, see left) and whether a global supplier utilises skills that were previously unavailable to them, or they need to supply pre-media technologies on a more local basis, there seems to be a brand new set of challenges emerging from this scenario. We have seen the globalisation of many facets of our industry and I often meet with large global companies who have expanded through either organic growth or acquisition or both. It is these companies I believe that face the most complex challenges in Pre-media in as they attempt to deliver standardised products with disparate systems, operations and processes.

Global Packaging Supply Chain Challenge

The Global Supply Chain Challenge

Imagine if you will a fictitious global supplier who utilises pre-media technology as part of its supply chain services to its customers. This company is based and driven from the US (for example) and has grown from being a US domestic supplier to a global player by opening new operations worldwide as well as acquiring a number of companies and groups to ensure that its footprint is truly global – they need to do this to satisfy their global brand customers who are growing into new emerging markets. This supplier has always been good at what they do and has built a fine business reputation based upon quality and service. Now they are being pushed even further not just by their suppliers, but internally as they realise that their global operating costs are high. On the one hand customers demand standardised products worldwide but those products must remain innovative and provide value for money. On the other hand, it’s a tough market so internally operational processes need to be streamlined in order reduce costs and remain competitive. The issues that this company faces are as follows:

  • Due to the nature of their growth, their Global footprint now includes a host of operations who are functioning with wholly disparate legacy systems.
  • The processes around these pre-media are completely different within each facility and in some cases are out of control.
  • The skill levels of their global staff vary drastically as the local social demographics and educational levels of each country vary greatly.
Tunicca - International, Independant, Premium Pre-media Consulting Services

Tunicca - International, Independent, Premium Pre-media Consulting Services

These are three vital areas of concern and provide the global operation with a massive challenge; how to align all three of these aspects within a global corporation. This undertaking, whilst huge, is not impossible and involves determining business processes that can be migrated around the world as well as training programs to align and raise skills on a global basis. All of these need of course to be based on standardised technology – technology that suits the global footprint and short term and long term objectives of the company. As I said – a huge task, but not impossible – and it’s just another one of the consequences of globalisation.

And as a footnote I must add that these kinds of problems are completely matched to the services of Tunicca because we are an organisation that is set up to help in all of these areas. Being an International concern, entirely Independent, focussed on Pre-media and providing a Premium and Professional service these are the kinds of challenges that we relish!

Author: Sean Runchman

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The Future of Premedia – Part 1 – The Stage

September 2, 2009

It’s been more than a week since my last blog and this one comes in collaboration with Peter van Teeseling as he has some ideas on this subject, together we have a shared vision of what the future premedia service offerings will be.

To start a series of blogs covering each subject in more detail I will first set the stage, some food for thought if you like.

The Future

As we all have probably read, RR Donnelly’s likes to break news about the new technologies they introduce into their portfolio of products they offer to their clients, the majority of companies out there don’t have the buying power or engineering resource to develop at that scale…. or do they….

There is so much news and opinion today about how small business are now able to utilise technology and react to change a far faster pace than these large organisations. This is possible due to the empowering technologies, the outsourcing of resource to third world countries and the power of open source communities that are refining the technologies beyond what any corporation is able to do.

So what’s changing and what will redefine the future of premedia?

We have seen the explosion of web based media content delivery to our desktops or should I say our browsers. Networks have taken 10 fold leaps speed while the content we are creating seems to grow with every new version of our creative applications, while our connections from the outside world into these services or these platforms are now available via hot-spots almost everywhere in the western civilized world. Storage is no longer a limitation to what we can store and our machines, our infrastructures and our experience is better than it has ever been.

There are disruptive technologies in play that will change the face of premedia and remove all the constraints that force people to install specific applications, in fact they will completely change the way corporations sell software. SAAS is nothing new to many IT people, but in the world where desktop applications dominated the sales channels there is a move to make them server based.

We have seen a raise in the power of technologies like Flash, Ajax, Flex etc. that have provided new ways to interact with content online. Take Adobe’s first stab at this when they introduced Acrobat.com – strangely named since creating PDF’s was only a fraction of what they offered on the site – today, after a lot of refinement, they offer a pretty damn good collaboration and meeting platform with Adobe Connect and are adding more services such as Buzzword, Presentation, Sharing and Storage in the form of Myfiles. Seems like similar services to Google to me…. .but actually this then provides Adobe a playground to see how users would react and interact with the interfaces while they are building their next service platform Photoshop.com. Bruce Chizen stated sometime ago that Adobe will transfer all application to a web-based platform – so where will that put us in the services we are able to offer our clients?

Photoshop.com is in its infancy, yet it is placing the basic tools of Photoshop Elements to the masses for free, it displays that with programming and the new tools it is possible to access advanced features for photo editing that were once only available via a desktop application, making the web browser a new platform or application interface that removes the constraints of installation. Looking at what more can be done, Adobe could use Air to provide a mixture of local and online services providing the speed and flexibility of any environment – same platform, just a different flavour. As Photoshop.com matures and newer features are added, more premedia companies will see the technology as embeddable into their DAM portals to redefine their operational ability, this could lead to new was to outsource or place the power of the user anywhere they can access the web.

Adobe even provide you an extremely powerful tool to build these new user interfaces without the need for complex programming with the addition of Flash Cataylst allowing new professional interaction design for rapidly creating user interfaces.

Looking at the page layout ability, the applications have really reached their limits of functionality on the desktop. Yes new features will be added, but most of these will be refinements on old features that took too much time to do and both Quark & Indesign are now offering extensive server based solutions that use the same engines that drive the desktop applications. What does this do for companies? Well, it is limited only by your imagination of the web application; so far we have only seen web2print applications or print on demand systems built for commercial sales, companies out there will have integrated this into their service offering somehow, you can rest assured that large companies have these technologies tucked under their bonnets. Is there any limitation? No, and actually the barriers of entry will be lowered the more people use and integrate the functionality. Yet there is a threat, as the raising of outsourcing operations increases their awareness of western operational need, they too will build services based on technologies that we are still building our business cases for.

There are plenty of excellent examples of great user operability sites out there. Imagine translating these into your customer portal and delivering services based on artwork asset management!

Look out for the next part of this series where we will explore the new world of online digital image manipulation and how that will affect the services offered.

Author: Gary George

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