Posts Tagged ‘Digital asset management’

Tunicca Offers CMS Watch Reports in Europe

January 12, 2010

Those of you who visit this blog often will know that we aren’t afraid to occasionally blow our own trumpet. It is therefore with much fanfare that we would like to announce a partnership with the highly regarded digital content technolgy researcher CMS Watch. It’s taken some time for us to sort out the paperwork and then Christmas and our busy schedules didn’t help, but at last we have finalised a deal that enables Tunicca to provide the revered CMS Watch reports and premium consultancy for DAM solutions. So naturally our first response to the news was to get an email out to all of our listed contacts, write this blog and of course draft a press release to complete the announcement!

So, what does all of this this mean exactly? Well primarily this enables Tunicca to provide the CMS Watch reports and consultancy service to pre-media companies in Europe that are looking at either expanding, changing or implementing a DAM solution. The reports complement Tunicca’s highly regarded business process analysis and enhances the reviews of DAM solutions that we carry out for customers. This in turn will help to ensure that we can assist customers in choosing a DAM system that can fit into the actual business requirements, objectives and strategy of a company.

From its inception we have insisted that our company Tunicca remains 100% independent in order to deliver truly impartial expertise to our the market. So it could seem that we are selling out and becoming just another technology reseller as we now have the ability to sell CMS Watch products. Well that is far from being the case as CMS Watch also prides itself on and fiercely protects its independence. All of their technology reports are written by chosen industry specialists and are completely objective, based on factual evidence garnered during their extensive research. So as you can see there is a very real and tangible complement between our two companies and we are looking forward very much to this partnership.

Our belief, much like CMS Watch, is that when it comes to technology there is a real need in the market for independent views, opinion and analysis based on facts and not vendor marketing spin and propaganda. So we will continue to build our company based on this principle and we are pleased to be partnering with a body such as CMS Watch that echoes this conviction.

About Tunicca
Tunicca is an independent, international supplier of Business Process Analysis solutions to the Pre-media industry. Headquartered in London, Tunicca utilises a number of carefully selected industry experts to deliver a variety of knowledge based solutions to the technology driven world of Pre-media.
With extensive experience in all areas of Pre-media Tunicca is able to advise and assist companies of all sizes in a variety of business issues and challenges. Tunicca operates in the entire value chain and can act across international borders to effectively assist its largest multinational customers with their supply chain challenges whether large or small.
About CMS Watch
CMS Watch™ evaluates content-oriented technologies, offering head-to-head comparative reviews of leading solutions. Through highly detailed technical evaluations and online education courses, CMS Watch helps sort out the complex landscape of potential solutions so that buyers can minimize the time and effort to identify technologies suited to their particular requirements. To retain its independence as a totally impartial analyst firm, CMS Watch works solely for solutions buyers and never for vendors.
About DAM
Short for digital asset management, a system that creates a centralized repository for digital files that allows the content to be archived, searched and retrieved. The digital content is stored in databases called asset repositories while metadata such as photo captions, article key words, advertiser names, contact names, file names or low-resolution thumbnail images are stored in separate databases called media catalogues and point to the original items.
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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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Recession Bites Hard

January 8, 2010

Well what a depressing start to the year – first the UK gets hit by some of the worst temperatures we have ever had making getting to work near impossible for so many people (something I’ll come back to later in this blog) and then the news of more closures and liquidations in our industry that will send a few waves through our industry….

Closures

So this week we saw the announcement that Positive Focus will be closing their doors for business citing that the lack of investment from companies in the pre-media and print sectors that created extremely poor operating revenue which they cannot survive on. This type of news is of course sad as it removes competition from the integration market. Some people will benefit by picking up existing support contracts as the vultures sweep in to pick the bones out of carcasses, yet the sadness is with the family run business that operated for 32 years providing top quality services to our industry.

The point is though that this is not the first time that an integrator has come up short in sales and had the bones picked out of them. In previous situations private investors have jumped in to save the companies, but what value has that ever bought? Integrators like other companies need to continually reinvent their service offerings, it’s not enough in today’s markets to only supply the same software and services you established your company on. We only need to look at how the pre-media landscape has dramatically changed in the last 24 months with mobile media and personalisation becoming more and more prominent with mobile devices and digital print being the fastest expanding markets.

Brand Director Workflow Management DAM

We also have seen a massive upraise in Digital Asset Management with business process & workflow at the heart of the service offering and so for integrators is it enough to only focus on a single solution when smaller and individual consultants can offer services across multiple software offerings without the need to increase the costs of the software solutions to cover their own operational cost (since they are being paid as consultants anyway!)?

The next 6 months in this industry will definitely see more casualties of the recession and my concern is that, while everyone is holding onto their purse strings, the industry will diminish into a barren landscape of little choice as to who you use. On the upside, the integrators that are left to compete will take their pick of the best talent across the market at pay levels that are unrealistic to UK living!

Contingency plans?

eavy snowfall in much of Britain caused widespread travel problems throughout the country Monday morning, causing hundreds of flight cancellations and rush hour chaos in London

AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Whilst we are suffering the effects of this recession and many families struggle with the continuing fuel costs, the snow in the UK has rendered so many people incapacitated when it comes to travelling into work. This is a serious problem for the pre-media and print companies as many of them have had to reduce their costs to the bare minimum to remain competitive and therefore are unable to have contingency plans in place for staff not turning up for work. Even though the clients are in the same situation as their suppliers there is little sympathy for their inability to produce the work and this is leaving more clients looking at how they can offshore their work to countries that can cope regardless of the weather conditions which in turn strengthens the effects of this recession (the “who is to blame” question is a much more political discussion that I won’t get into – but I hope the industrial sector put pressure on the UK government for poor preparation, again, of the weather we are having here.

Most companies never plan for ‘staff’ outages let alone any diaster recovery plans when serious problems occur (building fire, hardware failures, hardware theft or internet outages for example). Yet to me, contingency plans should form part of any contract when a continueous supply of work is provided and the assets of the clients are stored on the companies servers. Staff contingency is difficult to manage as companies should have suffient workflow & job management in place to be able to prioitise work for the clients that have a high demand, they should also have the ability to work with business partners in order to provide a continuation of services. Yet this is always an ‘after the event’ type of reaction which gets spoken about, then as soon as cost becomes involved normally gets shelved as something to do another day.

The future is bright

Being the harbinger of doom is never nice so I’m going to try and put a positive spin, regardless of the amount doom and gloom there is so far in 2010. The work still needs to be distributed between the companies that survive the recession, there will also be new births coming out of the woodwork that have fresh perspectives on the way to do business, pre-media will be a primary focus of these new businesses with the new technology and new workstreams paving the way to the next generation of business models. There will still be room for the traditional businesses, but the truly award winning companies will have the ability to react to the changing technolgy landscape and market their changes in ways that ensure they are on the summit looking down heir competition.

I also predict that there will be no room for fat cats in these new business models! Corporations that once hoped to increase their profit income from design and reproduction companies will shed their interests as quickly as they were snapping them up and we all know that there is no creatvity around the corporate board room table, only balance sheets, paperwork and endless justifications for stuff they simply don’t understand!

Author: Gary George

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Is your asset manager generating you income?

December 21, 2009

Over the past year you’ve heard me ramble, get confused and talk out of my backside, but everything we have brought to you has been about possibilities and the business process thought behind driving your pre-media operations, in a forthcoming post I’m going to touch upon the staffing requirements (or the perceived staffing requirements) for the next generation of pre-media operations.

So today’s subject is about the asset manager you have; ask yourself this question:

Do we use our asset management system today the same way as we did when it was installed?

 Invariably the answer to this will be no, why? well it’s a relatively simple answer, very few companies actually know want they want when they invest in a DAM system, so few perform a needs analysis and produce a future requirements document. Every company has a strategic direction, whether that filters down to the staff or not, it is always a consideration when the CEO sign’s off on a major purchase, it’s part of his preflight check of releasing the funds; but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the DAM systems roadmap fits with your own strategic direction.

On a whole most companies will have growth, flexibility and diversity in their own roadmap knowing that they won’t be doing the same thing in 5 years as they are today, so does the digital asset management system you invested in all those years back provide you with the framework to generate that future income?

We have seen companies suffer through poor or nonexistent taxonomies, through poor file management and through poor management in general, companies have looked at the cost of asset librarians and felt they can cut down or do without, but is that at the cost of securing more income through the reuse of those assets they look after. Today more than ever with the explosion of media output channels digital asset management should play a pivitol roll in any companies strategy for multi channel, multi tenanted environments.

So before you work out how much potential cash has already gone in the bin, evaluate if the DAM infrastructure you have is inline with the companies strategic direction and make sure that you invest in the right people to meet those targets, although you may see this as a short term overhead you can do without, the long term gain will pay dividends that you can not yet realize.

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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Reasons to Use a DAM for Video Assets

November 30, 2009

This is the second in the series of blogs provided to us by Widen Enterprises on the use of video in DAM systems, the final instalment will focus on how pre-media companies are fuelling the requests from their clients to provide both a variable DAM solution and learn how to store, manipulate and deliver video when they never did before.

Video Clutter Has Bandwidth on the Run

Now that we’re in the digital age, Internet traffic volumes are giving way to traffic jams that can bring business operations to a grinding halt. The primary driver is the explosion of video. Its exponentially larger file sizes and bandwidth requirements strain the IT infrastructure, challenging organizations to meet its ever-growing use.

On the upside, video captures our attention in ways that static pages can’t over the Internet. That’s why the demand for rich digital media, such as video, is changing the attitudes and behaviours of the workforce, especially in regards to marketing strategies. This is being reflected on sites such as YouTube and also within the social media.

But while YouTube is an excellent destination site for video and serves the purpose for socializing and democratizing “like” video content, it doesn’t take the pain out of having to manage and repurpose video and other rich media content.

(more…)

Clearing the Traffic Jam on the Information Superhighway

November 27, 2009

With so much talk about video and DAM we thought we ought to deliver a couple of blogs on the subject and who better than to provide us with some great info than Widen Enterprises. Back in April Matthew Gonnering the CEO of Widen Enterprises wrote this article on the benefits of using a DAM system for the storage and aggregation of video content. They have given us permission to republish this for our readers benefits as a starting point for the Video & DAM blogs.

This will be the first of three provided by Widen Enterprises and we are very proud to be able to share them with our crowd of visitors that follow the Tunicca blog.

Clearing the Traffic Jam on the Information Superhighway

A little more than a decade ago, the Internet was dubbed the Information Superhighway. It was seen as a way to distribute information faster and more efficiently than ever before.

While that’s still true in principle, in practice the term “superhighway” turned out to be more prophetic than most realized. Because just like the roads and highways in most urban areas, where urban planners never anticipated the volume of traffic those roads must now support, the high speeds and easy cruises on the Internet have given way to massive traffic jams that can bring operations to a grinding halt at certain times of day.

The primary driver of this traffic jam is the explosion of video on the Internet. Its exponentially larger file sizes and bandwidth requirements are straining every artery of the infrastructure, challenging organizations to meet the ever-growing demand. And more is being added every day at a rate of 33 minutes of video per second.

(more…)