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Digital asset management: diverse and expanding

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Geolocation is a new area of functionality in Portfolio. “When people take photos with their iPhones, longitude and latitude can automatically be put into the system and then plotted on a map,” Martin explains. “This capability is also important to the infrastructure assets and many other types of images.” Maps are crucial because although latitude and longitude data are recorded automatically, most users are unable to use that data in a meaningful way.

The maps are produced on Portfolio’s servers and the locations are plotted by Leaflet, a JavaScript library for interactive maps. Portfolio uses a compression algorithm that saves 95 percent of the storage space for the maps. That capability is provided by technology from LizardTech, which is a division of Celartem. LizardTech offers satellite data and compression technology as well as other geospatial data solutions.

“The heritage and culture collections such as museum artwork can require several terabytes of storage, so this ability is a valuable feature,” Martin says.

Another innovation was to integrate image recognition capability into Portfolio, which Extensis accomplished through a strategic partnership with Clarifai, an AI company that specializes in processing visual information. Clarifai has created a general model for image recognition by processing millions of images and training the system. The model can now be applied to large collections of images to select predefined “smart keywords.”

“One application of this capability is to attach metadata to old image files that were stored without any metadata,” Martin says. “It can also be used to apply metadata to large sets of new files for which manual tagging would be very time-consuming.” Another benefit of using the automated capability to define metadata is to standardize the terminology used. “One individual might use the word ‘car’ when defining a type of vehicle and another might call it ‘auto,’” Martin says. “Using the taxonomy supported by Clarifai’s neural network, we are able to eliminate this type of subjectivity.”

Broad visibility

TBWA Worldwide is an advertising agency network comprised of about 300 agencies. “As we grew over the years and acquired more agencies and clients, including large regional and global brands, our agencies and offices needed to work together more effectively,” says Andy McCown, director of software development at TBWA Worldwide. TBWA chose Nuxeo to provide access to the digital assets throughout its network. “Nuxeo has the flexibility and scalability to support our diverse agencies,” McCown adds.

Nuxeo sustains many different use cases within TBWA. “Our larger agencies in New York, Los Angeles and Paris have the wherewithal and talent to use their own DAM systems if they desired, but Nuxeo provides them a common platform, centrally managed, so it is attractive to them.” McCown says. “The smaller agencies do not generally have the resources for an enterprise-scale system, so they value Nuxeo as a resource they could not otherwise have and can manage all their assets in a Nuxeo repository.” The platform also provides the required security to ensure that users can access only the assets for which they have the proper permissions.

In some cases, multiple agencies in the TBWA network are supporting the same client and benefit from having visibility into each other’s work. In others, the lead agency for a client prepares the majority of the creative content and a regional agency carries out the localization actions for its market. In either of those cases, having a siloed approach poses problems, so a common platform is beneficial.

Nuxeo’s roots in enterprise content management (ECM) provide some options not usually seen in DAM systems. For example, in one case where invoices were not being well managed by an existing system, TBWA was able to configure a workflow that handled the process. “We can send assets in and out of Nuxeo easily because it integrates well with other systems,” McCown explains.

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