July 26, 2010

Daimler Trucks NA

Daimler Trucks North America improves operational efficiency around MarCom assets.

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Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading producer of medium-duty trucks and specialized commercial vehicles.

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, DTNA manufactures, sells and services several renowned commercial vehicle brands including Freightliner Trucks,Western Star and Thomas Built Buses. Through the company’s affiliates, DTNA is also a leading provider of heavy and medium-duty diesel engines and other components.The company’s strategic partners in the North American commercial vehicles market include Daimler Truck Financial and TravelCenters of America.

Selecting a Digital Asset Management Solution

Until 2008, the Corporate Communications and Marketing groups at DTNA managed an archive of digital files in a DAM solution shared with Chrysler. This archive consisted primarily of product photos, but also included logos and line art. After the DaimlerChrysler split, they were left without a DAM solution, and needed to find one of their own.

Tasked with managing the digital assets for over 14,000 employees at DTNA, the Communications and Marketing groups began their search for a new solution. Before they began evaluating solutions they spent a considerable amount of time gathering information about what was needed in a DAM. They put together a requirements document that ranked desired features in order of importance.

Among the highest priority requirements were the following:

• Secure, controlled web access for all staff members

• Easy access for a large number of users (e.g. Single Sign-On capability)

• Excellent search capability • Intuitive / user friendly interface for non-technical users • Support for a range of critical formats • Good zoom capability for images

After an exhaustive search and evaluation of several options, Daimler Trucks North America settled on NetXposure’s enterprise Digital Asset Management solution with the Single Sign-On module option.

“NetXposure was one of several vendors that we consulted with in seeking a new digital asset management system. Not only was the application that they offered, technology-wise, superior to the others that we previewed, we were also impressed by the entire team, particularly in their depth of knowledge in the latest technologies.

NetXposure was incredible to work with. Our project manager stated several times over that he had never had a project go as smoothly as this one. I attribute a large part of this to NetXposure’s willingness to work with us, troubleshoot issues (even when they were outside of their control), and technical expertise.

Within days of our application’s launch, I had more than 2,000 new users successfully logged in using the Single Sign-On solution they provided without a single problem or negative response and several very positive comments. I was very impressed with NetXposure’s ability to deliver exemplary results.”

Molly Lee, Interactive Communications Coordinator. Daimler Trucks North America

Single Sign-On Technology

Single Sign-On (SSO) is a mechanism whereby a single action of user authentication and authorization can permit a user to access all computers and systems throughout an organization (where there is access permission) without the need to enter multiple usernames / passwords.

NetXposure’s Single Sign-On technology allows users in a large organization like Daimler Trucks North America to bypass the traditional login screen each time they access the DAM, yet still guarantees secure user authentication.

The main underlying system for Single Sign-On is the CAS or “Central Authentication Service” server. This is an open source, Java-based Single Sign-On solution developed at Yale University that is widely adopted by many universities and companies world-wide. It is compatible with Active Directory and supports both LDAP and Kerberos protocols. It also supports SAML protocol for ticket authentication. All Web applications are configured to talk to CAS server via SSL. CAS server is responsible for authentication of the user, and decides whether or not to re-route the user to the target Web application.

The following are the main steps in the authentication protocol:

1)The user attempts to access an application using its URL.The user is redirected to the CAS login URL over an HTTPS connection, passing the name of the requested service as a parameter.The user is presented with a username/password dialog box.

2) The user enters ID and password details and CAS attempts to authenticate the user. If authentication fails, the target application never hears about it — the user remains at the CAS server.

3) If authentication succeeds, then CAS redirects the user back to the target application, appending a parameter called a ticket to the URL. CAS then attempts to create an in-memory cookie called a ticket-granting cookie.This is done to allow for automatic re-authentication later — if present, then it indicates that the user has already successfully logged in and the user avoids having to re-enter his username and password.

4) The application then validates that this is a correct ticket and represents a valid user by calling the CAS ServiceValidate URL by opening an HTTPS connection and passing the ticket and service name as parameters. CAS checks that the supplied ticket is valid and is associated with the requested service. If validation is successful, CAS returns the username to the application.

Benefits of DAM + Single Sign-On at DTNA

While it’s difficult to determine how much time is saved at DTNA due to the installation of NetXposure’s Digital Asset Management solution + Single Sign-On technology, clearly it has made a difference. Employees can now find their own approved image assets without having to request help from busy marketing managers or from expensive agency resources.

One shortcoming of the previous DAM used by DTNA was the lack of helpful metadata associated with each asset.While there were a great many images available on the system, they were sometimes hard to retrieve using a keyword search. Before the launch of the current system, every asset was fully vetted to ensure that proper tags and descriptions were associated with each image.

Easy access to the system was considered critical from the start. If employees and dealers had to memorize yet another login and password, the DAM would never find widespread acceptance. Since its implementation, the single sign on component has allowed thousands access to the system seamlessly, greatly contributing to widespread acceptance.

About NetXposure

NetXposure delivers software solutions that reduce the time and cost of content production, maximize ROI from media assets, and streamline the workflows of managing large libraries of digital files.With a history as an industry pioneer in developing Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), NetXposure has become a leader in delivering Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions to organizations of all sizes across a wide range of industries.

Founded in 1995, NetXposure is headquartered in Portland, Oregon with offices in London, England and Tokyo, Japan. For more information visit www.netx.net or call 503.499.4342.

July 26, 2010


At the Henry Stewart Digital Asset Management Conference in New York City (May 20-21) Steven Moore, the Database Administrator from the Museum of Modern Art, was a featured presenter. He discussed the museum’s successful approach to technical integration of NetXpoure’s DAM with legacy collections management systems (such as TMS from Gallery Systems) using NetXposure’s Web Services API.

February 16, 2010

Mercy Corps

Global relief organization utilizes NetXposure technology to remotely distribute time-sensitive image and video presentations from a centralized, web-based DAM system to display monitors in the lobby of their new Portland, Oregon headquarters.

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Mercy Corps International utilizes NetXposure’s Public Display CMS technology to remotely distribute image and video presentations from a centralized, web-based Digital Asset Management system to display monitors in the lobby of their new Portland, Oregon headquarters.

As visitors enter the lobby at Mercy Corps International’s brand new global headquarters building in Portland, Oregon — a LEED-Platinum rated architectural gem in the city’s Old Town District — they are first greeted by a receptionist, and then by striking images from crisis hot spots around the globe from high definition Samsung monitors mounted to the walls.

While the main television tuned to CNN shows news coverage of recent natural disasters around the globe, additional monitors show Mercy Corps relief efforts taking place in those vary regions. One monitor shows images of rebuilding efforts for recent tsunami victims in the Pacific Islands. Another focuses on relief for victims of an Indonesian earthquake that occurred only the day before.

The proverb, “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true for Mercy Corps, one of the world’s leading global humanitarian organizations with over 3,700 professionals working amid disasters, conflict and chronic poverty. Complex stories of suffering and oppression, as well as progress and hope are often described with an image or short video, making them powerful means to inspire, educate and raise awareness of the agency’s mission and global relief efforts. These images have been instrumental in telling Mercy Corps’ story, and the stories of those it helps.

Mercy Corps’ creative services team utilizes NetXposure’s Public Display CMS technology in conjunction with NetXposure’s Digital Asset Management (“DAM”) solution to program content shown on the lobby monitors from a remote, web-based administrative console. The content is primarily image slideshows and video presentations that are drawn from the organization’s DAM, a web-based repository of over 50,000 digital images, documents and video organized with an extensive taxonomy system that allows for quick search and retrieval of specific files.

“Using NetXposure’s Public Display CMS to beam images of current relief efforts from the DAM to our lobby monitors is a great example of how were using technology to get the most out of our creative media assets. The ability to make changes or updates to presentations from the web interface, from wherever and whenever we want, gives us the flexibility to get the most out of time-sensitive content when delivering our message.”

Jennifer Dillan, Creative Services Director, Mercy Corps International

Digital Asset Management at Mercy Corps

Phil Ottum, a Photo Library Specialist at Mercy Corps, respectfully acknowledges the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 as the moment when it became apparent the organization needed a new approach to managing their digital archive.

“Managing the enormous amount of photographs coming in from the tsunami zone in Sri Lanka — both from field operatives and a large number of contracted photographers — became a big issue.”

At that time, Mercy Corps used a legacy image management system that served well as a file repository but lagged in management capabilities or editing and repurposing features.

DAM at Mercy Corps (continued) With search and retrieval topping the priority list, Mercy Corps began the search for a DAM system with robust and flexible metadata management capabilities, including customization and automation. The DAM also had to be cost effective, easy to maintain, and able to scale to meet the expected growth of digital content.

After careful consideration of other DAM offerings, Mercy Corps selected NetXposure, the first enterprise class Digital Asset Management solution builtwithanAdobeFlexuserinterface. Asidefromthevisuallycompelling and easy to use interface, Mercy Corps was drawn to NetXposure’s use of Adobe AIR technology to combine the flexibility of the Web with the responsiveness of the desktop.

In addition, NetXposure’s adherance to open standards technology , flexible Web Services API, and roundtrip-support for XMP metadata enabled Mercy Corps to improve workflow efficiencies and team collaboration, both of which contribute to lower costs and improved productivity for the organization.

Public Display CMS Technology

The purpose of NetXposure’s Public Display CMS technology is to provide a seamless and simplistic content management system to program digital content (e.g. image slideshows, video, live content, dynamic software applications) that will be remotely delivered to publicly viewable clients such as display monitors and interactive kiosks.

Technically, Public Display CMS relies on NetXposure’s Syndication technology, which provides standard XML feeds including RSS and Atom. The Public Display CMS module makes remote URL calls to the DAM, reading the XML configuration files so that it can authenticate against the DAM. Once registered it will communicate with the DAM periodically, looking for syndication updates such as the URL and name of the feed to pull from the DAM, so that it can display the associated content on the client monitor.

The Public Display CMS module is built with Adobe AIR technology, so it’s easy to install and runs on all major platforms (Windows, Mac, and even Linux). The only requirements are a client PC or Mac with the following: Adobe AIR, a network connection, and the Display CMS application. The client is a double-click install, and takes seconds to configure and deploy. All content selection is done from the main Digital Asset Management application, making administration a breeze — you can change your content from anywhere!

About NetXposure

NetXposure delivers software solutions that reduce the time and cost of content production, maximize ROI from media assets, and streamline the workflows of managing large libraries of digital files.With a history as an industry pioneer in developing Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), NetXposure has become a leader in delivering Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions to organizations of all sizes across a wide range of industries.

Founded in 1995, NetXposure is headquartered in Portland, Oregon with an offices in London, England and Tokyo, Japan. For more information visit www.netx.net or call 503.499.4342.