MM: What would’ve been some of the cutting-edge technologies that you wanted to make sure this provider or vendor incorporated in their offering?
BG: One would be that they were using XMP. Building their system with XMP, so that it was open to connect with other systems.
MM: XMP meaning the Extensible Metadata Platform and an open standard championed by Adobe? That’s a way of capturing metadata and putting it into the actual file. So when the file or asset leaves the repository, the metadata travels with it.
BG: Correct. I am not a tech person but I also understand that if it’s built on XMP—and that if another system I have here is built on XMP, it’s an open interface for us to try to figure out how to link them together if they need to share information with each other, maybe link them by project number, or by file number.
AS: Thereby enhancing workflow connectivity by supplementing, or possibly even substituting system integration with file-based metadata interchange. [NOTE: Andrew Salop joins this interview. As a consultant, he worked with BJ Gray in implementing the DAM at Victoria’s Secret]
MM: So we’re not just talking about being about to send a file—an asset—from one system to another. XMP also provided the basic architecture for two systems to share metadata and assets in some sort of collaborative or reciprocal process. What other technology did you want to have in terms of considering a state of the art platform?
BG: XMP encompasses part of what is needed for the metadata but the other part was a company that was developing flexibility with the metadata schema. Metadata drives what we are doing, drives the rules of how our system works based on detailed (loaded) search capabilities and image rights expiration. All the importance is in the metadata so we needed to be able to have lots of functionality when updating, changing or viewing the metadata.
The high-speed file transfer technology came about while I was working with the company. I did not think of needing it up front but now I can’t imagine not having it. High Speed file transfer is a huge, huge plus.
MM: Tell us a little bit more about that.
BG: It’s developed by a vendor called Aspera and partner with the company that built our DAM which is Industrial Color. The DAM application is called GLOBALedit. Using Aspera allows the images to upload or download in minutes or seconds versus hours. Like using an FTP site, a big image from an FTP site could take a long time to pull down, and hold up someone’s computer. Aspera’s high-speed file transfer makes images down or upload super fast. It saves so much time on the vendor’s side when they pull massive amounts of images down for retouching or printing. It’s just incredible. An example would be 1 GB file downloads in about 7 seconds with a 20Mbps connection. So it’s really, really fast.