Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, GSD&M is a full-service advertising agency encompassing all advertising aspects of client business including print, television, radio, video, digital ads, social media and more. With 44 years of rich history, the company has several notable clients in different industries within its umbrella. Southwest Airlines, John Deere, Goodyear, AT&T, U.S. Air Force, Hampton Inn and Walgreens are some of their clients. Southwest Airlines has been associated with GSD&M for over 30 years, which is relatively unheard of in the advertising industry!
Challenge: Find a New Enterprise Platform for Digital Asset Management (DAM) Capable of Keeping up with Rapid Business and Technology Changes
GSD&M had been using a DAM solution which was selected over ten years ago to computerize its paper-based creative assets for internal and customer access. As business needs and technology changed, however, the company's legacy DAM solution was unable to keep up.
"By the time we got [software] updates, the underlying and external technologies had already changed many times over. Almost immediately, we needed more updates," says Lisa McIntyre, Digital Asset Management Librarian for GSD&M. "Updates started to slow down and did not address fundamental issues."
The company's legacy DAM did not offer proper cross-browser support, while relying heavily on plug-ins.
"[Plug-ins] were updated in such a manner we could not keep up. Java and Flash had to be constantly updated or the DAM would not work," McIntyre explains. "We also found that we still had people sharing files on file shares and via email attachments. We realized we needed to change our DAM platform and 'break up' with our [legacy] vendor."
After an in-depth RFP and multi-vendor review, GSD&M selected the Nuxeo Platform as its new enterprise DAM solution.
Solution: Nuxeo Platform for Agile Enterprise DAM
GSD&M was already aware of Nuxeo and was impressed with its constant advancement of the Nuxeo Platform's enterprise-level functionality.
"One of the huge benefits of the Nuxeo Platform is that it's just so much more agile, responsive and extensible than anything we've had before," says McIntyre. "Also, it's just amazing how quickly hotfixes go into effect and features are released."
During the first phase of installation, the GSD&M team replaced its legacy DAM tool with the Nuxeo Platform. The team used Nuxeo's out-of-the box Digital Asset Management component to display thumbnail previews of documents and images, while also enabling users to preview any file (such as Illustrator or Photoshop) with no access to the associated application (i.e., Adobe Creative Cloud) required.
The team also needed to ensure people could continue to work as they were accustomed to, whether on their desktops or using a web application, while enforcing enterprise access rights and contractual obligations it has to its clients. Nuxeo Drive provides this key functionality by synchronizing content between the local desktop and the Nuxeo content repository, on premise or in the cloud.
The GSD&M team's usability studies with the web applications have confirmed end-user excitement about the Nuxeo Platform. They are impressed with its streamlined capability and the look and feel.
"Nuxeo provides our users with the same kinds of controls they're already used to, such as pinning a document or sharing a file via a link," says McIntyre. "We had actually lost the ability to share a link to content with our previous tool,"
McIntyre notes that capability was restored, thanks to the Nuxeo Platform's permanent linking feature, which automatically updates a link if the underlying content is moved---a big win for GSD&M end users.
Easy Out of the box Configuration as well as Developer-friendly APIs for Advanced Functionality
Although McIntyre is not an application developer, she and a fellow nonprogrammer colleague are able to configure substantial parts of the DAM using Nuxeo Studio, a configuration and customization environment with an easily operated graphical interface, provided as a hosted web-based tool.
For example, McIntyre and her colleague built the sample Digital Asset Management page shown below using just Nuxeo Studio. The page provides video viewing, storyboard and video file conversion on demand (enabling much easier sharing of videos with clients and faster work processes) and was created with no programming.
"The Nuxeo Studio tool is awesome," says McIntyre. "We are trying to do as much as we can within Nuxeo Studio so we don't have to move outside into our own IDE simply because of the ease of use."
Nuxeo Studio has given GSD&M the freedom to utilize its developer time much more efficiently by enabling business users to put many of the desired configurations in place without programming. This saves development time and the developers can focus more on creating advanced web services and external workflows using the Nuxeo Platform's extensive APIs.
For example, the legacy DAM system provided an electronic rendering of physical manila folder job jackets containing paper files and notes for a given ad project, stored in electronic cabinets. Using the Nuxeo API, developers have created a web service that automatically creates these job jackets as part of an integrated digital work order process.
A new work order is generated based on an external form submitted by the client. The form-based information is exported as XML, which is then used by the Nuxeo API to automatically create a job jacket complete with nested folders, assigned permissions and, very importantly, automatically inherited metadata. GSD&M personnel can simply put creative assets for a client into the folders without having to create the job jackets.
"We are using Nuxeo's metadata inheritance functionality to ensure new files are going into the system as they should, and users see those files where they expect to see them," says McIntyre. "The Nuxeo Platform has let us use metadata to build virtual navigations that are relevant to the user to be able to present information to them where and when they need it."
Migrating from the original legacy system's process to the new, value-added process on the Nuxeo-powered DAM has been easy and straightforward.
"I see smiles on the developers' faces all the time," says McIntyre. "We can tell that the Nuxeo Platform has been built by developers and there is forethought applied to how things are done and not just pegged on at the end. It's a platform built for developers by developers, but you haven't missed out business users like me."
Future-proof Functionality Well Beyond Traditional Digital Asset Management
In addition to its Digital Asset Management system, GSD&M has a separate business content management platform for its Intranet/Extranet business content. Moving forward, GSD&M plans to combine both of these capabilities within the Nuxeo Platform to avoid users having to toggle back and forth between two systems, or pointing users to different locations based on what type of information they need. This major step forward will utilize even more of the Nuxeo Platform collaboration and workflow capabilities as well as content and DAM capabilities.
Because Nuxeo provides a true, easily extensible enterprise platform rather than a packaged software solution, GSD&M will be able to use the Nuxeo Platform to extend its capabilities beyond Digital Asset Management to include some of those roles currently handled by other Enterprise Content Management (ECM) applications.
"We see that we can do many things with the Nuxeo Platform that go beyond traditional DAM," McIntyre says. "We've found what we believe to be a best in class platform that will meet our needs and allow us to service our company and clients in ways that we have not been able to do before."