10 million thanks from E6 users

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Thu, Sep 06, 2018 @ 11:40 AM

Tags: E6, Xinet Plug-ins, Xinet

Last week, our Xinet interface E6 hit a major milestone - 10 Million page views! Since its launch 4 years ago, we've watched with awe as our users adopted, extended, evangelized and brought the best out of the NAPC product suite (and our development team). Click here for a free trial copy!

E6 Xinet19 DAM worldwide reach

Across 6 continents (dang you, Antarctica), 137 countries, and all 24 time zones, People are working faster, smarter, and more efficiently, every hour and everyday. I've had hundreds of conversations with users, gotten ideas and feedback, and worked the agile process to get the best product to market swiftly. We started from scratch - an entirely new development team, an entirely new attitude, and one huge blank slate.

We knew speed was paramount. Feedback to user actions critical. A beautiful, easy to use interface a must have. Mobile friendly or stay at home. Always ready, well in advance of the latest Xinet version was a non-negotiable checklist item. Improving navigation across all interfaces and reducing clicks was also a flat out requirement.

Thanks to agile methods and a fantastic team, it all got done! We released and started getting feedback, our development group became an even more manic whirl of ideas and creativity. We attacked metadata entry: creating a simple, intuitive, all-in-one single screen entry point. We added multiple ways to send Supermail - from the finder, and from our 'steal a link' feature. Our eyes are always focused on making production and sharing of assets easier.

Next we created beautiful new themes that are interactive and customizable; built out a screamingly fast and stable SSO with the IdP of your choice; did a complete rewrite of AFR to rigidly enforce DRM. The snowball was rolling, gathering size and momentum. Integrating site creation, login, and theming in one single screen and admin interface. Creating an API that will never change, allowing easy-peasy creation of Xinet plugins.

vFolders (dynamic collections of assets) eliminates the need to manually notify folks of new assets or new completed work. Alongside the automatic application of metadata, new things show up in a users Virtual folder. Xray (top level DAM search without logging in) is our latest feature. Find something, and grab that preview for your deck on the fly. Or login and get the hi-res version. Heck, open the asset directly in the finder from search results.

In sum, thanks for your love, care, and feedback. E6 allows Xinet users to see further and more accurately into their work and production solely because we stand on the shoulders of giants - the user community. Thank you!

To mark this milestone, we'd like to offer a free trial to the entire Xinet community. If you're looking for more from your Xinet interface, take E6 for a spin. Self installable, lives alongside any Xinet Portal install, it "just works". We'd love for you see what we've been up to, and maybe make your work lives a fair bit better.

 

Click here to D/L a copy of E6 and prepare to be blown away.

Super Thank you

Why We Went to Workfront’s LEAP User Conference

Posted by Mike Gershowitz on Tue, Jun 05, 2018 @ 07:21 PM

Tags: Xinet, workflow

NAPC has dedicated  25+ years to providing local network assistance to creative advertising marketers and focus groups supporting local businesses of all sizes.


We provide our clients with Xinet production digital asset management solutions to boost productivity, and as a result increase your income. As a natural extension of our business model we started working with ProofHQ about 5-years ago, and Workfront adopted us as a co-sales partner after their 2015 acquisition.


Why Our Clients Choose Xinet

Soon after deploying Workfront two of our largest brand marketing clients announced plans to continue their use of  Xinet, based on astounding prior results. For production-centric workgroups, when Xinet and “Modern” DAM solutions are put to the test our clients always choose Xinet.


Due to our deep direct experience servicing the unique needs of creative production environments we were able to confidently tell these clients:


“We’ll of course help in any/every way possible but please avoid any hasty moves; there’s much more to this puzzle than you’re currently aware.”



Psst..If your still not convinced see our amazing clients

 

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Xinet and Workfront The best of Both Worlds….

 

 

 

We Know Change Is Hard..

Creative Marketing Advertisers utterly freak out when they hear of some grand plan involving moving their very large (~ 10-100TB) work-in-process data volumes from a clunky old current in-house server room/closet to some sleek new cloud-based data repository.

 

Let’s Keep The Past In The Past

Clients that prefer to inappropriately web-host production-oriented digital assets find themselves struggling to keep up and start getting the “deer-in-the-headlights” look; others simply stare down at the floor and politely shake their heads “no;” the rest just outright rebel. With web-hosting production assets comes wasted time, energy, and high levels of disruption.

 

Before anyone can even begin a task, they find themselves killing time with extra coffee breaks and checking email all the while waiting for files to load, and either fear being fired for lagging productivity or feeling the need to eventually quit due to coffee interrupting sleep.

 

Their bosses also fear being fired when they ask Sr. management for more staff to meet the previously productivity level…

 

It’s Never To Late

Each client ultimately came back to us a couple months later with the same request: “Can you help us connect our Workfront projects to our Xinet assets?” We, of course, said “sure” and then went to LEAP to show off our seamless, bi-directional Workfront-Xinet interoperability.

 

For more information please visit: http://www.napc.com

 

Workfront Partner Network Logo

 

Xinet Version 19

Posted by Robert Sullivan on Thu, Nov 02, 2017 @ 02:05 PM

Tags: Xinet, Xinet19, DAM, North Plains

Northplains’ Xinet version 19 introduced several new features that you may have missed and you might want to have another look at because some of them are pretty cool.

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Apple put the handwriting on the wall a while ago that they were phasing out their own protocol (AFP) and Northplains has embraced that long coming change by providing a path to Apple’s implementation of the SMB protocol (SMB2/SMBX). Northplains has reworked their licensing packages by creating larger total logins of AFP users, (until end of life by Apple) and doubling that number for concurrent SMB logins.

So if your older version license has 32 AFP users, your version 19 license will have 50 AFP users and 100 SMB users. So they’re rounding the AFP numbers up and then doubling that new number for SMB users. That’s a pretty clean resolution.

The new version 19 license will work with Samba 4 and higher. Samba 4 out of the box is a much more secure, overall better version of the stack for connections to these servers.

Northplains has also addressed one of the most common client requests that I've gotten and it’s about upload reporting. With version 19 we can now create an aggregate upload email action. Gone are the days of getting an email for every-single-asset-uploaded. Now when a user uploads several assets it’s aggregated as one journaled report/email notification. Whether it’s several assets or a hundred, the report is based on the upload session, not each individual asset.

Business Rules Filters were introduced in version 18 but administrators had to create and edit a JSON file to control how they worked. I’m not a code writer so I found it effective but a bit tedious.

With Xinet19 Northplains put the task into the GUI. I’m finding it very intuitive and easy to use and it gives you some very powerful controls to hide assets and even folders without having to pay as much attention to siloing protected data.  

We’d be happy to show you all of this! If you're not already on 19, we can get you scheduled for an upgrade to Xinet19 ASAP. Please reach out and lets keep your productivity improvements always on the rise.  

For more information on Xinet and DAM.

 Read: DAM for Creatives

 

When $10 Billion companies fail at security, how can I succeed?

Posted by Grant Mongardi on Mon, May 08, 2017 @ 10:11 AM

Tags: MFA, Security, Phishing

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This month it was reported that Google and Facebook were both victims of a phishing attack that netted the Lithuanian man perpetrating the scam in excess of 100 million dollars. So let's get this straight; two of the largest technology companies in the world, both of whom probably have some of your private data stored in their technology, fell victim to a phishing attack. These are companies that make 10s of billions of dollars every year in revenue. They have 10s of thousands of employees, a large portion of which work solely on the security of their products. So how on earth can your tiny IT department by comparison protect your small-to-medium sized business?

Training your employees to be aware of these things just isn't enough anymore. You must implement mechanisms that not only prevent this sort of social engineering, but do it in a way that allows your employees to continue to be productive and effective. Informing the employees at your company of the dangers of phishing scams is definitely valuable, but doing that and showing how the mechanisms that you've implemented help them prevent that ensures that every time they use your solution they'll be reminded of why. This helps ensure continued diligence on the part of those users. It's no longer just the "draconian IT overlords" making their lives more difficult, it becomes a story of how you helped them save their job.

By adding mechanisms such as multi-factor authentication, oath tokens, and mobile device management among other processes and procedures, you can prevent if not completely negate the likelihood of one of your employees falling prey to one of these phishing scams as these 2 technology giants did. Seriously, you can do this in a way that fits your budget and still lets your employees be productive and effective.

Whether your trying to prevent such a security nightmare or simply trying to ensure you pass an audit with a gold star, NAPC can help you choose exactly the solutions you need to make this all work. Contact NAPC today for a free consultation or demo of our offerings.

What a long strange trip it's been. Xinet dam development at NAPC

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 03:25 PM

Tags: agile, Xinet, Elegant, E6



It's been 3 years since I took the NAPC development team back under my wing. In that time we've rewritten our products, gotten amazing results for our customers as well as record sales, added new resellers, and had a huge surge in our market share as people have come to realize the NAPC difference.

 

Here's a quick review of what's been going on behind the scenes. I was going to make a fancy timeline, but we did so much so quickly I just couldn't wrap my mind around how to show it graphically.


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 Yes! We hit the 3 Million mark for E6 usage!


How we started:

We implemented Agile, I became a signatory of the Manifesto for Agile Software. Agile is almost like CrossFit, you just can't help but tell folks you're into it. It's world changing, man...

We rebuilt product licensing from the ground up, planned out self installers and autoupdaters, automated version tracking of customer code, and about a bazillion other things you never see. Why should you care? We cut about 2.5 man weeks of labor a month when we were done. That's time we can perform QA, Document, and Code. The things that matter to YOU.

Once the foundation was poured and leveled:

We dove into the products- how they were used, and what could they become? We spoke to every customer, and discussed where we were heading. Some of these sessions got downright electric, as folks got what we were thinking, and the ideas were flying back and forth. A TON of where we are now came from that, so give yourselves a golf clap if you're one of the 200 or so folks I spoke with.

Here's a short list of major features that came from those calls-

Better info about version changes (thanks John)

Easier navigation without moving from the keyboard (thanks Evan and krewe)

More feedback (damn near everyone, but especially Charlie)

Documentation (emberassingly widespread, but the tip-o-the-hat goes to Carol)

Self updaters (thanks RP. I mean our resellers)

Drag and drop file management (Ginnie)

23 different SM improvements (Ginnie  ;)  )

A 'real' metadata interface (Emily and Dave)

Awesome uploader interface (Charlie and Emily)

Make AFR work (Todd, Kevin)

The list goes on and on. I was looking over my contemporaneous notes, and the thing that stands out is your desire to be part of the process, and help us to help you.

We dove into wireframing, blueskying, and figuring futures out as we were also doing final bug fixes for our existing suite. The developers mandate was to squash bugs, not put some scotch tape over 'em. After numerous insurrections were put down, this really started paying off. Again, the time we saved here allowed us to do what YOU care about, delivering amazing new tech that makes your worklife easier, better, and simpler.

 

The good stuff- releasing code:

Since we live and breath Agile, we started releasing code. First out the gate was the basics, with a couple ooh-ahh factors. Then we started adding in functionality as the market demanded. Turns out we're not mind readers, and things that seemed important to me no one else cared about. Alternatively, things that felt 'buried away' were actually key to production. Agile lets us react immediately as demand changes and evolves. Hey, did I tell you we do agile?

Oh, and of course we started a formal Beta program, so users could get in early.  I cannot thank the early adopters and Beta testers enough. Power users helping deliver powerful, rock solid features.

On a whimsical note, the developers made a video, showing the lighter side of the last 3 years :) We all love this stuff!

NOTE: mildly NSFW

 

 

 

 

 



A heartfelt thanks to all, and a bonus

I'd like to personally thank everyone involved, from the customers, to the developers, to the NAPC employees who  made this possible. We have a great team, one I'm incredbly proud of. Since you made it allll the way to the bottom, click this link if you want to beta our rewrite of CreativeBanks- CB5. We now give you a single interface to create and brand sites - CB5 is built into E6, so there's only one place to go. Fewer buttons, far less bouncing between screens, this cuts about 50% of deployment time from what's needed to rollout a landing page/E6 site.


 

Veni-Vidi-Probi

Posted by Scott Tully on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 @ 10:36 AM

Tags: E6, Production Central, productivity, Softproofing, ProofHQ, Elegant


Latin anyone?

Julius Caesar wrote the famous "Veni. Vidi. Vici." [ I came; I saw; I conquered. ] in a letter to the Roman Senate around 47 A.D. Today, I've modified the statement, replacing Vici with Probi.

I came; I saw; I approved.

You've got the industry's most popular Digital Asset Management platform: Xinet™. You've got the industry's best interface/toolset for Xinet: Elegant 6. So, what is your department/organization missing? An integrated softproofing solution that humbles even the most demanding of approval cycles.

I'd like to introduce Production Central™, the Xinet plugin that transforms your already potent production platform into a professional proofing portal. With Production Central, the proofing and approval process couldn't be easier or more flexible.

And you guessed it, the Production Central plugin is engineered for your E6-driven production environment !E6-PCE-Demonstration Xinet Dishes.pngProduction Central seamlessly joins E6 with proofHQ® to deliver an intelligent, enterprise-level softproofing solution. Infinitely configurable, Production Central leverages your existing [and future] job structure(s) to automatically generate and manage proofHQ proofs and send email notifications.

Probi

No matter your approval cycle's simplicity or complexity, Production Central facilitates real-time collaboration and status updates on every proof.

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The colorful, easy to interpret, Proofing Dashboard ensures that Reviewers, Approvers and Managers alike can, at a glance, see who has [or hasn't] Opened, Commented or made a Decision on every proof out On Approval.

Impromptu Inclusion

Need to add someone to the proof at the last minute? No problem. Need to modify the deadline? Click and reset it. How about corraling perpetual procrastinators? Production Central can automatically chase'em with time-sensitive, reminder email. Time for an immediate, executive decision? Make it and move on. Need to alert everyone assigned to the proof? Use a custom BUZZWORD in your proof comment to reach everyone. On the road? Approve, reject, mark-up on the go with the proofHQ app for smart phones and tablets.

Production Central will empower your personnel without adding more work.

Schedule a Production Central Demo Today !

Contact your NAPC Account Manager to schedule a Production Central demonstration, today !

2 million thanks to the E6 users! Xinet19 ready, and some hints...

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Thu, Jan 05, 2017 @ 02:56 PM

Tags: E6


2 Million pageviews, and record E6 sales in 2016!

 

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We reached a milestone right before the end of 2016- 2 Million pageviews in E6, our Xinet interface!! Below is the top 1/2 dozen reasons to make the switch, and some ideas on how to get more out of E6 if you're already running it.

I personally do a lot of outreach to users, asking for feedback, and making sure they keep me and the developers 'honest'. We also ran a survey asking for feedback on the adoption and rollout process, making sure we kept as simple as possible in a complicated world. Below are some reasons to jump aboard, and maybe some ways of using the software you didnt know....



Top benefits to switching to E6-

1) Simple, simple, simple, sharing of files. The ability to send templated, preformatted emails with clickable links and previews of files from the desktop or a Browser is HUGE. Right click and BOOM. Done. #sharingiscaring

SM-finder.png

 

2) Advanced Batch Keyword Apply. Change metadata en masse on a bunch of files. This alone is worth the price of admission. Apply metadata to all, metadata to some, erase metadata. All in one view. Simple. Done. Oh, and you get the same interface on our 'Upload' page too! #cybrariansrock

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3) Speed. E6 is fast. Really fast. When we were doing discovery on rewriting our interface, *everyone* said if we had to choose between a feature or speed, opt for speed. We heard you. Every new feature, every new design get's benchmarked and optimized for speed. Everytime. We were always performance geeks on the hardware side, it's translated to our software too. #screaminglyfast

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4) Ease of Navigation. We've worked incredibly hard on the UX/UI. Minimal clicks to get anywhere, intuitive, easy to change interface. It's a very powerful, option rich software suite. Our mandate is to bridge the chasm between power users and the casual occasional user. We've seen interface and how to questions plummet in number since E6 came out, and our customers report the same. #easy-peasy

4) Feedback. Feedback. Feedback. We're manic about user feedback. Uploading, downloading, adding items to baskets, submitting forms, every interaction gives you positive acknowledgement of the action. One of the design criteria is a user never has to guess if they clicked a button, especially on a process that takes a while, like uploads or downloads. #feedbackisthenewfeature

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5) Drag-n-Drop File Management in the browser. Move or copy files and folders from E6 with ease. No extra clicks, no 3 or 4 steps to get to where you need- drag 'em into the lightbox, navigate to their new home, and select copy or move. Done. #noway,yesway!

6) Ease of Administration. You can update to the newest version with a single click. We QA all releases, so you know you're getting rock solid improvements. Thanks to the modern architecture, no need to recreate sites after upgrade. Bob's your uncle, all sites are updated automagically. #youhaveadayjob

7) Ready for Xinet 19. Since 17.7.1, E6 has been ready on day of release for every Xinet upgrade. No waiting, no upcharges for compatability. And, if you have customized E6 on your own, we promise not to ever break anything. #readyoutofthegate

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Between performance, features, and ease of admin, E6 is simply the best Xinet interface out there. #DAMawesome

If you don't have it already, get a free trial copy here:

E6 Demo Download

 

Feedback and comments always welcome, the software is where it is mainly due to the vociferous, avid user base. Thanks to all for the tips, suggestions, and occasionally tough love!



 

Lose Waste in 2017

Posted by Scott Tully on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 12:19 PM

Tags: support, process, improvement


I resolve to...

In the last week of the year, it is not uncommon to be considering a New Year's resolution. Many of us put our health at the top of the list, resolving to quit smoking, eat better and exercise more. I suspect that your work or workplace is worthy of a resolution or two; as nobody is, nor is any process, perfect.

At your place of work, make a healthy bottom-line difference by resolving to lose waste.

That's right, Lose waste. And my friend, Tim Woods, can help.


Who is Tim Woods?

Tim Woods isn't a consultant or personal motivation trainer. Tim Woods isn't even a "he". Tim Woods is a tool, a mnemonic device in the toolbox of every Lean/Six Sigma practitioner. You see, Tim Woods helps us recall "The Eight Wastes".

The Eight Wastes are:

TTransport – Moving people, products & information
IInventory – Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
MMotion – Bending, turning, reaching, lifting

WWaiting – For parts, information, instructions, equipment
OOver production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required
OOver processing – Tighter tolerances, higher grade materials than are necessary
DDefects – Rework, scrap, incorrect documentation
SSkills – Under utilizing capabilities, delegating tasks with inadequate training



Get Lean

Now, regardless of your role, rank or position, take a look at the tasks and operations you perform while working. No matter the activity, there is sure to be one or more of the eight wastes in play. So, in these final days of 2016, resolve to lose waste in 2017 by making Tim Woods and NAPC the cornerstone of your process improvement program.

Start the new year right by making sure you and your teammates have Flathead U [your on-demand, self-help video resource] bookmarked in the browser. Schedule a Xinet System Audit [its covered in your support agreement] to make sure the platform is operating as efficiently as possible. Arrange for some topic-driven training to make sure you and your colleagues are masters of your domain. Check with your NAPC Account Manager to see if you have any unused Professional Services time [an example of "I" inventory] remaining. Request a workflow audit to identify wastes [notably the dead-WOOD] that could be remedied with a demonstration, instruction or intelligent automation.

You can do it, and NAPC is here to help !



 

Joe Sent Me. Multi-Factor Authentication for the Roaring 2020s.

Posted by Grant Mongardi on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 10:31 AM

Tags: AD, Centrify, Security, cloud security

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In the days of Prohibition getting your Appletini was much more difficult than it ever should be. Foremost was the fact that they didn't exist. Other than that you would need to know where a speakeasy was, have the password ("Joe sent me"), and not be a copper (the law enforcement kind, not the British penny). In fact this was Multi-factor Authentication: something you know, something you have, and something you are (or are-not in this case). NAPC can help you revisit these roaring 20's but for the 2020s, and perhaps help you cut down on your Appletini consumption in the process.

Multi-factor Authentication or "MFA" is one of the buzz-words of 2016. Everyone is saying it but many people don't quite understand what the mechanism means to their security. It doesn't just mean that it protects against the brute-force attacks we've now had in our system logs for years, it also means more elaborate exploits can be mitigated

Take this years huge growth in spear-phishing attacks. Some of the largest, most security-concious corporations and government entities fell prey to spear-phishing attacks that involved advanced social engineering combined with compromised email accounts. For the attacker access to the victims email account means that they first analyze the communications in the victims inbox and craft an email interaction masquerading as someone the victim knows and convince them to do something that they wouldn't otherwise do, such as wiring money or sending proprietary information.

Add multi-factor to Windows logins

There are many things you can do to help avoid such a scenario, however MFA is probably the most effective. If all of your internal and privileged resources are protected by MFA then you've short-circuited the attacker at the outset. If the attacker doesn't have the 2nd factor for your email account login then they can't even get started. It doesn't matter if they have password, the 2nd factor prevents them from ever using it.

But attacks  aren't just limited to email. Cloud services are effected as well. Whether it's your office suite, your CRM suite, or even your accountiing solution, you really must protect all of your corporate services. Any little bit of information about your company or internal processes can give a smart attacker a leg-up on how to convince your employees into doing something that they probably wouldn't normally do.

Lastly there is what's inside your firewall: people. People have flaws, and mitigating those flaws can make your work an endless nightmare. Many of the things that an employee might do to ruin your weekend aren't necessarily intentional, but nonetheless can make you wish you could crush their skull with a rock. Ok, perhaps that's a bit extreme but the sentiment is similar. Preventing users from being their own worst enemy can extend inside your firewall as well. Adding MFA to servers, desktops, even network hardware will ensure that nobody inadvertantly has access to something that they shouldn't. Also, sharing their account information "for convenience" becomes useless. Also by adding MFA to a tunable privilege escalation mechanism you ensure that they are both the actual person that they say they are and are allowed to do what they are doing, and for everytime they do it. 

Contact NAPC today and we can help you navigate all of these issues and address any concerns you might have with reliable, secure solutions from Centrify. NAPC has the expertise in all of these technologies and experience in addressing all of your issues. Whether you have an audit pending or have had an "event" that you need kept confidential, NAPC can help.

Learn More about securing your Enterprise with MFA 

Xinet V19 pre-release webinar

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 @ 11:24 AM

Tags: Xinet, E6, NAPC


There's big news on the horizon- join us and get a preview of whats coming up in December in the world of Xinet. NP is holding a pre release webinar this December 1st, going over their next major release- Version 19. I won't spoil their thunder, but there's some great enhancements coming.

 

We've been running a  Version 19 beta internally for a few weeks, and it's great stuff. Alongside major news about SMB support and SAML there are some really, really cool improvements in the display layer.

E6 of course will be fully compliant and able to take advantage of the new nuanced abilities provided by the upgrade right out of the gate. We'll also have a information-rich list view in E6 at the same time, for users that need to see lots of files on each page, with metadata and a preview. It's DAM good, if you have that need.

Join us and NP on the 1st, and see what all the fuss is about!

 

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See you on December 1st