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5 things you didn't know you could do with modern Xinet!

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 @ 12:21 PM
  
  
  

                             Dollarphotoclub 65554378 resized 600

Everyone's busy. It feels like everyone is treading water, just trying to keep their heads above the surface. With the deluge of interruptions and understaffing, not to mention new corporate mandates, it's hard to stay current with the technology you already own.

Let NAPC help! We're holding a webinar this Thursday, Feb 26th. "5 things you didn't know you could do with Xinet".

We're going to show modern search with real world examples, Pilot coming to the rescue in a variety of situations, some new automation possibilities, as well as a little bit on modern archiving. All of these are geared towards real world situations, making the user experience better while taking load off admins. Oh, and a sneak peek at the next generation of NAPC's products (Don't tell anyone).

So, grap a cuppa, and join us at 3pm Eastern this Thursday, while Sully and I take you through the hottest and coolest in modern Xinet. Click the link below to register. We'll even send a calendar invite to make your life easier.

Register

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An asset management solution you’ll wish you had for tax time

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 09:19 AM
  
  
  

                     Dollarphotoclub 48738785

Right about now you, and the majority of our country’s population, are probably beginning the ritualistic hunt and peck of locating your financial asset documents to prepare for TAX SEASON. With a bit of scrambling and a boatload of stress (and vows that you’ll do things differently next year) eventually you’ll get through it...and wipe your brow, thankful that this time only comes one time a year.

Or does it?

If finding your visual assets at work is like preparing for tax season EVERY DAY, then you need another way...and that way is digital asset management (DAM). The reason is right there in the name; “management.” It’s a way to oversee, gather and group, and make work life so much easier. But DAM goes beyond just helping you find images.

According to Laura Fu, Customer Success Resource for NAPC and Digital Asset Management expert:

“DAM helps people DISCOVER content they didn't know existed or hadn't thought to look for...using a shared folder [not using DAM] on a company drive offers no policing, no standards. It's a free for all, so you must know exactly what you are looking for and where it lives.”

Working with a DAM solution is liberating and rewarding because it allows you to search and explore the way you would on Google and get a variety of options in return, not just the one you’re looking for.

Not working with a DAM solution (a.k.a. doing it the old fashioned way) is linear and limiting. With a filename, you get exactly what you’re looking for...and nothing more. Without a filename, you’re @#$!% out of luck.

Make finding the digital assets you need less taxing. Let a smart DAM solution help you work better, faster and more productively, every day!

 

                                                                       Learn More

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 steps toward a better work process

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Wed, Feb 04, 2015 @ 05:59 PM
  
  
  

                       Dollarphotoclub 71673318

Why do we get complacent? Why do we let things, like bad work processes, continue on “as is,” even if our “as is” stinks (and we know it)? Why do we enable our problems by compensating in other ways, at our own expense? Because climbing out of our comfort zone takes work, is uncertain and potentially risky. Yes, yes and yes. (Sorry, it is.)

So for those of you brave enough to say “what the hey, I’m going for it anyway,” here are four steps that can help you get the right information and confidence to build a platform for change, or at least a good argument for the consideration of change, within your team:

Step 1: Identify your problem spots...the roadblocks, the inconsistencies, the unorganized processes...all those things that keep you from producing the end product that you want, in the timeframe and budget that you need to work within. Once you know where your problems lie, you can begin the process of putting a name to the solution(s) that will fix them.  

Step 2: Google your problems using “normal people” words like, eliminate rounds of confusing comments. It’s actually better NOT to try to use fancy technical terms because, chances are, many other people have Googled the same way you are for the same sorts of problems and, chances are, they also didn’t know what they were looking for at the time. You might even notice that Google finishes your query for you as you type it into the search area. That means you are hot on the trail!!

Step 3: Research what comes up. Stay neutral...resist the urge to pick a solution at this point. Instead, do your homework and compare a few ebooks, white papers, slideshares, whatever you need to educate yourself so you can make a good comparison between a few viable contenders.

Step 4: Choose two or three solutions and do a deep dive...ask for free demos...why not, they’re FREE! Soon enough, the right choice will become very apparent and you will be ready to venture forth out of your comfort zone knowledgeable and prepared.

And for all your hard work, you’ll undoubtedly Achieve recognition as a thought leader and positive change maker in your company!

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Why you won't lose 35lbs, or switch to online collaboration, overnight

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 @ 02:47 PM
  
  
  


proofhq

 

 

 

 CHANGE THE WAY YOU WORK  CLICK FOR FREE DEMO

 

92% of New Year’s resolutions have already failed...and, sadly, that’s the norm year, after year. But these failed attempts aren’t due to lack of good intent, rather from a need for speed. You are not going to shed 35 pounds and become a shining icon of good health in one week. To achieve your goal requires a lifestyle change that begins with small steps. First comes the acknowledgement that change must happen, followed by careful meal and exercise planning. But nothing will make any difference if you don’t have the stamina to stick with it past the end of the month.


Likewise, if you walk into work on a Monday in January and say “let’s make our marketing department more productive,” it’s not going to happen overnight (or maybe not even by the end of the month). To achieve your goal takes a workstyle change. First comes the acknowledgement that a certain process must change. Then comes careful examination of your options; what will cut your costs, save you time and eliminate rounds of confusing comments? Which solution frees you up so you can put more focus on your end product? Most of all, which is easy to implement and use?  The transition must be accepted, and the process learned. Above all else, you and your team must have the stamina to stick with it for the long haul.


Over time, with patience, you will see a remarkable difference in how your clothes fit and the way you feel about yourself. Over time, with patience, you will see the remarkable end results of online collaboration, due to a more effective project management tool. For more on the topic of change in business read what our guest blogger, Shawn Herring, VP of Marketing, Proof HQ says in his piece about changing the way you work to become more marketing agile.


If you want a quick fix, then hurry off and organize your file cabinet (go on, git!). But if you want to make some really good change, sloooooow down and investigate our link below.


 

 CHANGE THE WAY YOU WORK  CLICK FOR FREE DEMO

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Give your office the gift of a digital approval process, because you know #PaperProofingSucks

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 10:10 AM
  
  
  

Christmas

 

The holiday season is here and with it begins the cheerful trickling in of holiday cards. You might already have a pile forming on your entryway table.

 They’re a little like presents, you might say. Open them and inside is a photo of family and friends, or friends’ kids (my how they’ve grown!), who you haven’t seen in the longest of times. Or at the very least there’s a warm greeting with an update on “things.”

Yes, good old-fashioned paper holiday cards are perfect. But have you ever considered sending them online instead? You might have, but you didn’t ever actually do it because of a plethora of challenges we can all relate to:

 -Digital is impersonal, even if you slug in their names and your signature in a script-like font,
-People generally love the traditional acts of opening the mailbox, finding a card, and tearing open the envelope
-You can display paper cards as part of your holiday décor and look at them all season long
-None of your great aunts or grandmas have computers, and they keep great records of who they do and don’t get cards from

So maybe it’s easier to just send paper cards. Fair enough. 

Now (seemingly unrelated, but you’ll see how they are shortly), when you think of your approval process at work, you think of paper too, right? Have you ever considered moving it all online instead? You might have, but you didn’t ever actually do it because of a plethora of challenges we can all relate to:

-Digital, you are told, is impersonal because hand writing comments in red ink makes people feel like everyone’s actually “touched” the project (kumbaya)
-People generally feel safe with the traditional act of moving stacks of paper from desk to desk (what if there’s a computer glitch?!)
-You can’t get anyone to understand that all season long, you’re spending more on reams of paper than you would on this one solution
-None of the higher-ups do well with change, and this would jingle bell rock their worlds in a very bad way (and don’t think they’re not keeping record of that for review time)

So maybe it’s easier to just leave things the way they are. Sure is. But then it’ll be another year of miscommunications, blown budgets and deadlines…and we both know that’s not really what you want.

TO SAY a digital proofing and approval process is more streamlined, efficient and eliminates multiple rounds of back and forth IS EASY. To get everyone on board with this change takes more than a little holiday magic.

Look. You’ve done your research. You know there are better options out there. With the New Year swiftly approaching, now is the time to make the switch. Start clean and fresh…and paper free!

To make everyone happy, you can even send a paper card to make the announcement.

MAKE A RESOLUTION TO DITCH YOUR PAPER APPROVAL PROCESS!

 

START HERE
 

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Your Customers Changed. Did Your Marketing?

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Tue, Nov 04, 2014 @ 09:55 AM
  
  
  

 

whoami 

 

Contributed by Guest Blogger, Shawn Herring, VP of Marketing, Proof HQ

The evolution of customer experience is a topic that marketers cannot ignore any longer. It seems as if customers are exposed to a new way of doing something, finding something, or interacting with someone on a daily basis. From a customer standpoint, this is great. From a marketers standpoint, this poses an opportunity for some and a problem for others. What makes the difference between a marketer seeing the glass half full or half empty when it comes to customer experience? Their marketing agility.

Before we dive in, what are some macro-level changes causing changes in customer experience?

  • Global smartphone usage increasing more than 25% from the year before
  • More than 74% of adults online are now using social networking
  • Content production is continuing on an explosive growth curve

The constant change in mobility, connection, and content gives you an ever-growing number of ways to gather data and engage as a marketer. This can happen in real-time and either confirm that your plans are headed in the right direction, or tell you it’s time to “tweak” what you wanted to do. If you have the ability to capitalize on this, then you are clearly at an advantage. This is where agility becomes paramount.

After stepping back and looking at how agile marketers have responded to the ever-changing environment, most marketing teams are focusing on three core areas: people, processes, and platforms. Each area requires a different type of adjustment that has internal and external implications, so there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution that everyone can implement. It must be tailored to each company’s objectives, target market, and resources.

PEOPLE

Marketing teams are taking on more responsibilities and the roles are becoming more specialized. When you look around at your own marketing team, you should be able to see it. Is everyone on the team capable of making changes to the website, running a trade show event, designing graphics, and writing up thought leadership? If your answer is, “yes, everyone on my team could do that,” my challenge to you would be — should they? 

Each marketing channel, especially in digital, requires a depth of knowledge in order to make it truly effective. People should know WHAT they are doing, WHY they are doing it, and HOW they do it. More often than not, managers are providing the WHAT and WHY, while waiting for the generalists to figure out the HOW. Without specialization, generalists are having to figure out the HOW every time they attempt to complete the task / initiative. Thus giving you both an inefficient process and ineffective results.

My recommendation — Figure out how each person on your marketing team can specialize in a function that is tied to your overall marketing objectives. It will pay off in both the short and long term.

PROCESS

When the environment around people changes, it inherently changes how they work with others (i.e. the process). The manner in which today’s marketing organizations plan, iterate, and execute on projects has already changed and is not going to stop any time soon. Why does this matter? Because it increases the potential of friction between people.

By definition, more friction means more resistance. Friction is increased when you constantly try to do the same thing over and over while everything else is changing. The result is poor quality, increased rework, and/or missed deadlines. Instead, look at each initiative through a new lens and determine what needs to change with your process based on the other variables impacting it.

My recommendation - Reduce friction by assigning specific responsibilities to people and have a plan that is adapted to the current initiative. Never accept the response “this is how we have always done it.”

PLATFORMS

When you begin to understand who should be working on something (i.e. the people) and how they should be doing it (i.e. the process), you can now work toward automating it. From marketing operations all the way through the creative process, there are software solutions designed to streamline specific solutions.

So if there are solutions for all types of problems that marketers are facing, what is the issue? Picking the right solution to implement, not just the familiar one. Everyone has heard the phrase, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” This is the unfortunate truth when executing on marketing strategies. Teams constantly try to figure out how to make their existing systems work to fit the new and evolving needs of the people and processes. Since it is hard to justify allocating resources away from immediate top line growth, teams absorb the inefficiencies. If it is not addressed, this inefficiency builds project after project until… well, you know where I am heading with it.

My recommendation - Once you specialize roles (or at least certain functions) and begin implementing a process that is adapted for each project, look for a system that fits your specific team needs. Do not settle.

Becoming more agile in today’s marketing environment is imperative. Marketing agility is a must have as teams are required to know more, do more, in less time, and achieve better results. By taking a proactive approach to your people, processes, and platforms, your team’s ability to capitalize on the new customer experience is significantly improved. 


Evolve. Become Marketing Agile Now

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Five ways to tell if it’s time to upgrade your server

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 @ 09:41 AM
  
  
  

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If you’re one of the over 4 million people who pre-ordered the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus within the first 24 hours, you already get the idea that you need to upgrade to enjoy the very best in technology. And you knew, without actually being told, that when you bought your new Apple iPhone last year (or the year before, no matter, it wasn’t that long ago) there’d be a newer and better one soon enough. You’re willing to go through the expense year after year because you know that each generation of phone has a more powerful architecture to handle your increasingly demanding, and changing, mobile tasks.


Yet when you bought your enterprise server, let’s say, five years ago, you pretty much called it a done deal. It was a significant expense, though worth it. After all, your infrastructure houses ALL of your digital assets. You know, the ones you simply can’t stay in business without. So, you had to do it...but you figured you were done and wouldn’t need to do that again, for, well, at least for a good long while.


Oooops. Wrong.


As you know, time changes everything; the natural accumulation of your files, newer, faster, more demanding applications and updates, more complex operations, shorter deadlines, and more automation. Sure, you took good care; patched, tested, paid for the maintenance contract, and treated the solution as the precious resource it was. Meanwhile you’ve left your infrastructure as is. Not so terrific...and here’s why.


As the infrastructure ages, for all those reasons above, performance slows down. Not all at once, but a bit at a time. It’s gradual. As with all pain, you live with it. First, a twinge. Then, an ache. Eventually, something makes you realize that it’s time for action. What used to be fast and efficient, isn’t any more. Your team is pulling out their collective hairs because they can’t meet deadlines due to slow or, worse, down servers.


It’s also painful to need to budget all over again. “We solved that in 2011, what again?” But reality is, to keep up and keep on productively you should plan on replacing your enterprise server every three years. Is your time now?


Here are five factors to help you determine if you have, indeed, outgrown your infrastructure:


1. Your database is falling behind

2. Maintenance costs are rising

3. You're afraid to reboot because the server may not come back up

4. Newer enterprise applications aren't compatible

5. Backups are still running on Monday


And...as a bonus #6 to all our blog readers...you’re realizing your server is anything but energy efficient.


The good news is, as time was busy making this purchase necessary, it also made it more affordable than before.


So, maybe it’s time now. And for all the right reasons. But how to stay on track for the future? Why not use something easy to remember? Try setting your server replacement schedule for every other iPhone release.


Update and up your productivity! Explore infrastructure options here: http://napc.com/hardware

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Why You Need to Manage Your Social Media Images the Right Way, Right Now

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Fri, Aug 01, 2014 @ 10:22 AM
  
  
  

digital asset management

Not too long ago, a Community Manager for a large and popular company grabbed an image off the web and posted it. “Well?” you wonder, “What’s so news-worthy about that? We do that all the time, where I work.” Turns out, that image was not in the slightest what that person thought it was. Not only was it not a colorful image depicting an historic U.S. celebration, but rather a tragic moment of national horror captured on film.

No doubt, by the time the news broke and a sick feeling started to sink in with the company’s CEO, that Community Manager was already long gone. It’s a guarantee that he or she will never work in their industry again. But that was just the beginning. The ripple effect from that one seemingly insignificant event cascaded a torrential wave of hate and doubt on the entire company, brand and all. Stocks plummeted, jobs were lost and a reputation was forever marred.

Whether this company will ever, ever regain any credibility remains to be seen, as they will forever be Googled as the company that royally f*%# up.

And all of this happened simply because they did not have a system in place for gathering, organizing and storing images for their social media.

Blindly entering criterion into a search engine like Google Images is just not the way. You’ve got to properly mind your store. And if you’re not the one managing your database of photography, then you need to set firm guidelines for the person who is.

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter...sound familiar? If you use them (and of course you do), then you need to set yourself up immediately under any one of these solutions; Content Management System (CMS), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Brand Asset Management (BAM), or Content Delivery Network (CDN).

These can help you safely and effectively create a stockpile of amazing images that are just what you need, ready at a moment’s notice. No more guessing what they are, or where they came from. No more last-minute, frantic searches.

If only that Community Manager had known, we’d have an entirely different theme for this blog.

But sometimes it takes a mega-error to help us reflect upon what we’re doing, and not doing right.

Stop the risk here and now.

Find your perfect digital management solution.

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How To Score Big and Avoid Penalties With New Archive Solutions

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Tue, Jul 01, 2014 @ 07:01 AM
  
  
  

worldcup

 

Archiving, like professional soccer, is usually relegated to a remote corner of the IT department, or the smallest TV screen at your local burger and wing joint. It isn’t until something like the demise of FlashNet in the Xinet space, or the FIFA World Cup, that people sit up and take notice.

But what happens when all the initial excitement has inevitably waned? An organized love of soccer will surely find its place back on youth team fields.

However, you’re still left without your FlashNet and a stadium worth of files and assets. What now? What next? SHOULD WE PANIC???

We’re throwing out a yellow card of warning; here’s why you should not let your team drop the ball on keeping up with what’s yet to come for this necessary utility.

As we all know, for every problem in the technology world there is always a game plan. And usually it’s a faster, easier, better solution that makes us wonder how we ever did it the “old way” in the first place. ‘Tis so, now, for Xinet.

Three new players to watch include a software update, a new Xinet plug-in module and new backup software. With this power team in place, quick and easy file archival and retrieval from within Xinet server application will continue

seamlessly, as before.

Better than before...users will have the ability to archive and restore files and assets from the Portal Basket, and even drag and drop jobs directly into Hot Folders.

Soon, too, Xinet systems administrators will be able to determine approval processes, quotas and restore methods at both a user and group level.

So huddle up on this with your team. Psych them up with a rally cry. Promise them drinks and a little professional soccer watching at that favorite burger and wing joint of yours. Whatever keeps their eye on the archiving ball.

Make it your GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL!

See the World Cup of new archiving solutions, click here.

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How to tell if it's Active Directory Integration or just seasonal allergies

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Wed, Jun 04, 2014 @ 09:32 AM
  
  
  

allergies

To those of you with runny noses and watery eyes, it will come as no big surprise that it’s allergy season. And, lucky you, if you do have allergies you most likely have more than one. No problem, just take that one big dose (or shot, or drop) that covers them all, right? Sadly, wrong. Treatment for dust mites won’t help for ragweed. Trees and dogs occupy different categories.

Kind of like all those people with their different devices. In this BYOD world we work in, it’s an IT nightmare of different passwords, user names, authentication and security needs. Enough to make eyes water and throats itch. One solution can’t possibly cover all these bases, right? Happily, wrong.

Using Centrify as an “immunity” boost for our existing, familiar Active Directory, our users (PC and MAC) can access a variety of websites from both their desktops and their mobile devices simply by using their existing AD credentials. Centrify also gives them useful tools that allows them to reset their passwords as needed, track the location of their mobile devices, and remote-lock and remote-wipe their mobile devices. One password does it all!

Granting access to these services, while still being able to maintain our privacy (and our customer's privacy) is game changing, but still requires that we keep a vigilant watch on how our internal services interact with our external services. Salesforce,

Google, Office365, WebEX, Box, DropBox, Zendesk and many more already support Centrify directly so it's simple to configure them to work with our Active Directory logins. And we don't even need to open ports on our firewall to do it.

Happy users, less-stressed IT people; it’s a beautiful balance that bring tears to my eyes…or it could be allergies.

Rid yourself of bothersome AD integration symptoms! click here.

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