Archives, Archives, who's got my Archives?

Posted by Rob Pelmas on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 @ 03:35 PM

Tags: Xinet, DAM Systems, Xinet server DAM Systems, digital asset management, Ad Agencies, DAM, NAPC, data, data management, digital asset protection

We were all thrown into a whirlwind of activity with North Plain's (NP)  notice this year of the End of Life of SGL's FlashNet for Xinet. Here's the State of the Nation with regard to Archives:

In the immediate near term there's a great new archiving solution using modern software. The builder of the integration has a long history of writing to exactly this space, and his current tools allow restores from FlashNet as well. For the medium term, we can help you setup a system that will give you easy access to archives using the familiar tools, while you restore as much legacy archives as you feel needed. Long term- you restore files using the base FlashNet software, for as long as you can find hardware that will support the tape technology in use at time of archive.

SGL's FlashNet is going away, and in it's place we'll be relying on Archiware's P5 Archive. This backup software is robust, modern, with a hugely enhanced toolset, and a long history or being present in this exact space of Graphic Arts. We're excited by the options and capabilities it presents, from hyper-intelligent backups to much better hardware support, to a modern web-based interface. Archive to Disk? check. Perpetual intelligent incremental backups? check. Ability to offload backup off primary disk to either other disk or tape? check. It's great stuff, and we can't wait to help you getting  it in place and using it.

FlashWeb and it's recent replacement WebNative Archive are going away, being replaced by InPress' OnFile. InPress has been building solutions for Xinet for forever, and has a rich history and understanding of how to write robust code for the ecosystem. They have hundreds and hundreds of instances of InPressive and Accelerator out there, and a great tool set that enhances the Xinet experience. NAPC has been doing business with them for years, and are really excited and pleased by North Plains choosing of InPress as the heir to building out the interface between Xinet and Archive. Jorgen and Co. are well on the way to an initial release that will fulfill the common need- an easy way to find archives, submit them for restore, monitor progress, or ask an admin to restore files.

The other large concern we've been facing is how to ensure continued access to legacy archives. SGL's licensing machine is going dark next summer, so if there's a HW failure that requires a new license, one won't be available after that, which is a crippling prospect. We've worked out with NP a strategy for setting up a legacy restore server: a separate, static Xinet setup, one that has a small license but full access to archives through the web interface, to allow for easy user restores while a larger restore operation takes place. We're envisioning this as a small older server (or VM) with the older tape library attached.

In the longer term, for 'deep' archives that weren't worth the effort of restoring in bulk, you'll be able to attach a standalone drive to an even smaller box, and restore the very occasional file through the much beloved X interface. There's never been a license needed for FlashNet to restore through a single tape drive, licenses are only needed to drive a robot or to use the higher level functionality.

We're all over this- we understand the value and need for robust archiving and access to the lifework of your company. Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, etc..., etc....


Integrating New Team Members Into Your Ad Agency

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 07:34 PM

Tags: communication, human resources, Ad Agencies



Between long hours, heated debates and late night ping pong matches, ad agency groups tend to be very closely knit. As exciting as it is to welcome new blood when hiring season rolls around, as it is for the class of 2013, it can be strange to have new team members during a big client pitch, especially if they’re replacing somebody who just left. An agency is only as successful as its team is united, which is why you should use both in-person skills and social technology to make newbies feel at home.

Connect Everyone Through An Enterprise Social Network

Everybody has different preferences for social networks. Some people are more avid Facebook users while others gravitate towards LinkedIn. In an online environment it can be very difficult to connect everyone when there are so many options and so many different personal preferences. Use an internal social network specifically tailored to your ad agency. Beyond being able to efficiently collaborate it will encourage icebreaking and inside joke creation, providing a virtual water cooler where new hires can mingle with senior managers easily.

Encourage Idea Contribution

New employees love feeling valuable. When you encourage them to share their ideas during meetings, pitches or conference calls, they benefit from seeing their work in action. Even if their ideas aren't great, they can learn from veteran team members. The result is that new employees feel like they're contributing to discussions and projects while also learning about the needs of clients.

Share Work Examples

It’s the question everybody wonders about the new art director or graphic designer: What’s their style? Get everybody together and swap work samples: Banners, fliers, graphics, whatever you can share to help each other get a sense of what your artistic talents are and where your strengths lie. An online sample room can make internal collaboration a lot of fun, and it will encourage inspiration and creativity among the entire team.

Make The First Move

Intern or 30-year veteran, it’s never easy being new. Not getting the inside jokes or only being identified as the “new guy” can make it daunting for the new people to introduce themselves. Save them the trouble by walking up, introducing yourself, and giving the rookie the rundown on what’s been happening at the agency. You’ll help them work better by understanding the ins and outs of your environment and make them feel welcome in the process.

Ask How New Hires Are Doing

This simple gesture can make new employees feel right at home, and even make them want to contribute more to a company-driven social network as a result. When I was a rookie at my first internship, the Human Resources Director dropped by my desk on a daily basis for the first few weeks. No big updates, no problems; she just wanted to say hi, check in, and ask how I was acclimating. It was a few minutes out of her day that helped ease my nervousness at being new and 10 years younger than almost everybody at the office. As a result I wound up getting involved in the company events, including prepping for the Christmas party.

Keep these tips in mind as we head into summer, particularly as a fresh batch of recent college graduates arrive at their desks. Be good to them and they'll be great to you.