DPCI helped AGBU implement EnterMedia, an open-source digital asset management system, and created a custom XMP Panel to allow AGBU asset contributors to add descriptive information to assets prior to upload into EnterMedia.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational, cultural, socio-economic and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian diaspora. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU has an active presence in 31 countries and 74 cities and addresses the needs of Armenians with traditional and progressive programs worldwide —from schools, scouts, camps and support for the arts to internships, virtual learning and young professional networks.
AGBU has thousands of physical assets ranging from photographs to magazines, books, journals, newspaper clippings, and a wide variety of historical records housed in the central office in NYC. AGBU had planned an office renovation in 2018 and management was concerned with digitally preserving those physical assets prior to the renovation. In addition, AGBU has over 135,000 files on an in-house file server, that were digitized and catalogued in a desktop repository.
AGBU needed a better way for staff members to access historical images, videos, magazines, etc. with associated information (metadata). The ultimate goal was to digitize all assets, and then manage those assets, together with associated metadata, in a single repository hosted in the cloud.
DPCI, led by its Founder, Joe Bachana, worked together with AGBU to analyze the current state, outline a best practice approach for digitizing and tagging physical assets, define a metadata model for all asset types, and make a recommendation for DAM technology that would best meet AGBU’s current and future needs.
As a result of this consulting effort, AGBU retained DPCI to implement EnterMedia, an open-source digital asset management system, and to create a custom XMP Panel to allow photographers and other staff members to add comprehensive information to standard and AGBU-specific metadata fields prior to their upload into EnterMedia.
Once EnterMedia 10 was installed on an AGBU designated server in the Cloud by the EnterMedia product team, DPCI configured EnterMedia to meet the defined requirements, which included metadata fields mapped to XMP as well as user roles that would present watermarked versions of assets to the general user community. Concurrently, DPCI worked together with the EnterMedia product development team to further extend the functionality of EnterMedia to provide AGBU with an asset request and approval workflow to help control what assets are used and how by the general user community.
Part of AGBU’s photo and video workflow is to include descriptive information such as headline, description, credit, date, location and usage rights embedded in the asset itself. To aid in the tagging of assets once they are scanned, DPCI created an XMP custom panel, which is a dialog window that AGBU staff will use to input AGBU-specific metadata with Adobe Creative Cloud Applications. DPCI configured corresponding EnterMedia fields to read that metadata directly from the digital file when the assets are uploaded into the DAM. When an asset is later exported from the DAM, EnterMedia writes the metadata back into the asset file, allowing AGBU to deliver assets to other users and systems with embedded metadata preserved.
All assets within the DAM are watermarked and the AGBU user community can search, view and download the watermarked version of any asset that has been made available to them. With the asset request and approval enhancement developed by the EnterMedia product team, general users can now submit a request for an original, un-watermarked version of an asset, and an archivist is alerted to review and approve (or reject with explanation) the request all within the EnterMedia interface. When an asset request is approved, the general user then has permission to download the original version of the asset, without the watermark, for use in AGBU marketing materials.
To help AGBU staff transition to the new EnterMedia system, DPCI configured ‘hot’ folders to bulk upload more than 135,000 assets with embedded metadata that were exported from AGBU’s legacy system, ACDSee, into EnterMedia, organized with AGBU collections defined for each category. AGBU users can search for these assets using descriptive metadata and keywords or can simply browse assets organized within familiar AGBU categories.
Once AGBU staff was comfortable with the first release of the system, DPCI began to implement more granular levels of permissions to allow for localized management of digital assets. With permissions tied to regional collections, the regional archivists can upload, curate and manage their own digitized materials, but only have general user access to files outside of their territory.
AGBU successfully launched the EnterMedia implementation in August 2018. With the help of DPCI, AGBU has transitioned to an open-source digital asset management solution that saves them time and money while also providing a scalable platform to handle the growing volume of images managed by the AGBU across the Globe. The watermark and request approval workflow allows AGBU to control asset usage while the custom XMP panel allows the wider community of AGBU asset contributors to use familiar tools to add descriptive information while giving AGBU the peace of mind that content along with metadata is stored within the EnterMedia repository.
DPCI continues to help AGBU with new use cases for EnterMedia. Future plans include video management and the implementation of EnterMedia for the Nubar Library.