It's a Digital World (2,835 words)
On the front end, Banta's team usually begins talking with the marketing department first, because "these people are the primary drivers of what the content can do and should do." Then, the direct marketing company's information services (IS) staff is integrated into the discussions because it knows what the current operating system is like, what will work with the system and how best to go about it.
The operations part of this digital puzzle hinges on the initial plan: keep the system in-house or outsource to a second party?
Depending on the type of control you would like to retain, you'll need a software and hardware configuration that suits your needs. Banta's team determines software solutions in the consulting phase, tailored around what the client's goal is and how it wants to manage and access content.
The size of your user-group is paramount, as well. Small work groups won't need an industrial strength database, Leibly explains, but enterprise-wide functions point to a more complex package.
According to Rietti, most Cascade customers usually don't have large storage capabilities or the server technology to handle an image database on top of current operations; most need to add some type of network support, but it's not a complicated process.
In terms of set-up time, there's really no benchmark to hold up as the time needed to convert images, train staff and plan the change in workflow depends largely on the complexity of the undertaking.
However, industry experts concur that it is feasible for a small-scale operation to get an image database ready in a month or two, whereas a larger company could take a year or more to set up an in-house system.
Selecting a Partner
Some companies choose not to bring the process in-house and would rather rely on a knowledgeable partner to incur the operations and upkeep expenses.