“We now have an extremely practical and efficient workflow with our external advertising agency
The idea for a media asset management (MAM) solution first arose in Rittal’s marketing department, as the marketing team was looking for a quicker way to find pictures. Rittal has a wide range of products in multiple varieties with a catalog boasting 840 pages; not surprisingly, that means some 55,000 media assets.
At an initial brainstorming meeting on the topic of MAM systems with an intelligent indexing system, the Rittal team realized the advantages of an innovative MAM solution. And the team realized that the advantages could be maximized by integrating a state-of-the-art product information management system (PIM). Therefore, the MAM project was complemented by a PIM project.
Rittal’s entire media content is now assembled in one single database. Product pictures and data, advertising motifs, flyers, mailings and videos are accessible to all 64 subsidiary companies across the globe.The central PIM uses this database in addition to a content management system (CMS), which will manage all 48 Rittal websites in 26 languages. Authorized Rittal employees will be able to access the database and enter content from any location in the world. All of Rittal’s media content will be stored in one central location—which will eliminate inconsistencies and minimize the error rate.
What may sound like a futuristic dream has come true for Rittal (10,000 employees). Rittal looked at a number of companies while searching for a suitable MAM provider. In the end, it chose Cumulus Enterprise, “because in my opinion it’s the best system on the market,” explains Rittal’s advertising and print director, Holger Schneider.
The Rittal team appreciates the system’s “broad range of services” and “great number of options.” Schneider enjoyed the Canto product’s live presentation — but the search options were what impressed him the most. An additional benefit of Cumulus is its browser presence: All Rittal subsidiaries can access the data via a web client.
Results and Benefits
Cumulus Enterprise has been available to Rittal users around the world since April 2011. Work is currently underway to enable Rittal employees outside of Germany to import content directly into the database.The integration of Cumulus Enterprise and the new PIM system took place in September 2011. Since then, the new Rittal PIM has been receiving all the company’s assets directly from Cumulus. Thanks to Cumulus, Rittal’s collaboration with its external advertising agency has also been taken “to a completely new level of quality,” says Holger Schneider. The catalogs can now be partially generated directly from the combined PIM/MAM systems.
Explains Schneider:“We now have an extremely practical and efficient workflow with our external advertising agency.”Rittal continues to be fully satisfied with choosing the Canto product for this complex project — including the simultaneous introduction of the PIM and MAM as well as a large number of interfaces.
“Cumulus was the one thing that always worked quickly and smoothly,” says Michael Maage from marketing communications, who has since taken over the project from Mr. Schneider.
He’s also pleased with the many valuable ideas that Canto has contributed to the project — ideas that have since been implemented and have greatly improved the overall solution. Maage comments:“It was a constructive process that proved to us that we’d chosen the right provider.”
Integrations Included in The Project
From the outset, the goal of the overall project has been to feed all Rittal websites directly from the MAM system. Canto has therefore integrated Cumulus into “Hybris,” its online shopping system. Product pictures and data sheets, for example, are now directly available from Cumulus.
Its ImageFactory, a middleware with a cache function, enables Cumulus to guarantee optimal delivery to all Rittal websites. Based on the new technical platform, Rittal’s German-language website went live in September 2011; in October 2012 the English-language websites were able to follow suit. Canto also provided one more integration service to Rittal — and solved yet another of the company’s problems. At the Rittal headquarters in Herborn, a high performance Internet connection was unable to be established. This meant that video data hosted on the Herborn servers could not be downloaded quickly enough by Rittal website visitors. Together with the video cloud solutions experts from MovingImage24, Canto developed the VideoManager6 integration and implemented it at Rittal. Cumulus now manages Rittal’s video files, while MovingImage24’s high-power content delivery network (CDN) hosts and exports them.
This allowed Rittal to kill two birds with one stone: Video content, with its growing importance for customer communication, is now stored by Cumulus, enabling content to be optimally accessible around the globe.
The management at Rittal is extremely satisfied with the results of the company’s comprehensive media and PIM concept — even though “this major operation was in no way risk-free,” stresses Holger Schneider.
The company is impressed with the incredibly effective completed solution they now use, and believe it may well be the only one of its caliber currently available: a solution offering an outstanding level of integration and intelligent coupling of systems. Schneider explains: “Because of the increasing complexity of external company communication, we really need a highly integrated and largely automated solution.”
The new workflows are much faster, more consistent, and, most of all, less prone to error—which means that the project teams’ work and results are very positively received within the company.