“Cumulus runs a variety of catalogs that serve the Wisconsin dairy industry in so many ways. It’s ability to go cross-platform and over the web and on our Intranet and the Internet, has expanded the added-value of our thousands of digital assets.”
Creative Services Coordinator
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Photography and graphic design files are crucial in supporting the WMMB’s mission. Their digital assets have grown significantly over the years which presented a challenge. Finding and distributing a photo-upon-request was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. When requesters wanted an image, they had to rely on a librarian to find and send the image. If the request came from a publisher, business or an external constituent, a usage agreement had to be set in place prior to the asset being released which was sent via fax. This resulted in the WMMB not being able to respond quickly and efficiently to requests from grocery stores, food distributors, schools, publishers and other interested entities who demanded a fast turnaround.
The WMMB needed a way to allow their internal staff as well as individuals outside their organization such as publishers, cheese makers, dairy farmers and retailers to access their photography quickly and self sufficiently.
And so they turned to Cumulus. Cumulus was their best choice for managing their digital assets, ultimately granting access to outside users using a customized version of Cumulus’s web client.
When WMMB turned to Cumulus they had a clear direction on what they desired from their digital asset management system.
They needed Cumulus to:
- Manage different types of digital assets within a shared image library
- Store images for easy and rapid retrieval
- Search for images using keywords
- Maintain high quality images, including images that had been color corrected
- Catalog assets by many different criteria, based on business needs
- Support multiple internal users who can access the shared image library
- Provide public access to the image library over the web
- Streamline and simplify digital rights management processes
Together the WMMB and Canto Professional Services customized Cumulus to substantially improve the organization’s internal production processes and ensure the public had rapid access to the photos online.
“We took the time to ‘do it right’ by developing the business processes first, including the metadata and the file naming conventions,” said Mary Litviak, Creative Services Coordinator at the WMMB. “There was dedicated time invested in building the image collections and defining the metadata. We now have some pretty unique capabilities that made the investment well worth it.”
With Cumulus, the WMMB maintains multiple libraries separated by business functions, such as: a collection of digital photographs for use only within the organization by staff, a high-resolution collection available to external users online, and a collection that holds art files such as Adobe® Illustrator, InDesign and PhotoShop which are produced by the graphic design team to house their archives.
“Cumulus runs a variety of catalogs that serve the Wisconsin dairy industry in so many ways. It’s ability to go cross-platform and over the web and on our Intranet and the Internet, has expanded the added-value of our thousands of digital assets,” said Mary Litviak.
WMMB’s internal creative and web team predominantly uses the Cumulus native client, which allows them to search through the different collections faster, share photos and collaborate with each other either from their Mac or PC. External users access photography through Cumulus Sites’ portal, which is called the WMMB Online Photo Library. Canto’s Professional Services team helped to enhance the user experience of the Online Photo Library by creating a fresh, new appeal for the interface. Visitors are able to visually navigate through the catalogs in Cumulus directly from a modern and visually-appealing landing page. Users simply search for images either by theme or keyword, collect what they need, authorize the usage agreement and move on.
Canto Professional Services also integrated WMMB’s recipe database with the Online Photo Library. This allows retailers, publications and anyone with credentials the ability to not only find and download the photo they need but easily locate the recipes associated with the dairy product by clicking on designated fork and knife icons.
Results and Benefits
Without the Cumulus interface, the WMMB wouldn’t be able to rapidly find photos fast enough relative to how fast new material comes in, fulfill image requests promptly, extend their images into the hands of industry professionals nor live up to their mission of getting Wisconsin dairy products into households across the nation.
With Cumulus, the WMMB provides easy access to thousands of high-resolution photography not only to their internal employees, but also to external users. Visitors can click through pages of images, filter by a specific category or search for an image with a keyword to find photographs quickly.
To date, Cumulus has helped the WMMB manage over 180,000 digital assets and that number continues to increase every year.