IBM Installs Production and Archive Technology at The Columbus Dispatch

News Organization Selects IBM's Networked Interactive Content Access (NICA) For Digital Asset Management

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White Plains, NY, - 28 Mar 2001: IBM and The Dispatch Printing Company, owner of The Columbus Dispatch, announced today the installation of IBM's Networked Interactive Content Access (NICA) digital asset management solution to update the newspaper's news production, workflow processes, and archiving.

IBM's NICA will digitally revamp The Columbus Dispatch's central archive and image production system, enabling editors to quickly and easily manage the workflow and storage of photos, graphics, PDF pages and text, that are used in both the print and online versions of the newspaper. Currently, The Columbus Dispatch is using three systems to execute its production and archiving needs. Two Associated Press (AP) Preservers are used for photos, graphics production, and archiving and a MediaStream SAVE system is used for archiving text. Eventually, The Columbus Dispatch will migrate more than 300,000 photos, 8,000 graphics and 16 years of text to the NICA system. The Columbus Dispatch is working with NICA in a pre-production test environment, and plans to move into full production in the spring.

"The technical requirements for world class newspapers, like The Columbus Dispatch, are enormous, given the need to manage a large amount of digital content and text in several mediums, said Steve Dienna, global publishing executive at IBM. "With the installation of the IBM NICA technology, which provides feature-rich applications on a highly available platform with one-stop support, the newspaper is transforming its workflows and increasing efficiencies. IBM worked with the newspaper's editors, librarians and systems staff to analyze their current operations, and design a new system."

"The IBM NICA solution was the only archive system that met all of the requirements for The Columbus Dispatch. The system needed to be able to store all of our images, graphics, pages, and text in one single, easy to use archive. NICA was the only system that would meet the needs of today with plenty of room to grow for the future," said Karl Kuntz managing editor for Graphics at The Columbus Dispatch.

The NICA system at The Columbus Dispatch was installed on IBM's award-winning pSeries (RS/6000) model H80 server, running the AIX operating system. The NICA system includes more than 400 gigabytes of RAID-based disk storage with magnetic tape library back-up. Designed as an enterprise-wide platform, NICA easily accommodates the nonstop data flow and heavy user demand of a large publishing company, like The Columbus Dispatch. NICA offers a variety of simultaneous access options, ranging from a simple, Web browser interface to professional Windows and Macintosh-based interfaces for photographers, reporters, librarians, and editors. Users can link related objects, such as news stories with their photos and graphics. NICA also delivers content online through a number of Web and e-commerce options.

"We were looking for a technology partner that had the resources to take us to the next level," said photo editor Craig Holman of The Columbus Dispatch. "We required a product to help us deal with a large historical photo archive as well as managing our daily photo report. The product needed to deal with text and page archives across our entire corporate enterprise when we migrate the front end system. We had great experience with previous RS/6000 servers, and felt we would get superior service on both the development and support sides from IBM."

The pSeries server and AIX technology provides an expandable system platform that can easily grow to meet our future archiving needs," said Bill Lawhorn, assistant director, Technical Services at The Columbus Dispatch. "We selected this system platform because of our experiences with IBM and our internal support staff's pSeries and AIX skills. IBM installed NICA and configured our system as planned and assisted with unplanned changes during installation to eliminate delays."

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