IBM Solution Enhances E-Business Capabilities for Publishers

Worldwide Availability of IBM's NICA Offers Comprehensive Digital Media Management Solution

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SAN FRANCISCO - 16 Jun 2000: -- IBM today announced the worldwide release of its Networked Interactive Content Access (NICA) 4.0 solution for publishers including newspaper, magazine and book publishers.

IBM's NICA is a digital media archiving and management solution that enables companies -- from the largest book publishers to a small town newspaper -- to digitize, store and retrieve text, graphics or images. The solution is designed to preserve historical media, increase productivity and reduce production time -- all crucial elements in the deadline sensitive publishing business.

NICA helps publishers consolidate, integrate and manage all types of digital media from across disparate archives and databases into a single, Web-enabled platform. Users can then rapidly search and retrieve digital content such as a photo, a paragraph or an entire page of text. This automated digital media collection process not only accelerates production but also facilitates collaboration among team members.

Publishers could potentially go beyond these immediate business benefits to develop new revenue models based on reusing their existing digital content for new media purposes such as online publishing, customized one-to-one publishing to next generation personal digital devices, or even online commerce of archived stories and images to consumers or other businesses.

"The publishing industry, like many others, is transforming itself to effectively compete in the Internet economy," said Steve Dienna, global publishing segment executive, IBM Global Media and Entertainment Industry. "For publishers, this means being able to organize massive amounts of data in a way that can be quickly and logically accessed to meet the time-pressure demands of the business. NICA provides publishers with an industry-specific e-business solution that addresses time and productivity issues, but also offers long-term benefits and revenue potentials afforded by a comprehensive digital media strategy."

Major European publishing companies currently using NICA include daily newspapers La Repubblica, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Liberation. Rizzoli, one of the largest publishers in Europe, has been successfully using NICA since 1997 and is the first customer to upgrade to NICA 4.0.

Previously only available in Europe, NICA 4.0 is now available in the U.S. and throughout the world. NICA is part of IBM's broad-based media asset management architecture which offers comprehensive, enterprise-wide solutions for creating, managing, storing and distributing digital assets.

NICA Features & Functions
NICA offers a state-of-the-art solution for managing digital publishing data (text, images, graphics, PDF) in a client/server and intranet system. The publishing solution integrates with Windows 95/98/2000 and MAC clients and runs on IBM's award winning RS/6000 Web servers with DB2 Universal Database. Through its open architecture, NICA can be integrated with customers' existing publishing systems and offers the following functionality:

- Performs digital archiving of text and image data, saving physical storage space and preventing deterioration of media

- Imports the following data formats: TIFF, PDS, PDF, JPEG, GIF, ASCII

- Extracts index information from IPTC-NAA and XML

- Provides quick access to information

- Provides logical link between different objects in the archive.

- Native interface Windows 95, MAC and HTML

- Relational database support

- GUI system management

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