Artesia Technologies: Covering Your Assets

By Joshua Weinberger Print this article Print

Artesia Technologies knows about leveraging assets—analog as well as digital.

Artesia Technologies knows about leveraging assets—analog as well as digital. Clients are a vendor's treasured assets—and Artesia seems to manage them as expertly as its software manages the clients' intellectual property.

One aspect customers agree on is TEAMS' out-of-the-box functionality. AOL Time Warner's book group, for one, was pleased to find it needed very little modification.

Like AOL and Artesia's other clients, The Freedom Forum's media-oriented Newseum had sundry materials to organize—photos, newspapers, artifacts—and they were scattered. "We used to send out search parties crawling under desks to find what we were looking for," says Knowledge Applications Manager Mariel Galvan. But TEAMS, she says, "is great—it holds what you put in it, and it'll find what you've taught it to find."

One feature that even out-of-the-box users have found needed tweaking was the search function. DreamWorks' Craig Fujimoto, for example, simply turned off the "advanced search" function. His users also wanted a more straightforward way to get at the assets than the interface allowed.

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As with any content management system, the description of an asset—known as metadata—is occasionally a sticking point. Galvan learned that "not all metadata is created equal; some fields are more critical than others. The whole point is retrieval, so the most critical fields are those that will be searched."

Boston multimedia/broadcast outlet WGBH was initially concerned that the "original Web interface was developed for use on a PC," says Chief Technologist Dave MacCarn. "WGBH is primarily a Macintosh shop," he adds. In response to complaints that the interface wasn't intuitive enough, Artesia developed one offering clearer icons and better terminology.

While MacCarn appreciates Artesia's willingness to adopt his requests as enhancements to future releases, its development cycle "has not been as aggressive as we would like, which in some cases has caused us to extend our implementation schedule." Galvan, for her part, suggests "more coordination between support people and those who do customization would avoid some small missteps."

But all that pales before the fierce devotion users have to the system, and to Artesia itself. DaimlerChrysler's Bill Whedon found the company "more than accommodating, and software support excellent. They don't handcuff you to their support staff. It was like taking the training wheels off—but they were there if we needed them."

This article was originally published on 2003-02-01
Assistant Editor
After being on staff at The New Yorker for five years, Josh later traveled the world, hitting all seven continents in a single year. At Yale University, he majored in American Studies, English, and Theatre Studies.

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