Artesia Technologies: Covering Your Assets

By Joshua Weinberger  |  Posted 2003-02-01

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."

Reference Checks

Bill Whedon
Dir., e-Commerce & Dealer Technologies
(800) 992-1997
Project: The automotive giant is using TEAMS 4.3.1 (and some subsequent enhancements) to coordinate assets between third-party marketers and advertisers, and for its consumer Web sites. It's one of the first users to implement TEAMS on Websphere and Solaris.

DreamWorks SKG
Craig Fujimoto
Dir., Application Development
(818) 695-6658
Project: The film and television production company is providing its international theatrical marketing division an improved means of distributing print and advertising materials around the world.

Fox Filmed Entertainment
Tom Roach
VP, I.T.
(310) 369-3958
Project: Seattle-based Getty Images hosts L.A.-based FFE's marketing materials and publicity photos via TEAMS on an ad hoc basis. FFE keeps larger files out of the system.

Mariel Galvan
Manager, Knowledge Applications & Programming
(703) 253-7173
Project: Scheduled to reopen in a new Washington, D.C., facility in 2006, the interactive museum for news is adding 30,000 assets to its TEAMS 4.3.1 system over the next few weeks, on its way to more than 100,000.

Pearson Education
Douglas G. Kubach
Senior VP, CTO
(201) 236-5311
Project: Built around TEAMS 4, the publishing house went live with its Pearson Asset Library in September, retiring two prior systems.

Dave MacCarn
Chief Technologist, Asset Management Architect
(617) 300-5316
Project: The Boston multimedia/broadcast outlet is replacing its archival database, streamlining the production process and enabling centralized distribution of its editorial assets.

Executives listed here are all customers of Artesia Technologies. Their willingness to talk has been confirmed by Baseline.

Company Profile

artesia Technologies
700 King Farm Blvd., Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20850
(866) ARTESIA /

EMPLOYEES: Approx. 100

Chris Veator
While a senior executive with the Thomson Corp., he founded and was CEO of ThomsonConsulting, a 500-person I.T. consulting business. He was an economics major at Dartmouth.

Scott Bowen
President, COO
Was the founder (in 1996) and general manager of Thomson's TEAMS software division—which formed the core of Artesia after a 1999 venture-backed management buyout. Bowen held a variety of managerial positions in ThomsonConsulting, and also worked as a technology consultant. Responsible for formulating Artesia's corporate strategy, he has a B.S. in economics and electrical engineering from Yale.

Al Tucker
Chief People Officer, Chief Knowledge Officer
After more than two decades in various engineering leadership positions in the Air Force—including senior director of the $5 billion NATO Infrastructure Construction Program—Tucker held senior IT positions at Sallie Mae and the Harris Group. Later, he was a VP for ThomsonConsulting.

TEAMS is the company's main offering. Using metadata and running atop an Oracle database, it allows clients to digitize, categorize, store and access media assets. Version 4.4 is the latest.