Case Study: Foster + Partners


Published on

OpenAsset has enabled Foster + Partners to create a world class architectural image library. All staff can access images at the click of a mouse, no matter where in the world they travel.

Published in: Technology, Art & Photos
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Case Study: Foster + Partners

  1. 1. OpenAsset has enabled Foster + Partners to create a world class, easy to use architectural imagelibrary. Image resources used in projects and for reference are now available to all staff at the clickof a mouse, no matter where in world they travel. This case study presents how Axomic worked withFoster + Partners to create this key business tool, and how the practice is saving time and putting itsdigital images to work.About Foster + PartnersFoster + Partners, one of the most innovative architectural practices in the world today, is basedin London with project offices in 22 countries. The practice is more than 1000 strong, with a highlytalented team drawn from more than 50 nations.Putting digital images to work forFoster + PartnersHearst Headquarters, New York“It was obvious that Axomichad developed OpenAssetfrom the point of view ofan architectural workflow.”– Katy Harris, Partner,Foster + PartnersMEDIACase studyFoster + Partners
  2. 2. After a number of years, when image databasesmore targeted at architects started appearing onthe market, the practice decided to re-evaluateoptions. When evaluating these new systems,the key criteria for Foster + Partners was findinga solution which was easy to use, and fitted wellinto the architectural workflow. Additionally, thesystem had to be made available to everyone in apractice that was rapidly growing, both in the UKand worldwide.OpenAsset from Axomic had been closelydeveloped with a group of leading UK architectsa few years earlier, and was being adopted by agrowing number of practices.The communications team created a well thought-out image library matrix to define requirements.After 3 months the practice placed an order forOpenAsset and the project began.Faster, better searchesOpenAsset allows Foster + Partners to find anduse images quickly. OpenAsset has freed up timefor the communications team, as users rarelyneed to ask questions once they’re familiar withthe system.InDesign integrationOpenAsset has greatly improved the processof using images in Adobe InDesign. Using theAssetBar drag-and-drop tool, images can beinstantly placed into an InDesign layout. Usersare given access to only the image sizes theyrequire, with helpful image descriptions to guideappropriate usage.PowerPoint creationOne of the most powerful tools in OpenAsset is theability to easily create PowerPoint presentations.The selected images are automatically resized foron-screen viewing and embedded into a brandedPowerPoint template. (The original high-resolutionimages are always retained safely within theOpenAsset.)OpenAsset makes using digital images simpleSuccessful ImplementationWith a system in place, the immediate challengewas how to export files from the existing database.Prior to the data migration, some cleansing ofthe keywords and data was required – but justthree months after installation of OpenAsset, over250,000 images were successfully moved into thenew system. “The data migration was done reallywell, and Axomic were great to work with,” saysFoster + Partners’ Tony Price.Before the task of uploading and keywording,members of the communications team hadHow OpenAsset helps Foster + Partnersmake the most of their digital imagesFoster + Partners had been seriously grappling with digital asset management (DAM) for almost a decadebefore being introduced to OpenAsset. The practice had previously invested in a solution when only a handful of(largely media-industry focused) image libraries were available. While this system was not rolled out to a wideuser base, it enabled the practice to structure its data and organise its thoughts around DAM systems, helpingto facilitate the eventual transition to OpenAsset.Swiss Re HQ, 30 St Mary Axe, London“With OpenAsset, we getmore out of our hugeimage collection.”– Katy Harris, Partner, Foster + Partners
  3. 3. Synergy with existing informationOne of the most powerful tools in OpenAsset is the ability to automatically assign keywords toimages by tagging them with project keywords such as ‘sector’, ‘location’, ‘type of building’ and soon. Foster + Partners use a well established facts-and-figures database and were keen to integrateOpenAsset with this system to ensure work was not duplicated. Axomic’s technical team providedFoster + Partners with an API (application programming interface) to link the two systems together.Foster + Partners’ Kathryn Tollervey comments: “The process of data migration and tagging theimages with keywords was really smooth. There are some great tools in OpenAsset which allowadministrators to upload and tag images really efficiently.”Integration with the intranetOpenAsset was seamlessly linked into the Foster + Partners intranet to provide users with easyaccess to the library. Once OpenAsset had been rolled out, the front page of the intranet was usedto announce the launch of the image library with great success. The total number of staff who haveused the system is now well over 1,000. Their response has been very positive – they report thatOpenAsset is simple and intuitive to use.Regular users of OpenAsset at Foster + PartnersThe chart below demonstrates how successful the project has been. Within four months of rollout,around 1,000 users were accessing the OpenAsset image library each week.Improved workflow with contactsheets and shared albumsAt the click of a button, the communications teamcan print out contact sheets of images for review.These pages can be customised into differentlayouts and contain relevant information from thedatabase.OpenAsset also features tools to support workflowand collaboration. Users can create and share‘albums’ of images without duplicating theoriginal image files.Flexible access optionsOpenAsset permissions are used by Foster +Partners to ensure users are given access torelevant content and the quality of the imagelibrary is maintained.OpenAsset gives the Foster + Partnerscommunications team total control overuploading and access privileges – which are setusing a simple ‘traffic light’ system.“The communicationsteam share albumsall the time. It’s a keypart of our workflow.”– Katy Harris, Partner,Foster + PartnersMillau Viaduct, Millau, France“The senior partnershave definitely embracedOpenAsset”– Katy Harris, Foster + Partners0306090120150attended intensive training courses held by Axomic.After a few months, OpenAsset was ready to berolled out to users. With a combination of training,intranet videos, and targeting small groups ofusers, growing knowledge of OpenAsset cascadedthrough the practice.View the online demoat“The data migration wasreally straightforward.”– Kathryn Tollervey, Image LibraryManager, Foster + Partners“People get it. Theyknow how to use it.”– Tony Price, Asociate Partner,Foster + PartnersREGULARUSERS
  4. 4. Excellent technical supportAxomic’s proven track record of implementingimage library projects at large architecturalpractices was one of the key reasons Foster +Partners chose OpenAsset. As Kathryn Tollerveysays: “The response time on support issues isalways really good, which is not what you expectfrom a lot of software companies.”Foster + Partners have become key members ofthe OpenAsset user group. Annual meetings areheld to discuss new features, and contributionsare welcomed from all OpenAsset clients. “We’vebeen really pleased with Axomic. We choseOpenAsset because we wanted a higher level ofcustomer service and we haven’t been let down,”says Foster + Partners’ Katy Harris.Ongoing enhancementsAxomic are currently working with Foster +Partners on a number of features that will addvalue for all OpenAsset users. “We’ve no regretsthat we chose OpenAsset. I think the product isabsolutely the right fit for a practice of our size andcomplexity, and Axomic have been great to workwith,” says Katy Harris. With further upgradesin the pipeline and an ongoing commitment todevelop OpenAsset for the architectural market,Axomic is confident the product will go fromstrength to strength. As Daniel Emmerson ofAxomic says: “By partnering with great clientslike Foster + Partners, we feel we’ve been ableto build the best image library in the world forarchitects. We intend to build on this success bygrowing our client base around the globe, andlook forward to doing so.”Simple licensing atthe right priceOne key reason for Foster +Partners’ choice of OpenAssetwas Axomic’s simple licensingmodel and realistic pricing.All costs are transparent,guaranteeing that the imagelibrary can be made available toeveryone in the practice.“It’s interesting to hearother people’s ideasat the user group. Theproduct moves forwardby collective feedbackand we feel our voice hasbeen heard.”– Kathryn Tollervey, Image LibraryManager, Foster + PartnersWembley StadiumPetronas University of Technology, MalaysiaTo find out more about OpenAsset Media and to viewthe online demo:visit www.axomic.comemail created by