COMPANY - Digital Archiving Clients - De Schutter´Neroc

DAX Archiving Solutions has been our digital archiving supplier since 2001. We opted for them as they provide reliable and flexible solutions which integrate seamlessly into our workflow. Whenever we posed new, challenging requirements DAX always provided the appropriate solution.
Mr. Ben Dekeyser, System Administrator, De Schutter'Neroc N.V.

The company
De Schutter'Neroc is a market leader in Europe in the field of the preparation of print packaging. They are highly specialized in the preparation of packaging for helio, flexo and offset print and offers these specialties embedded in a range of integrated services to a wide variety of international clients. De Schutter'Neroc employs over 200 people divided over 3 European countries.

The challenge
The packaging market has expanded substantially over the past decades and De Schutter'Neroc also finds itself in the position of broadening its portfolio by including multimedia and web publishing services.
The web (publishing) services include:
• Image libraries for packaging and non-packaging purposes. In the case of packaging, clients have the entire history of all packaging materials at their disposal, which is often re-used for new projects. Non-packaging includes for example image databases/libraries which clients utilise to visualize their product portfolio (packshots, scans, etc.).
• Workflow and plannings tools (= packflow) which provide the clients the possibility to monitor the work in progress and approve orders through the Web. Webtools enable zooming in on the packaging designs and to give comments.

All the graphic materials resulting from these offered services have to be saved and many times need to be available in the future. This includes about 24.000 packages which also have a longer lifecycle than the average advertisement, demanding availability during a longer time period. The safeguarding of all this data is a very crucial process as the graphic material is still owned by the client of DeSchutter'Neroc for whom it is made. As De Schutter´Neroc is evolving from a “production company” into a more services oriented company, well-organized e-mail communication with customers is indispensable.  Moreover large corporate customers demand to have a grip on the production workflow. Well-documented communication is essential for maintaining the highest possible quality standards and to provide the best service towards their clients.

Main requirements were to provide reliable archiving and retrieval services directly fitting into the prepress environment without having to adapt workflow and network processes. In Antwerp, De Schutter'Neroc´s  IT infrastructure consists of 120 workstations connected to 30 servers located in a separate, secure room. All “work in progress” is not saved on the hard disks of the Macs but directly on the servers, requiring daily back-ups and a weekly back-up of approximately 8 Terabytes. De Schutter'Neroc employs currently two smartDAX DVD Jukebox Archives and one smartDAX Blu-ray Jukebox Archive, which deliver in total approx. 48TB archival storage space.

All finished work is moved from the servers to the archive and art work from previous orders required for re-use in new orders is restored from the archive to the production servers. Each archival job creates two sets of DVD’s/Blu-ray discs. One set is to remain in the jukebox for retrieval, the other is to be stored off-site in order to preserve the data in case of major disasters (e.g. fire).

De Schutter'Neroc also utilizes File & Folder Archive Software (XML Module) to automate the workflow between the archive and their ERP system, Microsoft Dymanics. When a specific order is invoiced by Microsoft Dynamics, it generates an xml-file, instructing the archive to archive the associated folder structure. After archiving the data, the folder structure is removed from the production server, freeing up resources for new jobs. When new orders are entered, restore of data associated with previous orders is done in a similar fashion. Microsoft Dynamics generates an xml-file instructing the archive to restore the data to a specified location on the production server. The end effect of this workflow is that data is always instantly available on the production servers if and when prepress workers need it. They never have to wait for data to be restored from the archive. On the other hand, data that is no longer required is automatically removed from the servers freeing up resources for efficient re-use. Moreover the open xml interface safeguards a future-proof, flexible and open interface between these loosely coupled systems.

The latest enhancement at DeSchutterNeroc is the Email Archive Solution. DeSchutterNeroc uses Lotus Notes as email platform. The DAX email solution is able to extract data directly from the Lotus Notes email databases and archives it automatically into one of the DVD jukeboxes. All attachments from emails are archived after being one day in the users mailbox. After a month the attachment is removed from the mailbox and replaced by a symbolic link. After two months the email body is removed from the mailbox and replaced by a symbolic link. Users can restore old emails and/or attachments simply by using a search tool in their Lotus Notes environment. Effectively they experienced no change in environment when the email archive was implemented. In combination, all employees of DeSchutterNeroc generate some 300GB per year in emails (including attachments etc.) The DAX email solution enables that this data is preserved in a simple and transparent manner (through the usual email tool). Moreover it is archived for long term, and the email archive can steadily grow for many years to come.

Other well-known digital archive solutions were tested in-company before opting for the smartDAX Jukebox Archives. Main reasons for choosing these and other applications from DAX were:
• Seamless integration with both PC and Mac users.
• Reliability and user-friendliness of the applications
• Direct ROI as fewer personnel are needed due to the complete automation of the archiving process.
• Possibilities in accessing the archive by means of other (third party) applications such as digital asset management (DAM) systems and web applications.
• Transparent file system offers the possibility to connect any type and number of smartDAX Archives over the network representing a single file system and unlimited scalability opportunities.
• “Automated Duplication Option” which automatically makes duplicates of all DVDs/Blu-ray Discs. The duplicates are stored on another location for opti-mum disaster recovery.
• Flexibility of DAX Archiving Solutions in further (tailor-made) development of the digital archive solution.

De Schutter'Neroc acknowledges that archiving valuable digital files of their clients requires the most professional, safe and especially best traceable digital archive solution. Therefore, they have several digital archiving solutions in place which as a whole provide automated archiving services as an integral part of their regular network services.  

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More information on De Schutter'Neroc

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