Young & Rubicam Brands

Y&R Studio Services group enlists IO Integration to extend functionality of Xinet Products

The Challenge

The Chicago arm of Y&R Brands serves area affiliates for many national campaigns. Chicago’s Studio Services group prepares documents for print —advertising, collateral, and POP materials.

The Xinet® family of workflow solutions has been widely deployed and found to be extremely helpful to Y&R Brands. The group uses Xinet® WebNative® to provide access to digital assets for all partners — including prepress services, clients, and internal creative, marketing and account groups. Y&R Brands also operates WebNative® to allow the same partners access to view and download images and graphic files. However, as the Studio Services group has learned, an experienced, knowledgeable integrator can get much more from the system than the ‘out-of-the-box’ solution.

Young & Rubicam Brands, a wholly owned subsidiary of WPP and ranked by Advertising Age as one of the world’s largest agencies, operates primarily through its flagship creative ad agency, Y&R Advertising, but the company also offers consulting and marketing services through Wunderman, and public relations services through Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe. Its Landor unit is a leading brand-building shop, and the Bravo Group is a leading multicultural advertising agency.

The Solution

In 2004, the group met IO Integration, recommended to Gleason by a Y&R client.

“IO Integration did a fantastic job listening to us, understanding our problems, and eliminating components that were irrelevant and that only served to complicate our workflow,”

- Steve Gleason, VP, Director of Studio Services, Young & Rubicam Brands

“In 2003, we began implementing a Xinet® system here in Chicago,” remembers Steve Gleason, VP, Director of Studio Services, Young & Rubicam Brands.  “We inherited an integrator from another Y&R office that had deployed Xinet®. While they did an adequate job, there were many parts of the core Xinet® product we did not need, and other aspects where we needed more help to understand and implement. While this integrator was able to install the ‘stock’ Xinet® installation, they were less adept at helping to build specific tools to use with Xinet®. We needed additional resources.”

IO Integration’s approach soon helped Y&R offer one of their premier accounts, Burger King, some new products and services. Kathy Dzielak, Senior Project Manager, Studio Services, who oversees Burger King POP and direct mail work, needed a more robust client-facing application to distribute files to her vendors and clients. Previously, files were delivered on CDs and DVDs. As time progressed, her clients asked for an asset library that people could access through the Internet. “With Xinet® WebNative®, it was not a problem for us to publish a library with universal access. However, we needed to control what files were available by geographic data, the role within the company, and the vendor’s function. The series of permissions went far beyond the basic Xinet® permission set and required some additional engineering,” explains Dzielak.

After a series of discovery meetings, IO Integration engineers built a complete, custom solution that runs on top of Xinet® WebNative®. “Many files are licensed properties that do not have uniform rights worldwide. With retail clients and offices worldwide, it can be very challenging to distribute assets with the proper rights. IO Integration helped us develop a system that could effectively manage those rights, delivering the right assets to the right people at the right time” continues Dzielak

The Benefits

n addition to rights management, another important component of the Burger King system was an authentication module IOI developed. “Initially, we had a convoluted method to authenticate new users by phone, email, and fax,” explains Gleason. “IO Integration built a complete email-based system and the tools to manage the process. It runs as a module on top of Xinet® WebNative®. It’s painless and works 24/7. Users are authenticated with a browser interface and an email support system—with virtually no human contact.”
“If anything, our Xinet® system strengthens and deepens our client relationships—it’s one more reason our clients feel we have their work under control. In very simple terms, client service is paramount, and IO Integration’s modules have helped us make our clients feel special.”

Summarizes Gleason, “A limited number of people know the Xinet® product and understand the business of advertising. Our needs are not broad enough to engage Xinet® engineers in new product development. Because IO Integration spent the time to understand us and our business needs, we have been able to use Xinet® technology to its fullest potential.”

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