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IBM Case Study

The Hindu: Leveraging digital media

assets with NICA

The performance
of IBM server and
storage technology,
including pSeries
and xSeries servers
as well as FAStT, has
been very reliable.
And IBMs software
products are rich in
the features we need.
K. Balaji, Director, Kasturi and Sons



Key benefits

Leading the market with a widely

Consolidate the infrastructure

Streamlined management of

read publication

and production media library via a

and access to digital media assets;

One of the largest newspaper groups

platform enabling tight integration

enhanced search processes;

in India, Kasturi and Sons Ltd. leads

with its front-end editorial system;

reduced operational, research

the market with a publishing portfolio

streamline the search process for

and production costs; accelerated

that includes a business daily, two

and access to photographic and

production processes and produc-

magazines, a number of specialized

archive material

tivity; optimized ability to leverage

publications and an English daily:

valuable content

The Hindu. Established in 1878 as a

An end-to-end digital asset

weekly, The Hindu grew apprecia-

management and content-centric

bly into a premier newspaper with

workflow solution based on IBM

a 1,000,000-plus circulation and a

Networked Interactive Content

readership of more than three million.

Access (NICA), implemented by

The Chennai-based newspaper is

IBM Business Consulting Services

also printed in 11 nationwide loca-

and IBM Digital Media teams

tions connected with high-speed

data lines.

Ensuring the speedy delivery of

As AP discontinued support for AP

The project unfolds

news that fits readers needs,

Preserver, and the volume of con-

IBM Business Consulting Services

The Hindu must often access and

tent from such sources as the AP

provided initial consultation services,

reuse appropriate archive material

and Reuters increased, The Hindu

specifying requirements for and

to enhance a story. News corre-

went looking for a comprehensive,

providing implementation of the solu-

spondents file their stories and pho-

fully supported archiving solution. It

tion. The consulting team also led the

tographs via several field locations.

needed to consolidate its infrastruc-

deployment and migration of existing

The newspaper also receives other

ture and production media library

archives ingesting nearly 70,000

content via satellite transmission,

by streamlining the search process

images from AP Preserver onto the

wire services such as the Associated

for and access to photographic and

NICA platform. The entire project was

Press (AP) and Reuters, or locally

archive material.

completed in only six months.

phers. This information load equates

After comparing archive systems in

The outstanding feature of working

to hundreds of incoming reports and

the market, the newspaper decided to

with IBM has been the support from

images daily that average 400 KB of

implement IBM Networked Interactive

IBM Rome labs, says Balaji. IBM

data per item, challenging The Hindu

Content Access (NICA) an end-to-

was able to resolve quite profes-

to effectively manage this material

end digital asset management and

sionally the issues that arose during

and make it usable for editors and

content-centric workflow solution.

implementation, helping to improve

production teams.

NICA was, for us, the better solution,

search performance considerably

based correspondents and photogra-

says K. Balaji, Director, Kasturi and

and taking prompt action to ensure

Searching for a superior

Sons. We were impressed with its

the database was available.

archiving solution

search capabilities and functionalities

Previously, the newspaper had

on images and pages, and it offered

The NICA solution currently supports

upgraded its pagination system to

tight integration with CCI, which influ-

hundreds of users including editors,

the CCI NewsDesk platform, a front-

enced our decision making.

librarians and production which The

end editorial system provided by

Hindu expects to increase further still.

IBM Business Partner CCI. It also

IBM also demonstrated industry

NICA users are connected to the sys-

integrated its imaging archive system,

experience, supported by IBM

tem via two Citrix servers over a wide

Associated Press (AP) Preserver,

Business Consulting Services India

area network (WAN), which facilitate

with CCI NewsDesk for sourcing and

and an IBM Digital Media solution

archiving photos. AP Preserver,

team from Rome, Italy, where NICA

however, could archive images only,

is developed and supported. Says

and did not support text, graphics

Balaji, The explanation and demon-

and pages.

stration from IBM in Rome convinced

us that the NICA product was as
close to what we were looking for in
terms of features and scalability.

the management of remotely located

NICA: Effectively managing digital

users across the newspapers 12

media assets

production costs through a collabora-

sites. The IBM team also developed

The NICA solution from IBM is a

tive, more efficient environment

a customized workflow for exporting

first-of-its-kind solution in India. NICA

images to the Web, ensuring that

provides the ability to manage,

content is easily reusable.

archive, retrieve and reuse publish-

Backed by an IBM TotalStorage

Reduce operational, research and

Archive, manage and enforce

copyrights for each individual object

ing content such as text, images,

The system is now archiving nearly

graphics, PDF files, QuarkXPress or

four million objects (images, graph-

Ultrium Scalable Tape Library, the

InDesign pages and video/audio

ics, text documents and PDF pages)

newspapers NICA platform also

clips. A highly scalable platform with

and the current project envisages

supports IBM Netfinity servers run-

a modular, distributed architecture,

the ingesting of almost 1.8 million

ning IBM WebSphere Application

NICA is seamlessly integrated with

digitized legacy pages, which will all

Server and IBM DB2 Universal

the newspapers production work-

be searchable. Says Balaji, What

flows, editorial applications and front-

NICA has done is to simplify to a

Storage Manager. Whats more, NICA

end content creation systems all

great extent, especially for the end

supports highly available, fast, scal-

accomplished via a simple browser

user, the way content is received,

able IBM ^ pSeries systems

over the newspapers intranet.

processed and stored. Search is now

Database for AIX, and IBM Tivoli


that interface easily with large-format

extremely fast and versatile, a feature

storage and provide enhanced proc-

The solution is enabling the

essing power helping The Hindu

newspaper to:

speed production times.

highly valued by all users.

Improve the management of and

NICA has enabled the newspaper

access to its images, text, photographs

to explore new business models such

The performance of IBM server and

and pages, leveraging the reuse of

as digital media commerce. Being

storage technology, including pSeries

these valuable digital media assets

a 127-year-old newspaper, remarks

Equip reporters, editors and

Balaji, The Hindu obviously has valu-

as well as FAStT, has been very reli-

production staff with fast, streamlined

able legacy content, which were digi-

able, notes Balaji. And IBMs soft-

search processes, giving access to

tizing so that NICA can ingest it. We

ware products are rich in the features

previously inaccessible archives and

will then be able to offer this content

we need.

the ability to find and reuse exactly

out of NICA in whatever way suits our

the right piece to produce new articles

business needs.

and IBM ^ xSeries servers

Reduce the resources it needs to

search for, retrieve and reuse
content accelerating production
processes and enhancing productivity

What NICA has done is to simplify to a great extent,

especially for the end user, the way content is received,
processed and stored. Search is now extremely fast and
versatile, a feature highly valued by all users.
K. Balaji

Read all about it: In the digital edition

Says Balaji, We are planning to

The newspaper is now in the process

implement the Outtakes module, offer-

of migrating to NICA version 5.6

ing additional storage with database

from version 5.2, and plans to imple-

support, to help us manage the work

ment an e-paper solution soon there-

of our staff photographers. It will ena-

after. Digital editions that replicate

ble us to ingest all images captured

the look and feel of the print edition,

by the photographers, giving us the

the e-paper solution will be sourced

ability to evaluate actual output.

from NICA. It will allow users to

search for a specific publication date,

For more information

newspaper, edition and zone, and

To learn more about IBM Digital

browse the retrieved newspaper in an

Media Solutions, contact your IBM

e-paper mode. The newspaper has

representative or visit:

also selected IBM to implement the

e-paper solution.
One of the first NICA-based e-paper
implementations in the world, this
solution will enable three-way
integration between digital asset
management, editorial and print
media publishing, and e-paper publishing. Currently using the image

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Other company, product or service names
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Many factors contributed to the results and
benefits achieved by the IBM customer described
in this document. IBM does not guarantee
comparable results.
References in this publication to IBM products
and services do not imply that IBM intends to
make them available in all countries in which
IBM operates.

export option to host a separate site

to sell images, The Hindu is also
successfully leveraging NICA to tap
newer revenue streams.