Canto announces CanFlow: Business Process Management Integrated with Content Management
CanFlow technology will be the basis for complete vertical market solutions to be released by Canto in 2006 March 13, 2006 – New York. Canto, a global leader in Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions, today announced CanFlow, a new product aimed at building complete workflow solutions spanning creative, production and distribution processes around digital assets. At the same time, vertical market solutions built on CanFlow and Cumulus, Canto’s leading DAM product, and other 3rd-party products will be released. Initial solutions will target the Corporate, Government, Education and Medical sectors. "DAM has become an integral part of the core IT architecture any company or administration needs to deploy,” said Jennifer Neumann, Canto’s CEO. “This opens the door for IT departments to adopt a DAM solution and to offer it as a service to the different departments of the organization. At the same time, the world is still centered around old-fashioned file-naming conventions, folder-based work-step automation and point solutions using incompatible technologies. Obviously this is a dead-end street. This is where CanFlow comes in: it is built around standards and open-source technology to allow tight integration not only with other Canto products, but also with key products and technologies from other vendors in order to enable complete solutions." CanFlow is based on an open-source workflow technology that includes a GUI-based workflow builder and an engine that manages the instances of the workflow templates. Workflow templates are created in xml format. The workflow engine uses MySQL as its database. The CanFlow-based solutions will ship with pre-configured workflow templates, but consultants and system integrators should have no problem with fine-tuning these templates to specific customer needs. CanFlow 1.0 will be tightly integrated with Cumulus, Canto’s leading DAM solution. Users of the system will benefit from automatic notifications, a dashboard listing their tasks and important details, and asset access. Project managers and "customers" of the solution will benefit from a Web-based management user interface. The various solutions currently developed by Canto will also feature seamless integration with selected 3rd party products. Backgrounder & Benefits According to most recent studies, interruptions account for the highest degree of inefficiencies and frustration in creative teams. Endless emails are sent and phone calls made to confirm the progress of each individual task against plan. This, alone, is often the #1 reason to delay a project. The use of a workflow solution will eliminate all this by providing complete transparency on all projects’ status. With recent legislative changes, all organizations now need to document their workflows and ensure accountability of information flow and protection of classified assets. Only a thorough implementation of the overall creation and distribution of information and assets using a workflow solution can yield such kind of accountability without bogging down the entire productivity with additional bureaucratic work. The only way to detect organizational weaknesses in order to improve them is through connected measurements. Today, creative processes are still largely disconnected from distribution and usage of their results. Only when the vital information used during the planning of a project is available throughout the lifetime of all assets can the results be measured against plan, and the right decisions to improve be made. A workflow solution automatically captures this vital information, often eliminating the need for additional dedicated archivists and metadata entry in the production department. A huge amount of legacy data has still not been digitized. Yet, the slightest mention of the lack of a disaster recovery strategy usually makes managers faint. And if that wasn’t enough, the cost of parcels for each administrative operation or large corporation can add up to millions of dollars per year. All this can be eliminated by replicating physical archives though digitization and accessing assets through a controlled system. Managers need to start managing progress rather than moving physical files or their digital counterparts around. "All workflow solutions have the same common set of challenges: IT demands scalability and security. Managers require measurements, with modest cost and excellent benefits. And the users of the system demand ease of use and performance," Neumann continues. "Having sold more workgroup and department-level DAM solutions than anyone else, and also by now an impressive number of Enterprise-level solutions, this has given us the experience to understand the needs of all these parties. With the early feedback we received from our development partners and selected customers we firmly believe we will offer what everybody wants." Pricing & Availability The CanFlow product is scheduled to ship in June 2006. A 10-user license will be available at $8,995. Vertical market solutions will start shipping in June 2006. Each solution will consist of separate Canto and 3rd party products and further enhancements. Individual pricing and further details will be announced for each solution.