IDEAL Expands into Second Location

April 30, 2008 has expanded into a second location in Rockville, Maryland. The Scanners & Systems division of IDEAL has moved into a newly decorated professional office located at 15737 Crabbs Branch Way in Rockville Maryland. The IDEAL Reprographics division remains at 11810 Parklawn Drive in Rockville and is expanding into the area recently vacated by Scanners & Systems.

We were nearly bursting our seams at the Parklawn location, and that limited our ability to grow.  With two distinct aspects to our business–scanner sales and reprographic services—we thought it made sense to acquire space that would accommodate the needs of each division and allow each division to grow independently.

Our new location gives us a  professional office and demonstration environment for our scanner and software sales, and the revamped original location gives us a true production environment for our reprographic services, so we can better serve our customers.

Now that the dust has settled, we’re loving our new location at Crabbs Branch Way.  We have a large conference room and demo area, sales area, marketing department, accounting and administration offices. At the Parklawn Drive location we’re expanding our online PlanRoom development and 3D printing and conversion services and upgrading in order to continue to provide state of the art scanning, printing and document management services.


Stop by and see us.


New Year’s Resolution — Manage Your Drawings

January 10, 2008

Does your company have CAD or paper construction or engineering drawings, blueprints, architectural renderings or other large format-related documents?  Do you need to manage the bid process for construction projects?  Would you like to preserve your paper drawings, as well as store, manage and access all your drawings – CAD drawings as well as scanned raster drawings?    Can you envision a scenario where the ability to gain secure access to your digital drawings remotely, from anywhere, at anytime (either for convenience or in the event of an emergency) could be helpful?  If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then an online plan room may be the solution for you. 

 IDEAL offers two “flavors” of plan room technology: is a site designed for customers with active construction projects, who need to access drawings and manage bid projects, email lists, drawing revisions and more, while is a secure online repository, designed for online storage, access and distribution, without bid management tools. IDEAL’s is an application web site that lets you store, manage, share and distribute large format drawings, renderings and other project related images, drawings, and files. Users can create projects, upload documents and send invitations and notifications via email. Invited users can login and view the project information and documents using a web browser without any additional software or plug-ins. Users may also download documents and order prints, if permissions are given by the project owner. includes advanced features for managing all project-related activities including bid lists and responses, team members, discussions and more.  Schedule a no-obligation personal online demo of here. IDEAL’s is a secure large format document repository, designed to provide a safe, easy-to-use online storage facility for all your large format scanned documents, large format projects and legacy drawings. Access your drawings and projects anytime you need them by logging into your account through any Internet browser.  Schedule a no-obligation personal online demo of here   

Increased Demand for ECM – Don’t Forget Large Format

December 7, 2007

Today, as I was perusing the latest web entries about Enterprise Content Management (ECM) I came upon some interesting statistics that were quoted in an article by a ComputerWorld UK reporter (unfortunately, the reporter is nameless, so I can’t give him/her a plug.)  According to this nameless reporter, “Demand for enterprise content management systems will climb sharply over the next five years.”  The nameless reporter goes on to quote statistics from a company called Datamonitor:  “research among 800 CIOs and IT managers showed that on average four out of five companies are deploying some form of a content management system…(and) that the market as a whole will register compound annual growth rate of 13% in the next few years.”  

According to the article, Datamonitor also feels that these ECM systems are often “limited in scope, addressing only a particular information management challenge, such as records management or digital asset management.”


Unfortunately, one type of digital asset is frequently overlooked when organizations plan their ECM system…large format digital assets such as construction drawings and engineering schematics for an organization’s buildings and infrastructure.  A company’s digital assets are not limited to letter-size documents, but often included these kinds of large format assets as well.  Hosted products such as IDEAL’s and can fill the large format gaps left in many organizations’ ECM systems. and not only serve as a way to effectively store and manage large format digital assets, but also as an effective way to facilitate online communication and collaboration on the drawings.  Whether the need is to communicate and collaborate on an enterprise’s current construction projects, or whether the need is to communicate building layouts in an emergency situation, IDEAL’s online large format document management solutions work.

 People often ask me about security for their large format drawings.  Our hosted solutions reside in a secure Level 3 datacenter and are managed by Global Archives, an IDEAL Strategic Business Partner. The center is designed as a disaster recovery center and sits on the Internet backbone. Data resides on secure socket layer servers providing 256 bit encryption and employs user authentication policies. Concurrent operations provide primary and secondary access with automated backup services. 

One of the advantages of dealing with IDEAL for large format ECM is our ability to provide the scanning technology necessary to convert old paper drawings to digital.   Whether organizations want to purchase a scanner and do it themselves, or have our scanning services do it for them, we’ve got the total large format ECM solution. 

Online Plan Rooms / Online Map Rooms

August 29, 2007

Why would anyone want to put ANY documents online, let alone the large format drawings commonly used by architects, engineers and the construction industry as well as large format maps used by various government agencies? First of all, aren’t there security problems?  Secondly, in the case of large format drawings, aren’t there viewing problems with large files? 

In the eight years that I’ve been designing, programming, customizing and proselytizing for online document storage, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked those questions.  Let’s put it this way…if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked, with compounded interest, I’d be sitting at a mountain lake fishing today, instead of posting a blog entry about online planrooms, maprooms and archive centers.    Unfortunately, the questions have never come written on the back of currency…

So, let me reel my mind away from the mountain lake and back to the questions at hand.

First of all, why store online?  First and foremost – convenience of access. 

In the early days of online planrooms, it was the reprographers and their architect, engineer, construction (AEC) customer base who were the driving forces.  The AEC folks wanted a faster, easier way to manage construction bids.  The Reprographers wanted a new and better way to feed their printing business.  Since those early days, the concept of online plan  rooms has expanded, morphed and yet, basically remained the same…when your drawings are accessible online you can get to them when you need them, as long as you have access to the internet.

IDEAL’s plan rooms and map rooms feature Level 3 security and nearly instantaneous viewing with our patented InterNETIX, thin client technology.   

For examples of online plan rooms, check out: ,, .

For example of online map rooms, see these links: 

Ada County Case Study: to ADA County Map Store:past this url into your browser: on enter type in user name    public    password    public FEMA Case Study: to FEMA Map Store: 

Summer’s Over – Fall Tradeshows Begin

August 29, 2007

As we say goodbye to summer, IDEAL’s marketing department is gearing up for a busy fall tradeshow season.  Between now and November, we have six tradeshows scheduled.  Shows on tap include: GIS in the Rockies Conference, Central Reprographics Association Trade Show, Western Reprographics Association, ARMA, ERRA/SRA and Autodesk University.   If you’re in the neighborhood for any of the tradeshows above, drop by and see us.  We’ll have the latest in large format scanning and document management solutions.  You can see our booth numbers for each show here.    We regularly update our tradeshow list, so check out tradeshows on our website for updates.  If you can’t get to a tradeshow and want to learn more about IDEAL products or the industries we serve, join us for a webinar. Do you know of a tradeshow or conference we should consider attending?  Email me at

Product Synergy

July 20, 2007

As the President of IDEAL, I want to jump in here and tie in both Phil’s post about WiseImage X8 and Diane’s post about 3D printing services with all of our other great products. .   One of the great things about being the President of a company like IDEAL is that I get to oversee all of our product offerings and watch how they all work together to give our customers what they need to do the jobs they need to do.  So, for instance, our IDEAL / Contex scanner line enables our customers to scan their paper drawings.  WiseImage allows people to bring their scanned drawings into their CAD systems. helps them turn those 2D drawings into 3D CAD drawings, and/or into 3D physical models. gives our customers a secure, permanent place to archive their drawings.  IDEAL Online PlanRoom helps them manage their construction projects.  What great synergy!