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:  www.IDEALplanroom.net 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 www.MyArchiiveCenter.com is a secure online repository, designed for online storage, access and distribution, without bid management tools. IDEAL’s www.IDEALplanroom.net 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. IDEALplanroom.net 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 IDEALplanroom.net here. IDEAL’s www.MyArchiveCenter.com 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 MyArchveCenter.com 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 MyArchiveCenter.com and IDEALplanroom.net can fill the large format gaps left in many organizations’ ECM systems. 

MyArchiveCenter.com and IDEALplanroom.net 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. 


ScanCENTRAL® Single Foot Print Color Scan, Copy and Print Systems

November 21, 2007

ScanCENTRAL single foot print color scan, copy and print systems are IDEAL’s latest bundle offerings.  ScanCENTRAL is a great way to get all of the equipment you need for scan-to-print from one vendor at one time.  We like to say it’s the convenience of multi-function with the benefits of individual components.  ScanCENTRAL is available in three different models:  the ScanCENTRAL X44,  ScanCENTRAL X36 and ScanCENTRAL X24.  IDEAL’s adjustable stand allows users to set up ScanCENTRAL systems in a single-foot print configuration, by raising the stand and mounting the scanner over top of the printer; or, users can lower the stand to traditional height and set up the printer and the scanner side-by-side if that suits their work flow better.  Three different bundles cover a range of users needs:   

  • IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X44 is a single foot print, stand-alone, color scan to print system with high graphic reproduction capabilities that is perfect for Reprographics, Copy Shops, Imaging, GIS and anyone that needs high end graphic images. IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X44 is a computer-driven scan to print system featuring an integrated solution of hardware and software. It consists of an IDEAL/Contex 42″ wide large format scanner, adjustable stand to incorporate both scanner and printer in one single footprint, color copying software for performing all the calculations for color management matching and matching color from scan to print, and a high speed 44” color printer. The system is network ready and includes online image backup, storage and remote viewing for approval process. IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X44 is a high-end scan to print system designed to fit your needs.

  • IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X36 is a single foot print, stand-alone, color scan to print system with high speed and high performnce that are perfect for GIS, CAD, and MCAD Applications. Scan, print and copy E size originals including blueprints, maps, and color renderings, IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X36 is a computer-driven scan to print system featuring an integrated solution of hardware and software. It consists of an IDEAL/Contex 36″ wide large format scanner, adjustable stand to incorporate both scanner and printer in one single footprint, color copying software for performing all the calculations for color management matching and matching color from scan to print, and a high speed 36” color printer. The system is network ready and includes online image backup, storage and remote viewing for approval process. IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X36 is a high speed, high performance scan to print system designed to fit your needs.

  • IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X24 is a single foot print, stand-alone, color scan to print system with resolutions comparable to high-end systems and speeds that are perfect for entry level D size review for Engineering, Architecture, Display Providers or Mapping. Scan, print and copy D size originals including blueprints, maps, color renderings, posters, and artwork. IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X24 is a computer-driven scan to print system featuring an integrated solution of hardware and software. It consists of an IDEAL/Contex 25″ wide large format scanner, adjustable stand to incorporate both scanner and printer in one single footprint, color copying software for performing all the calculations for color management matching and matching color from scan to print, and a high speed 24” color printer. The system is network ready and includes online image backup, storage and remote viewing for approval process. IDEAL ScanCENTRAL X24 is a low-cost scan to print system designed to fit your needs.

 ScanCENTRAL systems offer great value and versatility.  They are network ready, with the added feature of online backup, storage and remote viewing for your image files on MyArchiveCenter.com. As with all IDEAL systems, ScanCENTRAL can grow as your needs change.  You can add WiseImage software for raster editing, or you can upgrade MyArchiveCenter to a full-featured online planroom on IDEALplanroom.net . For questions or comments, contact me directly at idealblog@ideal.com


Scanning System3 — Color Copier, Network Printer, Internet Collaboration

September 12, 2007

IDEAL’s versatile Scanning System3 lets you can turn your large format inkjet into a color copier; send scans to remote printers on the network and collaborate in a secure hosted environment.     To build your Scanning System3,  start with any 36” or 42” IDEAL / Contex scanner model and add IDEAL’s SFP353 adjustable scanner stand, which will “piggy-back” over top of your HP, Canon, Epson or other large format printer. 

Then, choose JETimageNET scan to print software as your scanner operating system.   JETimageNET scan to print software can be used as copy software to send directly to the local printer, and it can also send scans to remote printers on the network, as well as scanning to file for archiving purposes.  JETimageNET supports both color and black and white copying and scanning, with fast high-quality color-matched copies.

Add a subscription to MyArchiveCenter.com, IDEAL’s hosted archiving and collaboration solution and you’re ready to go.  MyArchiveCenter.com offers a low-cost way to archive and back-up files as well as a fast and easy way to share and collaborate on drawings in a Level 3 secure environment.  Server-side thin client ensures fast view of large scanned files on any internet browser. 

 A point of interest…All drawings uploaded to MyArchiveCenter.com are maintained in a secure Level 3 datacenter and 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. If you have any questions about IDEAL’s Scanning System3, or anything else IDEAL, you can reach me at idealblog@ideal.com 


New Adjustable Scanner Stand Enables “Single Foot Print” Scan to Print

September 4, 2007

IDEAL now has our own adjustable scanner stand.  The new SFP353 adjustable scanner stand enables an IDEAL / Contex large format scanner to “piggy-back” over a large format printer to turn the scanner and printer into a “single foot print” solution for scan-to-print and quick copy applications.  The SFP353 stand is compatible with HP, Canon, Epson and other large format printers, so you can use it with the printer of your choice, and it adjusts from 32” to 53” high so you can also use it as a traditional stand-alone scanner stand.

 The SFP353 is manufactured exclusively for IDEAL and is available through any of our dealers.  Or you may contact me for more information at idealblog@ideal.com.   


Customer Support at IDEAL

August 29, 2007

Our company blog has been active for a couple of months now and I haven’t weighed in yet with my comments.  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Kevin Lilly and I’m the face behind the voice offering scanner support.  I take pride in supporting IDEAL / Contex scanners and always do my best to get you back up and running as quickly as possible when you have a problem. 

Many of your support questions can be answered in our knowledge base, so try there first.  If you can’t find what you need there, the fastest and easiest way to get personal response to your support question is via an email request..     It’s also helpful to know if your scanner is under warranty.  Warranty information can be found here.There is lots of other information available in the support section of our website.

On the personal side, when I’m not supporting Contex scanners, you can find me fishing or at the local hobby train store.  To talk about fishing or trains, email me at idealblog.ideal.com  To get your support questions answered, fill out our support form


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:  www.myarchivecenter.com , www.idealplanroom.net,   http://planroom.cadalyst.com/PNOnline/ .

For example of online map rooms, see these links: 

Ada County Case Study:  http://www.ideal.com/publications/case_studies/casestudy.asp?case=adaLink to ADA County Map Store:past this url into your browser:   http://216.222.102.251Click on enter type in user name    public    password    public FEMA Case Study:http://www.ideal.com/publications/case_studies/casestudy.asp?case=femaLink to FEMA Map Store:  http://msc.fema.gov/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/FemaWelcomeView?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&langId=-1