Essential solutions to keep your creative files and assets secure

Essential solutions to keep your creative files and assets secure

We’ve been supplying leading creative technology solutions for more than 25 years now, and we’ve worked with some of the UK’s top creatives for just as long. We realise that lots of creative teams manage with the basics when it comes to storage, security, servers, and the other less glitzy IT stuff, but it’s essential to ensure that your assets and files are protected against the unknown.

Of course, nobody ever expects massive data loss to happen to them. And while it may sound dramatic, it’s probably worth asking yourself what you’d do if your premises went up in flames overnight. If your team are working from a shared hard drive on the office floor, saving assets and files to internal hard drives on your computers, or backing up to a server sat on the floor above, you could be putting all your work at risk.

Reportedly, 58% of small business aren’t prepared for data loss, with a further 60% closing down within six months of losing critical data. And while you may even be storing duplicate copies of your files on separate hard drives, there’s still a risk of those failing too. By slacking in the backend, you could face losing years worth of clients’ work, your company’s entire history of creative branding and marketing collateral, and more. Fortunately, there are solutions out there that’ll help prevent a file-related disaster before it happens, and will have your back on the off-chance one does occur. Here are a few of our top recommendations for keeping your precious work out of harm’s way…

For data backup…

If your business currently handles over 1TB of data, our very own Backup24 is perfect for keeping your files safe. It offers secure, offsite protection for all your digital media assets, and you can leave everything with us so you don’t have to bother with the management headache. Backup24 is scalable, meaning you can increase or reduce the amount of data you backup quickly and easily, with pricing starting from just £40 per terabyte per month. Users will also benefit from professional over the phone support, anytime access to data, fast and simple data retrieval, and much more. Unlike when you go with bigger providers, we can physically check your data everyday and don’t charge you to access your backups. You can find out more about Backup24 here.

For data security…

Security should be a top priority for every creative team. It’s important to consider what protection you have against hacking and infiltration, and to have a plan in place in case your data is compromised. Lots of teams use services like Dropbox or Google Drive to store files and assets, and while they may be cheap and convenient, this can leave your data wide open to malicious attacks.

If this is something you’re concerned about and want to ensure that your files stay private and secure, or if you’re a larger organisation that needs complete control and visibility over lots of assets, we’d recommend Acronis Access Advanced, which addresses common file security and privacy issues. It’s ideal for businesses who need a safe method for users to access and share content both internally and externally across a range of devices. The solution allows users to work with business files anytime, anywhere, bolsters content security and privacy, increases IT control and ensures compliance, boosts end user productivity and improves collaboration between colleagues. It also offers comprehensive security functionality and controls to better manage and protect users, apps and data, and the whole solution is easy to install, administer and use.

To receive a 30 day free trial of Acronis Access Advanced, head over to their website. In the video below, the Acronis team asked business people where they think their data is being stored and what would happen if it was lost or stolen…

For data transfer…

If you’re going to start regularly backing up your creative files and assets, you’ll require connectivity that’s well-suited to handling bandwidth-intensive processes and applications. For this, we reckon ATTO’s ThunderLink devices are ideal. Basically, they act as external adapters for Thunderbolt 2 to Ethernet, Fibre Channel and SAS and Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet and Fibre Channel. They connect all-in-one systems and laptops to storage devices while delivering high data transfer rates, as well as link aggregation and failover, redundancy and increased availability for critical network applications to protect against potential system failure.

ThunderLink devices provide optimised, scalable connectivity and are designed to integrate seamlessly into existing infrastructures. ATTO’s latest ThunderLink lineup boasts superior throughput to meet modern bandwidth requirements – respective devices deliver 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 to Ethernet and scalable 16Gb/s and 32Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 to Fibre Channel connectivity – perfect for speedy data backups and transfers of large creative files and assets. You can find out more about ATTO hardware here.

If anything we’ve discussed has got you thinking about the way your team secures, stores, shares and transfers creative files, get in touch with our specialist team on the details below and they’ll be happy to discuss any of the products mentioned above and any workflow requirements you may have.

If you’d like to find out more about our essential solutions for creative teams, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

How to solve your creative team’s 10 trickiest workflow problems

How to solve your creative team’s 10 trickiest workflow problems

Our creative team understand just how critical a hassle-free workflow is. When your team’s trying to hit tight deadlines, the last thing they need is to be slowed down by the same old problems.

Below, we’ve listed 10 of the trickiest workflow issues that are causing trouble for creative teams, and some software solution recommendations that’ll help you fix them. You can stop pulling your hair out now.

“I need to see proof copies of my team’s work and be able to compare amends on PDF files.”

As every creative team knows, long paper trails are a real pain when it comes to proofing and amends. Luckily, there are PDF editing tools which offer document tracking and management functionality that streamline the proofing process and cut turnaround times. They should allow users to create, edit and sign PDF files, while providing cloud features that let you work on them anywhere. Keep an eye out for the ability to compare files, review differences between them, and visualise and filter changes, as well as mobile functionality that offers access to recent files across mobile, desktop and web, meaning you’ll be able to carry on working even if you’re away from your main computer. We use Adobe Acrobat DC – which offers all of the above – so we recommend giving that a look.

“I need to ensure all our staff have their devices backed up, so they can access files if they get lost or stolen.”

With a variety of options out there, such as Code42’s CrashPlan, we recommend you spend some time search for an easy to manage solution that enables users to restore lost files files without additional support from IT. Software like this works in the background of your team’s machines to silently and continuously back up all distributed end user data so you have complete visibility and control on a single, secure platform. Leading solutions will also allow your team to benefit from unlimited storage with no bandwidth caps or file type restrictions, rock solid security complete with advanced encryption for your data, and tons of backup options across numerous devices and hard drives.

“I need my team to be able to work remotely without a load of IT hassle.”

These days, lots of businesses want to equip their staff with the ability to work remotely, and there are a variety of office suite solutions that can help with this. One such example is Microsoft Office 365, which comes with apps your team should already be familiar with, and is great for handling those not so creative bits that are the backbone of organisation and productivity. Top office software makes collaboration and document sharing nice and simple, and should include the latest versions of your favourite applications in both web and mobile form, as well as cloud services that provide access to files, emails and documents anywhere, any time.

“We want to back our servers up offsite with the ability to restore any files or folders quickly and efficiently.” 

There are lots of cloud backup and storage solutions to choose from, but Backup24 is a solid choice for creative teams who need secure, offsite protection for their intellectual property and digital media assets. Solutions like this should be scalable for businesses that have over 1TB of data (with no upper data limit), and usually allow you to leave everything with the team behind the software meaning you don’t have to manage a thing. Offsite managed backup services also provide users with some great benefits too, including anytime access to data, fast and simple retrieval, zero recovery costs, over the phone support and guidance when your team needs it, and much more.

“We’re a small team who need to cut the time it takes to find and manage our digital assets.”

With so many DAM solutions to choose from, we’d suggest giving Extensis Portfolio a try (this is the solution our creative team use). Management solutions such as Protfolio are built with speed and simplicity in mind, and help cut out all that time wasted spent searching the network, browsing countless folders and consulting team members. They can be used to manage images, video, audio or documents, and automatically catalogue and extract metadata for all assets. Users should be able to organise multimedia files into refined collections, and browse, preview and search for files, while automated keyword creation and previews make it simple to quickly sift through your team’s hefty file bank. DAM solutions are usually built for a certain amount of assets as standard, but can be increased by purchasing additional asset packs.

“We need to streamline our design workflow, but have to manage a large amount of product information.” 

Keeping on top of your product information and digital assets is a key part of modern day marketing, and ensuring a high response rate across multiple sales channels is a growing task for modern businesses. With a few different solutions to choose from, we recommend finding one that offers comprehensive, integrated product management and publishing, that’s all about streamlining your team’s design workflow and bolstering your marketing and sales efforts. For this, we’d suggest a solution such as MatrixCMS. Solutions like this mean design teams and product managers can work even more closely together, and their automated tools mean you don’t need to sweat the small stuff like repagination. They should even hook into InDesign and allow for easier proofing and editing.

“We want to access files quickly and easily while on the move.” 

This stuff can get pretty technical, so your team needs a solution that combines great functionality and complete ease of use. Acronis Access Connect does a top job, with solutions like this allowing Mac users to have the same access to Windows file and print servers as PC users. They’re also packed full of features that are specifically designed to deliver the fastest file and print services available, and help resolve common cross-platform file sharing issues. Teams can also benefit from bundled mobile apps (such as the Access Connect app for iOS devices), which allow users to remotely access file shares from any location that has network access through in-app file browsers. Most such apps should also come preloaded with document editing applications that lets users to carry on working while away from their desks – ideal for proofing and amending while out and about.

“The number of products and digital assets our business needs to manage is getting out of control.”

There are a few PIM (product information management) and DAM (digital asset management) solutions around right now. When scouring the marketplace for the right software, keep an eye out for something that offers powerful cloud-based product information management system with near-infinite power to handle unlimited amounts of product information. They should also allow for total ease to use, while providing adaptable tools that let users create the rich product content that customers demand, and permit retailers to publish automatically across multiple channels. For a quality DAM solution, you want something that makes it easy for you to organise, find, retrieve and share files from a centralised digital library. It’s also ideal if the solution delivers fast, controlled access to digital assets, while managing them in the most efficient way possible and keeping all digital assets automatically associated with their relevant products through product codes. For this tall task, we think something like Pimberly is perfect.

“Our designers need to organise their font collections into a single, searchable location.” 

If your designers want to better organise their fonts, look for an intuitive, stable and secure font management solution for individual users. They should provide direct access to your font collection from within your creative applications and via the cloud. One such solution – Suitcase Fusion 7 – utilises TypeSync, which enables designers to sync their fonts on any machine. Equipped with exclusive Font Sense technology, Suitcase Fusion fingerprints each version of a font using multiple criteria. This enables the application to provide highly accurate font matching functionality.

“We want to centrally manage our typographical assets.”

For teams of any size wanting top-level control over their font collections, we’d recommend looking for an on-premises server solution that’s integrated with macOS, Windows and Adobe Creative Cloud, which is built to help creative teams streamline the management of their font collection, while reducing costs on unused fonts and avoiding legal complications. No matter how big your team’s font database, a solution like Universal Type Server 6 provides centralised storage that makes it easy to find, sort, use and distribute fonts, while also identifying fonts and even recognising duplicates. Enhanced diagnostic reports provide in-depth insights into font usage, and alerts users when unlicensed fonts are being used that could cause legal issues.

Why Jigsaw24?

If your in-house creative team are experiencing issues and want some answers, you’ll be pleased to hear that after 25 years in the game we’ve heard every workflow problem before, and our close relationships with leading vendors mean we can recommend a solution to fix them all. But whatever your team’s issue – whether it’s refining your day to day processes, automating tasks or seamlessly integrating software – we’ve got you covered with essential solutions that’ll free up your design team and give them more time to do what they do best.

If you’d like to find out more about our essential software solutions for creative teams, give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Be ready, not worried; how you can safeguard your business with Backup24

Be ready, not worried; how you can safeguard your business with Backup24

At Jigsaw24, we understand the plight of the creative. When working with audio and image files the data starts to stack up, especially if your business is expanding. Managing it all can be a headache, but with Backup24 you can keep your data safe and available without relying on local storage.

Backup24 is a secure backup service for creatives who need offsite protection for their intellectual property and digital media assets. Quite simply, we take your data and store it securely in our UK datacentre, and offer you simple retrieval whenever you need it. Suitable for customers with over 1TB of data and with no upper limit, our solution is scalable in line with your requirements, so you only pay for what you use.

How can Backup24 help?

Strict deadlines leave little and no time to be searching for or redoing lost work, so Backup24 features daily synchronisation to limit your downtime should anything go wrong. Be reassured with fast, anytime access to your data using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client, with no file recovery costs to limit your access. Routine physical checks are undertaken at our UK datacentre to make sure your files are secure, and engineers are just on the other end of the phone to offer support and let you know how your invaluable files are doing.

Disaster-proofing with Total Merchandise

We know the importance of retaining access to key business resources in event of disaster. For Total Merchandise, a key part of their success is their ability to deliver tight turnarounds on a range of products, including a 48-hour express service. As their response time is so important to their customer relationships, they absolutely cannot afford any downtime. We worked with them to implement offsite hosted backup and a redundant server setup that ensured business continuity in the event of a major failure.

“The Jigsaw24 guys have initiated offsite backups and made sure that everything gets backed up overnight, which is great for us,” says Dave Stoddart, Systems Director at Total Merchandise. “It’s really good to know that if one server goes down, [end clients] automatically flip to the other server – the staff don’t even know something’s gone wrong, everyone just carries on working. It’s fantastic.”

Because Backup24 is adaptable to an end user’s unique workflow, for Total Merchandise we also arranged for the team to start backing up their Filemaker server to hosted storage every hour. This way, they’ll never lose more than an hour’s work should it crash. The senior leadership team have access to laptops with the login for these backup servers, so should the main site become inaccessible, they can simply log in remotely and continue working as normal.

What’s best for your business?

You can download our handy technical guide to Backup24 here to see which of our data backup solutions is perfect for your specific business needs.

And if you’re looking for even more protection, we can offer a range of business critical solutions such as hosted server management, cloud services, disaster recovery and data retention plans. Get in touch with our team to find out more about what we can do for you.

Want to find out more about how Backup24 can help your business? Give us a call on 03332 409 339, email solutions@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

How does Backup24 stack up against other backup services?

How does Backup24 stack up against other backup services?

If you’re looking for a way to look after your digital assets, and get the peace of mind that your work is protected against human error, air conditioning failures, hardware faults, computer viruses and the like, a hosted backup service is the way to go.

We offer our own service called Backup24, which is durable, reliable and – crucially – affordable. But how does it compare to some of the other solutions out there? One popular option is Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), part of Amazon Web Services. But there are a number of reasons we believe Backup24 is more suitable than Amazon S3 for users who work in the creative industries and have large digital files.

Simple pricing

Taking a look at Amazon’s pricing structure, you can see it’s rather complex, with charges for number of requests, type of request and the duration of data being held (Standard, Standard Infrequent Access and the more long-term Glacier package). Backup24, on the other hand, is priced on a simple £40 per TB stored per month model. As part of this, we provide help with restores should it be required, or there is also a self-service option available. There are also no bandwidth costs.

For larger businesses, we can also provide dedicated connectivity, which gives you a secure VPN connection to the data centre with ring-fenced bandwidth for your backups and restores, at £500 per 100Mbps dedicated connectivity per month.

Fully managed

With Backup24, one of our engineers will check your backup each day. With Amazon S3, the onus is on you to check that your backup has worked each day. You also need to complete online training on Amazon Web Services, whereas you don’t need to learn anything with Backup24 – we set it up, run it for you and will perform restores for you (or we can show you how to do this for yourself).

Designed for creatives

We’ve designed Backup24 specifically for creative users, whereas Amazon lead on being backup for business customers. And because creative work like video, audio and image files are high capacity and very valuable, we price our service per TB, rather than per GB.

Customer-focused

As with all our services and solutions, we like to put you, the customer, front and centre, and make sure we talk to all our customers regardless of size. You get a dedicated point of contact for your account, plus engineers available on the end of the phone during normal business hours.

They can advise on all things backup and storage, check in on the state of your backups and help you find files too. With Amazon, only the largest customers have someone to speak to about the service.

And the rest

As well as all that, here are a few of the other benefits of choosing Backup24 from Jigsaw24:

Someone on the end of the phone to give you advice and guidance, and to see how your backups are doing.

No file recovery costs so there’s no limit to your file access.

Fast, simple retrieval of your mission-critical data – if you lose your data, we should be able to retrieve it.

Secure connections initiated by you, making for safer transfer of data.

Live mirror copy of your existing data structure.

Daily snapshots of data, so any version of a file can be retrieved.

Physical checks of the integrity of the backup every day.

Physical pre-stage of data. Imagine you have 20TB of data – to get that into  cloud backup over the internet would take forever, so this eliminates that.

Restore of data onto physical drives if required (at an additional cost).

Want to find out more about Backup24? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.