Case Study 1

The Company

V-Print, a print production and reprographic service that serves as a back-office to major international book publishers.
V-print has stayed ahead of its times and today uses modern print machinery and computers to produce high quality books, journals, magazines and periodicals for its local and global clients. The production teams at V-Print comprise Proof readers, Graphic artists, Print specialists, DTP operators and Tech-support engineers.

The Problem

In the past couple of years an increasing number of international clients are ordering their publications in electronic formats instead of bulk hard-copy prints. Clients find it more economical and expeditious to carry out the actual hard-copy print runs in smaller batches at their local printshops using the electronic master copies which they want V-Print to produce out of raw material dispatched by them. The raw material also is increasingly in electronic format and consists primarily of rough manuscripts as editable documents or scanned image files.

This has made the operations of V-Print heavily dependent on to and fro digital file transfers via the internet. Presently the file transfers are disorganised and are happening through multiple modes like email, FTP and HTTP downloads. The file transfers have become critical and the file management work is spilling over into tech-support staff duties. The production specialists are becoming increasingly dependent on the tech-support staff to get the required file inputs. Proper versioning of the files is becoming difficult due to the increasing level of coordination required between the production staff and tech-support which work on a shift basis.

Recently there have been major slips in client deliveries when downloaded files were not made available on time due to absence of tech-support staff and where older file versions were uploaded by tech-support due to miscommunication with the production specialists.

The Solution

  • What V-Print now needs is Centrally Managed File Transfer System with the following features :
  • Controlled FTP upload and download access to preset server accounts for any authorised user.
  • Extreme ease of use so that uploads and downloads to and from FTP servers becomes possible even to non-technical production staff.
  • Facility to informationally tag and version-mark all FTP uploads.
  • Facility to catalog and archive all FTP uploads.
  • Facility to search and retrieve FTP uploads form the archives for instant reference and future reuse.

How LANwriter will help

LANwriterT is an ideal software option to implement the demanded solution.

The LANwriter solution shall work in the manner described below.

LANwriterT is installed by V-Print on a windows server on its LAN. This server has firewalled internet connectivity that permits two-way FTP connections.

Immediately after installation, the LANwriter system admin, using just a web-browser, connects to the LANwriter server over the LAN and feeds in the login information for all FTP upload and download accounts that are used by V-Print to transfer files to and from all its clients. He then creates LANwriter user accounts for all the production house staff giving them authenticated access to the LANwriter server that serves as their FTP gateway. Next he allots the appropriate FTP accounts to the appropriate user accounts thus giving controlled access to production house staff members only to FTP servers of clients whose projects they are working on.

Thus installed, LANwriter becomes a centralized FTP gateway that can be used by all V-Print staff for independently uploading and downloading files on their own from FTP server accounts that are assigned to them, without any additional assistance from tech-support.

Any staff member who wants to download the latest files posted by a client, simply opens his web browser, logs in to LANwriter using his user account, picks the particular FTP server account from a list of ones assigned to him and clicks Go. LANwriter connects him to the remote FTP srever, and allows him to download the latest files all from within the familiar browser window. No need for any FTP specialist to be around.

Next, when a specific version of a file is ready for being delivered to a client, again no need to wait for an FTP specialist to assist with the upload. The production staff member who created that file, simply opens his web browser, logs in to LANwriter, fills up a short form describing the upload and entering the version information, transfers his files to the LANwriter server, selects the FTP server to which they need to be uploaded from a list of servers assigned to him and clicks Go. That’s it ! LANwriterT makes a backup of his files, stores the entered version information in a database and uploads the files to the FTP server as a well cataloged FTP job. When the upload is complete LANwriter presents him with a link to the remote file so that he can be sure that the upload has been successful. And all this within the simple, familiar browser window.

Every FTP upload that is done by LANwriter for any user, is stored in the database and neatly cataloged for instant search and retrieval. If a production supervisor wants to know what was uploaded, when and by whom, the information along with the actual files that were uplaoded are available at the click of a button from within the LANwriter databse and archive filestore. With such systematization, file verison errors easily become history.

With LANwriter on the production network, each V-Print staff member as he follows an easy and natural file publication workflow, also continually contributes on a day-to-day basis to the creation and maintenance of a well organised file archive. This file archive coupled with the database records, becomes a cumulative repository of useful reusable information which otherwise would have degenerated into an increasingly chaotic mess of unmanagable files and folders. It is the day-to-day systematization of digital filing work which LANwriter naturally facilitates, that makes the make-or-break difference.

LANwriter offers the ultimate in FTP empowerment of all staff members while ensuring responsible usage and enforcing accountability. It is the ideal File Transfer System for service organisations like V-Print that have to cater to the digital file transfer needs of a global clientele in systematic manner.