Case Study 3

Secure delegation of data publishing responsibility to those generating the data and reducing dependence on IT Support staff

The Company

Aliagroup is a corporate branding house. Its work encompasses marketing services, project planning, conceiving strategy, graphic design, artwork execution, packaging design, liasoning with media houses for print production and web design for presentation. It has multiple departments across which this work is spread. An essential part of this work-cycle is Data Publishing either for presentation purposes or for final product delivery.

The company needs to deliver files on CD ROMs as part of their deliverables at many stages of a project. The marketing executives have to carry the latest marketing presentations on mini CDs or Pen-Drives to make a neat impression in client boardrooms. The graphic designers need to make the latest designs accessible over the internet and seek instant approval and modifications from clients who are always demanding speed while pushing for a shorter time to market. Data publication is thus a crucial activity in the overall work-cycle of this typical company of the digital age.

The Problem

As business grew, Aliagroup found it ever more difficult to keep track of data being published by the company and released for dispatch to the outer world. With the legally binding confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements that it had signed with its clients, managing data publishing without compromising security was proving to be a major challenge and a significant bottleneck in the work-flow. The challenge essentially lay in arriving at a balance between delegation of data publication work down the line to staff who created the data and used it after publication, and maintaining effective control over this publishing activity.

The Solution

What was needed was a mechanism whereby the data publishing work could be hierarchically delegated downstream, but be kept under the supervision and subjected to the approval of senior staff who could be given privileges to approve data publishing jobs of their juniors and themselves self-approve their own jobs which in turn were automatically recorded and archived for inspection by higher management from time to time. This system also needed to be highly user friendly and easily accessible on the network without adding significantly to the configuration and maintenance workload of limited tech-support staff. Given the diverse publishing needs, the solution ought to be versatile and provide for publication of data to CDROM, Pendrive as well as the Web.

How LANwriter helped

Aliagroup installed LANwriter on a single WinXPP workstation equipped with a good DVD Burner, two front USB ports and connectivity to the internet. User accounts were created for all staff members. Users were grouped into 3 categories viz. Approvers (primarily trusted senior managers of the company who kept a tab on juniors and approved their data publishing jobs), Power Users ( trusted mid-level executives who could approve and publish their own data without waiting for approval from Approvers) and Normal Users (The junior executives and new recruits whose data transfer jobs were publishable only after they got them approved by their approving authority who could do the same in a couple of clicks after inspecting the job from the convenience of their own workstations using web browsers ). The simplicity and ease of use that was needed was ensured by the friendly UI of LANwriter and its browser based operation. The online help and animated quick-tour tutorials were found to get new users up and running on the system in no time. All data published to CDs and the Web is now available as a searchable archive. This archive is frequently searched for past jobs and the files are republished as additional copies or reused in newer publications with minor alterations.

LANwriter is now serving as an online catalog of all important data published by the company on an ongoing basis. The marketing executives and designers have been empowered with the ability to almost instantly publish their work on the website and secure client approvals in no time. LANwriter has not only provided Aliagroup with a network shared CD/DVD Burner, but has given it a complete secure data publishing, cataloging and archiving solution. It has significantly improved efficiency and response times of the staff involved in data publishing for client service.

LANwriter was a small wise investment in appropriate software which has gone a long way and paid for itself many times over through time saving and productivity enhancement.