Constructing a history in pictures

A project to convert a large historical archive of images and drawings to digital assets is bearing fruit for Genting Malaysia, a major regional player in the leisure and hospitality business.

Genting Malaysia is part of the Genting Group, which has been developing theme parks, gaming, hotels, seaside resorts and entertainment for over 45 years. Its loyalty card programme (“Genting WorldCard”) has over 3.3 million members from its operations in Malaysia alone.

A major new  £125m leisure and entertainment development located at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham (UK) is the latest global initiative from Genting Group, which has grown from its roots in Malaysia to build a global network of resorts.

When Genting at the NEC opens in 2015 as expected, it will join existing properties in Malaysia, New York City and Miami USA.

Resorts World Genting is the hill resort in Malaysia where it all began, Bult in a huge undertaking since the 1960s, the construction was closely documented by photographers working in traditional analogue media as the vast network of hotels, casinos and theme parks took shape.

However traditional film photography has a limited lifespan and lacks the accessibility of digital imagery, so genting Malaysia has been underway with a project to digitise and archive its large collection of images and drawings in a digital asset management system.

Magna Color K.O.L. Sdn Bhd has been working with Genting Malaysia to convert historic records contained in photography, plans and drawings from over 20-30 years ago.

The firm began 25 years ago as a local colour separator, servicing Advertising Agencies & direct clients. As technology evolved and production shifted to Computer to plate (CTP) and digital,it found a need for a digital filing system for its own internal use and to offer to its clients.

It selected the Cumulus Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform from Canto in Germany to form the basis of a new division Magna Digital and Magna Digital Asset Management each with their own staff and support system.

“For the last 12 months we have been supporting Genting Malaysia in this project,” said Magna Digital’s Jenny Bohlsen.

“We have the experience and expertise to drum scan, retouch and correct colour to ensure future generations can look back and see a complete history of the Genting Corporation. These valuable memories will not be lost and can be preserved.”

Magna Digital has been using the Cumulus DAM system since 2008 when it was at Version 7. The latest version 8.0 is now deployed along with the Cumulus Web Publisher Pro and Internet Client Pro tools.

These provide the capability for clients such as Genting to to personally handle storage, managing and distributing logos, photos, audio, video, design files and other digital assets 

With support and assistance from Canto’s Asia-Pacific distributor, Databasics, Magna Digital 

successfully integrated its backend support and supervision with Genting Malaysia’s in-house team.

The move to digital image archiving has also been adopted by other high-end corporate clients such as Maxis Berhad, Malaysian Airlines and Astro ( Measat Publications ). 

“Our in-house team has grown and clients use and access their data and files hundreds of times a week,” said Bohlsen. 

“They can download and repurpose their material as they choose, saving time and money and getting greater return on the investment.”

The use of DAM software eliminates convoluted digital folder structures, piles of job folders, stuffed file cabinets and hidden spaces that can mysteriously claim digital assets. 

When companies begin to realise the freedom to easily share and distribute archive images from a digital asset repository, the next thing they ask for is more fine grained levels of control.

Magna Digital is looking to respond to this with a proposed upgrade in 2013 to add Cumulus extended permissions software

This will enable clients to have a unique and higher level of privacy and control of files and data from different divisions within the organization.

It will allow them to manage each individual asset by setting and managing access and permissions while maintaining security of access..

“It has been an interesting journey, we recently developed a highly productive Digital Solutions Division to extend our services even further. As digital media is fast becoming a large portion of advertising spends we can now provide full production services ranging from mobile apps, to web and social media, and all the new and exciting forms of electronic media,” said Bohlsen.

“These new forms of data and resources also need to be stored and archived for future generations as well as regional repurposing and due to the ever evolving nature of Cumulus we can without doubt or hesitation accommodate these into our system now and for many years to come.”