Why Financial Times Chose FotoWare and Medialogix

Why Financial Times Chose FotoWare and Medialogix

Back in September 2015, I was part of the Medialogix team which helped the Financial Times migrate from their aging PicDar system to FotoWare. Their system was costing a lot to maintain and was no longer fit for purpose. The case study below was written by Alex Kronenberg at FotoWare which explains their problems and the solutions we provided.

The Financial Times is the world’s leading business publication, operating globally with offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Manila, to name a few. Previously, they had been using a system with a limited user-base, extreme latency problems, and issues with image rights. Discover how they solved these issues using a web-based DAM and halved support costs.

Name: Financial Times

  • Industry: Media – Business & Finance
  • Organization Size: 2,000+ employees
  • Circulation: ‎185,747 (Print); 740,000 (Digital)
  • DAM Function: Media & Publishing
  • Return on Investment: Support costs reduced by 50%


  • Limited Users and Long Loading Times

The Financial Times had a DAM system with a user-base that was limited to about 30 people. It was a desktop application which had massive latency problems, and staff in Hong Kong and Manila couldn’t use the system while staff in London could. It took up to 15 minutes to upload an image and was a source of great inefficiency.

  • Inefficient ways of working

The main users of the DAM was the picture desk and the journalists. The old process was unnecessarily labored, requiring multiple people to be involved for a simple task. When a journalist requested a picture for an article, the picture desk would find it, send it into the content management system, send the journalists the ID, and they would then put the image into the article.

As a result of these challenges, the Financial Times looked for a web-based DAM that could be accessed from anywhere the world. It was also important that the system was easy to install, easy to use, and could be rolled out to as many people as possible.


  • Democratizing Workflows for Journalists

With the FotoWare DAM, the Financial Times have expanded the ability to source images from some users in our London office to about 150 people in offices throughout the world. People can choose their own images easily, put them into our content management system and use the images. It has democratized the whole workflow system.

“Now, the journalists can also search the DAM for a picture and send it straight into our content management system and use it themselves.”

  • Greater Control over Image Rights

When the Financial Times introduced the new DAM system, they also wanted to sort out issues with image rights, which had also been challenging. Now, when they use images from Getty they know whether they can syndicate them or not and whether they can use them on social media or not. Before, nobody really knew what rights there were for using images in the old system, but now all employees can easily find out what rights they have for every single image.

  • A Scalable System

The user-base limited the use of the old DAM system within the Financial Times, but the scalability of the FotoWare solution has enabled it to be rolled out to other publications connected to the Financial Times. Social media is a big player in addition to editorial, and the Financial Times’ sister publications, Investors Chronicle and FT Adviser, also now use the system for this as well.

“More users are using the system, and more pictures are being published per month”.

  • Reduced Support Costs

The Financial Times decided on a FotoWare Digital Asset Management solution on Amazon Web Services as they already used the services company-wide, so it was easy to get started – usage of the old system dropped as soon as they launched the FotoWare solution, and had completely stopped after 3 months.

“We’ve halved our support costs from the old system and now have more control over the software because we understand it much better and we are able to make changes. A couple of years ago we’d have to call up a third party and get them to fix it, but we’re now in full control of the system.”

Original article was published here: https://www.fotoware.com/blog/financial-times-case-study

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Medialogix – Microsoft Silver Partner

Medialogix – Microsoft Silver Partner

We are proud to announce that Medialogix has attained Silver Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Programme with a competency in the Azure Cloud Platform.

A Silver Competency is offered to companies demonstrating the highest and most specialized ability and commitment in a specific business solution area. Microsoft recognises companies awarded the Silver Competency for offering the best solutions to customers and for undertaking a rigorous and auditable approval process. A business which has earned a Silver Competency is among the top 5% of Microsoft partners worldwide.

Medialogix has been a Microsoft Applications Development partner and also a FotoWare partner since 2003. We have a team of software engineers with hands on experience of applications development on iOS, Android, Windows devices and deployed via Microsoft Azure.

Alongside our FotoWare Digital Asset Management and applications for healthcare and policing, we offer a full range of software development services which allow our clients to maximise the benefits of Microsoft Azure technologies.

This partnership with Microsoft will help us win new business by strengthening our capability, fulfilling our client commitments and showcasing our applications based on Microsoft’s cutting edge technologies.  With the silver certified partner status we will be the first to learn about the latest product enhancements and updates and we will pass that benefit to our clients by keeping them informed and offering the latest solutions, ahead of the competition.

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Top 8 Benefits of the Medialogix Implementation of FotoWare for Police Evidence Management

Top 8 Benefits of the Medialogix Implementation of FotoWare for Police Evidence Management

I have been advising on and helping implement Digital Evidence Management Systems in Police and Law enforcement agencies since 2003, which was a long time before we even coined the phrase “Digital Evidence Management”.

I find this a very exciting area of work (even though it took me a while to get used to some of the more graphic images) and one that I find genuinely satisfying as I believe our contribution is helping our Public Services and society in general.

Over the years of working with this sector installing the FotoWare Solution it became apparent to me that the were some limitations in the core products. Thankfully we have some excellent APIs and integration points available from FotoWare which has allowed us to develop add-on products which help us build better workflow solutions and that comply with the guidelines and requirements set by government agencies for law enforcement digital evidence.


Our 5 products for Policing:

  1. Pixel Mobile, a mobile device app for iOS and Android devices which allows secure uploading and viewing of images, audio files, videos and documents. We attach metadata from crime systems and case management systems to prevent re-keying.
  2. Pixel Desktop, which runs on a laptop or PC allowing police officers to upload large amounts for data securely and in the background so the user doesn’t need to stay logged in or can continue working on other things and not worry about browser timeouts or limitations on the number and size of files.
  3. PDF+ allows users to create PDF documents from albums created in FotoWeb. The PDF documents can be used for witness statements and other reports for printing on the local printer or emailing securely.
  4. AVIS – can connect to Digital Interview Recording systems (DIR) but potentially any system which produces digital media that needs to be ingested automatically into the Digital Evidence Management System and transforming any metadata whilst still complying with policies set by the organisation.
  5. Reakt – allows users to send files to other systems, essential for the processing of files such as blurring faces.

What is most important is that these products work alongside FotoWare to help achieve a great number of benefits to Police and Law enforcement agencies.


Top 8 Benefits for Police and Law Enforcement Agencies


1. Audit Trail and Evidential Master

  • All evidential “master files” are stored on secure storage with an audit trail process to prove integrity – original version is “untouchable” using secure storage methods
  • Master files can be made available to download by only specified groups of users
  • All files have their hash value stored in a secure database from point of upload until they are stored on the server
  • All actions on the “working copy” file are logged
  • Asset integrity is maintained through check summing to prevent accidental or deliberate tampering that may render them unsuitable as evidence in the court. Integrity is validated before and after upload.

2. Flexible Security and Role-based Access

  • Ensure security over sensitive and high-profile case evidence by defining security policies and assigning users to roles that restrict their access to permitted information and operations.
  • The administration web portal gives detailed activity logs and enables user and permissions management.
  • Integrate with Microsoft Active Directory, Azure AD, and SAML-based Identity and Access Management solutions.

3. Quick and Easy Uploading

  • The upload tool allows the user to connect to 3rd party crime management systems to reduce re-keying of information
  • User’s have the ability to select media files from different sources such as camera cards, body worn video devices, CD/DVD and external hard drives.
  • Lets officers record and ingest digital evidence from body-worn video cameras, DSLRs, police issued secure mobile phones, or any other device in virtually all file formats from terminals in the police station or using police issued mobile devices and secure networks.
  • Files are uploaded automatically from Digital Interview Recording (DIR) devices and other such devices which generate media files.
  • Upload crime scene images, body worn video, mobile phone reports, fingerprints, mugshot/custody suite images, emergency call recordings, vehicle collision investigation images and more.
  • Ability to restrict files to certain groups of users during the upload process
  • Upload large amounts of data without the user being required to stay logged in or leave a browser window open. A background service securely transfers the data in the background, allowing the users to log out at the end of their shift or work on something else.

4. Viewing and Playback

  • Files are viewable via the user friendly web interface
  • If a user has permission they can correct incorrect metadata on multiple files at a time.
  • Video playback allows the user to play the video at different speeds, playback 1 frame or 5 frames and adjust brightness / colour settings.
  • Video/audio streaming capability – allows the user to skip to various parts of the media file without requiring download
  • Playback the video in the web browser without plugins required
  • Users can view media files via police issued secure mobile devices (iPhone or android)

5. Annotations and Redactions

  • Officers can quickly add or review comments and visual indicators on assets to help identify objects crucial to the investigation.
  • Easily blur out faces, license plates, and other sensitive information before evidence is shared with the press.

6. Sharing

  • Create “albums” and share media to other users and groups in the system.
  • Create PDF documents and download for printing. Templates for witness statements, streamline forensic reporting (SFR) and other evidential related reports.
  • Send PDF documents of images into case management systems via integrations

7. Flexible Retention Policies 

  • Configure to follow retention policies, automatically purge evidence that is not connected to a case, set retention policies according to case type, keep evidence for as long as legally required. In the UK police have to adhere to Management of Police Information (MoPI) guidelines for retention rules.

8. Integrations & Audit Trails

  • Plugins for Microsoft Office to allow certain users to use media files directly from Word or PowerPoint without the need to download
  • Plugins, RESTful API integration into any CMS or 3rd party system
  • Ability to integrate with AI systems for automated metadata, video redactions, transcriptions and much more.
  • Get detailed audit reports the record everything that has been done to an asset from the moment it entered the system. Reports can be customized to provide the precise level of information needed.

This is a brief insight into the 8 benefits I have identified, there is so much more that can be mentioned. If you would like to know more or have any questions about our policing projects, please contact me via email: faisal@medialogix.co.uk or Linkedin


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Getting into the Cloud: What are IaaS, PaaS and SaaS?

Getting into the Cloud: What are IaaS, PaaS and SaaS?

There are still companies out there that think cloud is just a hype, and that owning your own servers is the only way to go. Cloud might have been a hype 25 years ago, when Microsoft bought Hotmail, but today it has become the most secure and scalable solution for companies that want to grow.

Back in 2003 I had an important task of getting our server up and running to receive email, run the website and store our company files. At that time I had to spend much of my time doing things I didn’t intend to do, such as increasing the storage, upgrading operation systems, repairing hardware, etc. Before long, I found a company who provided hosted email and website services and started using a local RAID storage device for the company files. This hugely reduced my workload, but I still had to deal with backing up the local storage.

Our business has been fully utilising cloud services since 2013. Now we no longer have anything stored locally. Even our developers use GitHub in the cloud to store their code. This left me to concentrate on the job at hand which is to help existing clients improve their usage of our software and acquire new business. The great thing about the annual subscription is that we can change our services easier than if we had paid a hefty price for perpetual software. And that gives us great flexibility.

IaaS, PaaS, SaaS – what do they really mean?

I often get questions from my customers on what the difference among cloud service models is and what they do. Let me give you a simple explanation using the car analogy, since I also love cars (almost as much as I love tech).

On-premises is like owning a car. When you purchase a car, you’re responsible for its repairs etc. When you need to upgrade you just buy a new car.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is a little bit like hiring a car. When you hire a car, you choose the car you want and drive it, but the car doesn’t belong to you. When you want to upgrade you just hire a new car.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) is like taking a chauffeur driven car. You don’t drive a vehicle yourself, but simply tell the driver where you need to go and relax in the back seat.

SaaS (Software as a Service) is like going by train. Trains have assigned routes, and you share the ride with other passengers. (but without having to sit with them – you all have your very own carriage).

What are the benefits of each cloud service model?

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

IaaS is a cloud-based service that provides servers, storage and networking resources. Major IaaS providers include Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Google Compute Engine. This service is great for IT administrators and those with the technical knowledge but don’t want to have to worry about the hardware. It’s amazing that nowadays you can switch on hundreds of thousands of euros worth of equipment, use it for whatever purpose you need to and then switch it off and only pay for what you used.

Many of our clients require more control of their resources and software versions and configurations. As a FotoWare partner and Microsoft partner we provide fully managed services for organisations who need it. One such organisation is Nikkei. We are based in the UK and Nikkei are based in Japan. Without having to fly out, we can at the touch of a few buttons utilize Azure services hosted in data centers based in Tokyo. This makes it nice and fast for our client and it complies with their policy on where the data must be stored. Nikkei can focus on their business and we take care of their IT-infrastructure.

PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS solutions are mostly used by software developers and software development companies. The great thing about PaaS is we can have environments for development, testing and managing applications and not worry about maintaining the server-side components of the infrastructure such as web servers, storage, network resources, etc. These tools can reduce the time it takes to code new app with pre-coded components built into the platform. Heroku, Amazon AWS Lambda and Google App Engine are also very popular services.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS allows you to use cloud-based web applications. Many email services such as Hotmail and Gmail are well known examples of SaaS. Other examples are software products such a Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite, Pipedrive customer relationship management software and even Netflix.

Usually you would pay for these services on a pay as you go monthly or annual payment. You don’t have to worry about hardware to setup or software to install and maintain. Usually the application is ready to go soon after you sign up and you get your username and password. And you always have the flexibility to add (or remove) users as your company grows. This leaves organisations with a huge advantage as they don’t have to make big upfront investments, but only pay for what they use. Not to mention the cost of server storage and risk of an outage.

FotoWare is also available as a SaaS and this is great for many organisations who want to use the solution with no big upfront investment or those who don’t have enough IT resources to take care of the maintenance. FotoWare on the SaaS platform meets the requirement of most organisations and the uptake is growing. I think this is the future for all solution providers, and it is not in the too distant future.

In today’s market of cloud services, customers have the flexibility to make the choices that fit their IT infrastructure requirements, and not being forced to managing their servers on site. This empowers especially the small and medium business segments, since in the past, the cost of owning servers was a risk factor in growing their business fast enough. But also, enterprise organisations are more and more leveraging the benefit of using Cloud infrastructure. Now IT personnel can spend time on business development tasks, rather than upgrading disk space. Lately at Medialogix we have seen a huge increase in enquiries about the cloud, and how to move data and start using cloud services. We are enjoying helping and advising customers and are proud to be part of their journey to growing their business.

Photo: Faisal Mahmood, Medialogix UK, speaking at the FotoWare Partner Summit 2019

If you would like to know more about our solutions and in particular our experience in the cloud, please don’t hesitate to email me: faisal@medialogix.co.uk or message me on linkedin.

This article was previously published here.


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