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Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Success Story: Mapsoft MaskIt working for SONY. Perfect tool for hiding secure content in automated workflows.

Business need

The business world is becoming paperless. Many leading companies have incorporated Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) as their standard for processing all types of information electronically.

Sony Pictures Entertainment is no exception. As major players in the airline motion picture business, Sony has to process many orders that are received initially in paper format, typically via fax. Once the orders have been received, Sony evaluates, annotates and then sends them to the fulfilment vendors (print labs) for processing. As part of this process Sony has to add various annotations to the orders; these are a combination of restricted information and information critical to successful fulfilment processing. But, the private data is confidential and must be manually moved before the annotated order is sent to the lab.

Sony designed a process to eliminate most of the paper processing involved in the processing of these orders, by using scanning techniques to capture and store order images. A repository of digital orders was created and was used to automate most of the work flow. However, the workflow was not entirely paperless and was still very labour-intensive. A missing link remained in the automated process. What Sony needed, was a software tool to annotate the digital images in the repository before transmitting them to the fulfilment vendors.

Sony did not know of any user-friendly tool that could be used as part of the automated workflow, to hide the confidential annotations within the orders for the fulfilment vendors. That was until they contacted Mapsoft, and heard about Mapsoft MaskIt.

The perfect solution

Mapsoft MaskIt is a plug-in for use with Adobe Acrobat. It allows you to mask areas within PDF documents so that anything that would normally display within those areas is no longer visible. After an initial trial period evaluting MaskIt, Sony decided that this was the solution they had been looking for. Noreen Warren, Executive Director of Domestic Motion Picture Distribution Systems at Sony, had only one thing to say:

“Mapsoft MaskIt does everything anyone would need to update PDFs in a completely intuitive way and it seamlessly integrates with Adobe, our application software and our operating systems.”

It took the Sony team only a month to integrate MaskIt with their application distribution process. The main target group was those staff responsible for processing paper documents within the Sony motion picture distribution company. They are very happy with the results.

“We are very satisfied with MaskIt. The tool has never failed to operate as designed and implementation was literally painless. The vendor was responsive and flexible so that we were able to implement quickly and at a reasonable cost.”

SONY Pictures Entertainment Staff member

Business benefits

· Cost and time savings by enabling the automation of the work flow
· Improved productivity of over 300 employees within the organization
· Enhanced effectiveness of handling various customers’ compliance requirements
· Satisfaction of team members in all departments that use MaskIt
· Faster delivery of greater quality services to the customers

About Mapsoft

Mapsoft is a leading software developer and technical authoring consultancy for Adobe Acrobat, PageMaker and InDesign plug-in product extensions. Founded in 1991, Mapsoft is an Adobe business partner and delivers customised plug-in products worldwide, with clients including Lloyd’s of London, Hallmark Cards, Network Rail and Xerox.


Michael Peters

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