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ORLANDO, Fla. -- EMC World -- Beverage company Brown-Forman saved $28 million in just 12 months after deploying a digital asset management system.

The Louisville, Ky.-based company, which is responsible for producing Jack Daniel's and Fetzer wine, deals with more than 40 international advertising agencies and a slew of smaller local firms. Prior to deploying a digital asset management system, the firm was confronted with serious costs whenever it wanted to send an ad out to a magazine or newspaper. "Our agencies were charging us around $700 for burning an image to a CD," said Rob Price, Brown-Forman's lead business systems analyst, during a presentation here today.

With around 4,000 separate ads, each of which had up to five separate file formats, Brown Forman's costs were escalating. "It was so high that marketing was willing to spend money on technology," joked Price.

The solution was Digital Asset Manager software from EMC's Documentum division, which was deployed in early 2005 as a central online repository for the company's images. Dubbed the Brand Asset Resource (BAR) system, the repository initially contained 4,000 images, a figure which has since grown to 22,000, just over a Tbyte of data.

The costly process of burning images onto CDs and mailing them around the world has been replaced with a Web link that allows ad agencies to access images and forward them to publications in electronic format. Price explained that 36,000 hi-resolution assets were downloaded in the system's first year. "Looking strictly at the agency fees that would have been paid without BAR [for burning and mailing CDs], we saved approximately $28 million in the first year."

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