Frequently Asked Questions – SaaS (Software as a Service) Picture Desk
- What is Merlin Hosted?
The Merlin SaaSPicture Desk System is MerlinOne’s cloud computing solution for providing Software as a Service). It includes a fault tolerant Merlin digital asset management system in a SAS 70 Type II hosting facility.
- What are the key advantages?
Merlin Hosted provides reduced cost, due to economies of scale, rapid implementation and system scaling on-demand. It also enables our customers to respond rapidly to the changing demands of digital asset management, without a large up-front capital expenditure or IT staff.
- Will our workflow have to change?
Of course your workflow will change-it will get better and more efficient and Merlin experts guide you through the entire implementation process with web seminars. We can even come onsite if you prefer.
- How long does Merlin Hosted take to implement?
It depends upon the size of the publication or digital library, however we expect that getting up and running would be complete within 30 days.
- How do I know it will work for my organization?Software as a Service (SaaS) and hosted applications are becoming the norm. We have a proven methodology and track record. We are currently managing over 150 production servers.
- How can MerlinOne guarantee performance?
The Merlin Hosted Picture Desk infrastructure is 100% redundant and our Service Level Agreement guarantees performance. Network, server and storage redundancy guarantees delivery of all your digital assets. A high-performance Internet solution that uses patented route-control technology to dynamically identify the best path (multiple network backbones) for our applications and your data ensures optimal delivery of all your content.
- What equipment do I need to install in-house?
You may not need any equipment in house! If you desire integration with some specific on-site systems, or support for single sign-on technologies, like Windows Active Directory, we can supply on-site servers that support the secure transmission of data and logon requests between your network and the Merlin hosted digital asset management system (see Question 15).
- What training will be required?
Basic web-based training is included. On-site training is optionally available.
- How much will it cost (as opposed to installing an in-house system)?
Normally there is no requirement for capital budget, but there is a start-up fee after which monthly service fees are charged over the term of the contract. We can confirm costs after a technical audit – taking into account the amount of digital assets and application requirements.
- Is there any guarantee that prices will not rise?
The service agreement provides for a fixed price over a fixed term, and MerlinOne is committed to building long-term relationships.
- Will my data be totally secure?
Yes. Apart from the high-security data center that employs multiple physical access checkpoints such as card readers, biometrics and security escorts to private cages under lock and key, Merlin Hosted provides single tenancy, which means your data is stored separately from other organizations’ data. In addition, if desired, all access to the assets can be over SSL (https) and user authentication can be integrated with your existing single sign-on mechanisms.
- What happens if the MerlinOne equipment or network fails?
It won’t fail. All of our servers have redundant connections to separate switches that are configured in a fault-tolerant manner. In front of those switches is a pair of redundant firewalls that support automatic failover and that is all being fed from redundant internet feeds from our provider. Our servers are all fault-tolerant and can absorb multiple server failures without your end-users being impacted. Our provider’s network redundancy ensures optimal delivery of your content and applications via a patented Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ (MIRO) technology that monitors the performance of each Internet backbone, routing your traffic across the best path to provide faster and more reliable content and data delivery than traditional routing methods.
- How are technical problems resolved?
MerlinOne technical support is available 24/7. Our experts are always on-hand to resolve any technical issues.
- What happens when my disk space becomes full?
Easily add more disk space to your service agreement.
- How do I integrate solutions within Merlin Hosted with my existing systems?
We have an available option to use On-site Workflow Link (OWL) servers to facilitate secure data exchange and single sign on. These act as on-site portals for third party application access, if desired.
- Does MerlinOne use a single or multitenant environment – and what does this mean?
Single tenancy, means each installed customer will have its own separate copy of the software, rather than different customers sharing the same copy of the software. Each Merlin Hosted customer receives their own database, asset storage and copy of the software. This approach to providing “Software as a Service” offers the customer the highest level of security. Beyond the security and compliance implications, the single tenancy approach allows for the maximum level of flexibility in timing maintenance and upgrades. It enables us to perform upgrades in a controlled fashion, rolling them out gradually, even individually.
- Which organizations are using Merlin Hosted?
The Humane Society, World Vision, Save the Children, Harvard University, Colgate University, Dallas Morning News, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Minneapolis Star Tribune, KOA, Christian Science Monitor, Arizona Daily Star, Providence Journal, Portland Oregonian, Baton Rouge Advocate, National Public Radio, Landov Media, and many others all use Merlin Hosted. To see a more inclusive list visit our Customers Page.
- Can I still buy an on-premise picture desk system from MerlinOne?
Certainly. However due to the many economic and reliability advantages, MerlinOne believes that cloud computing (SaaS) will become the most popular option.
- What’s the next step?
Request a demo or contact the Merlin Hosted team at sales@MerlinOne.com.
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