Onison Business Case Study - Collier’s real estate Corporation

Colliers - A Media Asset Management Case Study

This case study is based upon the usage of the Collier’s real estate Corporation, whose business intends to expand and achieve a positive result. As the enterprise grows, so will the use of marketing assets, particularly the use of images. However, the ability of Colliers to cost effectively manage these assets becomes in­creasingly difficult.
The existing Colliers digital asset man­age­ment process is labour intensive and is not scalable to the de­mands of the increased business. These processes will continuously need to be automated as much as possible.  

Company Overview

Colliers is a full service, global real estate company. With offices and clients worldwide, Colliers is responsible for the manage­ment and distribution of thousands of property images, corpor­ate marketing materials, and other real estate related digital assets.
Each office is currently managing independent, growing in-house databases of over 48,000 digital images, administering and dis­tributing them to global clients and customers.

Business Issue

Due to the sheer volume of these assets, day-to-day tasks as­so­ciated with their administration, distribution, and management have placed an unsustainable burden on the existing Colliers re­sources.

Human resources in the marketing, administration and informa­tion technology departments of the Colliers organization are dedicating a great deal of time and effort to the ongoing support of these digital assets. 
The majority of these tasks are non-technical, labor intensive, repetitive and tedious.  Corporate resources dedicated to these tasks would be better spent on revenue-generating projects and initiatives.
The management of Collier’s digital assets consists of two main labor intensive tasks:

  • The manipulation, resizing, and reformatting of individual image files.
  • The retrieval and distribution of these images to stakeholders.

The existing digital asset IT infrastructure is a decentralized local network based system.  Project collaboration and distribution of image files results in massive file duplication across many systems.  This takes up a large amount of system storage space and makes versioning and control over these assets un­manageable. 

The reality of the situation is that this issue is only going to increase in magnitude. On the assumption that Colliers is suc­cessful in their business objectives, the use of these images will grow.  The problem is that the existing method of managing the assets is not scalable.  Therefore, success in Colliers business activities will add an upward spiralling cost, detracting from the hard fought revenue margins.

Business Objective

Colliers must be able to achieve growth, revenue, and prof­it­ability objectives.  Policies, procedures, and systems supporting this must be scalable to allow growth without increasing costs and subsequently reducing profitability margins.
Specifically, as Colliers business continues to expand, so does the proliferation of the use of digital images and the inherent issues associated with this as described previously.  The business ob­jec­tive is to reduce the costs to manage these assets.

Onison Proposal

Onison has invested extensive resources into the development of a web-based digital asset management system that relieves the burden placed upon corporate infrastructure and resources to support these valuable assets.
Onison is successfully providing this service to over 11,000 users from large global enterprises such as Novartis, Clariant, Rieter, Givaudan, Georg Fisher, Nike, etc.
The result is a revolutionary application that removes the time consuming and tedious tasks associated with managing digital assets.  It also addresses the technical issues concerning storage and distribution.
Highlights of the ImageDirector system are as follows:

  • Centralized repository of digital assets for easy control, distribution, versioning and file management
  • Web-based for easy access.
  • Digital images and files can be uploaded, searched, retrieved, viewed, downloaded, and organized from any location at any time of day.
  • Highly secure with controlled user privileges and access rights.
    Unlimited number of users.
  • Secure, scalable, hosted, application with system redundancy and complete database back-up and recovery.
  • Images are automatically resized and reformatted to corporate specifications.

Most importantly, ImageDirector would enable valuable Collier resources to focus their efforts on strategic, revenue producing initiatives, while providing controlled worldwide access to real estate images, logos, presentations, etc.  Time consuming, la­bor intensive tasks are handled by the ImageDirector system and image storage duplication is virtually eliminated. 
As ImageDirector is a hosted application service, all issues re­lated to storage, bandwidth and infrastructure are managed by onison Corporation.  Technology infrastructure expenditures are greatly reduced and costs are use-based monthly operating charges.
In essence, Colliers can now achieve all growth and revenue ob­jectives without incurring an increase in manpower and tech­nology investments.

Business Case

The business case for this proposal is based upon the analysis of the existing Colliers processes and the comparison of these tasks to the ImageDirector automated processes. This com­parison will help determine the value of utilizing the onison digital assets management application, and ultimately justify the adoption of the use of this system by Colliers.

Workflow Oriented Cost Analysis

In order that we provide an accurate business case for the use of a DAM, a "from the ground up" automation strategy called "activity-task automation" must analyze small, oft repeated actions of key knowledge workers- in this case the Colliers Vancouver office marketing department.

This task example focuses on the number of minutes of effort required when locating, rendering and distributing an image.

Corporate Marketing
Department Activity

Manual Process

Autom. Process

ImageDirector Web
Application Activity

Raw image received via e-mail or downloaded from camera to server.



Raw image is uploaded via browser to system.

Image is manipulated to adjust color, balance and cropping.




Image is resized and reformatted for low res. and high res. use and uploaded to server.



Image is automatically resized and reformatted upon upload to system. Additional sizes and formats can be created by users of the system.

Image is located via “Explorer" search function, utilizing file menus.



ImageDirector multiple search function of file name, short name, category, file type, keywords, description, notes, customer ID and file ID reduces time to identify the correct image.

Individual images must be opened, viewed and the correct image retrieved.



Thumbnail previews and text descriptions ensure correct image downloads.

Deliver image. Multiple copies may reside on numerous desktops and locations creating many duplicate files.



Thumbnail link e-mail notification.  No need for permanent file storage on individual systems.

Minute Total*



Labor reduced by 67% utilizing ImageDirector

*Figures based upon analysis of Onison customer’s marketing activities and comparison conducted after implementation of ImageDirector system.
Currently 25% of Colliers marketing department efforts are spent on image related tasks in each office location.  The use of ImageDirector would see a reduction in this number from 25 %  to 8.5 % of allocated departmental time.
  Based upon this comparison, it is apparent that significant cost savings can be recognized by the automation of managing digital assets.  For example, a company such as Colliers with an image library upload of approximately 5,000 images per year could see a saving of 1500 man hours of annual labor.  

Return On Investment Calculation

Based upon the above workflow analysis, the use of Image­Director by the Colliers marketing and communications resources would recognize a cost saving shown by the example below:

  • 5,000 images x 27 minutes/image = 135,000 minutes or 2250 manpower hours/year
  • 2,250 manpower hours x $50 per hour (corporate cost) = $112,500.00
  • $112,500.00 x 67% reduction in labor represents a savings in one year of $75,375.00, or $6281.00 per month.

ImageDirector monthly cost estimate includes:

  • Monthly Hosting Fee: Hosted Application and Storage of approximately 50,000 digital images with 50GB Storage space and data transfer per month: US$ 99.90
  • First Year Costs: US$ 1,198.80

Time to realize return on investment = US$ 1,198.80/ 6281 = 0.2 months

Based upon these calculations Colliers will see a Return Of Investment in less than a week.  Cost savings per year for each office location will total US $74,176.20.

It should be noted that Collier’s technology, hardware, and network infrastructure costs such as servers, storage, mainten­ance, and administration were not included in this ROI calculation.  As these resources tend to be shared, the issues associated with determining their exact cost has proven to be very difficult and complex.  However, it is safe to say that these expenses will only continue to grow as Colliers use of images increases the significant savings in this area of expenditure would also be recognized through the adoption of ImageDirector.

Business Case Summary

The preceding information gathered during the analysis of the Colliers digital assets indicates that the current in-house man­agement of these files is not sustainable under the existing conditions and infrastructure.  Substantial investment into hu­man and technology resources will be required to meet the demands placed upon the marketing, administration and infor­mation technology departments, assuming Colliers be success in achieving their corporate growth objectives.
Adoption of the Onison solution will provide scalability, increased functionality and capabilities, reduced dependence on internal resources and decreased costs.  This will enable Colliers to achieve their revenue goals without any decline in profit margin.  

Future Applications and Opportunities

ImageDirector is designed to be completely scalable and adapt­able to any user in a global corporation.  Therefore, it is entirely conceivable that in the future, other offices, departments, and divisions within Colliers would wish to take advantage of the functionality that the ImageDirector application offers.

The application of this outstanding advantage is that once a set-up has been im­plemented, expanding the use of the system is simply a matter of adding extra groups and users. 


Future applications for Colliers can include: 

  • Setting up other offices and divisions in a matter of minutes.
  • Expanding the types of files to be accessed and shared to include logos, maps, presentations, documents, etc.
  • Presentations can be received globally, slide by slide, and new presentations compiled as needed.
  • Application functionality can be replicated across the globe instantly so that increased efficiencies are recognized through the use of the system.

This business case has proven that significant savings and productivity can be recognized by the Colliers Corporation.


The Company

Onison Corporation is a leading global provider of branding tools that assist companies to manage their digital assets and contents for various media outputs.

Products & Services

Onison's scalable enterprise brand management platform provides a smart approach to manage brand and marketing workflows.

ImageDirector Media Asset Management
Preeon Web-to-Print Publisher
Automatic Catalogue Production
Product Information Management

We are available 365/24/7 with a primary goal to ensure that our customers utilize their applications to their full potential.

+41 44 585 36 63

North America:
+1 604 681 4191
ⒸCopyright Onison Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
brilliance in simplicity