Booker: Past, Present, Future
Step 1 – Viva Model Management
In 2008, Cyril Brule contacted us to develop a booking and imaging system, being dissatisfied with his existing system, and finding nothing else on the market, which met his expectations.
In 2010, after 2 years of detailed discussions with agents, managers, and art department staff, followed by creation of a modern, non-browser/cloud architecture, then purposeful design, and development, Viva began using the first version of Booker in Paris, London, and Barcelona.
Since its very first line of code, Booker has been designed and created for top model agencies working in networks and groups, transacting with mother agencies, and sharing with partners. Viva was our first client to use Booker. However, Viva is not, and never has been, a partner or shareholder in Booker or its parent company, FineLab. FineLab is 100% owner of Booker. From 2010—2012 we worked closely with Viva Paris, London & Barcelona, to build additional functionality required to build a world-class, modern booking system.
Step 2 – DNA Models
In 2012, through their historically close collaboration, DNA Models heard that Viva was very
pleased with Booker, so we installed Booker at DNA in New York in early 2013.
It was our first experience with migration of data from another software (cDs).
It was also a great opportunity to Americanize Booker, and to add some cool features like: (1)
user restrictions, (2) personalization, (3) automatic size/measurement conversions, (4) To-Do
Lists, (5) a dedicated chart for Casting, (6) a dedicated chart for Shows, and much more.
During the DNA project, we imagined, and created, a high-performance server architecture, to
cover New York/USA, North America, and Europe, which we can extend, and scale up quickly
and easily, to include the LATAM and Asia/Pacific regions, when needed.
At that time, we also migrated our server architecture to Amazon Web Services (AWS), to take
full advantage of their resources, redundancy, and support. AWS offers the highest possible
global performance, reliability, and availability for the Booker hybrid-cloud application service.
Step 3 – Marilyn Agency Paris & New York
After Viva and DNA, Marilyn Paris and Marilyn NY, gave us our next experience with an agency
network. Partner agencies – this time with the same owner – connecting and sharing.
We gained experience fusing two different databases, merging two accounting process in one,
while also keeping the identity and ownership of books, job bookings, etc.
During the two Marilyn Agency projects, we also developed our powerful, flexible API
(Application Programming Interface), enabling linking of Booker to websites, for any developer
to use for development and content management of any agency website, or external systems.
We installed Marilyn New York in July 2014, and Marilyn Paris one month later.
Step 4 – Premium Model
We installed Premium Models in September 2014. It was our next experience with migration of
data from another software (cDs).
Premium gave us an opportunity to launch our first Booking LINK (BLINK) from Booker into
agency accounting, using our API, with third-party accounting software. Data is exported from
Booker to accounting, and after invoices process, jobs are tagged as invoiced in Booker.
This system continues to work perfectly.
Step 5 – Dominique models, the Squad, Max models
One more time, we gained experience with an agency network, this time merging data from
multiple sources, including cDs and a third party editor. When we unified the workflow and
modified the process of three separate, and unique agencies, Booker allowed us to incorporate
and respect their identities throughout the system, including packages, and separate websites.
This group of agencies gave us our next BLINK (Booking LINK) project, linking another (new)
accounting software to Booker. Again, we used our API for this BLINK, as well as to manage
content of their three different websites from within Booker.
Dominique Models network give us the opportunity to add many new, cool, workflow and
convenience features, such as automating some agents’ tasks, doing more with fewer clicks,
quicker access to key areas of Booker, etc.
Step 6 – Present & Future
During the past 8 years, we worked hard to learn, gain experience, and evolve Booker. Today,
its unique architecture provides unmatched speed, and connectivity; its design, simplicity.
We did a survey in November 2015, with our 200+ users – the results were:
• 90% of them will recommend Booker.
• 92% of them feel comfortable with Booker—it is intuitive, sexy…
• 97% think Booker is the best software they ever used!
BLINK (NEW Version – 2016)
In 2016, we launched our newest BLINK using Booker’s API, to an established (since 1997)
agency accounting, financial management system, which has been used by several of our
clients and prospects for many years, including Marilyn, DNA, Wilhelmina, Trump, The Society
Management, and others.
This new BLINK is what we will propose to your agency, and associated group/network
agencies, because the combination of Booker and this accounting system provides the most
sophisticated and robust functionality in two systems, which can operate as one, seamlesslyintegrated
global solution (may require some localization in some countries).
SmartLink (NEW – 2016)
To evolve Booker’s architecture further, to satisfy the model-sharing requirements of networked
agencies—both groups and partners—to minimize communication efforts/time, and to increase
booking speed with fewer errors, we launched our SmartLink feature in early 2016.
We are now using the SmartLink system to link different agencies and separate Booker
accounts, configured as partners, sharing specific models and charts. Our main goal with this
powerful feature of Booker is to facilitate the communications between several agencies and
make work easier for bookers, managers and administrators.
What’s Next? (Development & Updates)
Though Booker’s functionality is now robust and mature, it will continue to evolve and improve with new features, to accommodate the needs of our clients, and the modelling industry. Here is a partial list of planned development and approximate launch dates for these new features:
• 2016 / Q3 – iCal calendar format email notifications to models/agents for import
• 2016 / Q4 – Social Media tab in What’s New (Instagram 1st, Facebook later…)
• 2017 / Q1 – Contracts Module – to manage usages, exclusivities, etc. (dedicated area)
• 2017 / Q2 – Agent Web App for charts, models, books on smartphone / mobile access
• 2017 / Q4 – Model Web App for access to account & interaction on smartphone / mobile
• To Be Determined – YOUR special requests, unique requirements…
Booker is Growing
Today, we are actively working with many new prospects, of different sizes, in all corners of the globe, some with a few unique requirements. With Booker’s reputation for excellence spreading rapidly within the industry, by word-of-mouth, we anticipate rapid growth in the years ahead. Factors contributing most to our growth are:
• Ongoing dissatisfaction with the former/dominant market-leader,
• Increasing frustration with the performance of browser-based booking systems, especially in mid-sized-to-large agencies, with multiple locations,
• Demand and requirements for robust, modern, evolving functionality, and
• Desire for an intuitive, easy-to-use, and efficient solution, with a world class user
interface (UI) and user experience (UX).
Booker is a high-performance, reliable, and user-friendly software solution, tailor-made for multiple locations, and networks of partner agencies. Booker will continue to evolve, in order to meet the demands of our existing and new clients, and to satisfy the needs of all agencies.
Now we are proudly offering Booker to you.