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HPB Education Foundation (HPBEF)

March 16, 2016

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The company uses Vitrium Security to secure its NFI reference manuals and other documents and reports.

“Vitrium Security addresses all three of our requirements for a DRM solution: it offers a good level of security for our NFI manuals, it has an easy-to-use administrative interface, and it was cost-effective for our company.” - Rick Vlahos, Executive Director, HPBEF

Company Overview

The HPB Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit education foundation that serves as the education “arm” of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). The organization focuses on safety training and education to ensure that proper processes are executed. They publish several manuals, offer a wide variety of online courses, and administer the National Fireplace Institute (NFI) Certification Program – the only nationwide certification program for those that plan and install hearth appliances.

Key Challenges

At HPBEF, their educational documents, particularly the NFI Reference Manuals, are not only used to prepare individuals for the NFI certification exam, but they are also a great reference source for questions that arise in the field. Therefore, HPBEF needed to come up with a way to make that information available and searchable while protecting its income from the sale of these manuals.

“As technology has become a larger part of our everyday lives, we needed to seek out ways to make our manuals more accessible, as we were providing them in print format, which is costly and a cumbersome process to package and mail to our customers,” states Rick Vlahos, HPBEF’s Executive Director. “We wanted to find a way to make the manuals more accessible by going digital, while ensuring we secured the content to protect our revenue streams. After all, it’s a well-known fact that digital content can be easily copied and shared online.”

The Solution – Vitrium Security

Rick and the team at HPBEF decided to go with the popular PDF format for converting their NFI Reference Manuals from print to digital, so they searched the web for a digital rights management (DRM) solution that was ideal for protecting PDF documents. They needed a DRM solution that would be easy to use, cost-effective and, of course, provide the security they needed to protect the revenue they earn from these manuals.

“Vitrium Security addresses all three of our requirements for a DRM solution: it offers a good level of security for our NFI manuals, it has an easy-to-use administrative interface, and the solution was cost-effective for our company," states Mr. Vlahos. "In addition, the secured PDF files that we send to our customers can be opened in Adobe Reader or Acrobat without requiring our customers to download any plug-ins or extra software, making this process a relatively straightforward one compared to other solutions on the market that do require these extra downloads.”

Since going digital with their NFI Reference Manuals and using Vitrium Security to secure their PDF manuals, HPBEF has experienced an increase in their revenues from the sale of their packages.