Digital Asset Management Education Experts


Special Report: Buying Corporate DAM Systems: A Manager's Guide To Procurement Best Practices

This report offers purchasing and procurement tips for managers involved in decisions about selecting a DAM system. Also included is an example RFP with questions that specifically relate to Digital Asset Management.

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Enterprise Digital Asset Management: A Guide For IT Professionals

Practical advice for IT professionals on issues from systems integration to the IT infrastucture requirements for Digital Asset Management.

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Video Digital Asset Management: 12 Crucial Points For Marketers

Marketing managers are invited to consider 12 crucial points that will determine the success or failure of a web video archive.

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Articles

Digital Asset Management: Implementing A Strategy

Introduction

This article is designed to be read as a follow up to Digital Asset Management: An Introduction For Marketers or by those who already have an appreciation of what DAM is and how it can benefit marketers.

The process of implementing a Digital Asset Management strategy using a DAM system will almost certainly involve a project and, as such, needs to covers a number of stages. These are the most important ones:

Your implementation should address each of the stages in the digital asset supply chain as described in the strategy section above. Not only that, but it must do so in a way that is specific to the unique needs of the business. It cannot be stressed enough that the inability to meet this crucial objective is the single biggest cause of failure to achieve the ROI anticipated when a Digital Asset Management system was initially commissioned. Below, each of the phases is described in more detail.

Analysis

Digital Asset Management can be a complex subject with lots of different factors to think about. To avoid getting bogged down in technical details or agonising over which route to take, the following questions will help focus attention on the important details:

  • What type of digital assets do you most need to manage above all others?
  • Has anyone in the business attempted this before?
  • What business-specific data needs to be stored about the assets?
  • What Digital Asset Management provision do you have now (if any)?
  • What will be the cost and overall impact of each choice?
  • Approximately how many digital assets do you own or have licences to use?
  • Are any assets still in analogue form (e.g. photographic transparencies)?
  • What problems are staff experiencing with digital assets now?
  • Where are your digital assets stored currently?
  • Does the system need to integrate with others already in use in the business?
  • How will your needs change over the next 1-5 years?
  • Will you buy an off-the-shelf solution and customise it, or develop in-house?

It is important to collect as much information as possible and solicit opinion from a wide range of stakeholders, as discussed earlier, staff support for the system is crucial for success.

Digital Asset Management System Design

The system design stage involves assembling the information collected during analysis and transforming it into a specification. This should answer questions like the following:

  • How should we represent the business data associated with our assets?
  • What will the workflow be from origination of the assets through to ingestion?
  • Who will provide details about assets?
  • Do we need to check some or all assets before they are published to the system?
  • What quality management processes do we need to put in place?
  • Approximately how many digital assets do you own or have licences to use?
  • How do we provide secure access to our assets?
  • What search tools are needed and how will they work?
  • Where are your digital assets stored currently?
  • What copyright and licensing checks do we need to perform before granting access to assets?
  • What reports and information about asset usage do we need?
  • Where will the system be hosted?
  • How will the DAM integrate with our other corporate IT solutions?

The DAM system specification should contain mock-ups of the proposed interface design, preferably produced by a designer and be as close to resembling the final product as is productive to achieve given the time and budget available.

Branding

It should go without saying that any system released by the marketing department absolutely has to be completely brand compliant. The Digital Asset Management system you implement must reflect every element of your brand. If you are using an off-the-shelf system supplied by a vendor you must be reassured that you can adapt all of the above if necessary. If you are going in-house, make sure the technical team take your brand guidelines seriously and are not overly focussed on the functionality.

Development

While development is taking place, your involvement will probably be less than the previous stages as the implementation team get on with the work of delivering the system. Leaving the development team entirely on their own, however, is not advisable. Regular reviews should be built into the development process and although the Digital Asset Management system may not look ready, you should be permitted to actually see the system so you can raise any specific concerns.

Training

Both in-house developers and vendors tend to make over-inflated claims about the ease of use of their product and if you have been personally actively involved in the design of the system for many months, is easy to make incorrect assumptions how straightforward it is to use.

While the basic tasks should be intuitive and simple enough to grasp, many of the more advanced productivity enhancing features may not be immediately obvious to your colleagues who have not been given any formal induction into the system. To avoid this, structured training sessions where some or all of the target user base are given hands on training explaining how to use the system are a good idea.

Support

Once a Digital Asset Management system has been released, it must be backed up with a support package that ensures that both user queries are answered in a reasonable time-frame and also if any technical faults are discovered, they will be rectified.

Where can I find out more?

If you are interested in using Digital Asset Management in your business, the following links contain more information. Alternatively, if you would prefer to speak to someone to discuss your needs in greater detail, contact Daydream via telephone: +44(0)20 7096 1471 or e-mail: info@daydream.co.uk and we will be happy to assist.

Digital Asset Management Glossary
A lot of the terminology about Digital Asset Management is confusing for newcomers. To help those who may be confused by this subject, we have prepared a Digital Asset Management Glossary.

Digital Asset Management Reports and Resources
Our expanding library of free to download reports, articles and other on-line resources has plenty of information about DAM.

Daydream's Digital Asset Management Blog
A blog dedicated to DAM and marketing technology. This contains more news and opinion related articles about DAM subjects.

About the Author

Ralph Windsor is a senior partner in digital asset management implementation consultants, Daydream. He has eighteen years experience of delivering DAM and content technology solutions acquired as a developer, project manager and consultant working with global clients such as WS Atkins, Major League Baseball, BNP Paribas and The British Museum.

To find out more about Daydream and our service, please email info@daydream.co.uk or telephone us on: +44 (0)20 7096 1471.