How To Buy Enterprise DAM Systems
If you are looking to purchase an Enterprise DAM System either to replace one you already have or having never attempted the exercise before, you need solid advice from an expert who has been through the process many times before.
This special report has 30,000+ words across 86 pages of actionable information and includes an example RFP, vendor brief and demonstration brief. It has been written by Ralph Windsor, a consultant with 25 years’ experience exclusively in Digital Asset Management working for global multinational clients. Ralph has worked on both the vendor and client sides and has a deep understanding of the full DAM delivery process and how to ensure you can navigate the many pitfalls with both ease and grace.
Below is a detailed overview of all the topics discussed.
Update: Optional certification now available.
Example Vendor Brief, Demonstration Brief and Full Enterprise DAM RFP
The report includes an example vendor brief, initial demonstration brief and a ten page sample RFP with hundreds of questions covering: media support, search, collections/lightboxes, metadata cataloguing and tagging, reporting, branding and design, multi-lingual capabilities, workflow, permissions, authentication, integration and APIs, scalability and hosting, training, project management, account management, data protection and costs A wide range of other resources and information sources are also provided.
Business Case & ROI Issues
- How to prepare a solid business case for DAM that stands a chance of being accepted .
- Why quantitative business cases for DAM like vendor ROI calculators are generally unsuitable and run the risk of getting your budget rejected.
- The alternative methods and how to present them to maximise your chances of successfully securing funding.
The Vendor Selection Team
- Who should be on your selection team (and why).
- How to use in-house IT personnel most effectively in DAM system selection exercises.
- Why having someone with metadata expertise on your selection team is necessary to achieve your ROI objectives.
- Why you need data protection and GDPR compliance expertise.
- How to use consultants properly and without needing to spend too much money on their services.
Digital Asset Supply Chain
- Why understanding and optimising your Digital Asset Supply Chain is crucial to your success, as well as numerous pieces of advice about how to do it properly.
- How to identify the upstream sources and downstream destinations of your digital raw materials and finished digital assets.
- Why a vendor brief is so important for achieving selection success.
- How to write an effective brief that covers your requirements but without being needlessly lengthy or so flimsy it will be useless.
- Understanding the difference between usability and attractive interfaces when assessing vendors.
- Why you need to focus on usability for administrative interfaces as much as user asset catalogues.
- Why you need to be more specific with your briefings than just ‘easy to use’ and how to achieve that goal.
Functional & Technical Considerations
- The major functional and technical considerations, including: using cloud vs on-site, metadata capabilities, search features, controlled vocabularies and taxonomies, reporting, authentication, user permissions, rights management, media processing, proxies/previews and specialist facilities such as audio or 3D.
- Identifying and making plans to integrate with all the other solutions in-use at your organisation such as WCM, PIM, eCRM, MDM, Web2Print, Social Media, Creative Tools and many more.
- APIs and why if a vendor simply has one it does not mean they will be able to meet your integration objectives.
- Examining vendors capabilities for advanced integration and customisation such as hooks, scripting and SDKs.
- How to define your workflow needs and explain them in your briefing materials.
- Describing your Governance requirements and documenting these in your vendor brief.
- Techniques for structuring the selection process to maximise your chances of success.
Researching The Market
- Researching the market: the various sources of information about vendors and each of their pros and cons.
- Why unethical DAM vendors will pitch for business they are unqualified for and how to spot who is likely to be a good or bad fit for your organisation.
- The size of the DAM market in terms of number of vendors, their average turnover and number of employees.
- Why the DAM market is highly fragmented, even though there are a number of firms with greater market visibility than the others.
- The high levels of regional specialisation in DAM software and other characteristics of DAM vendors.
The Nature & Characteristics Of The DAM Market
- Dealing with the homogenisation problem in DAM where many systems are very similar and how to identify who is better at what.
- Why vertical market specialisation tends to happen less in DAM and whether you should use it as a selection criteria or not.
- The different types of DAM systems and how these translate across to requirements for different vertical sectors.
Evaluating Different Sources of Vendor Information
- The pros and cons of each different source of vendor information.
- Why you cannot rely on one source to decide who to long list.
- The issues with DAM review sites like G2Crowd and why you cannot rely on them.
- The different problems with analyst reports and how to get the most out of this source if you decide to use it.
- How to carry out your own analysis for a fraction of the cost.
- How to get the best out of consultants and ensure you can keep their fees to a minimum.
Engaging With Vendors
- The key points to ask vendors when you do decide to engage with them.
- How to manage relationships with vendors when they use channel partners such as resellers.
- Techniques to help you find vendors who are a good fit for your organisation.
- How to deal with persistent sales personnel and manage objection handling techniques designed to talk you out of what you need from your DAM.
- Methods of getting pricing indications out of vendors and why you need this (despite what they might tell you).
- The optimum number of vendors to long and shortlist.
- The right and wrong ways to sequence and structure the demonstration process.
- The valuable information you can glean about vendors based on their ability to follow your instructions.
Uncovering Vendor’s True Nature and Intentions
- The red flags which show you when vendors are being blasé and complacent.
- Useful tips about what kinds of demonstration assets to use.
- How vendors can skew your impressions for/against them with their demonstration asset selection.
- Why slick presentation and impressive aesthetics can sway your opinion in-favour of a vendor who is less suitable for your needs – and how to guard against that risk.
Writing Effective DAM RFPs
- How to phrase RFP questions to get superior responses from honest and trustworthy vendors.
- The problems with scoring-based approaches and a superior method of evaluating prospective suppliers.
- A simple technique that makes it easier to find out whether a vendor’s DAM possesses the functionality you require.
- The methods you can use to keep the length of RFP responses to a manageable length.
- One thing that you must do before sending out an RFP to DAM vendors to ensure your selection exercise is successful.
- How to manage reading the vendor responses efficiently to reduce the amount of time and effort required.
- How to involve consultants and what decisions you should leave with them (and which you definitely should not).
Following Up RFPs and Dealing With Vendor Responses
- How to follow up vendor responses with targeted lists of response questions.
- Some methods to draw out more complete responses and get to the bottom of something that appears suspicious.
- The low-risk way to treat evasive vendor responses to your specific questions.
- How to probe for deeper answers and what to do if you don’t appear to be getting satisfactory responses.
- What vendor roadmaps can sometimes mean and how to deal with them when they are referred to in RFPs.
- How to handle vendors who claim features you require are in beta-releases.
- Some ways to reduce the risk of vendors not being honest in RFP responses (especially at the preferred bidder stage).
- The different types of fees and what it is reasonable to expect of vendors.
- How to handle cost-related issues where the vendor is unwilling to give indications.
- Other documentation which should be included with the RFP.
- Why vendor risk management policies and practices need to be reviewed carefully .
- What to watch out for when a vendor gives you this response to a risk management question.
- The various types of project management methodologies that can be used and the risks with each of them.
Going In-Depth With Vendor Evaluations
- The different ways in which you can go in-depth with each vendor’s DAM product and the pros and cons with each.
- Some of the key mistakes DAM users make with in-depth evaluations and how to avoid them.
- How DAM systems can generate exponential effects which cost your organisation tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars if you do not take this into account when choosing a vendor.
- What steps you need to take when in-depth demos are delivered by pre-sales engineers or sales personnel.
- The right and wrong way to prepare solution scenarios for vendors to respond to during DAM evaluations.
- How to break down solution scenarios properly to target the specific functionality you require.
- The ideal duration for vendor trial periods and how to get the most from them.
- The type of trial edition you require and why you should insist on it from any prospective vendor.
- How to manage proof of concept evaluations successfully and get the information out of them you need to make an informed evaluation decision.
Selecting A Preferred Bidder
- How to structure an effective selection decision meeting.
- The topics that should be on the agenda.
- Why a selection report is an essential deliverable and guidance on how to write it.
- How to carry out accurate cost comparisons.
- How to handle cost constraints where you need to work to a tight budget.
- How best to use consultants in the selection decision making process.
- All the documentation you need to get assembled after you make a selection decision.
- Dealing with vendors who use professional services partners for implementation.
- How much time you typically need to allow time for contractual and legal processes.
Transitioning From Selection To Implementation
- The implementation issues that will you need to consider after the preferred bidder has been chosen.
- Why you need to do integration implementation planning well before contracts are signed.
- The implementation planning activities you can progress to speed things up once the formalities are concluded.
- Transitioning from a selection team to an implementation team as well as handling resource issues.
- User Adoption and Change Management considerations.
- Governance activities that you must carry out after you go live.
As of 6th May 2020, optional DAM Federation certification is available for anyone who purchases this report. If you wish to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Vendor Selection Certification in the subject line and you will be issued with further instructions.