One of Amy Cooper’s secrets to digital asset management success is to get users to step out of their comfort zone and alter their workflows to improve the end product.
What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
My first endeavor in managing digital assets was working as the Photo Editor for MTV.com. When I started in 1999, we were still shooting film but I quickly transitioned the business to digital, and in doing so, had to create methods of organization and file naming for our massive artist archive that is still growing today. At the time, it was mostly folder structures on a server, but the business (Viacom) was starting to use Cumulus for Nickelodeon assets around the time that I left. I still dream about going back and importing it all into a real DAM system. I’m a big fan of metadata tagging and that archive would have been a lot of fun to tag.
My second DAM job was Assistant DAM Manager for Enfatico, a creative agency that was realized by Dell to integrate all of their marketing work into one company. We used Xinet, a system that was creative friendly and used globally to organize thousands of images and layouts.
I’m currently the Digital Asset Manager for T3, a creative and innovation agency that supports big clients such at UPS, Capital One, Allstate Insurance Company, and 7-Eleven, among others. We use Telescope to manage tens of thousands of assets. I really fell in love with Telescope as soon as I got there, especially the rights management features that we were able to build into the system. I am also the Art Buyer for T3, so copyright issues are very important to me. I’ve trained over 350 employees on our DAM system since I started in 2010.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
Learning DAM was a pretty organic process as a photographer and photo editor, as the basics are essentially built in to Adobe file information and camera data. I started learning about DAM software when I joined Enfatico, but my knowledge really grew when I joined T3 and was able to attend Telescope and Henry Stewart DAM conferences. Meeting people from other companies and seeing how they use the systems and features really gives you great insight on how to make them work better in your own environment. From there I was introduced to the DAM Foundation and made some great contacts such as Elizabeth Keathley, David Lipsey and David Diamond.
What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?
Even working for a technology company, a lot of people are afraid of new technology. My greatest challenge has been getting people to step out of their comfort zone and alter their workflows to include the time to add metadata and incorporate the use of a DAM system. A few extra minutes a day can really pay off in the end. When people start seeing that, they are more likely to adopt/adapt. It think it’s important to keep listening to your users and adjust the way you train people to use DAM software. Different features appeal to or deter Creatives vs. Technologists, so I put a lot of thought into how I train people, individually.
What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?
Again, I really love the rights management features we have built in to our system. Those features along with well documented and well understood DAM processes really make our agency stand out as a leader in areas of copyright risk management in our industry. I’m really proud of that. Most marketing agencies are still using traditional folder structures for their assets, with little to no copyright/license management, organization or oversight. But T3 has been using DAM/RM software for almost a decade now.
What more would you like to learn about DAM?
I really would like to learn some other DAM softwares, especially ones that are incorporating auto-tagging, reverse image searching and stock/API integration. It’s all really fascinating to me, I can’t wait to see where it goes! I would really love to see someone offer a great, affordable DAM software for personal use, if it’s not already out there.