Category: Featured News

DAM Chicago 2019: Conference Feedback

This article was written by Jeffrey Marino.


We posed a series of questions to a diverse range of attendees at the Henry Stewart 2019 Chicago DAM conference and have compiled their responses in this article. Common themes of interest included: Artificial Intelligence (lots), User Experience (much), Rights and Taxonomy (some) and Getting Started with DAM (more than a few).


Many thanks to the following for providing us with their insights:

Carol Lammers, Manager- Photography Services at Mayo Clinic

Tracy Olmsted, DAM Program Owner, BrandNext at Amway

Kristen Johnson, Operation Assistant at Bibliovault and student in the Rutgers University certification program for Digital Asset Management

Frank Villella, Director, Rosenthal Archives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Kenn Crombé, Business & Network Developer, Kadanza

Sal Hakimi, Co-Founder, Tenovos

Matt Patulski, Project Manager and Business Analyst, CyanGate

Michael Romero, Vice President Integrated Solutions at iPR Software


Regarding the event:

Q: What were the most useful insights you gained from the DAM Chicago conference?


Carol Lammers

How to evaluate and select technology and how AI is helping with identification and metadata tagging.


Tracy Olmsted

This may not be as relevant to the conference as it was to me, but the major insight I gained is that we are on target. We’re new to the DAM space and we’ve been a bit isolated. It was reassuring to learn that what we’re asking for in our company is not only possible, but in alignment with where DAM is headed.


Kristen Johnson

I realized everyone is at dierent points in DAM development and it was great to see and hear what worked for some companies but not others. Everyone seemed willing to help each other.


Frank Villella

Most useful was networking, talking with other folks about their projects and challenges with getting a DAM up and running.


Kenn Crombé

That it’s not always about being the DAM with the biggest array of features, but more about gaining trust usually built through honest communication and references in one’s current client portfolio (industry-specific).

As purchase managers you can look at all the features, and end up buying a highly functional platform, but one first has gotta ask oneself how many people are going to use it and what’s the ease-of-use. The more people will use the DAM, the more relevant this argument becomes.

Clean up your metadata before to start implementing your DAM (also you have post-migration clean-ups).

Governance, you got to have it cause otherwise very likely your system will fail, cause it’s not just about clicking a button.


Sal Hakimi

We had a lot of great discussions and conversation with attendees and a few things became clear about the attendees:

There was a ton of talk about AI/ML and Rights Managements. But not real integrations or capabilities that really merge those capabilities and blend into operating models (maybe minus the Videofashion use case which to be fair uses that tech in almost a non-DAM way with their fashion video archive).

There was a fair number of attendees who did not have any DAM or feel their current DAM was no longer viable for their business objectives/lacked adoption/legacy tech. I think for the folks that had an aging DAM there was a lot of frustration on where their current vendor/tech had stalled and could not respond to what would be capabilities that are part of mature DAM tech and operations.

The metadata managers and practitioners always are a solid base of attendees and make panels or sessions with metadata informative. It’s good to see those roles still being considered key staffing for companies using DAM (even if many are the only singular resource in their company).


Matt Patulski

Metadata is the hook on which everyone needs to hang their hat.


Michael Romero

Consistent with previous conferences, DAM is an exciting space for innovation. Whether the core intellect revolves around AI or metadata, I’ve found that we increasingly develop successful ways to move the industry forward.


Q: What DAM-related topics are currently most interesting to you? and was that reflected at DAM Chicago?


Carol Lammers

Transferring to a new systems is most relevant to us at this point in time. I found the panel discussions with other organizations going through transitions informative and helpful. Yes, it was reflected.


Tracy Olmsted

We’re a global organization with DAM needs that span several markets. The DAM topics we’ve been exploring are one instance vs. multiple, cloud vs. on premises, metadata and taxonomy restructuring, AI support for metadata and search. We were able to explore all of those topics at HS Chicago. We’re also updating our DAM and we were able to talk to vendors and colleagues about what they were using and their experiences.


Kristen Johnson

I was interested in automation, AI, and preservation of objects that were pre-digital (film reels, photographs, etc). Yes, all of these subject matters were covered at the conference.


Frank Villella

My institution doesn’t yet have a formal DAM, so DAM 101 is what most interests me at the moment. This was touched upon to a small extent at the conference.


Kenn Crombé

How every DAM relates to each other and which criteria/methodology consultants really use in which “use-cases” of their clients. This wasn’t much reflected at DAM Chicago, but I understand why this is kept a bit confidential to avoid jeopardising one’s own business.


Sal Hakimi

I think the marketing and brand control over a company’s content (planning/spend/creation/execution/operations/omni-channel) hasn’t been a focus where it’s addressed holistically and looked at from the story-telling/narrative; where a Creative/Brand VP talks about what they need DAM to do; where content and operational transparency is necessary to support C-Level goals (eComm, Revenue/Retail, B2C Loyalty, Licensing….).


HS client case studies showcase ways a company (Mars, Detroit Institute, etc.) use DAM and often it is called enterprise DAM – but speakers are often IT owners, database managers that own the technology and recognize they need governance, change management, etc.


But as a software vendor – to improve our product – and ultimately innovate in the DAM industry, the bigger conversation and perspective needs to be heard and understood first. And in that way the practitioners of DAM who attend HS conferences can share their daily experiences but also begin to really speak to DAM ROI and Content Maturity because the value of DAM starts to have a narrative beyond technology.


Matt Patulski

Archive Practices in the Private Sector and Cultural Heritage. The Chicago event is always strong with museum panels and attendees. The sessions on Detroit Institute of Arts and Boston Symphony Orchestra were great.


Michael Romero

AI and enterprise-level implementations are most important to my focus at the moment and both were represented well at DAM Chicago.


From what you heard at the conference:

Q: Where do you think DAM has innovated in the last few years?


Carol Lammers

I’m new to the DAM world so not really able to fully answer this. I did find AI and machine learning to be innovative and strong potential in the future


Tracy Olmsted

I’m new to this work in the last year, but it looks like there have been some leaps and bounds in the AI space.


Kristen Johnson

AI and automation.


Frank Villella

Hard to say, since I’m new to this.


Kenn Crombé

Business and brand intelligence, with more accurate analytics to back it up.


Matt Patulski

Integrations and platforming to address MDM and Content Syndications especially in the CPG space. Most of the Case studies were not stand alone systems; they were positioned within larger organizational ecosystems.


Q: What developments got your attention?


Carol Lammers



Tracy Olmsted

Definitely the capabilities behind (the) VideoFashion (case study). The use of AI for creating a searchable library was very impressive.


Kristen Johnson

AI and how to get systems at dierent technological levels talking/interacting with each other.


Frank Villella

The artificial intelligence aspect is fascinating.


Kenn Crombé

Business tagging (AI), and the specific use of AI in the case of Videofashion (represented by Anne V. Adami).


Sal Hakimi

The User Experience has to change for the most important stakeholders and software has to reflect how they work, where they work and not take them into a separate ‘DAM experience’.


From your own experience:

Q: Has DAM innovation, implementation and adoption helped you and your organization? If so, how?


Carol Lammers

I’m hoping it will as we transition from a 15 year old system that has not been well utilized.


Tracy Olmsted

It definitely has, but we have a long way to go. It has provided a “single source of truth” and done a great job providing a structure that protects the company from legal liability, but only if people use it.


Michael Romero

From the vendor side, innovation is extremely important to the survival and growth of our business. If we don’t acknowledge, adapt and support innovation then we should be doing something else for a living. As it relates to our customers, they expect innovation from us as we’ve built long-standing relationships with the promise of partnership for the long-haul.


Q: What issues or roadblocks need (or still need) to be overcome?


Carol Lammers

Governance and adoption by an organization of 70,000+ employees.


Tracy Olmsted

Our roadblocks are in the user experience area. You can’t browbeat everyone into using a system. You need to make it the most desirable option. The more desirable the option, the more people use it, the more we’re protected from liability. We have improvements to make in both our process and our system to create that “most desirable” user experience.


Frank Villella

We have to convince upper management to allocate the resources and invest.


Sal Hakimi

Who owns/values and supports content technologies is shifting but still has a ways to go so that Brand/Marketing use cases and realities in a company’s content journey is met. (ie, nobody wants to ‘own’ the technology but in any initial governance meeting it’s really clear that IT has very little say about ‘owning’ content spend/planning/execution for brands, which heavily defines the right technology and solution being asked for).


Matt Patulski

DAM as a concept continues to be abstract to most members of potential user communities. DAM vendors and consultants need to do a better job equipping their clients with the language to communicate the benefits and risks of Digital Asset Management. With DAM solutions expected to integrate with so many systems across the enterprise — ERP, PIM, CRM, MDM, CMS — there is a need for a community of practice and a need to drive integration standards regardless of the software architecture.


Michael Romero

Interesting question because there aren’t any that immediately come to mind. I think an area that is going to see more innovation will be the AI space, and companies will eventually build their own AI layers on top of the Amazons, Googles and Microsofts of the world.


Looking ahead:

Q: Do you think that ROI from DAM is properly understood by stakeholders? What do you think best demonstrates its value?


Carol Lammers

No. ROI is always dicult to show for most aspects of creative endeavors. I think showing the saving of time for projects through the value of being able to find assets is key.


Tracy Olmsted

I can only speak or our company, but I would say it could be better understood. That will come from the measurable KPIs that we are working to put in place. I would like to start adding the monetary value of each asset to the metadata, then measure that against the analytics we can bring back from assets that are directly placed in web, design and social platforms – things like engagement, impressions, and conversions. That way we can see that ROI of each asset by measuring its use against the cost of making it. I would also like to see more ways of gathering feedback from the DAM users about the assets. If they can comment, like and share within the system and we can measure that plus their placement in internal design and development software such as Creative Cloud and Sketch – then we have a second layer of data. All of this should go into a dashboard for creative decision makers.


Kristen Johnson

I feel like stakeholders tend to undervalue DAMs and their usefulness. One possible way of showing their worth would be for the company to show profit as a result.


Frank Villella

Ease of access to materials.


Sal Hakimi

ROI for DAM is looked at around finding content, reuse and cost savings – again, mainly due to the idea a content technology solution should show those KPI’s along with ensure the principle of brand consistency is about using/finding/reusing the ‘right content’. ROI for Brand Content is so much larger when you look across content planning, workflow and outcomes. And if DAM is connected into that ecosystem it can enrich data and show many more ROI parameters.


Matt Patulski

No. Too often there is a gap between leadership and end users as to what DAM is, when mature. The space needs to frame DAM as a service much more clearly instead of a software product that has an end life. The best way to make the case for ROI is to use examples where DAM addresses pain points such as moving large files, managing brand consistency, rights management, versioning and derivative management.


Michael Romero

The content at DAM conferences improves with each instance. I spoke to many first-timers who were extremely impressed and sometimes happily overwhelmed with the wealth of knowledge presented in one day. In my opinion, the single day in Chicago was more informative than the two days in New York this year and I think that speaks to improved programming based on listening to what practitioners need and want.


Q: What topics would you like to see discussed in greater depth by the DAM community?


Carol Lammers

Hard to say since I’m a new attendee.


Tracy Olmsted

How DAM is not just being used as a repository, but the foundation for an ecosystem and a vehicle for conversation around creative direction.


Kristen Johnson

Security and governance.


Frank Villella

Getting started with a DAM.


Kenn Crombé

Overall mapping of the dierent strategic directions and thus positioning of players in the industry (without necessarily mentioning any names, íf that would be a point of concern), but I guess that’s the type of knowledge that analysts like The Real Story Group try to monopolize and keep secret.


Matt Patulski

User experience and accessibility. Most DAM platforms are very immature in this regard. Supporting Mobile and tablet UIs with end users.


Michael Romero

Like a broken record, I’ll continue to raise a flag for more AI discussions. I also think that further dialogue around taxonomy and metadata continues to be a focal point necessary for our industry’s evolution.


Q: What was your overall experience of DAM Chicago and would you go again?


Carol Lammers

Yes, it was great. I made good connections, learned some new things and found out we were already doing come things right.


Tracy Olmsted

Excellent. Yes, I would.


Kristen Johnson

If I was given the opportunity, I would definitely go again. It was wonderful to see the breadth of experience from people from dierent organizations struggling with a variety of subject matters.


Frank Villella

It was a lot to absorb in one day; I would love to go again, but it’s quite expensive (my fee was comped).


Kenn Crombé

Friendly and open atmosphere, helpful organization of HS. It’s well suited to connect with experts/consultants in the field as well as to learn from specific case studies that were presented, but less useful to discover and connect with design & production agencies as well as potential technology integrators (which are both quite relevant for Kadanza’s expansion strategy). Yes I would like to go again, if budget and opportunities permit.


Sal Hakimi

I would always go again – I think listening and learning from this community of content professionals is vital. Refreshing the sessions and tracks so they are better defined by roles/content/maturity, having the exhibit floor turnkey and using a LOT more video for presentations, technical discussions and thought leadership…all things I hope to see in the future.


Matt Patulski

Very much enjoyed the day in Chicago. This was my 4th visit in the past 10 years. I suspect I will be back again.


Michael Romero

Loved it and would absolutely go again. Planning on San Diego in a few weeks; very much appreciate Henry Stewart Conferences and look forward to more exciting content.

DAM Chicago 2019 Review

This article was written by Jeffrey Marino.


DAM Chicago 2019, The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media, kicked off September 24th.  Before the sessions began, I chatted with David Lipsey, the conference Chair, and asked for some insight on what was in store for us at the ‘the Midwest’s largest conference dedicated to Digital Asset Management.’

“Chicago is a very interesting expression of DAM in the marketplace. There are hundreds of companies in the region that rank in the top thousand in the US. Their imaging, branding and e-commerce needs are a significant opportunity for DAM technology and personnel, and it’s happening right now.”

Lipsey then kicked off the conference with the baseline definition that digital assets are information assets, and they need to be considered in the context of a long and complex supply-chain. Recognizably embedded in the real world, “these assets are a shadow currency in contemporary life, operating outside corporate norms of audit and accountability.”

While yesterday’s digital asset has value as ‘a single source of truth,’ today its value is as a transactional device, “a core currency and handshake of engagement.” Thought provoking and intellectually generous, Lipsey is also the director of the newly stood up DAM Certification curriculum at Rutgers University.

Praveen Moturu presented the keynote address, Digital Assets, Digital Eco System & Digital Transformation: How Mars Inc. is leveraging Digital Engine & Platforms to connect the Digital Eco Systems. His mile-high view as VP and Chief Enterprise Architect illustrated the complexity of the organization’s as-is state as a ‘hairball’ while depicting its transformative should-be state as a true metamorphosis.

The DAM initiative (like the caterpillar) is subject to birth, growth and risks to viability before it can mature and take off. “Many caterpillars die without becoming a butterfly,” he advises, so take good care. Be judicious with what does and does not go into the DAM. And stay aware of the challenging environment. In particular Moturu cites these constant disruptors:

  • the always increasing volume of assets and distribution channels, spaces and contexts;
  • the variety of types and usage such as VR, AR and 3D;
  • and the everlasting need for compliance with external and internal regulations.

In the next address, Reframing the Conversation – Innovations in DAM, Collections Information, and Data at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Jessica Herczeg-Konecny described the the museum’s transition from departmental to enterprise DAM, and the process of migrating 60,000 assets to a new platform. With a small staff of ‘one and a half’ at her disposal, she acknowledged that “sun-setting the old system was hard,” and advised “it’s important to have a good  exit strategy.” With the bulk of the Institute’s 90,000 assets migrated, her role is now to ‘captain, cheerlead and champion’ the new system and its users – collectors, custodians and contributors at the organization.

Christine Gibbs, the Collections Database Manager at the museum, said that with today’s maturity of DAM technology, ‘APIs are the new hub,’ and is looking ahead to connect the new DAM to the museum CMS and to broadening its audience. In an interesting and practical example of DAM and the real world, Gibbs used asset data on physical dimensions of objects to calculate shelf space requirements of the physical plant – very useful info to have on hand when capital expenditure and budgeting opportunities come around! Another size-calculus illustrates the scope of digitalization of paper records into the DAM: over 17 square miles of documents. (In a wry Midwest gibe, Gibbs qualified this area as “enough to cover half of Manhattan.”)

Next, Gil Comeaux and Travis Garrett presented Lessons Learned from a 2 year DAM Expedition by Tyson Foods. Managing content at a major producer in the food supply chain is a big challenge given the constant critical updates – not only to package design (artwork) but also to accurate, and legal, labeling ingredients and nutrition. The DAM also serves packing and shipping – the labeling workflow of cartons with their contents and destination, automatically customized for tracking and accountability. Their small team (2 people) succeeds in a large enterprise by maintaining clear data standards (what should go into the DAM vs what should not), and extensive communication with a global user base (feedback,  training, webinars, surveys, and more). Operational keywords for the team were to ‘unravel’ and ‘refit’ a wide range of business processes and to set DAM – which they code named ‘JIVE’ – at the very center of the Tyson Foods digital asset supply chain. Based upon creative production and rework costs, they calculate the value of their 150,000+ assets at an estimated $16MM. And in case that valuation didn’t get the attention of their stakeholders to justify the initiative, they ALSO produced an amazing video, JIVE THE QUEST. Check it out, it’s a must-see!

Next we attended DAM Innovation: Technical Experts Address Your Really Tough Questions. The core challenges for DAM are their users’ expectations, said Lisa McIntyre from Nuxeo, citing how all consumers think of Google and Instagram as the be-all and end-all of UX. Other panelists chimed in about network speed (as in, ‘why is our corporate wifi so slow?’). The core opportunity is that with good connectivity, APIs today make integrations of on-prem to cloud-based apps and storage easier than ever. Of course, said Rich Carroll from Sitecore, we should realize that large media files like 4K and 8K still belong on-prem.

Regarding copyright, McIntyre summarized that if asset reuse is the raison d’etre for the DAM, the 1st priority for that implementation needs to be setting up rights and permissions properly. “Ask for permission rather than count on forgiveness – you’ll never go wrong with that.” To that very point, in a later session we were reminded how Taster’s Choice used an image without permission on jars of freeze-dried coffee resulting in a good-to-the-last-drop $15MM legal settlement.

The panel then tackled distinctions between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Many (or most?) DAMs feature some sort of AI under the hood. “AI has real use cases and value in DAM,” says Jim Hanifen from Brandfolder.

He polled the audience for a show of hands:

  • How many of you are using AI now? (one hand, maybe two)
  • How many of you want AI? (about a dozen)
  • How many of you have budgeted for AI (zero).

As we pondered these results, a comment from the audience comment broke the silence.

“We had to turn our AI off after one day. It was kind of psychotic!”

(More on this in the last session of the day.)

Neil Grant from Tenovos explained a bit about Machine Learning, and one of the ways AI seeks to improve itself  “Machine learning is about looking at large datasets, and it learns by looking at the data around search results, to identify patterns there.” Datasets can be quite large in DAM (though nowhere near as big as those in ecommerce, downstream of DAM), and applied learnings can help DAM managers know more about their users and how their assets are used, and even ‘heal’ metadata.

Finally, product development by vendors is, by definition, ahead of user adoption. Brandfolder’s Henifen is sure that “our tools are far beyond our users’ knowledge of how to make use of them.” How is a DAM practitioner to cope? In the next panel, DAM’s Role in an Integrated Technology Environment, Michele Dickinson Heuer, lead Digital Asset Manager at Nestlé Purina Petcare North America, says “it’s important to try what’s in the box, and question how one is working,” before clamoring for new (or newfangled) features. At Nestlé , best practices are to focus on the tools at hand, support superusers, achieve wins consistently (small ones are valuable!) and gain DAM champions in the process.

Introducing the closing panel, Why Metadata Matters, Chair David Lipsey posed the challenge question, What are Ostraca?  hinting that ‘it’s the original metadata.’

Pottery shards are artifacts in the archeological story, and ostraca, as objects inscribed with writing are indeed akin to assets tagged with metadata. They lend additional meaning, importance and value to the set of objects telling that story. Metadata, Lipsey says, “is the spirit of a physical, intellectual and creative asset.” Does the alchemy of spirit and intelligence beget life and… personality?

  • “Our AI is a comedian,” says Kim Johnson of Hilton Hotels.
  • “Ours is a sociopath,” says Charlotte of Coty, Inc. “It mistook chrome nail polish for a knife.”
  • “We researched DAM for 7 to 8 months and leapfrogged right to AI,” says Anne Adami from VideoFashion. “It’s improving and learning really well.”

The ability for AI to thrive at VideoFashion is directly related to its environment. VideoFashion is an eponymous single brand holding exclusive rights to its video assets: it’s the largest private fashion library and archive in the world, encompassing 43 years of models, runways, haute couture, glamor and celebrity sightings. While their AI was highly skilled ‘out of the box’ in OCR (optical character recognition, or ‘reading’) and speech to text (‘transcription’), Adami was able to provide it with hundreds of scripted shows for its core education, and set her AI up for machine learning success. Not everything, though: facial recognition still needed refinement.“We had to teach it not to identify Yves St Laurent as Henry Kissinger.”

A more challenging environment for AI is Hilton’s 6,000 properties, 6,000 websites and 6,000 sets of assets. Regional and local differences are critical components of the business, and it’s understandable for Johnson’s asset managers (‘the largest DAM team in the world’) to be amused by the AI, but holding it at arm’s length.

Coty is similarly cautious about next steps with AI. With 50 brands, 3 internal divisions and international differences to work with, one working solution is to support 3 metadata configurations – reflecting perhaps the differences of ‘spirit’ in how different region communicate and conduct business.

Here’s a bit of the lively Q&A with these panelists.

Q:  Do you support synonyms in your approved taxonomy?

A: Charlotte (Coty) – Yes

A: Kim (Hilton) – No (but we have a freeform keywords field)

A: Anne (VideoFashion) – Yes! If the AI recognizes the synonym, the AI will figure it out.


Q: What about usage rights; what is most important?

A: Charlotte (Coty) – Expiration and territory

A: Kim (Hilton) – Tracking usage across channels

A: Anne (VideoFashion) – No worries! It all belongs to us.


Q: What about archiving?

A: Charlotte (Coty) – Retire, yes. Delete, no

A: Kim (Hilton) – We have a live-archive-deep archive model for our assets. Licensed assets expire automatically

A: Anne (VideoFashion) – Never delete. Just add storage!


With two simultaneous content tracks to choose from, the excerpts above represent only a bit more than half of the offerings.. We had a nice opportunity to get to know other attendees in a more intimate round-table setting hosted by Pacific Media Technologies: What Happens Before DAM: The Risks of not Digitizing Physical Assets, which was so interesting we didn’t get to visit any of the other seven or eight round-tables happening nearby. Henry Stewart DAM Chicago packs a lot into a single day!


DAM Chicago 2019 – The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media

DAM Chicago is the Midwest’s largest conference dedicated to Digital Asset Management, and presents real world case studies, interactive panels, workshops, roundtables and tutorials, the latest thinking and new developments in the world of DAM. Brought to us by Henry Stewart and hosted at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, the conference takes place on September 24 (with tutorials the day before on the 23rd, and a not-to-be-missed mixer at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery).

We’ll meet up with DAM Guru Program members and bring you a full report on the business-critical topics presented in the sessions. We’ll listen closely for insights and best practices across the entire spectrum of Digital Asset Management, including:

  • DAM and Digital Transformation
  • Metadata, Access, and Rights
  • Enterprise DAM and Lessons Learned
  • Platform Innovations and Technology
  • Interoperability and the Connected Digital Eco-system
  • DAM Selection, Implementation, Adoption and Change Management

DAM Chicago is now in its eighth year and brings together thought leaders in a wide range of enterprise business, ranging from media to e-commerce, retail and the arts, beauty and fashion, food and packaged goods, and silicon and bio-technology. We’re looking forward to hearing updates from well-regarded folks on the DAM services side and stopping by the vendor platform exhibits.

The agenda is a balanced mix of presentations, in-depth case studies, panel discussions and breakout / networking sessions. Let’s meet up! (looking forward to that cocktail hour). Please visit the DAM Chicago 2019 event page for more information and to register to attend. DGP members get $100 off the price of the conference by using discount code DAMGURU100.

This article was submitted by Jeffrey Marino, a Digital Asset and Project Manager at WordCityStudio, Inc . He has worked in broadcast news, documentary, advertising technology and DAM. He recently received his MS in Media Management at The New School and is an active member of DAM Guru.

The State of DAM User Adoption Today Webinar – 17th October 2019

DAM Guru, New Jersey DAM Meetup, London DAM Meetup and Insight Exchange Network (IEN) are holding a joint webinar: The State of DAM User Adoption Today. The event takes place on Thursday 17th October 2019 at 8.30am PT, 11.30am ET, 4.30pm UK and 5.30pm Europe.

Topics such as the following will be discussed:

  • Who are your users?
  • Why is UI/UX so important to user adoption?
  • What techniques have been successful in the adoption of DAM?
  • What challenges have the panel faced or are aware of?

The session will run for 45 minutes and there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end.  The four panelists will be: Lisa Grimm, Director, Digital Asset Management at Novartis; Ian Matzen, MLIS, Digital Asset Manager, Blogger; Henrik de Gyor, consultant, podcaster, writer and Ralph Windsor, Project Director of DAM consultants, Daydream, Director of DAM Guru.  The panel will be moderated by Frank DeCarlo, CEO of RPR Graphics.

User adoption is widely acknowledged to be one of the most complex and demanding problems faced by DAM users, yet solving it can dramatically increase the ROI that users can obtain from their DAM solution.

Adoption (or lack thereof) is typically one of the key factors that dictates whether or not a DAM initiative is successful. While there are many resources that cover the features and capabilities of DAM technology, practical information about the adoption subject is much harder to find. This panel discussion aims to address that imbalance.

The event will follow the same format as The State of DAM webinar which was held in April by New Jersey and London DAM Meetups. It will also be entirely free of adverts or sales pitches etc and should provide DAM end-users with some practical and actionable advice that they can apply to their own adoption programmes.

The event is free of charge and open for anyone with an interest in DAM adoption, including end-users, vendors and consultants.  The registration link is below:

New DAM Guru Website – Profile Editing Now Available

The DAM Guru website has recently been updated and re-designed.  One important new feature which was not available in the previous edition was the ability to amend profiles.  I am pleased to announce that this capability has now been implemented and all members now have a dedicated account where they can update their details without needing to enter a new profile to register any changes.

There is a process in-place for migrating existing DAM Guru members which you must complete if you want to take advantage of this new facility.  First, follow the link below:

Enter your email and you will receive a confirmation email with a link which you need to follow.  You will also be asked for a password to allow you to gain access to your profile at a later date via the login area of the DAM Guru website.

Over the forthcoming months we plan to introduce some new self-service capabilities for connecting gurus with those requiring expertise (amongst other planned features) and you will need to have an active profile to participate.

As always, please contact us via email: if you have any questions.

DAM Guru Exhibiting At Henry Stewart DAM NY 2018, May 3-4

DAM Guru are an official partner of Henry Stewart NY 2018 and we will also be exhibiting at the event on May 3-4.  This is the first time we have participated in this conference (although a number of our members have been regular attendees for many years).

The New York conference is billed as ‘the largest single event dedicated to DAM’ by Henry Stewart and based on feedback about the event from my DAM Guru colleague, Carol Thomas (and other) that seems like a fair description.  Here are the edited highlights:

  • 600+ attendees.
  • 80 speakers during 60 sessions over two days covering Metadata, Integration, AI, Automation, Creative Operations, Corporate Archives, Video Workflow, Rights Management, Semantics and Governance.
  • Representation from DAM users covering over 80 well-known brands.
  • DAM clinic featuring roundtable discussions about more in-depth topics.
  • Advanced taxonomy and metadata tutorials.
  • Industry-specific DAM groups.

The event also includes access to the Creative Operations conference which is also being held at the same venue.

If you are attending the event, please do come along to see us and say hello.  For anyone who has not yet booked at ticket, you can use the discount code DAMGURU100 to get a $100 reduction.  The ‘early bird’ discount ends on 30th March and if you book a ticket before then, you can get a further $100 off the price.

DAM Guru Program Director Change

DAM Guru Program Appoints Ralph Windsor As New Director

London / Aarau, January 23, 2018.  Ralph Windsor, editor of DAM News and Project Director of Digital Asset Management consultants, Daydream is to become the new Director of DAM Guru Program (DGP).

DGP is a community DAM education and human resources matching service first established in 2013 by DAM Survival Guide author, David Diamond and sponsored by DAM vendor, Picturepark.  DGP has over 1,100 members and is open to digital asset managers, vendors and consultants from across the DAM industry.

“I am very excited to be chosen as the new Director of DAM Guru Program by the DGP Board.  Since it was first started, it has become a focal point for DAM industry practitioners and the promotion of high quality educational resources.  Consolidating the combined resources of DGP with DAM News represents an ideal opportunity to establish far greater cross-industry collaboration, continue the sterling work already carried out by DGP towards enhancing DAM education and to foster an environment that encourages greater innovation in the DAM sector.” said Windsor.

“What started as an idea overnight has turned into the industries’ largest DAM community: DGP has organized highly successful webinars, relentlessly connected members, posted countless DAM jobs and events, and published hundreds of interviews with DAM professionals – all serving the DAM community. I’m very proud of these achievements and I’m convinced that Ralph and his enlarged team will successfully manage DGP to be even better connected and useful to those that matter most in our industry, the DAM users.” said Ramon Forster, CEO of Picturepark .

The same team that manages DAM industry journal, DAM News (including the DAM Vendor directory, DAM Glossary, DAM Whitepapers and DAM Books) will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of both DAM News and also DAM Guru.  All existing DGP services will continue to be provided as previously and a wide range of new initiatives are planned for 2018 and beyond.

An Open Letter about DAM Guru Program

Dear DAM Guru Program members,

In early 2013 David Diamond texted me from San Francisco. A U.S. competitor had just released its affiliate program. We had been preparing our own such program over the last weeks for launch the next day. Now, that competitor was grabbing the market’s attention ahead of us.

Of course, David was super-furious. He swore to me the same night that he would come up with a completely different and far more innovative program.

When I woke up a few hours later, I found an expose of the DAM Guru Program in my mailbox. The paper sketched a not-for-profit association that connected Digital Asset Management experts with people new to DAM, advocating education in DAM and giving members, at the grassroots level, a voice and platform. Although not a source of revenue, I was excited by the outlined program, and provided the funds for getting it going.

What had started years ago overnight has turned into the largest Digital Asset Management community of more than 1,100 members with expertise across all sectors and systems. The program has organized highly successful webinars, relentlessly connected members seeking guidance and assistance, posted countless DAM jobs and events, as well as published hundreds of interviews with DAM professionals.

Now, after nearly five years, we are opening a new chapter with DAM Guru Program that aims to establishing far greater cross-industry collaboration, by enhancing DAM education and fostering an
environment that encourages greater innovation in the DAM sector.

With these changes, I’m excited to announce Ralph Windsor, who most of you know best from DAM News, will become our new Global Director of DAM Guru Program. I have known Ralph for many years as an active member of the DAM community. We might differ from time to time in opinions but we share the idea of a new association required for the DAM industry, which itself needs to wake up and become more active in defining its future.

I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all DAM Guru Program members who have contributed to the program and shown their trust in Picturepark for funding and operating it, but never abusing their data for sales-related activities. You are the reason why this program exists and why we will continue to grow our DAM community further.

We are excited about this next chapter for DAM Guru Program!

Ramon Forster
CEO Picturepark

You can learn more about the changes coming to the program in the press release here.
Connect with Ramon on LinkedIn and Xing.

New Digital Asset Management (DAM) Conference Arrives in New York

A new digital asset management (DAM) conference is on the horizon in 2018. Organizer ‘Insight Exchange Network’ is presenting their Digital Assets & Content Leadership Exchange in New York on January 22-24, 2018. It looks to be a conference focused on educational insights from many in the DAM and Content industry.  The three days span a variety of industries, speaking about innovation, efficiencies, strategies, and evolution in the industry.

A brief description from IEN website:

As content velocity increases and the volume of digital assets grow exponentially, maximizing those assets’ value hinges on managing them effectively. Navigating the growing number of technologies and strategies to steward your organization’s digital assets and content to ensure their greatest ROI requires substantive solutions! 

This uniquely crafted event is practitioner-led and focused on the current challenges facing asset and content managers, how to generate additional value from your assets and content, the ins-and-outs of the evolving role, career path planning, and strategies to elevate your position within the organization.

Many of our very own DAM Guru Program members will be participating in this conference come January. Some digital asset management experts who are scheduled to speak include Jennifer Terbosic, Nila Bernstengel, John Horodyski, Alexander Karinsky, Carol Thomas-Knipes, Henrik de Gyor, Jennifer Anna, Margie Foster and many more.

Stay informed during the event with their conference hashtag: #IENDAM or learn more on the Digital Assets & Content Leadership Exchange Conference Website.


The Digital Asset Manager (DAM) Salary Survey Returns!

The former DAM Foundation’s Digital Asset Manager salary-focused survey has found new life as a DAM News special initiative.

Fellow DAM Gurus Ralph Windsor, Elizabeth Keathley, and Deb Fanslow have brought it back and expanded it. Not only are they capturing compensation and salary information, but gathering wide-ranging data on job responsibilities, professional education, and work-life balance. We are hoping ALL of you participate. The survey is an annual assessment on the scope of digital asset manager pay and work that seeks to analyze employment trends industry-wide.

The survey questionnaire is available HERE:

With so much growth in the DAM industry, this survey will provide a valuable resource for DAM professionals. The higher the participation, the better we all understand the range of opportunities available in our industry. Please participate!