Alec understands that a digital asset management system can become the core of any business, but with that development comes challenges.
What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
I have worked for a number of different end clients within my role as Senior Solutions Architect at Tahzoo. Generally, my responsibility on a project has been to work with the client from the initial pre-sales stage where they have been making the choice around the DAM they will be purchasing for their implementation.
Once this has been completed, I then work with the client during the initial requirements workshops where we define the functional and technical requirements for the actual solution that will be deployed to the end-users. After this stage I generally hand over the project to the delivery team and take on more of an advisory role.
Clients I have worked with during my DAM “tenure” have included JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, LEGO, The British Museum, Samsonite, Nordstrom and TUI Travel.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
To be honest, I pretty much fell into DAM! One of the consultancies I was working with back in 2007 had signed a partnership with a DAM Vendor and I was asked to get involved in a project and deliver technical training to our clients. The consultancy moved away from DAM so I moved consultancies, since I really enjoyed running DAM projects and all the different business touch points involved.
I think the best sources for DAM are the communities. There are a lot of different vendors, analysts and consultancies with everyone having their own agenda. That being said, people are happy to help. You only have to look at the Henry Stewart conferences, where you can see vendors talking to other vendors, consultancies who are not working with a specific client giving them advice and so on.
I also think that the LinkedIn groups and various DAM websites that are out there can really help. Almost every question I see raised in a forum has a myriad of different answers from different perspectives.
What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?
Definitely on integration and defining the scope of a project! DAM is great because it very quickly becomes a core element of any business no matter how small or how large, so it is never boring and there is always something new to learn.
However, that also creates the biggest challenge, clients can get so overawed by how big a DAM project can get. With different touch points needed into other systems for everything to meet everyone’s requirements, it can quickly get too confusing. For me, it’s about breaking all of the problems down into smaller tasks and chipping away at them one at a time. You soon find you’re where you want to be, but start small and don’t get too concerned about the size of the project ahead of you.
What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?
I am not completely convinced DAM will be around in 5 years! Does that mean everyone will be out of a job, absolutely not. As I’ve previously said, DAM is intertwined into so many other elements of the business, I don’t think it will exist in its own right, it will be part of a wider solution offering.
Currently consultancies are involved on DAM projects, integrating all of the different incumbent systems in a client’s infrastructure together. However, more and more we are seeing partnerships between DAM vendors and vendors of other solutions (Product Content Management, Marketing Resource Management, Web Content Management, Workflow, etc), DAM Vendors extending their offering or larger software companies purchasing DAM vendors and integrating the DAM piece into their wider offering.
I believe this will be the direction of DAM in the future. Will this be good, who knows, it has already happened with some vendors to varying degrees of success. What we can be sure of, is there are exciting times ahead and it will be interesting to see where we actually are in 5 years and what the journey has been like.