Guru Call: USA

USA FlagDAM Guru Program member is looking for a Guru in Atlanta, Georgia. Member is needing to write the policies for use with current digital asset management system.

Member is interested in the DAM resources that can assist with this.

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Guru Call: Finland

Finland FlagLooking for a Guru to provide assistance to a DGP member in Finland. Member is seeking case studies about enterprise digital asset management systems in the retail and food industries.

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Guru Talk: Frank DeCarlo – RPR Graphics, Inc

Frank DeCarlo

Frank is a veteran of the digital asset management industry and understands the most important questions to ask with regard to DAM is the why, who and how. Answers to these questions are valuable in the long game to success.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

Only one. RPR Graphics, Inc., who worked with a DAM vendor before the internet and before DAM was coined as digital asset management. We customized it and used it in a way to manage scanned chromes for weekly circulars when print was king. Before this, the same work was needing to be done to the same scan, every week and for any ad it appeared in. The DAM vendor we chose, an early digital library solution, served as a means to do that work once and bring it up when it was needed again. Large supermarkets and other retail chains benefitted from our ability to accept and make competitive price and item changes hours before press time.

My role then was a lot of driving from office to office, reviewing changes and edits with advertising teams at the end of the day, bringing it back to RPR for the overnight crew to execute; and proofing the changes early the next morning before everything was sent to the printer. Today, being at RPR for over 20 years, my role has greatly changed from account rep shuffling images and changing pricing within a few hours with an RPR internal DAM, to showing how new clients can readily find and change whatever they need, over any web browser, immediately.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

Know and understand, fully, why you are getting a DAM, who is going to use it, and how. Even if you are not getting a huge, expensive enterprise DAM, you need to consider the long game—especially in terms of metadata, organization and governance. I am a big fan of not trying to boil the ocean on a DAM deployment. Take it on in chunks. But always try to look a few steps ahead. Look to what other processes and systems you may want to tie into your system and for what reasons.

DAMs are powerful tools that really can become the hub of asset information, but they are only as good as what you put into them. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to put every possible tag on every possible asset. You’ll never get the thing rolled out. But be mindful of what the most important asset information is, and be firm about at least getting that on your assets initially. The why, who and how will help you narrow your scope in this regard, and are crucially important to providing your best arguments when dealing with change management. Understand your audiences, and make the digital assets and info relevant to the audiences.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

So much information, so little time! Referring to my answer above, even if you don’t go nuts on asset types and metadata, overseeing a DAM is a big job because you and your team are managing “the hub.” Especially if you have integrations, and interconnecting systems. Lots of spokes, though very cool, also equals lots of spinning plates. You need to be a master air traffic controller, and that can be hard when you hit challenges in one area or another.

Also, the landscape is really changing in terms of user expectations with regard to user experience for enterprise software. People want their DAM to be as easy and slick as a mobile app or Facebook. But you’re not posting vacation pictures. It’s still enterprise software. And to that end, while trying to improve UX, we are all still trying to discern just how far the tentacles of DAM can and should go. For example, though it makes a lot of sense on paper for a WIP (work-in-progress) DAM to be your PIM (Product Information System) or eCommerce system, and a Project Management tool, and a host of other things; the ongoing question is always if it is really the best idea. And the answer to that is very individual to an enterprise.

The industry, I believe is trying to figure out where to pivot their software to become these mega-hybrids. Being practical while wading into that unknown is a delicate balance.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

I think whether we all like it or not, DAM will be slicker, less complicated, and more connected to other systems and platforms. I think that will be a great thing, as I’ve often been frustrated with just how static these types of system can be. I also think DAM will morph into these other types of systems to become more of the information hub of a larger system that serves various needs. But at the end of the day, that information still needs to go into the system and on the files, somehow, by people with a mind for that long game. So while DAM will change, I think the need for DAM people will continue.

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Guru Call: DAM Meetup – Dallas, TX

Texas FlagLooking for DAM Guru Program members who are interested in joining a DAM Meetup that covers the greater Dallas area of Texas.

This recently created Dallas DAM Meetup group is now up and running and looking to expand membership!

Interested members should connect with their program manager for more details. Your information will be passed on to the DGP member who is leading this DAM Meetup.

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Guru Call: USA

USA FlagLooking for a Guru in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Member is seeking answers to questions about a specific digital asset management system provided by North Plains.

DGP member’s inquiry is about North Plains’ product called On Brand. They are looking to speak to those who have experience with storage expansion for this product.

Available DAM Guru members who are able to help may reach out to their program manager for more details.

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Guru Call: DAM Meetup – New Jersey

USA FlagLooking for DAM Guru Program members who are interested in joining a brand new DAM Meetup that covers the New Jersey/Philly area.

Interested members should connect with their program manager. Your information will be passed on to the DGP member who is looking to organize this DAM Meetup.

Reminder, you must be a DGP member for your information to be shared with the inquiring member.

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Guru Talk: Carol Thomas-Knipes – LogicSource

Director of Digital Asset Management - Carol Thomas-Knipes

Carol’s experience with knowing the why, who and how of digital asset management implementations has enabled her to streamline digital assets and information relevant to the audiences her DAM system serves.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

I was first introduced to DAM technologies a long time ago as an Art Director at DoubleDay Direct. They rolled out a DAM to centralize product imagery, and I was one of the designers willing to bang around on it, offer feedback, and test things out. I found the whole thing really fascinating. But like so many others, building a DAM did sort of fall into my lap.

I was working for LLNS, a pharmaceutical advertising agency, and they bought a DAM to tame the creative production workflow, and provide better rights management for stock art buying terms. It was the same platform they used at Doubleday, so I let my supervisor know, and next thing I knew, it was mine. I became the System Administrator, and eventually the Creative Technology Director at LLNS, mantles I took on gladly.

I have always loved creative technologies as an early Mac adopter, and I was looking to branch out from the purely design and print worlds. At LLNS, for many years while administering the DAM, I was also a Senior Production Specialist, so I had the opportunity to define DAM workflows, procedures and configurations from the inside, knowing the expected user experience. I think it was very helpful for me to have the knowledge of how people worked to foster the change management needed and maintain system relevance. That still helps me to  this day, and is something that I think is often overlooked in technology deployments.

At LogicSource, I am the Product Manager and all around DAM/Creative & Marketing Technology Subject Matter Expert. I work with a wide range of clients in different industries, implementing DAM and other technologies to provide operational efficiency. I manage everything DAM-related, from discovery and requirements, to configuration, integrations, development, training, and rollout.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

Know and understand, fully, why you are getting a DAM, who is going to use it, and how. Even if you are not getting a huge, expensive enterprise DAM, you need to consider the long game—especially in terms of metadata, organization and governance. I am a big fan of not trying to boil the ocean on a DAM deployment. Take it on in chunks. But always try to looks a few steps ahead. Look to what other processes and systems you may want to tie into your system and for what reasons.

DAMs are powerful tools that really can become the hub of asset information, but they are only as good as what you put into them. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to put every possible tag on every possible asset. You’ll never get the thing rolled out. But be mindful of what the most important asset information is, and be firm about at least getting that on your assets initially. The why, who and how will help you narrow your scope in this regard, and are crucially important to providing your best arguments when dealing with change management. Understand your audiences, and make the digital assets and info relevant to the audiences.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

So much information, so little time! Referring to my answer above, even if you don’t go nuts on asset types and metadata, overseeing a DAM is a big job because you and your team are managing “the hub.” Especially if you have integrations, and interconnecting systems. Lots of spokes, though very cool, also equals lots of spinning plates. You need to be a master air traffic controller, and that can be hard when you hit challenges in one area or another.

Also, the landscape is really changing in terms of user expectations with regard to user experience for enterprise software. People want their DAM to be as easy and slick as a mobile app or Facebook. But you’re not posting vacation pictures. It’s still enterprise software. And to that end, while trying to improve UX, we are all still trying to discern just how far the tentacles of DAM can and should go. For example, though it makes a lot of sense on paper for a WIP (work-in-progress) DAM to be your PIM (Product Information System) or eCommerce system, and a Project Management tool, and a host of other things; the ongoing question is always if it is really the best idea. And the answer to that is very individual to an enterprise.

The industry, I believe is trying to figure out where to pivot their software to become these mega-hybrids. Being practical while wading into that unknown is a delicate balance.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

I think whether we all like it or not, DAM will be slicker, less complicated, and more connected to other systems and platforms. I think that will be a great thing, as I’ve often been frustrated with just how static these types of system can be. I also think DAM will morph into these other types of systems to become more of the information hub of a larger system that serves various needs. But at the end of the day, that information still needs to go into the system and on the files, somehow, by people with a mind for that long game. So while DAM will change, I think the need for DAM people will continue.

Be a DAM Superhero! Carol was featured in a 2013 webinar in which she provides advice for those managing digital asset management systems on their own, without large teams. View the “Be a DAM Superhero” webinar » (no signup required)

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Guru Talk: Mary McMahon – DICK’S Sporting Goods

Mary McMahon - Digital Asset SpecialistMary McMahon discusses the value in being open to questioning existing processes and designs with regard to digital asset management. This approach frees you to bring a new perspective that can lead to breakthroughs in an organization’s DAM system.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

I’ve worked as a DAM professional at the University of Pittsburgh and DICK’S Sporting Goods. While pursuing my MLIS at Pitt, I worked in the marketing department leading the university’s DAM vendor selection process. We began with a needs assessment, and by the end of the year-long project, had narrowed the field to a single vendor.

Currently, I am the Digital Asset Specialist at DICK’S Sporting Goods. I came on board after vendor selection, and implemented the Company’s enterprise DAM system. Now that the system has been established, my team is responsible for continuously improving our DAM program and system, as well as cataloging the lifestyle photography used in customer-facing vehicles.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

In my specific role, it’s maintaining and utilizing relevant rights (administrative), keywords and product info (descriptive), and technical metadata for the photography and logos we use in order to increase productivity and reduce risk of using our assets in ways that make them liabilities.

Increasing productivity for my users can range from simply being able to search for assets based on a style number or name to developing consistent processes that follow the creation of photography through its ultimate use in a Sunday circular or digital experience. As part of these processes, we add in system integrations and automation. Digital asset management is more than a library of images used by creatives; it’s a larger program that touches many areas of the Company.

How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?

I learned about DAM while studying and working at Pitt, and have continued to learn on the job, through conferences and webinars, and by reading. I keep a Google alert for Digital Asset Management, I am a member of various DAM and taxonomy groups on LinkedIn, and read a lot of the same sources that other gurus have noted in their posts. I’m especially indebted to Tracy Wolfe’s ModLibrarian blog. She does a great job at compiling interesting articles and tidbits each week with the “5 Things Thursday” posts.

I take away different things from each type of learning material. When I’m on the job and with my vendor’s resources (developers and support technicians as well as knowledge center material), I can dive into the intricacies that are unique to my particular DAM solution. Conversely, webinars, conferences, and industry articles keep me up to date on the larger DAM environment.

I love learning from photographers and their crews. I work with people who interact with a number of clients; understanding best practices from their experiences helps us build a better program and process from image capture to delivery in print or online.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

The need to question assumptions is one of the most important things for someone new to digital asset management to understand. A great part about being new to a company or an industry is not having a mindset that if something’s been done one way for a long time, that it’s necessarily the right or only way. Use the lack of experience to your advantage by questioning processes and designs — you’ll bring a new perspective that can lead to breakthroughs and improvement. When you take ownership of your naiveté, you free yourself to build a solid foundation based on best practices rather than the status quo. I know that tip is not specific to DAM, but it is helpful to remember.

If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?

I love what I’m doing now, and have made peace with being in front of a computer for hours a day, but if I had to switch careers tomorrow, I’d likely be in preservation and outreach at a rural historic cemetery — and then supplementing that endeavor with something that pays my student loans.

I’d get back outside, coordinating preservation projects and getting my hands dirty resetting headstones. I’d research and organize information — creating content — for use in outreach programs. I’d be back out in the community getting to know a patron or visitor base.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

Not everyone on my greater digital asset management team lives and breathes DAM every day like my immediate team does. Being on the front lines is great for learning from my users, and I want to be able to adapt quickly and make changes. My greatest challenge is balancing the desire to push forward and improve, while not overpromising on enhancement requests and bug fixes. It’s one thing for me to work to find the solution; it’s entirely another to commit to finding a solution that requires resources that aren’t mine to allocate.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

Digital asset management programs will be ingrained in the daily processes of the business, and that most users won’t even realize they’re using it. If I’m doing my job well, we’re creating seamless integrations that support the entire content ecosystem.

What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?

Change management when you haven’t questioned those assumptions enough. Onboarding new user groups to a new system and process is an exciting challenge, and if the users don’t feel as though you’ve listened to them or taken their needs into account, you’re going to have a lot of miserable people and poor user adoption.

So go on — ask questions, present suggestions, and challenge assumptions. Know that when you’re implementing a new system, program, or process it’s for a reason. Keep the user as your focus, and work with them to find good ways forward.

What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?

My biggest success goes along with my greatest challenge. Knowing that a DAM project didn’t exist for a time period in one case, and that the user concerns I wanted to address were out of scope for the current project in another, I researched ways to solve the problem and implement solutions that limit the required resources from the greater team. I utilized our governance process to gain buy-in from the team, and kept people in the loop on testing and implementation of the enhancements.

I view this continual improvement as my biggest success because it’s fostering ongoing relationships with my partners on the team as well as my user base. This success wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t proactively work to understand both my users and my system.

I’m fortunate to have great users who reach out to my immediate team for help with navigation and understanding usage rights, as well as partners throughout the Company who enable me to dive deep into the technical aspects of our system.

What more would you like to learn about DAM?

I’d love to learn more about the bits and bytes that make up digital assets. The more we repurpose our photography and add in video, the more the structure of the assets themselves is altered. By having a better understanding of how rich content is structured at a technical level, I will be able to build processes that balance the needs of different delivery channels.

I’m also always interested to hear from other DAM professionals working in a retail environment. At a conference earlier this year, I was able to sit down with another retailer that uses the same software that we do at DICK’S. We shared stories of our users’ distinct needs and compared how we solved similar challenges in different ways. Sometimes just getting out of my regular environment, and conversing with others in the field is a great way to put whatever minutia is bogging me down at a given moment into perspective.

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  Category: DGP Member Interviews
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Guru Talk: Alec Wadey – Tahzoo

Alec WadeyAlec 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.

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Guru Talk: Bonnie Ladwig – The Integer Group

Bonnie-Ladwig-Cybrarian

Bonnie has been fortunate to conceive a vision for what her DAM system could be, and seen it come to fruition. The experience has delivered priceless insights – that she happily shares.

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

I have been Cybrarian for The Integer Group in Denver since June 2003. I started as Archivist and Asset Manager for the agency. Those first couple of years, I did what I would call “manual DAM,” in which files were posted in a folder-organized system on read-only shares in our network while and also archived to DVD. Nothing was available online, in a database, or searchable except by file name, so a lot of time and effort was put into naming conventions. The only way to access the files was to navigate the folder structure.

Archiving and the idea of better organizing assets for users at the agency led me to get my master’s in Library and Information Science from University of Denver. Early on in my education (2004–2009), the idea of handling born digital assets was more an anomaly than the common practice it is today. While my education provided me a strong foundation in library science—that aligned with archives and records management as well as standard metadata schemas—it lacked in true DAM. But I found that many library science aspects came across.

My official foray into DAM began with a DAM system and the dream of having the archives accessible—with visuals of the final work—via a website for creatives within the agency began to take root. During the next few years, the agency significantly grew which translated to more and more assets that needed to be accessible. I realized that metadata would be key in helping users locate assets because the talent of remembering job numbers from year to year was dying off. This led me to develop a custom metadata schema that fit with information the agency was already capturing. During that same time, we outgrew what we felt our initial DAM system could handle before it could be launched to the agency. Even though the website was not launched, I kept gathering the necessary metadata and could at least search on my machine. I did maintain the read-only file shares as well.

About six years ago we purchased a different DAM system. The goals were to enable users to work off the server as well as archive to tape vs. DVD and have the archives searchable visually via a website available to our studio artists, which is still in use today. This was a huge shift in DAM for us. Of course it proved that the base DAM system didn’t fit all of our needs. While it did have a database to which metadata could be added, the addition of metadata was manual and cumbersome. Three years later, we ended up purchasing a keyword search tool that would allow metadata to be searched. Users across the agency could search for final art reference to determine which files they needed in high resolution be it for a client request or comping purposes. Because of the sheer number of assets we had within the system, both live and on tape, the search proved too sluggish to benefit users.

In late in 2011 the game changed again when we started work on our own homegrown solution with a dedicated developer and a UX designer. This web application would allow users to filter and/or search across smaller set of assets (final reference files) vs. the entire asset library of millions of assets. The metadata schema I had developed back in 2004 was still of value and could finally be used as it was intended! The assets in the web application were downloadable, allowing users to use the assets in presentations or to mark them up for repurposing. The web application also allowed users to request high-resolution assets via a quick asset request system that sent an email to a select group of users to fulfill. While the homegrown solution took roughly a year to build and there were more hurdles than I was expecting it was launched to the agency in the first quarter of 2013. We hit a few stumbling blocks during launch but had a solid system working by spring. It was the first time that the agency had access to past work and the fact that users could filter and search to find what was needed was met with excitement. Nearly half the agency had logged into the system within six months. I was the product owner as well as the agency trainer throughout the entire development process. It was a huge learning curve to get something done from scratch, but it was rewarding.

In January 2015 we realized that improvements to the 1.0 web application needed to be addressed. I once again was product owner and the agency trainer for phase 2.0 development. While 1.0 had functioned decently when it was launched, it was no longer seen as fast enough for our users needs. We also saw the opportunity to change the way it worked to allow the application to be faster for the user as well as more scalable to more libraries. This decision ended up changing the user experience as well. We launched 2.0 in mid September with a whole different look and feel, expanded the libraries available, and made it wicked fast. Now, two months after the 2.0 launch, we are receiving solid feedback on how much better this version is, which is fantastic.

For me, DAM was a long and arduous journey that required constant advocating as well as steep learning curves and many sales pitches. But, in general, what we have out now to our users is in many ways what I had hoped would be possible way back when DAM was in its infancy. It is possible to not completely drown in assets and still get a DAM out.

How do you describe digital asset management to others?

The goal of a DAM is to be a one-stop shop for the user to locate needed assets—either current or historical—be it by subject, branch of a business, brand, or client among other. DAM can occur within a department or multiple departments, across an entire business, across various offices, shared to various other business partners, or even open to the public at-large. DAM should help users quickly find what they are looking for. Specifically, in my case, DAM is a web application containing the finished advertising reference visuals created that allows users to quickly find what they are looking for from a previous campaign. The application can also be used by someone new to the client or the agency as a site that allows the user to review the historic work that has been done for a client.

Our DAM enables users to filter criteria and/or search a text field to narrow their searches to a smaller subset. Our DAM libraries are culled to only show the final advertising visuals vs. all the pieces and parts (placed files, stages of retouching, etc.) that make up the visual, which is stored in another archive. Currently our DAM is nearing 200,000 assets whereas our archive contains well over 2 million assets.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?

It’s a huge undertaking to get it done right. Nothing works straight out of the box regardless of what the salesperson says. If you are not overwhelmed by the sheer number of assets you have to wrangle, then you are doing it wrong.

Once you realize just how many assets there are, assess them and determine which ones would offer the most bang for the buck to your users. If you can temporarily reduce the scope to only tackle one or two types of asset collections, then you will have a better chance of success and of getting needed feedback to help determine the course of the next sections of collections that need to be included. Finally, listen to your users! They provide of information of what would best work for them just by talking about the business itself. The best ideas can come from a casual, water-cooler conversation.

If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?

I would probably be working in a museum archive somewhere, wishing they had the ability to have a DAM. A DAM would be a glorious way to view the collection contents without having to always go into the physical archives.

What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?

We just did a 2.0 launch in September of this year. It proved to be a lengthy redesign of both the user experience as well as how the data is ingested. As usual, the development took longer than I would have liked. Now that we have the shiny new version of our DAM out there, the biggest challenge is maintaining iterative development. Prior to this launch, we were stagnant for nearly two years on development. Because our DAM is only internal at the moment any time client development projects come in, development on the application stagnates. I am sure many people in DAM experience this frustration.

An ongoing challenge that I know all of us face is how to stay on top of the work that needs to be available in the system. I am constantly reevaluating how I can improve my workflow as well as other options for automation and metadata input that would improve the user experience.

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

I believe that the need for DAM will continue to grow in the coming years. I have reviewed several DAM systems in the last year in which vast improvements have been made to allow administrators to get web applications out to users faster than was possible in the recent past. I still do not feel any of the DAM systems truly work 100% out of the box, but with the varying complexity of DAM needs, I do not know how that would ever be possible. The more work one does up front, such as organizing/analyzing assets, having a solid understand of processes, and determining where DAM needs to fit prior to purchasing a DAM solution, the better off one will be.

While some have said that the time for DAM is over, I feel there is still significant growth that will happen in DAM in the coming years. I foresee that the time between purchase and implementation of DAM will become much faster due to additional development of DAM. I also believe there will be additional facets to DAM that may not even be on the radar now. It is going to be exciting to both observe and be a part of what happens.

What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?

I prefer the term hurdle vs. mistake. The biggest hurdle for me during 2.0 development was translating the user requirements into concise developer tasks. Oftentimes I felt I had clearly defined a requirement only to have the developer come back with questions that I didn’t even think would relate to what I was looking to have executed.

While I feel I am making improvements in writing user requirements, I know I still have a lot more to learn, which I will do with each project I work on. Another challenge that I consider a work in progress is ensuring that I provide a use case that allows both scalability as well as capping the scope to prevent developing against all possibilities in the entire universe—it’s a very delicate balance.

What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?

Our biggest success is that the web application has reached over 50% of our users in under two months after its launch. Because of its speed and ease of use, users are showing those previously unaware of the site how to use the application as well as how it is a solid resource at their fingertips, which to me is the best indication of success.

For me, personally, my biggest success is seeing what I dreamed as DAM all those years ago actually being in the hands of our users. It was a long journey but not only did I make it through, I am proud of what was produced. Now on to phase 3.0.

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  Category: DGP Member Interviews
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