The Journal of Digital Media Management

Here’s a goodie you should get, by the estimable Henry Stewart Publications division:

The Journal of Digital Media Management:

The Journal of Digital Media Management is the essential peer-reviewed, professional journal for all those involved in the capture, storage and effective application of digital media assets.

Each quarterly 100-page issue publishes in-depth articles, real world case studies and reviews written by some of the leading experts in the field

On Choosing a DAM Consultant

by Kai Strieder

I’ve been working in the DAM space since around 1996 – long before the term DAM or even MAM was coined. I loved and still love to help clients to make a sense of the technical, organisational and legal challenges of handling media assets, creating value and ensuring that content, stories, emotions can be shared, communicated, and set in place.

DAM has come a long way – databases for media content have started as pure systems for media companies.

News, agencies, editors, the occasional photographer. At that time even FileMaker solutions were prevalent – as were simple catalogs with a pure text-based slide catalogue: some keywords, a slide number, the drawer or cabinet where the slide resides.

What part of DAM – Digital Asset Management has come a long way?

Digital Media has come a long way. Remember drum scanners? Slide scanners? Waiting up to 90 seconds for a slide to scan in a Nikon desktop slide scanner with automatic feed? Remember the batch of 50 files named up to “Unnamed File (#49)”?
Remember the first digital SLR being a really big deal? The IBM micro-drive — a thick CF card with a spinning hard drive inside it? (I still have the 1 Gig version sitting on my desk).

Digital media has evolved in a infuriating speed: 22 years where resolutions have exponentially grown on a regular basis. Doubling the resolution of a screen, CMOS or CCD sensor isn’t even big news now.

How has the management part evolved?

The output of assets — files — over enormously over time, mostly because the availability of devices that now can take a photo or video is now ubiquitous. “The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You” is the title of a book from Chase Jarvis, containing photos taken only with his iPhone. It perfectly illustrates how prevalent today cameras are and that’s one of the points why the amount of “available media” has skyrocketed.

Available media – photos, videos, audio recordings that can be shared, referenced, used, curated – that is why the Management in DAM is really challenged. Making media available was a significant effort 10 years ago. You chose which photos to upload into a dedicated database, creating a scan, retouched it, compressing the file, uploaded it – that was a major project. Think before you shoot, be selective in what you scan, check what you upload.

Today, every shot is synched into the cloud, apps help to curate stories – a timeline of media assets made available in seconds.

Mature DAM vendors have evolved their solution or suites along. Alongside clients they accompanied for ten or even 20 years, they have stayed focused. The purpose of DAM for any organisation is to create the most value from a digital asset and then stay out of the way.

While individual users might argue that an approval process isn’t exactly “staying out of the way” – for the organisation it is a necessity to ensure that value is sustainable.

Same goes for tediously crafted mandatory metadata, where on might argue that’s way over the top for just the web page illustration. Again, the purpose is to create most value over the lifetime of the asset and reduce single-use cases. These DAM solutions have matured to a point where sharing, enabling, integrating, fitting, transcoding, have evolved up to the point where a DAM itself provides CDN capabilities.

So is it all ponies and rainbows now?

Unfortunately, in a lot of conversations with enterprise clients, I have learned that there is a huge maturity gap. And it’s neither the vault of vendors and the capabilities of their products, nor a lack of interest (read: budget) of clients to get beyond the obvious.

It’s a lack of maturity in DAM consultants.

DAM Consultants can mostly be divided into two categories:

The experienced old dogs whose rinse-repeat approaches that have been successful the first gigs. Old dogs, new tricks – you get the point.

The fresh domain-driven consultants that usually are coming to DAM from an adjacent angle, be it SEO, product and e-commerce, social media, apps — and are more or less ignorant to the whole rest of the DAM potential or the value cycle of a digital asset.

Both types are either implementation-driven (read: rinse-and-repeat a specific integration), or vendor-selection process, helping their clients navigate the path to the best tool.

When you chose a consultant, or a consultant choses you, decide wether you are perfectly clear on what your immediate goals and criteria for success are, and what your asset roadmap is – before you decide who should help you along the way.

Kai Strieder

OpenText Has a Good Day – Gartner, Enabler for Microsoft Dynamics 365

OpenText, the global leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM), announced that it has been positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms. Gartner can be pretty thorough, and their research is practical and generally available, always a good thing:

OpenText Named as a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms

They also announced “the availability of OpenText Extended ECM Enabler for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service. The new solution, developed in partnership with Contesto, integrates OpenText’s leading Enterprise Content Management (ECM) portfolio with Dynamics 365 for Customer Service to deliver a complete set of content services to enrich business processes flows, and enable seamless customer engagement,”:

https://www.newswiretoday.com/news/168349/OpenText-Announces-Extended-ECM-for-Microsoft-Dynamics-365/

Are you a DAM pro in London on Nov 27? Meetup!

London DAM Social

Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018, 6:00 PM

The Cittie of Yorke
22 High Holborn, WC1V 6BS London, GB

11 Digital Asset Managers Attending

We are holding a London DAM Social on Tuesday 27th November from 6pm onwards in the cellar bar of The Cittie of Yorke pub on High Holborn. The event is informal and will be an opportunity for newcomers and DAM veterans alike to share experiences, advice and tips about implementing Digital Asset Management initiatives (and related topics). This meet…

Check out this Meetup →

Not a sales event! Even better!

DAM Update, October 29, 2018 – Business Ontology Community, Standards and Planning

Digital Asset Management News has and interesting posting  on a new Digital Asset Management Industry Business Ontology Community Group. The W3 group’s mission is to propose, discuss, create and maintain extensions to schema.org related to the Digital Asset Management Industry.” Currently there are 25 members, but wider participation is sought. There is a draft charter.

Reasons Why Your DAM May Not Be Working the Way You Hoped

A Marketing Director of vendor MerlinOne has written a good article, above, on things to consider when adopting and implementing your DAM, or, how to approach fixing it if its not working the way your stakeholders expect. They include checking the API and plugin standards you will need so it talks reliably to other systems, testing them with your vendor before implementation, “drafting out a clear strategy and protocol on how assets should be tagged and organized,” the importance of best practices, and other good advice.

Stuart Myles, Director of Information Management at Associated Press, has a presentation on how they approach image tagging, here on LinkedIn.

DAM Update, October 19, 2018 – DAM Horror Stories, Managed Services Webinars

Henry Stewart Events is hosting a Webinar on October 31, titled, amusingly enough, Is Your DAM a Horror Show? 6 Scary Signs To Watch Out For

Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2416511447133860355

It’s spooky. It’s scary. It’s … the haunted house DAM: full of dead assets buried in unfindable nooks and crannies, terrifying time wasters, and pits of quicksand where good intentions get swallowed by broken processes and vendor lock-in.

What lurks in the heart of your digital asset management system? In this Halloween webinar, join Uri Kogan of Nuxeo to learn the signs that your DAM may not make it to the end credits — and what you can do about it. We’ll use examples from real case studies at top media, entertainment, and CPG enterprise companies, where teams found themselves living real-life DAM nightmares.

You’ll learn:

• How lumbering “FrankenDAMs” arise — and why they’re slowing your teams down
• Tips for escaping the DAM “value trap” that locks you into legacy systems
• Why some DAMs turn from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde when your processes change
• …And why the scariest part of your DAM may be what you’re not seeing.

Join this Henry Stewart webinar this Halloween to shine a light on the dark corners of DAM.

And on October 24, a webinar on Managed Services. I’ve run Managed Services for a wide variety of customers in a variety of industries for more than a decade, including magazine and web publishing, car manufacturing, finance, and some diversified global giants, and I’m not sure a managed service provider is always acting in a client’s best interest unless the contract and SLAs are highly detailed, created by very experienced people.

Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5936432997007948545

Is Audio the next big Digital Asset to track?

CMSWire has an interesting article on DAM and audio; I recently benefitted from a look at Canto’s DAM and was impressed by the ease of tracking and tagging audio. I’m not sure it is the next thing to track: people who do sound work for movies like Star Wars, the Jurassic series, and the Marvel movies have been indexing, tagging and tracking their many thousands of audio files for years, if the iTunes Extras are any indication. Also, the lead line comes across as a bit creepy by implication… do we really want home-device speakers putting audio content from our homes into a DAM?

As we edge towards 2019, its clear to see the growing role of audio content in our daily lives. From morning news readouts to late-afternoon podcast sessions, Google claims that 72 percent of those who own a voice-activated speaker use the device as part of their daily routine.

On a more cheerful note, they also have a good general article on how to think about your RFP:

How to Write an RFP for a Digital Asset Management System: A 10-Step Guide

It has some great points to consider, like, “[…]don’t let the [required functionality] list get too long. You are more likely to succeed with a system that handles your five most important processes super well, instead of a system that does 100 things through workarounds”, advice on how to work with your vendor to get the most out of your RFP response, and security.  I’d add audit-ability, in these days of SARBOX reporting.

Articles on Widen sunsetting Orbit – why no migration path from ‘DAMLite’?

Digital Asset News has a good article on Widen Collectives Sunsetting their free DAM solution, SmartImage, which serves the “free” DAM Market – free not considering adoption, development, training, implementation, training, and other corporate adoption costs.

Personally, I feel a vendor might be better off developing a free or open source DAM “lite” system that offers an easy migration path, and a usefully similar UI, with basic functionality. I thought that was kind of the purpose of such an acquisition. DAM News wisely cites Bynder’s closure of Orbit, equally ill-considered, IMHO.

Bynder cites  “focus,” which they say is a good thing, but things take time to come into focus, and a good free solution that is similar or offers a relatively smooth migration path to your product allows the kid of test bed that can be idea for small-to-medium-sized companies considering and cutting their teeth on DAM, arguably their largest market. Yes, it would cost money and time, but it could also provide a feature test-bed, be monitored for user-interface improvements using things like Clicktale’s UI monitoring tools that track mouse movements and interface confusion without freaking out the paying customer base. Short-sighted, short-term profit focused, I’d think as an IT buyer of expensive systems.

Widen Close SmartImage: More Proof That The Current DAM Software Market Does Not Scale

DAM Update, October 5, 2018

Happily or unhappily, your DAM job will never really be done, as this article on Digital Transformation from CMSWire so aptly points out:

“One way to approach digital transformation as an ongoing process is to transform internal processes by taking a cue from customer-facing improvements and optimizations. By allowing the customer to lead, organizations can ensure that the problems they are trying to solve with digital transformation are important to their clientele. When taken as one problem or process at a time, organizations can spend time testing and iterating on their solutions without upsetting the core ecosystems at work.”

Widen announced its 8th Annual Summit, October 8-10 in Madison, WI, USA:

MADISON, Wis., Oct. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Widen, a provider of digital asset management (DAM) software, will host the 8th annual Widen Summit from October 8 to 10 in Madison. More than 180 creative, marketing and technology professionals and 100 Widen employees will gather at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. This year’s theme, “Create the moment,” explores how brands can better harness marketing technology to produce memorable experiences.

The annual Widen Summit unites a community of Widen customer administrators, marketing leaders, technologists, librarians, and creatives who lead the world’s most respected brands. They share experiences, tactics, and strategies that strengthen businesses and create strong connections with customers.

The 2018 Summit features six keynotes speakers:

Deanna Ballew, VP of Product Development at Widen
Kerry Bodine, founder and CEO of Kerry Bodine & Co., a customer experience consultancy
Matthew Gonnering, CEO of Widen
Scott Sharp, Creative Operations Advisor at WestJet Airlines
Nina Brakel-Schutt, Brand Strategist at Widen and Jake Athey, VP of Marketing at Widen

An interesting and educational article, that applies to more than just Agile Programming:

How to Build a Sustainable Agile Culture

Organizations can improve their agile efforts by focusing on five common challenges:

 

  1. Support and protect agile values with strong leadership.

  2. Help teams and stakeholders to self-organize.

  3. Manage your portfolio with outcomes, not outputs.

  4. Systematically remove sources of waste and delay agile teams face.

  5. Measure and improve value delivered with frequent feedback.

And, an an interesting speculation on a potentially disruptive development in the DAM/EAM Market:

Is Audio the next big Digital Asset to track?

As we edge towards 2019, its clear to see the growing role of audio content in our daily lives. From morning news readouts to late-afternoon podcast sessions, Google claims that 72 percent of those who own a voice-activated speaker use the device as part of their daily routine.

Sunday DAM Update, Sept. 30, 2018: C-CAM on metadata, DAM San Diego Discount

This seems like an interesting learning Webinar:

C-CAM Webinar Series
MOST COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DESIGNING METADATA SCHEMAS
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST

Also of note: Sign up now for a $100 discount to…

Henry Stewart Team’s DAM San Diego 2018 – Agenda Announced
Nov 15-16, 2018
Don’t miss the Early Bird Discount at this link.
Bookings made by Friday October 5 save $100.