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Another DAM podcast interview with Bjorn Pave

Another DAM podcast interview with Bjorn Pave | Listen

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an organization focused on cosmetics use Digital Asset Management?
  • What are the biggest challenges and successes the organization has with DAM?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Bjorn Pave. Bjorn,
how are you?
Bjorn Pave: [0:11] I’m good. How are you, Henrik?
Henrik: [0:12] Good. Bjorn, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Bjorn: [0:16] For us and for me, it began as a solution to a business problem.
We were looking how to distribute our assets globally. From there, it’s turned
into more of an interest for me, specifically, and some building of proficiency
in that area. It’s common for IT to be involved in Digital Asset Management and at Benefit,
our IT department plays a pretty close partnering role with the
business, so for us it was just to drive this project but also to fit this project in
with our business. [0:48] As for the basics, we are allied with our third phase of
this project. I’ve been less of a project manager these days. It’s become more
operational. I’ve become more of a strategic kind of partner with this project in
helping to progress and develop it and bring it to the next level.
Henrik: [1:05] How does an organization focused on cosmetics use Digital Asset
Bjorn: [1:10] Pretty much every company needs to be using some kind of DAM.
I mean, especially the ones that operate globally. Digital assets are everywhere.
Really, I don’t see much difference from a car company needing to distribute
assets than us, a cosmetics firm. [1:25] It’s about efficiency, when it comes down
to it. That said, we need to get our marketing materials out quickly to our marketing
teams around the world. We’re constantly under deadlines to do that.
We’re launching products and going to market quickly with products.
[1:42] To allow us to stay agile and efficient, we need some kind of thorough
system like that not as many companies would. Also, it goes without saying
that allowing those markets to find an easy way to search for those assets. Not
only the new ones to be able to find efficient the old material that they need to
find quickly.
[2:03] I’ll give you a quick example one of the big issues that we ran into for that
was just how to get these assets to the markets when they couldn’t find them
locally. They would send an email to San Francisco or go to our headquarters
and we would get the email from Taiwan, let’s say, the next day.
[2:22] We would reply to that email. Then, the next day after that, they would
have a blank or some method of gathering that asset. We’ve lost valuable time
there. Efficiency is just really important for us, in that sense, as well as most
Henrik: [2:38] What are the biggest challenges and successes the organization
has had with DAM?
Bjorn: [2:43] Which challenges that we’ve encountered? I’ll give you three main
ones that we came across. A big one was corporate buy in. I’ve seen their company
concerns. We’re owned by a larger firm that had a number of concerns.
Once we got it in place, it was managing expectations. Everybody wanted it.
People are clamoring to get to it. I’ll go back into those real briefly. [3:11] For the
corporate buy in, it was a challenge to get them to agree on spending money
outside of a budget cycle. We had a solution and we had problem to fix, but it
was nothing that we had planned far ahead. It came up that our current solution
wasn’t working, and we had a mandate from our CEO to go fix it.
[3:31] Getting the corporate buy in and getting that done and that leads into the
senior company concerns. We had to convince them that this was the right solution.
We were also faced with some other solutions that some of the other firms
in our group were using. That became quite a big sell project for our group.
[3:50] Managing the scope of it was key. We had a small pilot group that we
could roll out to. Now it’s turned into a much larger group. Now a lot of departments
are seeing an use for it. Managing those expectations is a challenge.
[4:06] As for our successes, I’m really pleased with the steering committee
packet we put together and the materials that they have at their disposal
through this project. Leveraging our vendor expertise was key. We partnered
with a great vendor. Cantor had professional services local to us, so it became
very easy for us to draw on those resources. They were a very close partner.
Their professional services team really helped us get to the next level with this.
[4:31] Finally for our successes, it was about celebrating the successes. We had
occasions to do so. The project came up during a global general managers’
meeting. All our global general managers were in San Francisco and complaining
about the lack of efficiency they were getting from our current solution,
which at the time was SharePoint. They wanted some other way of gathering
assets. That was the time that our CEO came to us.
[4:59] A year later we used that occasion to display what the solution was and
what we came up with. It was a great occasion to do so. Since then, we’ve had
other opportunities to tout our successes in that.
Henrik: [5:12] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Bjorn: [5:16] For me this goes back to a bit of what I talked about at
Createasphere this year and what I hoped to get across there was no road
map for how to get into this. What were some key areas that really helped bring
me up to speed and bring us up to speed? Well, there was the LinkedIn group
that’s out there. There is that Digital Asset Managers group on LinkedIn, which
I found was a great location for talent and resources. [5:40] Other ways would
be engaging in DAM communities, podcasts and blogs like yours, Henrik, and
conferences. Those are great ways to find expertise. Why not learn from the
best? Why not take the people who are best in the field and draw on their intelligence?
That’s what we did there.
[5:57] Like I was saying before, leveraging the vendor was really helpful. If you’re
in a position where you can get vendor referrals who you can go out and speak
to, DAM managers at other firms that are similar to yours maybe not exactly,
but similar that’s really a big help. That was a help for us.
[6:13] As for becoming a professional, learn the software. Learn what’s out there
as far as the software offerings. Taking some time and digging deep into those
offerings is helpful. Learning taxonomy and metadata. They all have the core
commonalities, each of the software packages. To learn those essentials is really
important to being a DAM manager.
Henrik: [6:38] Thanks, Bjorn. For more on this on other Digital Asset
Management topics, log on to Another DAM Podcast
is available on Audioboo, iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. If
you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at Thanks again.

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Another DAM podcast interview with Alex Wolff

Click to listen to Another DAM podcast interview with Alex Wolff


  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does a global beauty company use Digital Asset Management?
  • How has Digital Asset Management been able to save you time and money?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Alex Wolff. Alex,
how are you?
Alex Wolff: [0:10] I’m doing excellent. How about yourself?
Henrik: [0:12] Great. Alex, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Alex: [0:17] I’m the Manager of Sales Technology for Coty Beauty. That’s actually
in the sales side, not on the technology side. I was tasked with finding a
solution for delivering images from our New York office to our field sales, which
are spread throughout the US, and also to customers, and occasionally to third
party vendors. [0:43] I had to go through the whole process of selecting a DAM
vendor and implementing that solution here, finding the right parties internally
to eventually own it, and in terms of moving the images from place to place
and distributing to the field. It was an exercise in replacing the manual effort of
burning disks, shipping them everyplace, and tracking those requests. It was a
lot of work being done here, a lot of manual stuff.
Henrik: [1:21] Sounds like it. How does a global beauty company use Digital
Asset Management?
Alex: [1:25] We use it a couple of different ways. There are various tools. The
very basis, everything starts with the idea for a graphic or an image. From the
time that image is developed and then eventually either shot, if it’s photography,
or created in Photoshop, or illustrated, the whole request and concept
needs to be tracked from person to person and approved as it goes from creative
to marketing to sales back to creative. [2:01] The Digital Asset Management
system helps keep the notifications moving. The next person in line in the workflow
has to be notified because the prior person approved it. That’s the basics.
Then it’s got to track where the images are stored in the file system so that
when a request comes in, it could be shipped out.
[2:24] The next piece is a library function, storing all of the images internally.
Then we needed a tool that was going to help us identify the images that were
ready, what we call our final, retouched images which is a small portion of the
thousands of images that we create. We make them available to the sales team
so they can provide them to customers for advertising or doing presentations at
sales meetings.
Henrik: [2:53] Excellent. Alex, how has Digital Asset Management been able to
save you time and money?
Alex: [2:59] My role is to find efficiencies for the sales team. Sales team had a
two to three, sometimes four, week wait for images, even if they were already
shot because we didn’t have a way of finding them and delivering them quickly.
I had to find a solution, and from there I back off except for procedurally and
user type administration. [3:22] It’s amazing, we’re using a company called
Widen as Software as a Service. Our people, now, go in, find all the images
that they’re looking for, provided they’ve been shot, and get them back in their
hands in 10 to 15 minutes no matter where they are in the world.
[3:40] One consultant estimated that it cut out about a half a million dollars in
waste in terms of efficiency because of how much time we spent tracking. A lot
of people forget that most of the time surrounding all this, it doesn’t take long
to burn a disk. It doesn’t take long to ship a disk. But you could take two or
three hours’ worth of phone calls tracking over the life cycle of a request.
[4:03] First, it’s cut out the time to market which is it used to take us two to three,
maybe even four, weeks to get images out to our sales team from New York.
That cost would be 60 people overnight shipment. You’d have $15 for an overnight
shipment times 60 people. So each set of requests might save us $900.
[4:29] Additionally, there the time that’s spent burning disks, the time wrapping
them and shipping them. The efficiencies that we’ve received by going to an
outside vendor really paid off.
Henrik: [4:41] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to be DAM professionals?
Alex: [4:47] I would start off with having a good foundation in library sciences.
They need to be somewhat technical, be familiar with Windows or the Mac
Operating Systems and the file systems. [5:04] The key to success is being able
to not store an image, it’s to be able to find an image. Categorization and
hierarchies are all things that people that are involved in DAM need to be able
to do very well to recognize what’s going to be effective or more to the point,
what’s not going to be effective.
[5:25] That will allow the end user who is not a librarian, to be able to quickly get
the assets in a timely fashion and delivered very quickly to the final destination.
Henrik: [5:42] Great. Thanks Alex.
Alex: [5:45] You’re so welcome.
Henrik: [5:47] For more on Digital Asset Management log on to Another DAM Podcast is now available on Audioboo ,
Blubrry, iTunes, and the Tech Podcast Network. Thanks again.


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