Another DAM podcast interview with Doug Mullin

Another DAM podcast interview with Doug Mullin | Listen

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an organization focused on sports equipment use Digital Asset Management?
  • What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset Management?
  • 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 Douglas Mullin.
Douglas, how are you?
Douglas Mullin: [0:09] I’m doing well, thanks. How are you, Henrik?
Henrik: [0:10] Great. How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Douglas: [0:13] I’m the digital asset librarian for Oakley Incorporated in
Southern California. I work for the design graphics department, which is one
of several silos of content producers. [0:25] I manage primarily final and master
mechanicals for the signage. I would see, let’s say, if you went to Sunglass Hut or
something, you saw the signage of the windows.
[0:34] I have master files, different regions, localities to download, to print their
own files. We also have product photography and video. We have several different
departments working with that.
[0:44] With my executive sponsor, I have a project to try to create a real enterprise
DAM program to bridge a lot of our content production silos. Those are
my two main functions of both working for one silo, currently and trying to build
more of a proper enterprise DAM program to bridge a lot of our content production
silos. Those are my two main functions of both working for one silo,
currently and trying to build more of a proper enterprise DAM system.
Henrik: [1:00] How does an organization focused on sports equipment use
Digital Asset Management?
Douglas: [1:05] As I mentioned, we have a point of purchase signage. Lots of
athlete photos get used. We have the signs that go up in stores that are selling
our products, road signs, billboards, bus wraps, and other things like that. [1:19]
We have, of course, a website, which has a lot of content. Content marketing is a
very big thing at a company like Oakley.
[1:25] We have an in-house photo studio. We have a team of photographers who
go on-site who shoot athletes at sporting events or for sponsored athletes for
events that have we have set up.
[1:37] We have a video team, as much the same thing and produce a lot of content.
Content marketing is a very big thing here. It’s pretty much what DAM is
about from our point of view.
Henrik: [1:48] What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset
Management?
Douglas: [1:51] For us, the biggest challenge really is user interface issues and
process issues. Currently running Artesia 6.8, which is a very powerful product,
but it is a bit of an older product. [2:04] The user interface is not up to current
standards. A lot of consumerization of the enterprise, people’s tolerance for
learning challenging systems has gone down a lot over the years. Certainly, at
Oakley, that’s an even bigger challenge.
[2:20] A really strong user interface is something that we need. As we look forward,
Artesia is going to go away, at some point, and we will get another product,
either from that vendor or from somebody else. It’s still undecided.
[2:35] User interface challenges are a big thing for us. After that is process. What
photos should be shared? What photos should not be shared? Which videos
should or shouldn’t be shared? There are lots of different factors that go into
that calculation. Is a product a current product? Is it a past product, is it a prototype
product?
[2:55] I would see the legal contract that we have with the athletes. These kinds
of issues be very complex. So, it’s an athlete, let’s say, a whimsy contest wearing
our board shorts, which are not yet publicly released, should we use that
photo? Or should that photo not be used because the product is not actually
publicly released yet, even though the athlete winning a major contest is a major
coup for us?
Henrik: [3:20] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Douglas: [3:24] I think it’s very important to understand that this is very varied
profession, in which it is people, process, content and technology. It’s not possible
just to focus on any one of those. [3:34] Some people imagine that a digital
asset person is a bookish person hidden away in a corner just attaching metadata
to files. But in reality, it is much more difficult than that. You must be able
to interact with your end users to understand what their needs are. You often
have to be assertive about getting your content people are busy and you often
have to reach out to people, work with them to get content.
[3:58] The process issues are huge. Being able to understand the business in
order to help people solve those problems and come to an agreement about
them. Then, of course, at the technology side, you have to know how to talk
the language of the IT people in order to have credible conversations to be an
advocate for your own DAM health, so to speak. That is very important.
[4:20] There’s sort of a trend going on in the world today of…”marketing technologist”
is a phrase that I’ve heard a lot about. But people who come from the
business side of the company but who understand technology, and I think that
being a DAM librarian kind of fits in with that in certain ways.
[4:36] I very much come from the business side. I understand the people and the
content and process issues, primarily. But I’m also able to speak the language of
the IT department to be an advocate for my stakeholders for their requirements.
[4:49] In addition to that, there’s a lot of training opportunities out there in the
world today. DAM is growing a lot. There are a lot of people trying to learn
about it. There’s free webinars stuff that one can certainly see other opps. That’s
vendor sponsored and so it tends to be very solution focused and not always as
focused on the people, process, content, although people do talk about that,
of course.
[5:11] Then, there’s just great conferences at Henry Stewart and Createasphere.
I’m a member of SLA, which keeps me connected to the library world, the
Special Libraries Association. And then the DAM Foundation. It’s also, I think, a
great resource to learn a lot more about the profession.
Henrik: [5:27] Well, thanks Doug.
Douglas: [5:29] Well, thank you, Henrik.
Henrik: [5:31] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
on to AnotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboo
and iTunes.
[5:39] If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at
AnotherDAMblog@gmail.com. Thanks again

Another DAM podcast interview with Kezia Everson

Here are the questions asked:
  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an organization focused on athletic clothing use Digital Asset Management?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Kezia Everson. So
how are you?
Kezia Everson: [laughs] [0:10] I’m good, thank you.
Henrik: [0:11] Kezia, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Kezia: [0:14] I work in the global marketing team at SKINS in the headquarters
in Switzerland. SKI NS designs and manufactures technical compression sportswear.
It’s scientifically proven to help athletes achieve their goals. We currently
have several offices globally. We’ve got subsidiary offices in Australia, the USA,
UK, France, Germany, and China. [0:38] We also have global distributors, so in
Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and
throughout Europe. A couple of years ago, we realized that we needed to find
a solution that would allow all of our regions to get access to all of the data files
that they needed, instantly and regardless of time zones. We needed to find a
web based Digital Asset Management system that could house multiple types
of file that was available 24 hours a day.
[1:13] After researching several options, we chose Picture Park to be our structured
administration and management system, for our media assets. Essentially,
my role at Skins now is managing our Digital Asset Management system.
Ensuring that people across the globe have access to it and all of the key files
are updated to the system and correctly tagged within the portal.
Henrik: [1:42] How does an organization focused on athletic clothing used
Digital Asset Management?
Kezia: [1:46] We currently sell around about 160 different compression products,
including specific ranges for different sports, like cycling, triathlon, golf
and snow sports. As well as our general, multipurpose active and recovery
ranges. Because we have such a wide range of products, we also have a lot
of logos and guidelines for each range. And also, there’s associated athlete
photography with various athletes wearing our products. [2:18] Also, product
renders of the products themselves, 3D render files for use online and things.
We’ve also got things like size chart files, packaging artwork files, lots of POS ,
Point of Sale, templates, website graphics, press releases, etc. All of this information
needs to be stored in one place. Also, due to the nature of the data
we have a lot of different file formats, TIFFs, JPEGs, InDesign files, Adobe
Photoshop files, audio files, movie files, as well as standard Microsoft Word
and Office files. Our Digital Asset Management system needed to be flexible
enough to house all of the different file types we have.
[3:06] It’s used predominantly as a sales and marketing platform. So those teams
around the globe can access the files they need when they want them. But it’s
also used by our legal general counsel. He has access to a portion of the system
that houses our legal documents securely. So we use it in a variety of different
ways, throughout the business. For us, our Digital Asset Management system is
not a general upload/download tool.
[3:34] We use YouSendIt for general file transfers and work in progress documents.
That means that our DAM system is a quality controlled environment.
But we also want Skins to be a sharing community. So being able to upload
artwork files and templates ensures brand consistency across the globe and also
enables better sharing between the regions. This helps use save duplication of
work, because if one region has created an artwork file for a brochure or a flier,
they can upload that artwork to our DAM system.
[4:13] Another region who might want to create something very similar can see it
and download it and adapt it to their region as needed. It’s, for us, a platform to
promote and share the best content and the best ideas. As such, we’ve created
different access levels for different members, within the organization. As well as
some external partners, like design agencies, advertising agencies, etc. Within
our subs, the marketing teams also have upload access accounts.
[4:44] So they can share files through DAMs. And we have a media standard
guideline document that we share with all of our agencies, to ensure that whatever
files or final pieces of work they produce, the formats they produce them in
are compatible with our DAM system. Again, part of my role is to provide training
to new members of staff when they join the company, about the benefits of
our systems and also to new distributors.
[5:14] Telling them how to search for files and how to download them and email
them quickly to other people who might need access to them external to our
organization. And also, I train them on uploading files and tagging them, so
they can be easily accessed and found by other people.
Henrik: [5:32] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people assuring to become DAM professionals?
Kezia: [5:37] I don’t really have any advice. I would just say that our picture park
system has really revolutionized the way we operate here at Skins. Previously,
marketing and sales materials were housed on our servers. So that not only took
up precious space, but it was also not apparent exactly where certain files were
saved. Not all of our suboffices and distributors had access to our in-house servers.
[6:04] So we were inundated with requests for materials. Sending out files
to people is almost a full time job. Having the picture park system, over the last
year and a half, has really revolutionized our lives here. And the daily management
of our assets has really been improved. I would definitely recommend to
people who don’t have a system like this in place that it really does make a huge
difference, in many different ways.
Henrik: [6:36] Thanks, Kezia. For more on this and other Digital Asset
Management topics, log onto AnotherDAMblog.com. 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
AnotherDAMblog@gmail.com. Thanks again.

Another DAM podcast interview with Rob Le Quesne

Another DAM podcast interview with Rob Le Quesne | Listen

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Can you tell us about the Seamless End-to-End Experience (see linked article) you designed using Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to connect the physical and digital world together?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Rob Le Quesne. Rob,
how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Rob Le Quesne: [0:10] I have been working in digital media over the last 15
years. From 2000 to 2010, I had my own company in Milan, Italy called The Big
Space with my business partner, Dick Lockhart. We specialized in designing digital
installations and smart fixtures for predominately retail clients. That involved
working with Levi Strauss in Mexico City, Polo Ralph Lauren in New York, and a
number of other key European fashion retail brands. [0:47] That happened, I’d
say, quite organically. We didn’t have a plan to really be focusing on this area
when we started the company, but we ended up gravitating more and more
toward solutions that involved the use of radio frequency identification, RFID
technology.
[1:05] One of the key projects that we produced was for Polo Ralph Lauren in
Manhattan, New York. This was thanks to an introduction that we had to InfoSys,
the IT and consulting firm based out of India, who we met at the National Retail
Fair in New York in January 2007.
[1:31] They already had a working relationship with Polo Ralph Lauren, providing
them with a lot of their backend logistics. They were in initial conversations with
Polo Ralph Lauren to create a new digital archive system, in order to provide
Polo’s internal designers with a means of accessing the whole back catalogue of
Polo Ralph Lauren fashion designs to use as inspiration when designing a new
season collection.
Henrik: [2:02] Can you tell us about the seamless end-to-end experience you
designed using Digital Asset Management, or DAM, and Radio Frequency
Identification, or RFID, to connect the physical and digital world together?
Rob: [2:14] We were brought in to design the user experience for this new
digital archive. I guess from our point of view, the particularly interesting opportunity
we had with this project was to not only consider the user experience
that Polo’s designers would be having on a screen to access this digital archive
system, but they were also interested in creating a corresponding physical
archive of all their back catalogue of products that could then link to the digital
archive. [2:53] In other words, designers at Polo Ralph Lauren, the idea was that
they would be able to view the whole digital archive from their computer at their
desk, and then book products that they could then walk over to the other side
of the world in Manhattan and actually pick up the product they’ve seen on their
screen, and check it out from the physical archive space at Polo.
[3:17] It was a really great example of the online experience and the offline, the
physical experience, coming together. Thanks to the radio frequency identification
technology that we were going to be using to physically tag their whole
back catalogue of products. Then connect that tagging system into the virtual,
the Digital Asset Management System that the designers would be accessing
from their desks.
Rob: [3:44] How were we going to do this? There were some key players involved.
There was The Big Space, which was my company, that was really responsible
for the user experience, the front end design. Both of the Digital
Asset Management system, but also designing the physical experience of how
designers, once they were in the physical archive space, how they would then
actually check out a physical product, and check it in. Just like at a library, when
you check out a book, and then return it.
[4:19] We also came up with some other ideas of how they could best utilize
this RFID technology in the physical archive space to find out more information
about each product in the archive space. We came up with a smart surface
and a smart hanger, so you could just hang up a product in the space.
Then on a plasma screen you would access information from the Digital Asset
Management System based on that particular product.
[4:49] Coming up with these seamless experiences to marry all the metadata that
had been tagged to every product, and being able to access all that data when
you actually had the physical product in your hands, that was what it was about.
That was what The Big Space, my company, was responsible for.
[5:09] Alongside us we had Infosys, the IT consulting company, who were responsible
for delivering the whole backend, the database system that the
front end would be connecting to. They had picked a particular Digital Asset
Management software called Artesia, that they were using as the UI for holding
all the content that was being accessed from the backend system. There was
a lot of conversation whether we would build the front end user experience in
either AJAX, in dynamic HTML, or in a Flex based environment.
[5:58] In the end, we opted for Flex. We felt it would give us more freedom in
creating a more dynamic user experience. Being able to play more with faster
transitions and a richer user experience. We decided, with InfoSys and Polo
Ralph Lauren, to design the front end experience in Flex that would then bolt
onto the Artesia Digital Asset Management software. The whole backend
system and the integration of our Flex based front end with Artesia was then
handled by InfoSys, offshore in India.
Rob: [6:40] In the meantime, in Manhattan, New York, we found local suppliers
to build the smart fixtures. What I mean by that are these custom pieces of furniture
that would house the RFID technology that was provided by a company
owned by Motorola, called Symbol Technologies. The smart fixtures housed,
essentially, RFID, Radio Frequency Identification, readers and antennas. Which
would then enable the people in the physical space to just lay down a piece of
clothing on a smart surface.
[7:24] Each piece of clothing had an RFID tag sewn into each product that enabled
the clothing to be washed, with no detrimental effect to the RFID tags.
These tags enable these products to just be thrown onto the smart surface.
Automatically, it’s read by the antenna that’s housed within the smart piece of
furniture. Obviously, massive benefits over the traditional bar code. Because no
longer are people actually having to line up the bar code with an optical scanner
device.
[8:06] Instead, we’re using radio waves to communicate the unique product
number of each product to a database. Thanks to the antenna that’s housed
within the piece of MDF furniture. So you could then throw onto this surface 20
or more products, all in a heap, and they would all be individually read. Thanks
to the RFID tags sewn into each garment. At the beginning of this project, from
my point of view as a designer, the most important thing was to actually understand
how the design process at Polo Ralph Lauren currently worked. How a
Polo Ralph Lauren designer proceeded to work in the real world.
Rob: [8:57] How we could optimize and improve their experience through
technology and through this Digital Asset Management System. It was interesting
getting inside Polo and understanding the reality of the design process
there. Because they were relying on a very non-technological process at that
point. The design process they currently had was that they would initially look
for inspiration. How they would do that would be looking at their back catalog
of products, looking in magazines, going to old thrift stores, looking for vintage
garments.
[9:33] Initially, they would just be looking for a theme to tie their inspiration together.
Let’s say it was Wimbledon tennis in the 1930s. They would then create
a physical wall, a physical collage of inspiration imagery, involving old photos,
magazine articles, old garments. They’d create this physical wall of inspiration,
which would then be used to brief the product designers to go away and come
up with designs that reflected this particular inspirational theme. What we
wanted to do, using technology, was to replicate that physical wall of inspiration
and to help the designers in their quest for both inspiration, and being able to
look at the whole back catalog of products. To do that, we created a virtual wall
of inspiration.
Rob: [10:36] Through the interface that we designed for the Artesia Digital
Asset Management System, we enabled designers to pick particular items that
interested them. They could do this through a number of entry points into
the database. One would be by categories. You had, for instance, a different
season, summer, winter or through male, female. But also through inspirational
themes. Then you could create your own virtual pin board, a cross between
a pin board and a mood board, of content you found in the Digital Asset
Management System.
[11:23] Our idea was to play with the space and the spatial confines of the interface.
The idea was that, in the same way that previously they would have that
initial, key inspirational theme like Wimbledon in the 1930s. Our idea was that
you’d be able to have your key inspirational image in the center of the screen.
Then you could position your different images that you’d found in the database
around that central image.
[12:01] The further from the image you dragged the images, the smaller they’d
become. So the idea was to create this visual mood board on the screen that
you could then take with you to the physical space, and start finding the real
garments that corresponded to that mood board. That mood board really represented
your wish list of garments, which you can then book. You could send
a message to the archive manager in the physical archive, walk over the road to
the physical archive, and collect those garments.
[12:39] Check them out of the physical space. To do that, we created a check-in,
checkout table which, essentially, was a custom piece of furniture that housed
an RFID antenna and reader and screen, embedded within the surface of the
table. You would lay down on the table your pile of garments that you wanted
to check out. They would then automatically be displayed as a list view on
the table. Then you’d have your own ID card that you would swipe on the
side of the table, where there would be a reader for your ID card, identifying
who you are.
Rob: [13:26] Confirm that you want to check out those garments, and then off
you go. As I said before, there was an additional smart fixture in the physical
space that enabled you to just find out more, if you just browsed in the physical
space. Being able to put any garment on this smart hanger that had a plasma
screen next to it, to find out more about the details of that garment. When it
was designed. What the inspiration for that garment was and so on.
[13:54] That, in a nutshell, was the work that we did for Polo Ralph Lauren. Just
looking at it in hindsight, the key success factor for the project was having an
archive manager at Polo Ralph Lauren who really owned the project. It was her
baby. It was thanks to her that we managed to create that end-to-end solution.
It’s very interesting, RFID. It’s been around now for a fair amount of time.
People have been talking about it within the customer facing retail space for the
last 10 years.
[14:36] What we’re seeing now, obviously, is the telephone companies really
starting to embrace RFID as a means to communicate between your phone and
the real world. We’re seeing this a lot now, in terms of digital wallets, and the
ability to use your phone as a way to pay for stuff in shops, using NFC technology
in the phone. My personal interest now is just looking at ways of exploring
new solutions using NFC and RFID technology, for people within both retail
space and day-to-day lifestyle services.
Henrik: [15:22] That’s so fascinating. There will be a link to the article in the
podcast notes, on AnotherDAMpodcast.com. Lastly, what advice would you
like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM
professionals?
Rob: [15:32] What it really taught me was the need to be able to always check
your solution, compared to people’s familiar working methods in the real
world. [15:44] Finding ways to always ensure that the solutions you’re providing,
through Digital Asset Management, is actually complementing and improving
the methods that people already are familiar with in the real world. To ensure
that they don’t only use it once, but continue using it, so it’s sticky.
[16:05] Instead of just, “Wow, that’s great.” But then they only use it once, and
don’t use it anymore. It’s about maintaining people’s loyalty to these services.
Henrik: [16:14] I couldn’t say that better if I tried. Thank you so much, Rob.
For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log onto
AnotherDAMblog.com. 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 AnotherDAMblog@gmail.com.
Thanks again.

Another DAM podcast interview with Kyle Hufford

Listen to Another DAM podcast interview with Kyle Hufford

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How do you use the process of digital asset management before having a DAM system in place?
  • 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 Kyle Hufford. Kyle,
how are you?
Kyle Hufford: [0:09] I’m doing great today.
Henrik: [0:11] Kyle, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Kyle: [0:13] I’ve been working with Quiksilver for a little over seven years now.
We’ve been working out our Digital Asset Management objective. It’s gone
through an interesting phase. I went from being the sole individual person responsible
for Digital Asset Management to actually building bit of a team. [0:30]
We’ve been building our systems. We’ve been through a phase of having a
fully functioning system to paring back and re-evaluating what we have. We’re in
the process of rolling out a new system, at this time, to manage all our product
images, our lifestyle images, and everything that goes around supporting our
business and sales of our products.
Henrik: [0:50] Kyle, how do you use the process of Digital Asset Management
before having a DAM system in place?
Kyle: [0:57] That’s a really good question. Initially, we had purchased an enterprise
level system, and we had rolled it out not understanding what Digital
Asset Management really was. It went along and worked great for about two to
three years. Then we actually pared back and removed the asset management
system from our workflow and identified a proper workflow before reintroducing
our asset management system. [1:26] The biggest challenge I think that
people have is, they think, “I’ll have a Digital Asset Management system. That’s
going to solve all my problems.” That’s not true. If you have a Digital Asset
Management system, you still have to have a proper workflow or process in
place in order to solve your problem.
[1:43] If your process is broken, Digital Asset Management is not going to solve
your process. Our biggest challenge is, we removed Digital Asset Management
from the process and identified where in the process we were having challenges,
and identified where we could actually optimize that process.
[1:59] Once that process was optimized, we then now are reintroducing the
Digital Asset Management system to individual workflows one piece at a time
and identifying that this is the proper workflow, this is where the assets need to
go, and this is how the images or assets need to be distributed.
Henrik: [2:15] If I understand correctly, you started with people. Then you developed
the process of Digital Asset Management, and then you introduced the
technology. Fair?
Kyle: [2:25] Yes, exactly. We learned over time. It wasn’t like that was our first
approach. Our first approach was, “Let’s throw an enterprise Digital Asset
Management system at it.” That didn’t work. We identified that there were challenges
in pieces, in broken processes, in workarounds, and then we pared back.
[2:44] As you said, we started with people and understood what the process was
and identified how we could better that process. Once we identified a proper
process, we could then support that with the proper technologies.
Henrik: [2:56] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Kyle: [3:00] I think the biggest part of being a Digital Asset Manager is it’s a
thankless job. But at the end of the day, when you’re able to go in and search
for something and find something and be able to have a repository where the
images are, that’s the biggest feeling of success. [3:18] I think being a DAM professional
is more than being a Digital Asset Manager. From my perspective, it’s
about the process and the workflow and identifying better ways to do business.
It’s not just knowing how to tag an image or tagging 100 images a day or 1,000
images a day. It’s being able to work in an organization where you can identify
challenges in the process, and you can work with the right individuals to fix that
process so that the assets that you’re producing are better assets and more
accurate assets.
Henrik: [3:50] Couldn’t agree more. Thanks, Kyle. [3:53] For more on Digital
Asset Management, log on to AnotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM Podcast
is available on Audioboo, iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. If you have any
comments or questions, feel free to email me at AnotherDAMblog@gmail.com.
Thanks again.