Audio about Digital Asset Management

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Barbara Alexander on Digital Asset Management

Listen to Another DAM podcast interview with Barbara Alexander on Digital Asset Management

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:02] This is Another DAM podcast about Digital Asset Management. Hi, I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Barbara Alexander. Barbara, how are you?

Barbara Alexander:  [0:09] Good, thank you, and you?

Henrik:  [0:11] Great. Barbara, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Barbara:  [0:15] The function that I handle essentially handles all digital assets for our company across all markets. We manage all product images, videos, presentations. All the assets then come in, and we tag them with metadata. The types of metadata that we embed assist our different markets and our different functional teams in sourcing the images that they need.

[0:44] For our marketing teams, they use the DAM to find and launch assets to all the different markets. When we’re rolling out a new program, we’ll supply all the print assets for ad production. All the assets for POS and displays, social media assets, and videos and other related assets roll out in their countries

Barbara:  [1:07] One of our big initiatives was to really focus on the consumer this year. We paid a lot of attention to our relationships with our retailer accounts. One of the things we do with our assets is we organize them in collections. Each collection has a single link that we can send to our retailer, or it can be embedded in a spreadsheet. They can click on it and have access to the assets without needing to log on to the DAM. This has been a big success for us.

Henrik:  [1:42] How does a global beauty manufacturer use Digital Asset Management?

Barbara:  [1:48] Primarily we use it to make sure that only approved assets are used in the marketplace, and to be sure that usage rights are complied with. We’re able to expire the assets on our platform. Our platform will send out notification to anyone who’s downloaded the asset that’s expiring to alert them to the fact beforehand. So that they can pull the asset and supply an alternative asset.

[2:17] It’s a great governing platform. It gives a worldview to the global marketing teams. It allows them to see how the markets are using the assets. If they’re really using the whole palette that’s been provided to them, or if they’re taking a few select assets. It allows the marketing team to assess their budgets and where they should spend their money.

Henrik:  [2:42] Barbara, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen in the Digital Asset Management?

Barbara:  [2:48] We’ve had a lot of successes and some realistic struggles. The successes have been with our ability to really service our markets and our retailer accounts, which are very important. We’ve been able to really focus on consumer‑facing experiences.

[3:06] The struggles really center around the internal reorganization our company has gone through, which has been quite traumatic. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where the DAM is located within the organization. It really matters in terms of its overall success and survival.

[3:25] The closer you are to the core of the corporate level, I think the more successful the DAM function can be within the organization. The further you are from that, the more vulnerable you are to new people coming in, or a new emphasis. That’s been very difficult. The DAM function right now is getting re‑assessed. It’s becoming more global marketing focused, we’ll have to see what happens with it. [laughs]

Henrik:  [3:51] A lot of people struggle with being more center to the core rather than being on the fringes and being possibly at irrelevance, unfortunately, because it’s not even known to the rest of the organization.

Barbara:  [4:03] That’s exactly right. We’ve had such a reorganization and shift in people, and as a result, DAM is not understood, or really factored in as a very core, relevant function of our company.

Barbara:  [4:19] We’re struggling with that right now.

Henrik:  [4:21] I understand, and I think a lot of organizations struggle with that. I’ve heard that from many organizations. That they don’t know where to put DAM. Is it IT? Is it marketing? Is it some creative function? Or is it tied to distribution or something? It’s a struggle for many organizations.

Barbara:  [4:37] Exactly.

Henrik:  [4:39] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

“We have to think of ourselves as more than just a DAM professional. It’s more a media professional. I think that the more certification and knowledge that you can gain will only assist you.”

Barbara:  [4:44] We have to think of ourselves as more than just a DAM professional. It’s more a media professional. I think that the more certification and knowledge that you can gain will only assist you. I know the DAM Foundation has a program. I would recommend that. I also think it’s very important to attend industry functions whenever you can.

[5:10] There’s so much information to be gained by your colleagues in the industry that you really can’t source online or from a book. That face‑to‑face contact and understanding is really important. Definitely the DAM New York Meetup, the Henry Stewart DAM New York Conference, and Metadata Madness [laughs] .

Henrik:  [5:33] Which we’re attending right now.

Barbara:  [5:34] Exactly.

Henrik:  [5:36] Thank you, Barbara.

Barbara:  [5:36] Thank you, Henrik.

Henrik:  [5:38] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log on to If you have any comments or questions, please refer to email me at For this and a 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview, go to Thanks again.

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Rubyliza Gaba on Digital Asset Management

Listen to Another DAM Podcast interview with Rubyliza Gaba on Digital Asset Management

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about digital asset management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Rubyliza Gaba. Rubyliza, how are you?

Rubyliza Gaba:  [0:11] I’m good, how are you doing?

Henrik:  [0:13] Great. Rubyliza, how are you involved with digital asset management?

Rubyliza:  [0:17] I am the Digital Asset Archivist at Fossil. Aside from ingesting images and checking out metadata integrity, I also do training and troubleshoot any issues our local and global users encounter.

Henrik:  [0:31] How does an American designer and manufacturer of clothing and accessories use digital asset management?

Rubyliza:  [0:37] Our DAM is used as a centralized archival repository. It houses all of Fossil’s final product images across multiple brands and product categories. Internally, it’s used by multiple departments, both locally and internationally via our regional offices.

[0:57] Actually, Fossil’s DAM is fairly young, only being launched in early 2014. So Pre‑DAM it was a bit of a challenge to locate images after they were worked on and finalized. Images were housed in multiple locations, including internal file shares and external FTP servers. We also have an archive system where images were actually burnt onto physical CDs and DVDs for archival purposes. Of course, this process was plagued with issues such as media being mislabeled, or maybe being checked out and never returned.

[1:32] Now that the DAM is in place, our users simply search for the images that they need, and they download them in the format that they require.

Henrik:  [1:42] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with DAM?

Rubyliza:  [1:45] I think the biggest challenge I’ve seen with the DAM system was change management. I can figure out system issues, but trying to introduce a new piece of technology to people, and convincing them that this system will actually help them was a bit tough.

[2:01] I completely understand that change is difficult sometimes. People are set in their own ways. They want to continue doing something that they’ve been doing for a while, because they know it works for them.

[2:13] When we were in the beginning stages of our implementation, we knew that user experience is the key to a successful DAM system. We wanted to make sure that our DAM would be easy for anyone to use, and in turn maybe ease any nervousness that they had for using a new system.

[2:32] What we did, my team and I, we set up meetings with our future users to discuss what they needed to be housed in the DAM, what functionality was required around that content, what pieces of metadata needed to be captured and how and when to capture it, and also the folder structure of the system.

[2:52] The final result is an interface that’s very sleek, and a search function that’s super simple to use. We found that with the proper training, users became more comfortable using our DAM.

[3:06] To us, user adoption is hugely important. We didn’t want to be to set in our own ways. We work with so many brands that are all individually unique. If something doesn’t work for a team, we’re always happy to discuss what needs to be done to provide the experience they expect from us.

[3:28] As for successes, I would have to say it’s knowing that people use our system. We’ve been getting pretty positive responses to it. Also, another success is seeing our user count grow. When we originally rolled out our DAM, it was only to a small group of users in our local offices. Now, our user number is in the thousands and span a global community.

[3:55] It’s really a great feeling to see something you’ve worked on so hard on it, just positively impact other people’s daily work processes. It’s been an amazing experience to be involved from day one, to be a part of the process and to watch our system grow into what it is today. It’s increased productivity across the board, and I really look forward to the future of our DAM.

Henrik:  [4:19] Excellent. Rubyliza, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Rubyliza:  [4:25] My advice is to network. That was the biggest advice given to me when I was in school. Networking is key, whether you are already a DAM professional or aspiring to be one. It’s always great to talk to others in our field. You can go to conferences, join organizations, and just meet each other face to face. We have a fantastic and supportive community out there, through my experiences.

[4:50] As for aspiring DAM professionals in school, I would get involved in volunteer work or internships. To me, you can have all the education in the world, but it’s that hands‑on training that helps. Also, it’s a good step towards building a network too. Also, work on that LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn, I think, is an amazing tool that not too many people are using, surprisingly.

“Always remember to be flexible.”

[5:15] Finally, remember when you do get the job, don’t get discouraged if you find yourself doing things that maybe aren’t always related to digital asset management. Always remember to be flexible.

Henrik:  [5:28] Great advice. Thanks, Rubyliza.

Rubyliza:  [5:30] Thank you. It was a pleasure to be a part of your podcast.

Henrik:  [5:33] For more on this and other digital asset management topics, log on to If you have any comments or questions about digital asset management, feel free to email me at For 150 other digital asset management podcast episodes, go to

Thanks again.

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Another DAM podcast interview with Emily Kolvitz on Digital Asset Management

Listen to Another DAM podcast interview with Emily Kolvitz on Digital Asset Management

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 Emily Klovitz. Emily, how are you?

Emily Klovitz:  [0:12] I’m doing great. How are you?

Henrik:  [0:13] Great. Emily, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Emily:  [0:18] I’m involved in Digital Asset Management as both student and practitioner. I’m finishing my MLIS at the University of Oklahoma, and also working full time in the field. I currently am a digital asset manager for JCPenney at the home office. I’ve also worked on digital projects outside of a formal DAM environment, in archives and also a museum.

[0:48] Recently, I have become very involved in the DAM education and DAM community. Part of that is a desire to contribute to the field. Another part of that is just me segueing into the next phase of my life.

Henrik:  [1:05] Emily, how does the national retail chain use Digital Asset Management?

Emily:  [1:10] My company uses Digital Asset Management for a variety of reasons ‑‑ works in progress, distribution, and also brand management. In my specific area, we use Digital Asset Management for works in progress, and also on final, finished photography for marketing assets. The DAM is fairly new, only a couple of years old, and it’s really only been hard‑launched since last November [2013].

[1:39] There’s a lot of building going on right now. Basically, it’s such a large organization, there’re actually multiple DAM environments. We are positioning ours as the enterprise DAM, but we still have a long road ahead of us. In terms of other DAM systems, there are that some that makes sense, in terms of what kind of content is kept and described, and also the perks of that specific system.

[2:07] Then, the different challenges of the type of content we’re talking about. As time has passed, the various DAM managers have crossed paths, and it’s been very rewarding to speak to these people, and find out what we have in common, and where we can help each other out.

[2:25] There have also been systems that didn’t really provide value for the organization and were duplications of content. I worked very hard to get rid of those systems. They’ve been shut down, and that’s because we have been lucky to have very strong senior leadership and buy‑in behind our DAM.

[2:43] What’s really interesting about my organization, or any large organization trying to wrangle their content, is just the sheer number of assets you’re actually talking about. Also, the number of DAM systems actually used by the organization, because many times it’s often multiple DAM systems.

Henrik:  [3:02] What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset Management?

Emily:  [3:05] The biggest challenge to Digital Asset Management is change management. Everything else is a problem that can be solved logically. People are more tricky than that.

[3:16] The second biggest challenge is probably that DAM does not happen in a vacuum. There are more than likely other digital initiatives in your organization, and sometimes being able to see a bigger picture, even bigger than Digital Asset Management, can help an organization implement control over information chaos. This means information governance should be part of the Digital Asset Management strategy, or perhaps the DAM strategy is a facet of an overall digital strategy or information management strategy.

[3:53] It’s been very difficult for me to stay in my DAM bubble, so to speak, in the corporate world. As an information specialist, it is so glaringly obvious all the areas that could benefit from information governance. Yet there’s only one of you, and a DAM manager has many hats to wear. That’s what I feel are the biggest challenges to Digital Asset Management.

[4:20] Successes? I guess getting buy‑in feels really good. Growing your user adoption, that’s very rewarding. Any time you have even a slight increase in user adoption, that’s a big success, and you should take the time to celebrate it. Speaking of that, with your successes in Digital Asset Management, it’s OK to brag a little. It’s part of the advocating for your DAM, so usage reports and celebrating that kind of thing is good for DAM managers to do.

Henrik:  [4:57] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Emily:  [5:03] Read everything you can get your hands on and don’t get married to a system. There are many sources for education pertaining to Digital Asset Management. Many of them are community‑, vendor‑ or organization‑based, not necessarily subjected to the rigor of scholarly publication and peer review, which we talked about previously.

[5:26] It’s important to be skeptical, I think. Verify the facts for yourself. Inspect methodologies, and don’t get sucked into buying something because of someone putting the weight of authority behind it. I also think that you should trust your gut, because you can usually tell when information is info‑fluff, versus substantial information that adds to your understanding.

[5:54] The part about the DAM system, we’re usually the ones enacting the change and we’re not the ones who have to deal with it, because we’re starting the change. But you have to be cognizant of this may not be the best solution long term, and you can’t marry a system. It’s not about the technology. Digital Asset Management is so much more than that. You need to constantly be benchmarking your DAM, inspecting your practices, and getting better and better so you can grow as a digital asset manager.

Henrik:  [6:29] Great. Well thanks, Emily.

Emily:  [6:31] Thanks for having me.

Henrik:  [6:32] For more on Digital Asset Management topics, log on to Another DAM podcast is available on AudioBoo and iTunes. 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 Karl Lord, Lovisa Idemyr and Tom De Ridder

Another DAM podcast interview with Karl Lord, Lovisa Idemyr and Tom De Ridder | Listen

Here are the questions asked:

    1. How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
    2. How does a global organization focused on furniture and housewares use Digital Asset Management?
    3. What are the biggest challenges and successes you have seen with Digital Asset Management?
    4. What advice would like to give to 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 Karl Lord, Lovisa
Idemyr and Tom De Ridder. How are you?
Lovisa Idemyr: [0:11] We’re good, thanks.
Tom De Ridder: [0:12] Good, thank you.
Karl Lord: [0:13] We’re very well, thank you.
Henrik: [0:14] How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Lovisa: [0:17] Karl and I, we’re working for Inter IKEA Systems, which is the franchise
store of IKEA so for us it’s really important to safeguard all the intellectual
property and the media assets. For me for instance, I’m involved because I was
a project leader for the first Digital Assets Management and rotation with it.
Since then I’ve been working with additional projects related to them and also
the questions that start to pop up once you go into this DAM business.
Karl: [0:44] I work on the IT side so I’m responsible for operations and securing
that the services within the company are working as they should so that the
business has the right availability for the DAM solution.
Tom: [0:56] I am the CTO of a company called Stylelabs and we’re based in
Brussels. We had startups, we started out as a WCMS company but we gradually
moved to the dark side. The back office for marketing solutions and then
DAM is our main thing right now.
Henrik: [1:15] How does a global organization focused on furniture and housewares
use Digital Asset Management?
Lovisa: [1:20] We use it for a lot, and we even have multiple DAMS with them
because we are so many different IKE A companies. We as a franchise to work
we need to protect the brand and also secure intellectual property. We are
making sure that the officially approved assets are available in our DAM so
that we can make additional usage of the assets, so that we can use it for local
marketing, etc. [1:46] We are using it both for the global marketing which is more
about the IKE A catalog, and so on. Then we’re also enabling local marketing activities
because the retailers can click the assets and make additional assets for,
let’s say additional artwork productions based upon that. So we kind of provide
the original assets that have the furniture design, everything is “hunky dory”
and good. Then they can further utilize the assets.
Karl: [2:15] We also use them in addition for the marketing purposes, we use a
lower resolution version for 3D for internal requirements for commercial planning
and store design. We build in 3D complete stores before they’re actually
in the world. The 3D products which we have in the assets as in the DAM will
be used, placing within a 3D model of the store. It’s for the building and design
of the stores and for the retailers. [2:41] So when we go out and deploy a new
store, we’ve already gone through and seen exactly what the flows are. The
passenger, the traffic requirements and so forth, and where the products and
volumes are necessary. Put that all in.
Henrik: [2:52] Excellent. What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve
seen with Digital Asset Management?
Lovisa: [2:58] Well I would say that when we started this that we were kind of
a bit naive in terms of what DAM meant so it was kind of happily naive [laughs],
because we didn’t really understand what it would take from the business.
Everything from business to IT to infrastructure, and so on. We started off with
this great idea of having [laughs] the possibility to manage all the assets in a
nice way and being able to store and distribute that. [3:23] Then of course we
started a bit small having images, now 3D and product information. During this
roadmap basically getting to learn more about what is DAM all about, what are
the opportunities? A big help there has also been getting good support from
Stylelabs in terms of advising how can we use this technology in a way that fits
us. I would say that having good advisers, that has really helped us in that work.
Henrik: [3:51] Excellent.
Tom: [3:52] Generally speaking for Stylelabs, we’ve done other implementations
also. I can say that next to the technical challenges, the biggest challenge is
user adoption but it’s also the biggest reward. So if your community likes it then
the solution grows and you get back response which is great. So that’s the best
reward and the biggest challenge at the same time.
Lovisa: [4:14] For us for instance, we come from a quite scattered landscape,
having assets available at a dozen number of suppliers. So instead of people
having to find the right person at the right agency or production company, now
we actually know that we have at least one copy in our DAM, and we have a
good support organization for that. [4:38] It’s also a security from a corporate
point of view that all the assets are safeguarded, and it’s not so dependent on
only one person knowing who to call and so on. So that has been quite a reward
I would say because it’s actually working. People are more happy with getting
access to the assets and now it’s getting more popular also to talk about DAM
and intellectual property.
[5:04] Everyone is quite happy that the basics are in place because that’s the
biggest hurdle I would say, getting commitment, getting buy in, getting investments
and so on.
Henrik: [5:12] Of course.
Tom: [5:13] Doing it one step at a time is actually the way to overcome this. Take
it easy, the maturity of the client or the customer plays a big role in how much
we, as an integrator, allow in a first phase. We always try to say, take it easy because
big bang solutions are ready to fail. You shouldn’t try too much at once.
Henrik: [5:34] Makes sense. Baby steps.
Karl: [5:36] Yes.
Lovisa: [5:37] It is a lot to cope with in Germany, within IT, within business. So
many things that are popping up. So basically when you’re doing those kind
of questions, you have to drive additional question marks within the company
that no one has addressed so far. So you’re getting into taxonomy, archiving,
lifecycle management, you name it, search tags. [6:01] All the kind of things that
make sense to put together in a nice harmonized way but no one has really had
the chance to do that in the past. So I would say stepping into DAM that’s also
stepping into all those open, let’s say small silos. [laughs] Getting that into one
big you know [laughs] .
Henrik: [6:20] And what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals
and people aspiring to become DAM professionals.
Lovisa: [6:24] I would say, I went to one of the global DAM events four years
ago as a kind of “DAM for dummies” for me. It was totally new to me. That I
found really good because I got quite a broad input because you had the business
track, you had the technology track, and so on. Also being able to speak to
the people behind the project. Both the successful ones and also the failures.
Henrik: [6:49] Exactly.
Lovisa: [laughs] [6:50] Which was even more interesting. Basically getting to
know people, also being able to listen to, what were the pitfalls. Can we avoid
doing the same mistakes? Are there people there that can help us with certain,
let’s say parts that we cannot manage within our organization? So I think a kind
of mixture of trying to understand what you want to do. [7:13] Having good advisers
on board and having a good network of people that you can call and say,
“How do we manage this? How do you do that?”
Henrik: [7:21] Excellent.
Karl: [7:22] Yes, having that advisory board and being able to get that feedback
about the good and the bad. What’s good about being here now this time
around is that we’re now able to present our success and our discoveries back
and contribute now to the other people working with DAM. Having had the
access to the information now being able to contribute information back is a
good thing.
Henrik: [7:44] Excellent.
Tom: [7:45] I think what’s interesting also in this DAM space is that it’s almost in
between marketing and IT. An impossible bridge to make most of the time but
that’s the beauty of it that you open up your eyes and you hear the stories from
both sides which I think is a rich experience for anybody to have.
Henrik: [8:08] Excellent.
Karl: [8:09] If you’re going into practical requirements, for example, I would say
preparation, preparation, and preparation to go into a project. Really know exactly
what exactly it is that you want to accomplish, and what the requirements
from the users are. Don’t just build a DAM because it’s cool to have DAM. If
there’s a need, use case, take that, establish and use that as your grounds for
going forward.
Henrik: [8:30] Great points.
Lovisa: [8:31] I think also, in terms of a rise or looking into what we can gain
from it. I think not only calculating what does it cost or what do we gain, but
also say that it’s not really a choice, it’s really necessary. There isn’t really a, “No
we can’t do this.” So it’s more about saying, “What can we gain over time?”
[8:53] So there’s a basic implementation first, and then you can do anything to
gain leverage based upon that so the more you add, of course, the more return
on your investment you will get. It’s really nice to have the foundation in place
and now everything we add to that will just be beneficial to the business.
Henrik: [9:11] Excellent.
Tom: [9:12] I could add something about technology if you want. So technology-wise
I would advise to be open for anything and pick the best in breed of specific
use cases. Don’t try to go just with one silo big thing. Just open your eyes,
talk to a mixologist, and he or she will help you get your solution together.
Henrik: [9:37] Thank you.
Lovisa: [9:38] Thanks.
Karl: [9:38] Thank you.
Henrik: [9:39] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
on to Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboo
and iTunes. 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 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 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
Thanks again.

Leave a comment

Another DAM podcast interview with David Fuda

Click here to listen to Another DAM podcast interview with David Fuda

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an organization focused on furniture use Digital Asset Management?
  • Tell me about your title.
  • What advice would you like to provide vendors when trying to approach and sell to a potential client?
  • 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 Darth, Lord of the
DAM. I mean, David Fuda.
David [0:12] , how are you?
David Fuda: [0:13] Very good this morning, how are you?
Henrik: [0:15] Good. David, how are you involved with Digital Asset
David: [0:19] I’m Digital Asset Manager for Ethan Allen Global. Ethan Allen is a
home furnishings company. We’re based in Connecticut. It’s a worldwide operation.
Out of our headquarters area is where the Digital Asset Management
system is based.
Henrik: [0:34] David, how does an organization focused on furniture use Digital
Asset Management?
David: [0:40] Many ways. Its key function right now is in the Style and
Advertising Departments. Digital photography was introduced in Ethan Allen
about three, four years ago. At the time, we realized, suddenly the volume of
images that was being photographed went up 10fold over what it was in film.
We had to get a handle on the amount of images that were being done. [1:07]
Digital Asset Management is what we needed to wrangle in what turned in from
a year’s shooting of 10,000 images to 100, 000 images.
Henrik: [1:14] Wow.
David: [1:15] Yes. At the time I was Senior Staff Photographer. I had been so
with Ethan Allen for 11 years. When they started talking about Digital Asset
Management, it peaked my interest as some type of field that would be something
new, and exciting and different, and definitely growing. So, I took on the
position as Digital Asset Manager. [1:36] I found one of the most useful ways,
once the DAM was up and running, was its ability to allow users and groups
that before had no access to print or web ready artwork, for instance, our PR
Department, Training Department, Merchandising Department.
[1:55] Before, if they had the need for a print or web ready image, they would
have to open a job ticket with Production, and go through a process of asking
them. Say, for instance, there was a particular sofa that a print magazine required
a shot of in the living room. It could start to involve two, three people to
look for a particular image.
[2:17] Nowadays, the PR individual can jump right into the DAM, do a search,
and find a multitude of room images featuring a particular sofa that was required
to be seen. They can draw their own print or web rendition right from
the DAM, and not involve the production department. It’s very quick, very easy.
They simply love it.
Henrik: [2:37] That’s a great example of self-service.
David: [2:39] Yes, it is. It’s a wonderful thing.
Henrik: [2:42] Tell me about your title.
David: [2:45] I came up with the title Darth, Lord of the DAM, because at the
when the DAM was introduced, it was a totally new concept, at least to
Ethan Allen and all the departments. No one was really certain what a DAM
was. To make people look up from their desk and their daily task, when I would
walk into someone’s office and introduce myself, as opposed to Digital Asset
Manager, Darth Lord of the DAM, seemed to really make them look away from
their computer desktop and, “What? Excuse me, who are you?” [laughs] [3:18] It
was a nickname I chose to make people notice there was something new on the
block, and it happened to be the DAM.
Henrik: [3:27] What advice would you like to give to vendors when trying to
approach and sell to potential clients?
David: [3:33] I would like to say, as far as the vendors go, when approaching
a client, I noticed a couple of things that seemed to be a constant as we were
looking at different DAM systems offered by different vendors. They came in
with a preset presentation, a PowerPoint or whatever the case may be, of what
they envisioned a typical user might be for their product. [4:00] I’ve come to
learn that users for the DAM are as varied as the clients are. They would make
a presentation with, “OK , Ethan Allen’s in photography, they make a magazine.
Let’s show them something like a fashion magazine.” It was completely unrelated
to how we would use the DAM.
[4:18] I think it would be best if the vendor took some elements that a potential
client may be using as assets in their DAM, then mocked up some type
of, “This is what your DAM could look like,” as opposed to presenting something
[4:36] Of course on the other hand, looking back, hindsight, Ethan Allen could
have presented each vendor with a collection of images, mockups, and magazines,
saying “These are the type of assets we would be putting in a DAM. Show
us how we can make them relate.” So, a little advice for both.
[4:57] I had one particular vendor who had that had a very fine looking product,
we were very impressed with the user interface. It seemed like something that
was really designed more towards images, rather than documents, and really
wanted to succeed.
[5:12] But they failed, not once, but twice in the presentation. They insisted on
having a presentation given to us via remote desktop. Both times the remote
desktop connection failed. It’s kind of hard to sell a product to people holding
the checkbook on something that won’t function. We had to pass on them.
[5:33] From the buyer end, if I could offer a little advice. Not only in presenting
particular types of assets to them to make a mockup for you, I’d also like to
suggest to any particular buyer to go ahead and look at the vendors’ service
department. Once the DAM is installed, the techs at the their customer service
are going to be your best friends for many months to come.
[6:02] We were fortunate, the product we chose, the tech support is outstanding.
I would suggest, possibly, if you’re in the market for a DAM, look at a
vendor, ask to talk to probably one or two if you could, of their users. Talk directly
to their IT department, if possible.
Henrik: [6:24] You mean the customer facing technical people?
David: [6:28] Yes, definitely.
Henrik: [6:29] From the vendor? As well as the customer service under
their VSLA?
David: [6:38] Yes, because if you’re not familiar with a DAM at all and once you
install it, it’s a big piece of software. It’s going to be something intimidating to
some people, some of your users. Other users are going to dive right in and
love it. [6:52] Also a piece of advice to buyers, once you purchase the DAM,
it’s not going to be set and you can walk away from it. Your DAM will always
be morphing, changing as new groups are added. As the needs of your users
expand, there’s going to be meta fields constantly be added. Others that are
now irrelevant, you might as well pull.
[7:16] The DAM’s never, “Build it and there it is and walk away.” It’s going to
changing with your business needs. As far as that goes, our particular DAM
software, speaking of morphing, it’s only been installed three, four years. We’re
going to be facing an issue, coming up, with its compatibility with web browsers.
Most of our users are using a web based client.
[7:48] Regrettably, the version of our DAM software is already a version or two
old, being only four years old. It’s no longer updated and supported. Well, it is
supported, but it’s no longer updated to match and function with new, current
browsers coming out.
Henrik: [8:11] Hmm. There’s a lot of them.
David: [8:12] Yep, it’s all of them. Any new machines we install, or OS upgrades
that are done to users’ computers, all have to be backstepped with the browsers
to make sure they function with the DAM.
Henrik: [8:25] Hopefully they can support that by supporting back versions and
updating, as you suggested.
David: [8:32] Yeah, it would be nice. I suspect there are many customers of
there that are out there with a back version like we have.
Henrik: [8:40] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals.
David: [8:45] As far as aspiring to be DAM professional, I can relate Ethan
Allen’s experience with it. When our exploratory committee was first looking
into software and the idea of building a DAM, they thought it was more important
to have an individual that knew the company, knew the departments
that would be involved in the DAM, being Photo Studio, Style Department,
Production Departments are the three key departments, and someone who
Another D 174 AM Podcast Transcribed
knew the product and the business model of the company. [9:18] So, as opposed
to looking for someone with the tech experience, they looked inside. I
seemed to fit the bill, they offered the position to me. I had been with the company
10, 11 years at the time. I went for it because of my knowledge of the individuals
that would be introduced to this new software, the DAM, how it would
be deployed, and its needs would be to meet our requirements as a company.
[9:47] I think it was a good choice on their part to choose from within, someone
who knew their business model, as opposed to someone who was formally
trained in the DAM aspect and introducing them to the company.
[9:59] It may be a good piece of advice to the company to look for their DAM
administrator, or the Lord of the DAM from within, as opposed from without,
because that individual may be with your company already.
[10:09] In addition, I’d like to offer a piece of advice that didn’t handicap us,
but it was an error on our part when we first started investigating a DAM. The
exploratory committee looked at the DAM as a piece of software that would
be used by the members of the departments, again the Style Department,
Photo Studio.
[10:34] They didn’t realize just how intertwined the software of the DAM would
be with the servers. The IT department wasn’t consulted until the project was
well underway. It was simply because of our unfamiliarity with the DAM, and not
realizing that it was such a database and application driven piece of software,
completely based on the servers.
[11:05] So, for anyone looking for a DAM, bring your IT boys right to the
first meeting.
Henrik: [11:09] Thanks David.
David: [11:10] OK .
Henrik: [11:12] For more on Digital Asset Management log onto [11:16] Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboo,
Blubrry, iTunes, and Tech Podcast Network. Thanks again.

Leave a comment

Another DAM podcast interview with William Bitunjac

Click here to listen to Another DAM podcast interview with William Bitunjac

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Why does a national chain of merchandise stores use Digital Asset Management?
  • What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Full Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:00] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with William Bitunjac.
William, how are you?
William Bitunjac: [0:09] Very good.
Henrik: [0:10] William, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
William: [0:12] At my company, I’m the Program Manager for all content management
tools for a large ecommerce program currently. I actually built the
Digital Asset Management content management strategy for our print marketing
lines prior to this, so converging on an enterprise view of content management
and Digital Asset Management. Picking apart the individual pieces, both
print and online individually, but now with an opportunity to look at converging
into single enterprise vision for it. Really, more heavily on the business side, in
terms of driving out strategy and then some of the delivery team responsibilities
as well.
Henrik: [0:52] Why does a national chain of merchandise stores use Digital
Asset Management?
William: [0:57] There’s a lot of numbers of reasons. Some of them are very similar.
It’s money savings. You only need to shoot a photo once, and you can reuse
it a lot of times. A lot of the reasons that have always been in the business case
for Digital Asset Management, not reshooting assets, photography that you’ve
lost, not spending time looking for things, some tighter control of brands, so
you’re only working on approved assets, approved content. [1:31] As I’ve looked
at it, beyond the initial benefits of creating libraries, centralization of knowledge,
and sharing, I’ve found incredible opportunity throughout automation. Tying
it with other content so some of the manual production work of getting assets
into layouts or to websites, managing workflows, managing approvals, the act
of centralizing assets and metadata has been an incredible benefit to further
[2:04] Getting the centralized library offers money savings on the business case
is giving tens of millions of dollars to the organization through asset reuse,
speed to market, and delivery of marketing materials. Instead of spending all of
your time trying to find the things that you need, creating new experiences has
become almost turnkey. The level of effort goes into creating incredible experiences,
not finding the materials that you need.
Henrik: [2:32] What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
William: [2:37] My advice really comes from how I came to the position, into the
industry. I didn’t come as a career technologist. It really wasn’t my vision and my
dream to spend my entire life creating content management platforms. I was an
end user. I was a creative director. I was a photographer. I had a lot of passion
around knowledge management, but I was initially in a position to be one of the
beneficiaries of a system like these. [3:13] Staying close to your users, monitoring
what they’re using, keeping track of the strategic direction of the organization.
Again, the big benefit that I’ve seen has been turnkey generation of incredible
new experiences. If you know, strategy wise, where the business is going,
where the assets are coming from, you can actually turn your asset management
system into an innovation engine.
[3:38] In order to do that, you almost have to be less interested in the technology
and more interested in the business and the business users. The technology
becomes a tool to drive out people’s dreams. For me, my teams come from the
business, I spend my time with the business, and I have really, really, really, good
delivery partners who take care of the technology bits for me.
[4:01] Playing with the technology and learning about as many platforms as
possible is the second piece of advice. There are a lot of different ways to get
things done. The framework in most of the enterprise applications allows you a
lot of different ways to do things. If you know what’s in the toolbox, you can put
together just about any toy you want.
Henrik: [4:23] Thanks, William.
William: [4:25] Sure.
Henrik: [4:25] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto Thanks, again.


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