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 David Barron

Another DAM podcast interview with David Barron | Listen

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Why does a organization focused on sporting goods use Digital Asset Management?
  • What is the big idea behind using master images in a DAM workflow?
  • 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 David Barron. David,
how are you?
David Barron: [0:10] Hey, Henrik. I’m doing great.
Henrik: [0:13] David, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
David: [0:16] I’ve been in production most of my career, since I got out of college
in 1989. I managed a service bureau for about three years in the early ‘90s,
which gave me most of my troubleshooting capabilities. Then I worked in advertising
and marketing throughout the rest of that 20 years, where I worked at
places like CAPS Digital and Leo Burnett. I worked at a HBO startup company.
[0:46] I worked at The Marketing Store, the Integer Group and SM Marketing,
and several other places that I started to do a little consulting with. I was a production
artist who also did photo retouching and design. But always doing tech
support, too. Probably because, as a Macintosh user, the IT departments don’t
always fully support the Macintosh platform. So there was always a lot of technical
stuff that had to go on.
[1:21] I started thinking about Digital Asset Management while I was working
at The Marketing Store and trying to get a system in there that would help
us to manage our digital assets. That’s where I fell in love with Digital Asset
Management, and all the capabilities that you can have with Digital Asset
Management. Although I was a production artist at that time, I had to assume
the role of a Digital Asset Manager and technologist.
[1:55] I started here at Wilson Sporting Goods, two years ago, as a Digital Asset
Management Consultant, for their Xinet system that they put in. I had purchased
the exact same system at The Marketing Store, five years prior. I started to
consult on that system because I had known it really well. After about a year of
being here, they hired me full time, where I administered the asset management
system. I can still consult the designers on best practices as I continue to oversee
things from the front end, all the way to the back end of the system.
Henrik: [2:42] Why does an organization focused on sporting goods use Digital
Asset Management?
David: [2:47] I would argue that every company that creates digital artwork and
videos needs some level of Digital Asset Management. Once you have one file,
you have the need for Digital Asset Management, and you have some level of
managing that. So much is being created digitally. At Wilson Sporting Goods,
they create a dizzying amount of graphics per year. Small, 20 some creative
services, employees crank out work like crazy, every day. [3:22] We have our own
staff photographer who’s been working tirelessly here for 27 years. Just taking
product shots. There’s terabytes of data, images and tons of people who need
them. So wrangling these assets for internal use alone could be considered valuable.
But there’s offices worldwide, partners and dealers that all want to have an
image of “The Duke”, or whatever product they’re trying to sell for their website,
for their own catalogs.
[4:02] Trying to find these assets and getting them the correct one, the one
that’s retouched and outlined or whatever, is a big challenge. So Digital Asset
Management is key here.
Henrik: [4:17] What is the big idea behind using master images in a
DAM workflow?
David: [4:24] The master image paradigm is one that I’ve been percolating in
my brain for several years now. While working at marketing agencies, the workflow
as always to see each job as a closed loop, a single entity. All the art created
for that one job remained in a links folder, in a job folder. Even if you were
working on several pieces with the same images, you’d often duplicate those
images into the links folder of the new job, in order to keep a collection of files
current for that single entity. [4:58] If a product or image changed at the 11th
hour, which never happens, I understand. You were up late replicating those
changes to all those separate folders and all those separate files, and derivatives.
The thought came, “Couldn’t we just keep an image library to link to,
instead of all this duplication?”
[5:19] It was always work that nobody wanted to do or had time to work on.
Even though, in the end, it would have saved time. So this master image idea
was born out of this frustration in production. The temptation to collect all
the images into a job folder is pretty strong, but when the files are linked to a
master image in the master image library, the benefits are pretty fierce.
[5:44] That image is what I heard called, at Henry Stuart New York this year, “The
single version of the truth.” The high resolution images come in or are shot,
and they’re tagged with metadata. They get outlined, retouched, and they go
into the master image library, nested into several folders of hierarchy. You might
have a football folder and inside of that, NFL footballs and leather footballs.
They get nested into this library, like digital shelves.
[6:19] So everybody knows where they are. We keep two of them, one for in
progress images and one for published images or files that are ready to go
to the general public. But there’s only one file that is current. So that changes
to that one file, happened on that one file. Any of the work that’s being used,
that’s all they have to do, update the image in that layout.
[6:47] That way, there is no migration at the end of the job, where we take all
those images and then file them accordingly, so that people can see the images
and grab the images from the latest catalog. They’re already there. There’s no
wondering whether or not, “Was it this image, or this one next to it that looks
similar, that was used in this catalog?”
[7:14] Because they’re linked, and the DAM system shows that link. The files are
tagged with the name in that catalog. It’s really been revolutionary when it’s
done properly. The one thing that really makes it work, because a lot of people
have said, “What if I have a Photoshop file that’s got several images composited
in there? I’ve got to make a new file. How do I track what files are being put in
that Photoshop file?”
[7:50] It’s really difficult. You can put it into metadata. I’m really encouraging
people, now with WCS platform, you can do a lot of compositing effects in
InDesign and Illustrator, for that matter. Although I’m sort of against doing any
page layout or major Photoshop compositing in Illustrator. But to do your compositing
within InDesign, it just makes everything so much easier.
[8:28] Because of the transparency effects that you can do, you don’t have to
be afraid of transparency. You just have to work a little bit differently, because
you’re not working with pixels in InDesign, but if you can do your composites in
InDesign, you still maintain that link to the master image. If you need to move
things around, it’s a lot easier to move things around in one program than it is to
have to go back into Photoshop, make those changes, and move it in.
[8:57] Then resizing, if you’re doing a banner for one person and an ad that has
to look the same, your resizes are a lot easier. You don’t have to worry about
making multiple file images. That’s been a challenge to get that through, but
when it’s done, and I’ve seen it done really well, with all kinds of things, like
reflections and drop shadows and set down shadows, color and vignettes, and
everything, all done in InDesign. The time savings alone are worth it. Just in
terms of versatility.
Henrik: [9:33] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
David: [9:39] I would say that if you’re aspiring to be in Digital Asset
Management, some people say that you need to be a student of library sciences.
Sadly, I don’t have that expertise. From my perspective, you really have
to know your users, more than the assets themselves. How they work, and the
needs and the skills of those users who are using the system more than library
sciences. [10:12] Because you can easily put more than you need to into the
DAM system, or more than what the users need. That’s where your concentration
should be, is do your homework on who’s contributing to the workflow or
to the image library, and who needs to get the stuff out. Then you’ll have all the
answers you need.
Henrik: [10:40] Putting people first. That’s a great idea.
David: [10:41] Thanks.
Henrik: [10:43] Thanks, David.
David: [10:44] Henrik, it’s been a pleasure.
Henrik: [10:46] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto
AnotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboo ,
Blubrry, iTunes and the Tech Podcast Network. Thanks again.