Frank DeCarlo discusses Digital Asset Management
Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Frank DeCarlo.
Frank, how are you?
Frank DeCarlo: [0:09] I’m doing well. Henrik, how are you?
Henrik: [0:10] Great. Frank, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Frank: [0:14] I was a client of the company and now work for RPR Graphics before actually Digital Asset Management was coined as DAM. It was their answer to having hundreds of identical images, shuffling through their studio every week when they realized there had to be a better way.
[0:29] Years later, the term Digital Asset Management arrived and shortly thereafter, the opportunity to access and distribute images and any asset became available over the Internet.
[0:40] That’s when RPR realized what a viable service DAM could be not only for themselves, but for their clients, to spare our clients the capital expense and bring its 20 plus years of DAM experience as just another service.
Henrik: [0:53] Frank, how does an organization focused on pre‑media use Digital Asset Management?
Frank: [0:57] That’s a fair question, Henrik. I know pre‑media isn’t common.
[1:00] Wikipedia states that it has its processes and procedures that occur between the conception of original artwork and the manufacturing of final output channel. It’s a little extreme of explanation, but what we do is we handle everything before it goes to press.
[1:17] Everything before it gets on the web, and anything that needs organization and retouching, imaging manipulation, and trafficking for any marketing and advertising’s needs in distribution.
[1:32] It’s a staple with every one of our clients whether our clients right off the bat come to us wanting a DAM initiative to launch for themselves, or they’re in the early stages of working with us and understanding how we manage and distribute files between us, and the client.
[1:48] We know ultimately that everything we do and working with our clients is showing them the basic foundation of organizing taxonomy and coming up with metadata, whether it would only be a small percentage of their library initially, we continue to provide the service.
[2:02] Our experience with DAM not only benefits them in the end, we know that would pay off even more so down the road.
[2:08] The simple concept we all understand in DAM community is how easily an asset can then be found and distributed. We practice with every one of our clients just as, again we do business and it’s our service. We are the central hub and repository for their assets and that for RPR starts with our end user in pre‑media, the marketing, and advertising professionals.
[2:32] We act as an extension of their production departments and by doing so, again we introduce our 60 years of experience in helping streamline maybe their workflows not just with DAM, but saving them time and money in a variety of ways to help improve their time to market.
[2:49] DAM quickly becomes a relatively easier return on investment, once they start using it and evident when working with us, because it’s a vital part of how we been operating our day‑to‑day for over 20 years.
Henrik: [3:01] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Frank: [3:05] It’s an interesting segue in so far as one of the bigger challenge is and has been showing ROI before instituting a DAM. It’s easier now for certain. DAM is becoming a more common phrase, but ten years ago and even older than that, the eyebrows were raised, and it was more inherent when speaking about DAM and its benefits.
[3:28] It hasn’t completely disappeared and we’re still hear, “Well, we just used Dropbox” or “We’re OK with how we’ve always done it”.
[3:35] The other challenge is once it clicks, and a light bulb goes off and everyone is on board, it’s the act of teaching and implementing the governance necessary toward this growing organism.
[3:48] Metadata alone is a living and breathing thing and constantly changing based on the growth of the organization and how their assets relate to their business. Extraneous changes are happening every day within our industry, thus the metatagging is always changing and evolving.
[4:05] An example you take somebody like Donald Trump. A name you don’t hear every day. Years ago his metadata might have been real estate, business, The Art of the Deal, mogul, Atlantic City, Ivanka, those types of things and then what was added was beauty pageants, The Apprentice, television, NBC, blah, blah, blah.
[4:27] Today, [laughs] GOP, presidential candidate, Mexican border… you get the idea. It’s ever changing and it’s added too.
[4:37] Successes that I’ve seen in DAM is when it starts out small and we always start our clients out in baby steps, get them introduced to the basics and show them how it benefits the way they’re already working.
[4:50] Then you start to see it grow and starts to explode, all of a sudden I’m hearing, Frank, well we need another user group, we need to convert images on the fly for our web team or the packaging department, and our company wants to know how we’re flipping the logos over them so quickly, and if we can help them with organizing and distributing between their agencies.
[5:12] Or Frank, my phone is up for ringing anymore, there’s no more CD request and I need to send via FedEx because people are now going in on their own and findings things that they need and putting the owners on the people that need those files rather than having a distribution source.
[5:29] It’s all great stuff for me. That’s the payoff, helping an organization streamline their workflows and improving efficiency, that’s what RPR has been doing for many, many years.
Henrik: [5:38] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Frank: [5:43] It’s an exciting time in DAM. Where I see the most growth is with the digital archivists. We at RPR have RPR cybrarian. We’re finding more and more that our clients not only want us to take control of their digital library, but also be responsible, to understand how everything needs to be meta‑tagged.
[6:02] Basically, giving them an entire service, asking us to practice the governance needing to be sure their library stays current, and everything needing can be found based on search requirements relevant to their assets.
[6:16] It only makes sense. Libraries are growing every day, every hour, and how we keep track of them. What we’re spending on those digital assets in some cases could be a great deal of money, which creates these assets. They need to be at your fingertips and if you can’t find them or have to recreate them, it’s a great loss in many ways and sometimes not just monetarily.
[6:39] The more you can contribute helping organize libraries and help cut down on any search is critical, and once you do that, make sure you have a disaster recovery plan in place that make sense for your business.
[6:49] You can spend all the time on the world building a library and DAM that benefits everyone and is working properly, but if it goes down or disappears completely and doesn’t come back up and enough time, that doesn’t cause you a great deal of pain in the process or worse, where are you? I think disaster recovery is becoming more and more critical with our DAM and our extending libraries.
Henrik: [7:12] Thanks, Frank.
Frank: [7:13] Absolutely, Henrik. Thank you for the opportunity and I really enjoyed being here today.
Henrik: [7:16] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to AnotherDAMblog.com. For the other podcast episodes, go to AnotherDAMpodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at AnotherDAMblog@Gmail.com. Thanks again.