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Another DAM Podcast interview with Stacey McKeever on Digital Asset Management

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Stacey McKeever.

Stacey, how are you?

Stacey McKeever: I’m fine, Henrik. How are you?

Henrik de Gyor: Good. Stacey, how are you involved with digital asset management?

Stacey McKeever: To just give you some background, I have a masters in library and information science, so I’m an actual librarian, and the way I’m involved with digital asset management. Currently, I am the Manager of Digital Asset Management at Team One. I worked in some sort of digital asset management for 20 years, and I fell backwards into it from library school.

I found out I was a latent techie, and I like that side of library-ship, information, professional situations, whatever you want to call it. It’s been a natural progression from librarian into doing things like cataloging, indexing, and just making sure that people can find assets. Also, my undergrad was in social psychology, so it really ties in together.

Henrik de Gyor: Great. Stacey, how does an advertising agency use digital asset management?

Stacey McKeever: It depends on the agency. My particular agency, we use it as a delivery system for our art creatives, as well as a repository, so that people can review and take a look at assets and repurpose the collateral that we created in previous years. It’s also used in some parts of an archive, so we can go back and pull up previous assets from many years ago in order to be able to reuse them for anniversary pieces or other types of case studies, things of that nature.

Henrik de Gyor: Great. What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with digital asset management?

Stacey McKeever: The biggest challenge I see with digital asset management, in some ways its moving from its infancy into adolescence, and people still seem to think of digital asset management in the same way that they can manage their iTunes or, I think I’ve just dated myself, or Spotify or their files on their desktop or anything like that, that anybody can do it.

Really, digital asset management, part of it is a mindset because the way I see it is I have to be able to understand my user and be able to think like they think, and so there’s that point where it’s seen as it can be tacked on to the very end, as opposed to really thinking about it as the robust portion of the company that can support the workers much better, as well as, in some cases, possibly be a monetary stream that can be used to help go to their bottom line.

Some of the biggest successes I’ve seen is that it’s starting to grow and that people are starting to understand that, “Oh, wait, the assets that we have are really important, and we can use them and they can be re-purposed, and we can put them out and hold onto to them, more or less, ad infinitum.”

Another big challenge I see, I keep going back and forth, is that in some ways because we’ve been Googlized, everyone thinks that digital asset management is as simple as putting just a couple of words into a system and it’ll pull up exactly what you want, and that’s not the case. The big challenge with digital asset management is for people to understand that there is work involved when you have a digital asset system or when you are doing digital asset management. There is that human portion of it. It’s not just all technology.

Henrik de Gyor: Good points. What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Stacey McKeever: Some advice that I would like to give is that you need to have in some ways pretty thick skin. People will underestimate what you can do and what type of benefit you can bring to the situation. I like to say that as part of my training as a librarian, I have a very high tolerance pain level for searching, and so that’s one of the skills that you’re able to develop. This ability to be able to search as well as being able to conceptualize what the DAM needs and what your user base needs.

As for aspiring DAM professionals, whatever you have in your background, bring it into your DAM life. It’s part of your toolkit. It will keep you in good stead, and it’ll come up in very strange and odd ways, so don’t forget what you know, just bring it into what you’re doing to enhance what you know.

Henrik de Gyor: Great. Thanks, Stacey.

Stacey McKeever: You’re welcome. Thank you.

Henrik de Gyor: For more on this, visit anotherdamblog.com. For 190 other podcast episodes, visit anotherdampodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@gmail.com. Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Lisa Grimm on Digital Asset Management

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about digital asset management (DAM). I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Lisa Grimm. Lisa, how are you?

Lisa Grimm: I’m very well thank you, how are you?

Henrik de Gyor: Good. Lisa, how are you involved with digital asset management?

Lisa Grimm: It’s a great question. I’ve been in the field with a few exceptions here on and off about twelve years. Before that I started off as a web developer back before we had any kind of real either web content management or digital asset management and as my career sort of grew and evolved it got more and more towards the digital asset management side of things. I started off as an end user of a lot of different sort of we’ll call them early stage digital asset management systems and then as things progressed I got more into building some home grown ones especially when working in nonprofit and academia world where you don’t necessarily have a lot of resources to go out and buy the most amazing system on the planet. That sort of came around full circle where I then worked with some very large enterprise systems a little bit later in my career.

[01:00] Not in my current role but in my previous one, I led all global digital asset management initiatives for GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, working with an interesting system. We can talk a little bit more about there and now I work for Amazon. I’m part of AWS where digital asset management is one part of what I do along with a sort of broader range of knowledge management. I think as we’ll see in my world a lot of the things tie very closely together and I’m also on the board of the DAM Foundation since I’m really interested in driving some global standards and having a lot more consistency in the world of digital asset management. That’s a reason I like to sit on the board.

Henrik de Gyor: Lisa, how does a company focused on cloud computing use digital asset management?

Lisa Grimm: [02:00] It’s an interesting question and I think people will know that Amazon is quite secretive so can’t give away the secret sauce for what we do specifically, but I will say there is a great need with any company whether you’re a company at a large scale or a small scale. Once you start creating those assets whether those are images, whether those are audio, video and I think especially when you’re working with we’ll say more technical people they realize very quickly you need to manage those just because they quickly scale down what you can do on someone’s desktop.

The other exciting thing we do I think is that kind of that’s what we do and more with a lot of our customers do is there are a lot of cloud-based DAM vendors now as I’m sure everyone’s well aware, that are doing some really interesting things sitting on the platform and sort of enabling what they’re doing. It has been really interesting to watch and I think that’s been one of the most interesting evolutions in the field. I think for a while it was a little bit slow to embrace the cloud and I don’t think that was because of lack of innovation in the DAM field itself but more some of those really large enterprises that have invested a lot in their DAM solutions had really kind of invested in that on premise kind of solution or maybe had some security sort of fears around that.

[03:00] I think we’ve evolved beyond that a little bit now. We’re seeing more happen in the cloud especially you think about some of the major media organizations or things like sports broadcasting where they have to scale so quickly and they have so many hours of video that they get added every day, every week that there’s not really a good way to do that unless you’re in the cloud. Again it doesn’t have to be us specifically I think that other cloud vendors are the same and other cloud DAM solutions can sort of latch onto that.

I think as we’ve seen just the scale of what’s out there and what people are consuming and what the people who are creators and managers of those are helping them to consume as those things get bigger and bigger and kind of more and more difficult to describe, I think we’re going to see a further evolution into the cloud and hopefully some more innovation in that space too.

Henrik de Gyor: What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with digital asset management?

Lisa Grimm: [04:00] I think one of the biggest challenges you come across in a lot of organizations is just it’s actually sort of two-fold. There’s choosing the right system and the adoption of that system. Sometimes even if it’s the right one it can be difficult to get people to start using it because it can be a big shift in terms of the sort of change management within that ecosystem especially the larger company. That’s certainly something I encountered a lot of working at GSK was that it was such a shift to go from having all of your assets either again managed on people’s desktops or managed by an agency to having those in one place even though that sounds to us in the DAM world like an obvious win, it can be a big shift to people who have not been working that way especially when you’ve been working in a system where there hasn’t been a lot of change.

That can really be difficult to one, not only pick the right system but then too, make sure that people are really happy with that system, really feel comfortable with that system and that you can actually go out and be an advocate for the system.

Of course when you’re an advocate for the system you’re also advocating for your users. You want to make sure that they feel comfortable, they feel like they’re able to speak up like their feedback is being taken on board. If there’s something they don’t like, you want to make it better. I think it’s interesting that when you have those sort of challenges you have to really walk this fine line of being essentially a product manager for your DAM as well as making sure you’re the gatekeeper for what’s coming in and out and that you’ve got all your ducks in a row just from sort of technical and metadata perspective.

[05:00] You really have to make sure that your users are right there at the forefront of it too. On the flip side of that then you can see a lot of success when you’re really working closely with your users, when you have some really good standards about what’s coming in, how you’re describing it, that people are actually able to find what they want. I think you see especially a lot of success now with some of the industries that embraced DAM early on certainly a lot of the creative agencies. I would point to a lot of the innovation we’ve seen in coming out of academia with museums, digital humanities where they’ve been really embracing what DAM can do and starting off thinking about things like digital collections that used to be online. I’ve had some really good experiences working with those in the past but I think we’ve seen a lot of innovation there where they really said, “Hey this could really be a great outreach mechanism for us not only with organizing our things but making sure that people can find them outside of our system.”

[06:00] It’s really been a good way for organizations like that to open the door to a wider audience and let people in. A good example of that is I worked at the Drexel University College of Medicine in their Legacy Center their archives and they have an amazing digital collection that’s in what’s essentially a home grown DAM but because it’s in there now they’ve been able to use that to really … They have really great control over their things now. They can get them out in the wider world and I’ve seen individual pictures now that had previously just been sitting in a box say ten years ago. They’re digitized, they’re well described and they’re being picked up really by things that you wouldn’t even expect.

There’s things like a Mighty Girl on Facebook or a lot of these other organizations that have kind of reached out and say, “Oh wow there’s this amazing corpus of historical material we can get in there and get to,” and I think a lot of the innovation we have seen in the DAM field is coming from those museums, those archives who realize it’s a way to not only get good control over their collections but to get them out there.

[07:00] I think it’s interesting to tie back to that when a lot of the focus you see in where is DAM going in the next five to ten years is very much focused on how can it support my marketing work or how can it really help drive my sales organization forward. While those are important, certainly working in the e-commerce or if you’re in advertising it certainly makes sense, but there are all these other use cases that I think have really driven things forward. I think certainly some of those marketing and e-commerce sites have been a beneficiary of some of the work done before by folks using DAM in academia and in museums.

Henrik de Gyor: What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to be DAM professionals?

Lisa Grimm: I think for people who are already in the field, I’d say buckle up. I think it’s going to get even more exciting. I think we’re at sort of a tipping point where in the past few years we’ve gone from people saying, “Oh how can I get buy-in to get a DAM? How can I make the business case to sort of having one being that it’s working,” and then now thinking about, “Okay now we can actually go beyond what we have. We can get a little more exciting here. We can really start.”

[08:00] Again I think innovation is going to be one of the key things we’re going to be seeing. I think we were slightly stagnant for a little while where it was more just about having something that worked but now I think people are starting to push the boundaries a little bit more both on the vendor side and on the user side to say, “Hey wouldn’t it be great if …,” then we can see if that’s going to go together. I think especially as we think about not just video but I think we’re also going to reach a point where the DAM is going to be your single source of truth for almost any kind of digital object where at the moment we still think of it quite often not exclusively but quite often in terms of the DAM is where we’re storing our images, our audio/video, having one place to go to get to really define anything we need not just those things that we think of in the traditional DAM.

[09:00] As far as people who want to become DAM professionals, this is an area I’m really passionate about. It’s reaching out to people who have the skills but may not know that those are the skills they have especially librarians, archivists and certainly I have a bias towards that. I come from that world even though I started off as a developer. I then went back to librarian school mid-career and came back out again the other side doing more DAM specific things. Even here at Amazon I found some other people who have followed a similar path. I think just reaching back out to people who are either in school now or who are early career in those fields who often are not being paid very well to reach out and say, “Hey there are other alternatives. There’s this great career you probably don’t even know exists. You’ve got the skills for it whether it’s in having a great understanding of taxonomy and metadata or having a lot of really kind of scrappy technical skills where you just kind of go in and get things done.

I think that’s something that really only helps DAM drive forward as a field where you’ve got these people who really want to make a difference and who have these really key skill sets when it comes to describing things, finding things. That’s kind of what we do but I think that’s a really important thing is making sure that those people know that this field exists and that we’re doing a good job of promoting the field to whether that’s … I think we certainly like to all talk at conferences and I don’t think it’s insular. I think we do a good job of outreach but I always think we can do more and just publicize it a little bit more.

[10:00] One thing I’m actually trying to do in the next year or so is to work with some folks here to try to get a panel at Society for American Archivists next year and saying, “Hey this is an alternative career for people who have the skills you have but we’d love to get you in here and love to teach you a little bit more about the field.” I do think it’s incumbent upon those of us already in the field to make sure we’re making sure that the ladder doesn’t end with us. We can reach back down and reach back out and say to people, “Hey, come on in, water’s fine and there’s a lot of work to do yet, come join us.”

Henrik de Gyor: Well thanks, Lisa.

Lisa Grimm: Thank you very much.

Henrik de Gyor: For more on this, visit anotherdamblog.com. If you’d like to listen to another 185 other episodes of Another DAM Podcast, go to anotherdampodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@gmail.com. Thanks again.

 


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Victor LeBon on Digital Asset Management

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 Victor LeBon. Victor, how are you?

Victor LeBon:  [0:10] I’m very well, Henrik, how are you?

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

Victor:  [0:15] Henrik, I’m the Director of Marketing Technology at a company called ICP.

ICP is a company that started in advertising production which is we still do today. That’s my background and why I joined the company.

[0:28] Advertising production relies on the key principle of reusing and repurposing contents. In essence that its core business, but doing so in a way that is compliant and it complies with legal, regulatory, and brand guidelines as well. That’s the key principle of Digital Asset Management as well.

[0:46] I started working on the advertising production side. My first opportunity with DAM, was helping a client with their migration they wanted to have from one system to another. Then, I worked as a Business Director for Unilever ‑‑ one of our key clients in this area ‑‑ supporting their asset management solution.

[1:02] These days, I look after all of our clients here at ICP and any services supporting marketing technology, of course, of which DAM is a central part. My day-to-day role these days focuses around digital transformation. How to integrate asset management effectively within the wider digital transformation ecosystem.

Henrik:  [1:21] How does a marketing communications production company use Digital Asset Management?

Victor:  [1:26] That’s a great question. We use DAM in all aspects of our business, both the advertising production and marketing technology services. For the marketing communications and production side of things it’s essential for the work that we do. We have to ensure we reuse and repurpose the content for our clients. Effectively reuse their assets.

[1:47] We have to be compliant. We have to provide our clients with visibility and transparency both on the creative process, the review and approval process, as well as the final output.

[1:58] Touch points with DAM, is restricting master creatives, downloading those key assets, the whole MRM aspect which is approval and work flow, as well as uploading the adaptations, which we ourselves produce. Then of course, distributing it to the end points.

[2:14] ICP took a slightly different strategic direction from other marketing communication production companies in the sense that we don’t develop our own software. We very much wanted to remain agnostic and ensure we use whatever solutions best suited for our client needs.

Victor:  [2:30] If a client has a solution, a DAM solution which they themselves have chosen, that’s best suited to their needs in our production areas we can also make use of that. We have a solution that we use in‑house but we are not wedded to it. We can make sure that whatever we chose and recommended is aligned to our client needs.

[2:46] For example, for one of our clients Diageo, we offer both production services and marketing technology services. That works really well because we have an overall understanding of the end‑to‑end process for the assets that we work with for our clients and both the creation thereof and the management thereof in the systems as well.

Henrik:  [3:05] Victor, how do you see the role of Digital Asset Management in correlation with digital transformation?

Victor:  [3:10] I think this is something that’s changed very much in recent times where digital transformation initiatives are happening everywhere we see. Prior to digital transformation, asset management was happening. It was really about finding ROI and finding efficiencies in the clients process. The key change now is that DAM, or Digital Asset Management is now no longer really optional.

[3:38] If a company wants to go through a digital transformation program, they really have to have DAM as part of their core pillar of their capabilities. You need to look at the end‑to‑end states, with digital transformation.

[3:50] You have to start off with sometimes what might be a very mature DAM system. Or if you’re starting at this from scratch, you might need to go on and start an new DAM system or consolidate, but you can’t have services that operate in silos. You can’t have technology that operates in silos, as well.

[4:06] No matter what your technology or supplier landscape in, digital transformation is really about bringing those together and providing a consolidated ecosystem, both of services, and technology, and capabilities to offer that seamless experience for the clients and customers.

Henrik:  [4:23] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Victor:  [4:28] I’ll try not to be too controversial here. One of the biggest challenges that we’ve seen and I think this is probably the same thing for many companies like ourselves, is internal stakeholders at our clients, and working with lots of different parties. Indeed, they all have their different priorities, their different agendas, their different KPIs and the key things they need to try and achieve.

[4:51] That brings different requirements to the party, and different perspectives, I say, as on what is critical for success. I think the bigger the solution, first of all, the more stakeholders you have to involve to ensure success. That brings in itself its own challenges in getting those individual stakeholders to align. Of course, looking at the reward at the end of that is the bigger the solution, the more the stakeholders, the greater the potential benefit.

[5:16] One other key challenge which we’ve seen as well is technology never moves as quickly as the requirements. Everyone wants something and they want it now. By the time it’s available, they want something different. Looking at change, how technology is implemented, and how support around that technology is implemented, that will stand the test of time.

[5:37] Providing support to the business, and to the various department who uses this technology whilst at the same time continually improving the solution is a big challenge which I think we’ve got a lot of experience in doing. We’re quite excited about delivering that.

[5:52] In terms of successes, again, I’ll be slightly controversial and say that for me the biggest success is when we can get clients to the stage when we can step back and a lot of our core services are no longer required. We will have achieved our goal of embedding that solutions part to business as usual processes.

[6:12] We’ve helped work with software developers and business to make the system more refined or work towards making data gathering process much more efficient. We’re really starting to see success now as when that DAM system achieves a certain level of maturity, that it can really be integrated effectively, within the wider ecosystem.

[6:35] It’s like a well‑oiled machine that operates very effectively on its own sometimes and very independently from us. We’re happy to embrace that because we work almost sometimes to develop ourselves and the services we have into obsolescence because we want to deliver value for our clients at every stage. We know if we deliver value there and demonstrate that to the clients, then they’ll find something else for us to do.

[6:57] That’s something we are quite excited to work in partnership with our clients to deliver.

Henrik:  [7:02] Victor, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Victor:  [7:08] First of all, I’d like to say that this is a really exciting industry. I’m massively passionate about this. I get to quite excited thinking about working in this area. So much is happening in this space and this is going to be so fundamental to the growth and success of organizations everywhere.

[7:24] My advice would be have a passion for what you do and for delivering value and quality. Start by delivering value in your role in your job, in your company or whatever. Whatever area of the DAM industry that you work in, whether you’re on the client side, or the software vendor side, or the services side as we are.

[7:42] Then the opportunities grow. I think taking that approach of doing the job you’re been asked to do. Doing it really well and passionately, then the opportunities come to you because clients and partners can recognize you’ve got a really good investment in getting it right. Then after, you can grow it from there.

[8:03] The other piece of advice I would say is never stop learning. Never stop asking questions and being curious about the world around you. The technologies change, organizations change, the relationship between marketing and customers has fundamentally changed.

[8:19] Big organizations are getting this now, that they need to embrace change and making it part of their day‑to‑day. Embracing change all together, with all the different parties working together and being OK, with that makes for a really exciting journey that we can go on.

Henrik:  [8:34] Excellent, well thanks Victor.

Victor:  [8:36] Thank you Henrik.

Henrik:  [8:38] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. For this and 180 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.