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Another DAM Podcast interview with Megan Re on Digital Asset Management

Megan Re discusses Digital Asset Management

 

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management
  • How does an organization focused on food use Digital Asset Management?
  • What are the biggest challenges and successes you have seen with DAM?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor: [0:08] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I am speaking with Megan Re.
Megan, how are you?
Megan Re: [0:10] I am good. How are you?
Henrik: [0:13] Good. Megan, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Management?
Megan: [0:37] I am involved with Digital Asset Management. I oversee the photography
for Food Network and Cooking Channel brand, and my position overlaps
the creative, the production and the asset management of photography. I
came to Food Network to redevelop and build a working photo team. With that,
I had to get my hands wet in all of the areas. [1:00] Coming from a background
with a BFA in photography, I understand what’s happening with a photographer’s
thinking, what is happening with digital techs’ thinking, an editor and
creatives. With that, we come down and we are working with our photography,
with our assets, with our DAM system, with organization and getting images out
to everyone’s needs ASAP.
Henrik: [1:04] How does an organization focused on food use Digital Asset
Management?
Megan: [1:16] We need it drastically. Without it, we would be lost. A company
as large as ours, we have thousands and thousands of photos. We are actually
turning 20 this year.
Henrik: [1:17] Congratulations.
Megan: [1:43] Thank you. That means we have 20 years of photography. We
have them in slide form, transparency form, and most currently over the past
10plus years, digital form. That also encompasses not only food and recipe
photos, but we have talent. I mean, our chefs, we have so much talent happening.
We have production stills happening for every show, we have events, cookbooks,
branding it goes way beyond the food and recipes. [2:09] You are talking
about hundreds and thousands of images, and with that, many internal teams,
because we are a brand. We have a marketing team, a press team, our new
business team, an international team, which is many, many countries. We have
to make sure that everyone is self-sufficient in getting images at a quick pace,
because all of our internal teams need them drastically soon.
[2:27] They need to download photos and view the photos. We need to make
sure that there are all descriptions at your fingertips, so you know all of the
details. And make sure that my photo team is savvy. Aside from that we need a
DAM, my photo team needs to be savvy and aware of the brand’s needs.
[2:51] Aware of the workflow, the process, the metadata and establish workflows
from the start, so we can work with our DAM. With our DAM, we have a DAM
that has been with our company for a long time. Aside from that, there are other
tools and other workflows before images get into the DAM that we need. All of
these thousands of images have to somehow get in there.
Henrik: [2:55] What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset
Management?
Megan: [3:23] One of my favorite questions. Challenges, at least for us, and I
think it goes for many people, is introducing a new system, the need of a workflow.
If there is not a workflow, how crucial that is from the start of a shoot. Then
too, your asset management. There is always going to be a workflow for our
internal teams and our photographers. [3:42] For us, coming here, a huge challenge
was just getting our internal teams, because this was a new department
forming who has been working with photos for years, is what is our workflow
and getting them to trust us. Our photographers, some who had been shooting
for a while with us, getting them to understand, now we are going to be asking
for new needs.
[4:05] Such as, let’s add some metadata, let’s add the copyright, let’s add the
year establishing what our metadata needs were. That was a really big challenge,
because you are starting from scratch. So what do we need internally as a
company, and what we need internally for our DAM system? Every DAM system
is different, every DAM system has different needs, so that was a big challenge.
[4:32] Basically pulling in new systems to offset the frustrations that naturally
come with a DAM system. Every DAM is unique. Some are loved, some are not
loved. They all have their issues and we just find a way to work with them and
around them in finding support. We had a DAM system, as I mentioned already,
established in our companies. It was just instilling some new processes that
were going to make it easier in training.
[4:56] Also, what do we do with the old photos? The photos that are not yet in
the system that need to get in the system, or photos that can’t get in the system
because they are so old. So, what is another way that we can asset manage
these photos? We had a huge-which we are just finishing now-two bookshelves
worth of binders and CDs from 10plus years ago. Massive.
[5:18] Successes…Simplifying the workflow. I feel like I always work in numbers
of three, so I came down to three simple systems that we needed, including our
DAM. We instilled a workflow program that we use Global Edit that we love. It
helps with our selects, our instant viewing, our approvals and our markups.
[5:35] From there, we then work with our internal servers. We have two main
servers that work for us that back up everything, and then of course, our DAM.
That is the goto place at the end where everyone is self-sufficient; can go on
and download stuff immediately at different file sizes and it organizes.
[5:53] As we all know, once images are in the DAM, it is very hard to get them
out or to get them reorganized again. So, we have to go to that system. Very
well-organized and put together. Another success was the trust in my photo
staff, knowing that they are going to work hand-in-hand on all elements.
[6:07] We are a smaller team, unlike some other companies who have a very big
asset management team and then a photo production team, my staff works
hand-in-hand with everything. We understand from the start of the job to what
has to happen at the end.
[6:30] My producers are producing to the shooters all of the details that are
ready, and when it comes back in, my asset editors can take the rest and roll.
[Another] success was organization and speed. As we know, everything needs
to happen fast. Everyone wants it now. Downloads need to happen yesterday
when they are needed today. So that was a huge plus.
Henrik: [6:34] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to be DAM professionals?
Megan: [6:55] Some of the advice I would say is to be prepared for challenges.
Take time to assess the project, the overall project or the company you are
going to be
working with. Problem-solve and understand the end goals. If you
do not have the backbone instilled from the beginning, it is going to be challenging.
You are going to be constantly reworking your system and your problems.
[7:08] A DAM of some sort is needed for every company, even a photographer
in their archive to a small or large company. You need to figure out how
it is going to work best. Take the time at the beginning to understand what the
end goal is going to be.
[7:30] A big plus, I would say, is understanding copyright law and usage terms.
I can’t tell you how important that is, because that is really a big goal of somebody
who is going to asset manage, is understanding how something can be
used, to what term. The minute it is let go, it is going to be seen on social media
sites. These days, anywhere, anyhow, at any media, you will be seeing it.
[7:43] Someone who is detail oriented. If you are detail oriented, you are probably
the best person to be in this field working with assets, and aware of technology
change. Within a year or six months, there are changes out there for
every program.
[8:01] If you are managing a very particular DAM, keep on top of what the new
changes are going to be, the new rollouts. If you are having some issues with
that and you need help with a workflow, keeping on top of what other tools are
available to you to assist and to complement your current workflow.
[8:21] It is not a problem to bring something else in if it is going to help you, especially
when you are low on staff and you need to work quickly. That is exactly
why we pulled in some other platforms, like GlobalEdit for the speed. That
took care of a lot of time. There are many other programs and workflows out
there that will help you to get your images into a DAM.
Henrik: [8:24] Excellent. Thanks, Megan.
Megan: [8:26] Thank you.
Henrik: [8:34] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
on to AnotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom
and iTunes. Thanks again.


 

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Kezia Everson on Digital Asset Management

Kezia Everson discusses Digital Asset Management
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?

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. SKINS 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 AudioBoom, 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.


 


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Another DAM Podcast interview with James Chan on Digital Asset Management

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Why would an organization focused around Architecture and Planning use Digital Asset Management?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

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 James Chan. James,
how are you?
James Chan: [0:08] I’m great. I’m very good. How are you?
Henrik: [0:11] Good. James, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Management?
James: [0:17] Firstly, I can tell you very quickly about what we do here at the
studio. We’re an architectural visualization studio. Very quickly, what that means
is that we create photorealistic images of architecture before it gets built. My
role in that is that I help the artists to produce their renderings. What happens
is that the artist will get a 3D model and do their wizardry on it, their 3D
thing, and render out a 2D image of the building. [0:46] That’s when the things
I do come into play. What they do then is, with the render, they bring it into
Photoshop and add 2D assets into that. Assets could be photographs of trees,
people, plants, you name it. Whatever you need to do in order to make the
image look photorealistic. Sometimes it’s a whole image, like a photograph of
the site where the building’s going to go, and they literally just drop the building
into that photograph.
[1:17] Other times, it’s a complete render. What they do then is just add elements,
like people and trees, into the image. What I do is I have to maintain a
library of these images, of these assets. It’s a quite crucial role within the studio.
Because time is money. To be able to produce high quality illustrations or
images that you need to be able to find exactly what you need and be able to
put it into the image straight away.
[1:43] The artist doesn’t want to waste their time looking for things. They just
want to do a quick keyword search, browse a folder or whatnot, within the asset
management system, and find exactly what they want straight away. Quite
often, we get some artists who work with other studios. They come in here, start
fresh and are absolutely overjoyed that they have a really nicely organized and
curated library of images they can just dig into and get what they need.
Henrik: [2:07] Why does an organization focused on architecture and planning
use Digital Asset Management, beyond what you just said?
James: [2:13] Architecture is a very visual discipline. Historically, designs for
buildings have started off as sketches. Even current buildings, such as Renzo
Piano’s The Shard of Glass which is a great big building being built in London.
It’s a very striking building. It is literally a shard of glass going into the sky. That
started out as a sketch on a napkin.

[2:36] From then, it was put into a CAD drawing. Then, we produced a photorealistic rendering from that. With architecture, they really do communicate in images. I know that in dedicated, proper architectural firms, they use asset management systems. Because that’s how they communicate with each other. They have drawings. They have site photography.

[2:57] They have model shots of models they made themselves. Architecture is
awash with images. It’s crucial for an architectural firm to be able to organize
all their images very effectively. For planning, they use images as well. But it’s
more of a 3D thing. They use a lot of 3D techniques to do their work. But again,
you have to find the images first. It’s really just about finding your images. If you
can’t find them, we all know, it’s not going to be much good to anyone.
[3:33] The artists are fantastic at producing great renderings and 3D files. But
they’re terrible when it comes to the metadata. That’s where I come in. If you
don’t have good metadata, it’s going to be a nightmare to find anything. I provide
the structure and then I also provide the oversight, to make sure things are
keyworded properly and named correctly and organized in a way that makes it
very easy to find it.
[3:57] Architects often are very creative people. Quite often, organization isn’t
necessarily part of the creative process. I know a lot of architects are very well
organized. But it’s quite common for them to lose their images and to have to
come back to us, to say, “We need those images you rendered for us three
years ago,” or whatever. “Because we’re going to have to make some amendments
to it.” Or, “Planning has come around again. We can’t find them anywhere.
Please send them to us.”
[4:24] We really are able to find the images in moments. Whenever we can do
that and we send it to them, they’re overjoyed. They can’t believe how quickly
we can pull out even ancient photographs in moments. It really does help our
client relations.
Henrik: [4:41] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
James: [4:45] With the DAM professionals, the two main things I’ve been thinking
about is, understand the users and understand the business needs and
problems. Because Digital Asset Management is really just about problem solving.
You have to understand the problem that exists. Quite often, people don’t
realize that there is a problem or that there’s a better way of doing things. Think
about how to make it as easy as possible.

[5:11] You do that by understanding everything about the business and how people interact with their assets. Also, once you understand that, you need to understand the technology. Once you have a good understanding of the technology, you can come up with solutions, creative solutions. It’s like Photoshop. The more you know about how to use Photoshop, the more ways you can fix a certain problem. You can do the same thing, address the same problem, in Photoshop, in one way, but in many different ways.

[5:47] In an individual situation, you might need a different technique. That’s the
same for Digital Asset Management, the same for metadata. You have to know
your technology inside out, in order to get the most out of it. There are my two
tips for the DAM professional. Also, another thing is, always look for the most
simple and elegant solution. That’s really hard to do. It’s easy to make a very
complicated solution to a problem.
[6:14] Anyone can do that. [laughs] It’s trying to find the most simple, elegant
solution that, when you actually come up with it, you wonder why you haven’t
come up with that 10 days before, or a month before, or a year before. When
you have that kind of a solution, that’s when you know you’ve hit on the gold
dust. Gold dust is simplicity in all Digital Asset Management things. Anything
that makes things more complicated, more time consuming, takes more time to
teach someone, then you really have to go back to the drawing board. Because
it’s a waste of effort.
[6:46] The effort should always go into finding the most simple, elegant solutions.
As for people who want to become Digital Asset Managers, how I came
into it was that I was working in a sports photography agency. We’d be processing,
in a team of 10 people, a thousand images or so. Whether it be live images,
coming in live from the football field, or taking the orders from the photographers,
when they have a couple of hundred photographers coming through.
[7:17] The way the images would flow from the photographer, through the production
department, into the archive and onto the website got me thinking
about workflow. That got me thinking onto Digital Asset Management. That’s
where I found Peter Krogh’s book. I can’t pronounce his surname.
Henrik: [7:34] Peter Krogh, yeah.
James: [7:36] That’s the one, The DAM Book. I found that book. That really
inspired me to look more and more into things. That’s how I got my current job.
I found problems which I found interesting. I wanted to find solutions to that. I
did some research. I discovered a whole field called Digital Asset Management.
It’s still a very young field. I got to where I am now just by being inquisitive and
trying to understand the problems other people or organizations might have
and try to think of ways I could solve them for them.

[8:09] Luckily, I found this job here at the studio where they literally did advertise the job as a job for a Digital Asset Manager. That was certainly easy for me to find this place. It was
a very nice fit. I went straight in there. I said some few key things, which were
metadata, control vocabulary, Digital Asset Management systems. I mentioned
a few blogs or a few people who talk about Digital Asset Management. I got the
job within the first 10 minutes.
[8:36] They’d been advertising the job for more than two months, and interviewed
over 30 or so people. I was the only person that actually understood the
job. It was a bit of a no-brainer for them, and it was a no-brainer for me. It was a
perfect match. To anyone who wants to become a Digital Asset Manager, they
have to do the research. Understand that you need to be a problem solver and
come up with creative solutions to problems.
[9:04] Also, I view my role as being a communicator between the technical side
of things and of the creative side of things. Often, the end users of Digital Asset
Management systems are creative people. Sometimes they don’t understand
technical things. So you really do need to be able to have the ability to translate
technical things into lay person speak. On that note, don’t worry if you come
across, for example on Twitter, I see a lot of people talking about pretty technical
things, things that go over the top of my head.
[9:40] It got me a little bit bothered, to think that maybe I’m at a very low level in
my career. But I got over that very quickly because I realized that you don’t need
to be an IT professional to work in Digital Asset Management. You just have to
know how the software works and can always learn. It’s a process of learning.
That’s why you have IT departments. [laughs] That’s why you have people who
are IT professionals.
[10:06] They don’t necessarily understand how the software or the technology
would work for the end user. That’s where you come in. You need to be the
translator between the IT professionals and the end users. Once you understand
how that works, you can find yourself in a very rewarding career. That’s
that. That’s me. That’s my rant. [laughs]
Henrik: [10:23] Excellent. Thanks, James. For more on this and other
Digital Asset Management topics, log onto AnotherDAMblog.com.
Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom, Blubrry, iTunes and the Tech
Podcast Network. Thanks again.

 


Listen to Another DAM Podcast on Amazon AlexaApple PodcastsAudioBoomCastBoxGoogle Play,  RadioPublicRSS, Spotify or TuneIn

 


Need a Digital Asset Management Consultant?

Another DAM Consultancy can help. Contact us today.