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Another DAM Podcast interview with Kate Jordan Gofus on Digital Asset Management

Kate Jordan Gofus on Digital Asset Management

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 Kate Jordan Gofus. Kate, how are you?

Kate Jordan Gofus:  [0:09] I’m well, how are you?

Henrik:  [0:10] Great. Kate, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

Kate:  [0:14] I’m the digital librarian for a healthcare software company. My company focuses on and we primarily use videos to help educate patients and empower them in their healthcare journeys. I manage the video library for this company. We’re a pretty small shop, so I’m involved in all phases of the Digital Asset Management process. That includes rights management and vendor relations. I am a client resource. I work with implementation, our product and development teams. I work with our support teams, troubleshooting. We also use a homegrown Digital Asset Management system so I do work with our development team quite a bit.

Henrik:  [0:53] Kate, how does a company focus on interactive software to help hospitals get patients more involved in their own healthcare use Digital Asset Management?

Kate:  [1:01] Because our software solution primarily uses videos to educate and empower patients, we have a large number of videos to manage. This includes version control, distribution, everything about the Digital Asset Management. We have well over a hundred client sites, facilities, hospitals who are using our software platform, and thus, our videos. We use the Digital Asset Management system to centrally manage files, and also metadata, for thousands of videos that are going to the software platforms in these hospitals. The videos are about various topics, ranging from oncology to relaxation content, like nature videos. We use the Digital Asset Management system to manage key wording metadata so we can know what we have available, and also as a means of distributing that in a streamlined and efficient way. Healthcare changes really quickly. We need to be able to update our content in a quick and efficient way and we need to be able to update that content at the hospitals, not just in one place. We use the Digital Asset Management system to do that. The needs of our hospitals vary widely, so we needed a way to be able to distribute what a hospital wants or what a hospital needs specific to that hospital. The Digital Asset Management system allows us to maintain consistency across almost 200 hospitals and also control what is there, what isn’t there. It also has allowed us to support growth. When I started with the company a couple years ago, we had one‑third the number of client hospitals that we do now, and if we were still FTP‑ing video files to all of our hospital sites and then manually configuring the videos…

Henrik:  [2:53] That sounds more painful that way.

Kate:  [laughing] [2:55] My life would be really terrible. Right now we use the Digital Asset Management system to distribute files to all of those sites, and we also distribute the metadata, and the way in which the files and metadata are transferred, eases the configuration process at the individual hospital very much. We are constantly moving more towards automation and improving processes to make this less and less painful. That’s what we use it for, intellectual and physical control of our video files.

Henrik:  [3:26] Kate, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with DAM?

Kate:  [3:30] I think that one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen is finding the right tools or system to manage your assets. Every organization is different and is going to have different needs and different ideas of what DAM is and what it can do for them. I have seen purchased DAMs, I have now seen a homegrown DAM, there is always the argument between hosting your own content and having your content hosted externally. I think that it’s really difficult and important to make sure that you’re using the right solution for your needs. I think that one of the challenges is that sometimes people jump into Digital Asset Management without doing a background research first.

[4:11] Another challenge that I’ve seen is people expecting technology to fix everything and to do so immediately. A lot of Digital Asset Management is improving processes and documentation and writing and enforcing rules. That means dealing with people. Sometimes, I will be asked, “But I thought the Digital Asset Management system was supposed to fix this!” The answer is often, “Well, it did fix it. It made it possible, it didn’t make it necessarily instantaneous.” I think that, that is another challenge and that’s a perception thing. We are very lucky that we definitely have buy‑in on our Digital Asset Management system at my organization. We existed for a long time doing the same kind of work without a Digital Asset Management system, so I think there is an appreciation for ours.

[5:00] I also think that a challenge I’ve seen is that organizations are always evolving. Digital Asset Management systems, especially homegrown Digital Asset Management systems, are always evolving. You have customization, you have enhancements, improvements, things like that. It’s a delicate line to walk between improving your DAM and trying to force your DAM to do things that it wasn’t meant to do and shouldn’t do. It’s hard to draw the line sometimes and say, “Well, the DAM could maybe do that, but it’s not the best tool to use for that, and it’s not going to make our DAM better.”

[5:37] Some of the successes we’ve had, using the Digital Asset Management system and using it correctly, has increased our turnaround time on new video content by over a factor of four. It used to take significantly longer when we would get new content from either our partner vendors or from our clients. It used to take a really long time for us to get that loaded on all sites. That’s a big problem in health care because you always want the most up‑to‑date information, patients deserve the most up‑to‑date information. We’ve significantly cut down our turnaround time for loading video content. We’ve also improved consistency and control. I know for a fact that all of my sites have the most up‑to‑date videos that we have. I don’t have to go to every client site, every hospital, to figure that out. I can access all of that information through our Digital Asset Management system because our Digital Asset Management system is linked very closely with the software platforms that are installed at all of our hospitals. It has made it easier to manage the content, its also made it easier to answer questions. Internal and external stake holders have lots of questions about videos and sometimes they want to know if there’s other content available. It makes it easier when I can quickly look at what content they do have so I can tell them what they might want to add.

[7:04] We have almost 200 hospitals. They sometimes want to create their own videos or they have found some relaxation video that they think is really great and they want loaded on their software platform. They submit that to us and we will load it and configure it on their software platform for them. It has to be ingested through the Digital Asset Management system and encoded properly and we need metadata and all of that stuff, but we encourage our hospitals to add any content to their facility that they think will make their patient population happy or improve outcomes for their patient populations. Sometimes, I get questions from one of our hospitals asking if I know about any music programs that their patients may be interested in. I can look in our Digital Asset Management system and say, “Yes, actually. This other facility in a completely different part of the country has found this great vendor that they love and we already have the videos encoded and if you got the licensing rights on your own, through the Digital Asset Management system, I can transfer those to you and you don’t have to get the videos encoded on your own, you don’t have to buy DVDs from anybody, all you need is to give them a call and maybe a PO number.” That makes our clients really happy and it makes patients really happy and that makes me really happy.

Henrik:  [8:23] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Kate:  [8:27] I think that something really important to remember is that a Digital Asset Management system, in my experience, never operates on its own. It’s never the only system that an organization is using. It is often seen as a support system, really. I think that it’s really important to continue to focus on interoperability and making it so that your system plays nicely with others and is not cogging up the works for your organization. I think that’s something that we need to continue to focus on as a DAM community.

[9:03] I also think its really important to focus on sustainability and scalability. We have a homegrown Digital Asset Management system, so I have a lot of input into how our DAM system evolved. That’s good, and that’s also dangerous. We need to make sure that any changes that we make are in the interest of sustainability and scalability so it doesn’t bite us in the bum later. I would say to people who are looking to get into the DAM profession, that you should be tenacious. Just try to fix the problems that you face in your organization as well as you can and recognize that it’s going to take a while and you’re probably going to have to try the same thing over and over a few times. Maybe differently, maybe the same way so that it works. Don’t be discouraged by big wigs who have fancy letters after their name. There are lots of different backgrounds in this field, and you don’t have to have gone to school for Information and Library Science to be good at this job, though I did. I think that, at the end, we’re really trying to fix problems and fixing them along the way. I think that if you are flexible and creative, you’re going to have more success fixing the problems. That’s what I would say.

Henrik:  [10:14] Well, thanks Kate.

Kate:  [10:15] Oh, you’re so welcome.

Henrik:  [10:15] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. For this podcast, and 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of all the interviews, go to anotherdampodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@gmail.com. Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Lincoln Howell on Digital Asset Management

Lincoln Howell discusses Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • I understand your organization focuses on end-to-end signal transmission solutions, what does that mean to customers?
  • How does an organization focused on end-to-end signal transmission solutions 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: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I am speaking with Lincoln Howell.
Lincoln, how are you?
Lincoln Howell: [0:09] I am doing well, thanks.
Henrik: [0:11] Lincoln, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Lincoln: [0:14] I have helped lead the implementation of our current Digital
Asset Management solution, and essentially have two ongoing responsibilities
with it. The first is driving improvements to both the content and the delivery of
those assets. But second of all, I am one of our global administrators. So I provide
some of that administrative oversight to rights management and any ongoing
proposed structural improvements.
Henrik: [0:36] Lincoln, I understand your organization focuses on end-to-end
signal transmission solutions. What does that mean to customers?
Lincoln: [0:42] We live in a world that is filled with signals. You have audio signals,
video signals, data signals, every time we get onto the Internet. These signals
all require an infrastructure of copper, fiber and other networking solutions
to help get them from that point of origin to each of us as a consumer. [1:05]
Now, I work with Belden Incorporated, and Belden provides that infrastructure
that enables those signals to go from that starting point to the ending point.
[1:14] For example, each time you watch a sports event on TV that originates
down on a field somewhere with somebody working the camera. In between
that camera and your television is a whole network of fiber solutions, copper
solutions, networking switches and routers. All of that processes that signal, the
audio and visual signal from the field to your living room. That’s the infrastructure
that’s enabled by these Belden solutions.
[1:46] Additionally, data centers, every time that you’re working with Internet
solutions or cloud based applications, data centers run solutions, also, that
can be provided by Belden on the copper, fiber and other solutions within the
data center.
[2:02] Manufacturing, also, has a significant play within the signal transmission.
Automotive manufacturers, for example, will use robotics, machinery and all
sorts of equipment that requires an interconnectedness that relies on copper,
fiber solutions to keep them running, communicating with each other and
achieving the outputs of that factory.
[2:26] In the end, the Belden copper, fiber and networking solutions make it possible
for all of these signals to get from where they start to where they need to
be and keep the world running.
Henrik: [2:37] How does an organization focused on end-to-end signal transmission
solutions use Digital Asset Management?
Lincoln: [2:45] Building an end-to-end solution with signal transmission has
taken years of growth through a combination of both research and development
as well as some strategic acquisitions. This ongoing journey has resulted in a
very complex organization. [3:00] That complexity is showing up in sells graphs
of varying responsibilities and skillsets, engineering and product management
teams that are scattered across the globe, and marketing staff, too, that are
tasked with consolidating all of the individual components of the signal transmission
solution to a single coherent message for the customers.
[3:18] In the end, without Digital Asset Management, we find ourselves constantly
reinventing the wheel or missing opportunities to win customers by
leveraging materials that we’ve already invested. Our first phase with Digital
Asset Management has been to make significant improvement in our customer
engagement.
[3:34] We’ve been consolidating our assets that can be used in the interaction
with the customer, and we’ve been striving to make them easily accessible
across the globe, opening up channels for sharing these assets across all of the
geographies and across all of these functional themes.
[3:49] Our second phase with the Digital Asset Management is going to be
turning towards more of an internal implementation, where we use it to facilitate
the distribution of corporate standards, other policies and other HR
communications.
Henrik: [4:02] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Lincoln: [4:06] I think it’s all about the taxonomy. What we’ve found here is that
you can consolidate digital assets on any server. That’s not the hard part. It’s
the retrieval and the consumption of those assets that’s the real goal. You need
those to be consumed by the right people at the right time. [4:25] What was
learned is that setting up and sustaining, sustaining being the key of successful
taxonomy, makes all the difference in the world. That taxonomy is just comprised
of intuitive categories, tagging, and the metadata that really makes your
asset library searchable by its users. Without that taxonomy, it becomes more of
a frustration than a solution.
[4:48] In order to set that up, we found that it’s not just having that technical
competence, being able to understand the system. But it really requires a
keen organizational eye and a lot of people skills. Because as you have various
people participating in and contributing to your digital asset library, you’ve got
to have a lot of one-on-one interactions with them, to insure that standard work
is followed and to insure that that organizational structure, that taxonomy, stays
intact. Because, once again, without that taxonomy, all you’ve got it a pile of
assets on a server somewhere.
[5:21] What you really need is a clean library that people can easily find what
they’re looking for at their fingertips.
Henrik: [5:28] Thanks, Lincoln.
Lincoln: [5:29] You bet.
Henrik: [5:30] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
on to 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 Alex Struminger on Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Why does a DAM need a Project Manager?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?

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 Alex Struminger.
Alex, how are you?
Alex Struminger: [0:10] Henrik, good to be with you.
Henrik: [0:12] Great. Alex, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Management?
Alex: [0:17] Henrik, let me answer that first by telling you about the Digital Asset
Management project I’ve been working on, which is with the United Nations
Children’s Fund, UNICEF. In this particular project, I am acting as a project manager
and, in some ways, as a facilitator. [0:38] UNICEF uses a number of different
kinds of digital assets, and they’re managed by different groups. Video is a big
part of what our group is doing. That’s something that has spawned a lot of
change in Digital Asset Management over the last couple of years because of
the large file sizes and the increased bandwidth and storage needs for video.
[1:07] We also have more traditional assets. We have branding assets with logos,
stationary and a lot of those kinds of things. We have publications assets,
photos and that kind of thing.
[1:21] By far and largest is the video, and we use the DAM in a couple of ways.
We use it as an archiving system. We use it for providing access to the archive
of video and other assets. We also use it as a distribution system probably more
than anything else.
[1:46] We put the videos up there. The group that owns the assets, manages the
assets and the systems puts it up there. Then, the global organization is able to
access those.
[1:56] That’s probably the biggest use we find for the DAM, is just getting those
assets into one central place, letting people know they’re there, and then using
it as a distribution vehicle for getting the videos to all of the end users.
Henrik: [2:12] Excellent. Why does a DAM need a project manager?
Alex: [2:16] That’s a great question, Henrik. I would say that many people would
agree that most technology platforms, at least in their design, implementation
and roll out, are going to need some project management. [2:31] If nothing else
to sort out the resources, schedules, budgets and things like that, and keep
everything on track.
[2:40] What I find is that there’s another part of project management that comes
much more into play with these technology platforms with lots of users. That’s
why I mentioned that I’m a project manager and, in some sense, a facilitator.
[2:59] There’s a social aspect to DAM as there is to any network technology
platform, whether it’s lots of end users all connected by wires and other means
of communication, emails, instant messaging, telephone lines. All working together.
The biggest hurdles project managers talk about are risk and risk aversion.
I like to talk to you more about ensuring success.
[3:31] The success of a project is not, simply, to get it designed and implemented
on the technical side, and then rolled out to the user base. Unless
people, actually, use it, you’re not going to see success.
[3:48] In some sense, to use a military analogy, you might talk about the difference
between a “shock and awe” campaign. We can roll out SharePoint on a
Friday, and when people show up to work on Monday, that’s not going to make
them SharePoint users. You may accomplish the same thing that “shock and
awe” accomplishes which is you could, probably, befuddle them.
[4:10] It’s more a little bit like counterinsurgency. We’re wanting to win hearts
and minds so there’s a social aspect. You want to put down your big guns and
put on your social scientist hat. Say, “OK . Let’s try to understand the culture in
the organization.
[4:27] Who are the people, who are the influencers in the network? Who’s going
to driver adoption? How are we going to get people to adopt this system into
their workflow?”
[4:37] Hopefully, we’ll show a lot of value for it which is a good driver for adoption.
Word of mouth and having people influence other people to change the
way they’re doing things, today, to use a new system tomorrow is the thing
that’s most likely to drive success.
Henrik: [4:56] Excellent.
Alex: [4:57] We talked a little about socializing the technology. Adding the
people in the process and showing value as part of the project management
formula, rather than simply rolling out the technology and saying, “Here you go.
You may not have realized you wanted this, but here it is.”
Henrik: [5:18] What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Alex: [5:23] I think the best advice I could give, based on this experience, is
think a lot about that socializing process. The success of the project is definitely
going to be driven by people’s adoption. [5:40] You want to identify those key
influencers. You want to start with a group of stakeholders who are motivated.
People who are willing to accept and get involved in the project early.
[5:53] If you can get them involved as early as possible, even if the identification
of the system and the vendor so they feel a sense of investment with it, then
you’ll have a much more loyal group of people working with you going forward.
Then build it.
[6:07] I always advocate going slowly. Not a big “shock and awe” campaign but
starting in the social systems with the groups that you can convert and win over,
and building on that bit-by-bit is a much more sustainable approach. That’s a
big part of what I would say.
[6:29] The other thing that I would bring up which has less to do with project
management but I think something that in DAM systems is particularly important,
is information architecture, taxonomy, and the metadata that drives
the system.
[6:46] Make sure that you get the specialists on board, at least from the design
and roll out phase, to get those things right. I think that will provide the support
on the back end that will help show the value of you’re trying to win those
hearts and minds out in the company and in the field.
Henrik: [7:02] Excellent. Thanks Alex.
Alex: [7:05] Henrik, it’s been a pleasure to be with you.
Henrik: [7:07] For more on Digital Asset Management log on to
AnotherDAMblog.com. Thanks again.


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