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Another DAM Podcast interview with Abby Covert on Digital Asset Management and Information Architecture

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast of Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Abby Covert. Abby, how are you?

Abby Covert:  [0:09] Great. Thanks so much for having me.

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

Abby:  [0:14] Well, I am a professional Information Architect. My involvement with Digital Asset Management is really in helping organizations to understand the impact of language, and structure on their effectiveness towards whatever their goals might be, and that can be across many mediums, which I think is similar to the challenges that Digital Asset Managers face as well.

[0:35] They’re looking at the scaffolding that then initiates a lot of processes within an organization. So, my job is pretty similar in that regard I would say.

Henrik:  [0:44] As an Information Architect, you recently authored a book titled How to Make Sense of Any Mess. Tell us more about what we can learn from this book since many DAM professionals need to do the same.

Abby:  [0:55] My main premise in writing a book with such a broad title How to Make Sense of Any Mess, and I thought very hard on the word “Any”, was that I really felt as a practicing information architect after 10 years, that a lot of the messes that I was helping my clients to make sense of were actually really based in information and people, more than they were specific to the technologies, or the mediums that we were actually executing in.

[1:21] I would say that anybody who has been working in technology for more than 10 years, has seen some sort of current of change that all of a sudden we have mobile, all of a sudden we have social, how does that change what we do?

[1:33] What I actually found was that it doesn’t change a lot when you look at that information and people part, that it really comes down to a basic understanding of leading and facilitating people, through a process of identifying what is not making sense to their consumers or to their coworkers.

[1:51] Then working through the delicate steps that one needs to take to really adjust the mental models of themselves, and maybe the people that they’re working with, in order to reach whatever intent people are trying to get to. I guess after spending a lot of time making sense of other people’s messes, I wanted to know if I could write a book that would help people make sense of their own.

[2:14] I think so far, based on the feedback, yeah, I think that you really can. You can self‑serve this stuff which is great.

Henrik:  [2:21] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Abby:  [2:25] I definitely think that scalability is one of the biggest issues that organizations face in general. Whether that be scaling up to meet the needs of digital, or scaling up to meet the needs of a growing business, those two things have become synonymous. I don’t run into a lot of companies that are scaling up their business that doesn’t mean they need to scale up the digital side of their business.

[2:49] Also, the cross‑channel nature of things. The decision to invest or not invest in certain channels, and the impact of doing so. Taking the time to start a new social channel that just got announced, instead of taking the time away from doing something else. So I think in terms of Digital Asset Management, I think that it’s difficult to stay on the edge of that while also maintaining what you have and not letting the things that you have get unkempt.

[3:21] I would definitely say scalability, and keeping up with the wave of change would be the biggest challenges. Successes, I would say, anyone that can pay close attention to context of use, and not use metadata as a way of checking the box on like, “Yes, we’ve collected metadata,” but really thinking about how that metadata is going to apply to a use case, that might be realistic to that organization, and how they’re going to use that content at a swift pace.

[3:52] Then, also the cadence they’re going to need it at. I think that anybody who is doing that level of deep research organizationally, around the way that they’re organizing their internal assets, is probably seeing a lot more success than those who are in their cubicles alone, just applying data schema that make sense in their head. Because it’s easy to do that from the common sense place, but it turns out that common sense is pretty unreliable in a lot of cases.

Henrik:  [4:20] Good points. What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals, and people who are aspiring to be DAM professionals?

Abby:  [4:25] I am going to go and continue my thread of “Get out from your cubicle, or your office, or even from your desk and go work with other people.” I think that the idea of doing the work versus concepting your way through how the work will be done, is a dangerous place to be by yourself, especially in a field that is so dependent on making sense of the things for other people to use for their jobs.

[4:55] I feel like if you can take that soft skill part and use that, and give equal attention to that, then also your tools, I would say that that would be my number one piece of advice.

Henrik:  [5:07] Have a conversation with as many people as necessary who will be using this?

Abby:  [5:12] Yeah. Also, don’t scare them away with your language and your tools. That’s for you to figure out later. But get out a marker and some post‑it notes and a white board, or whatever you got to do to make them feel comfortable and get through the anxiety of… Digital Asset Management is like a big mouthy term, and I’m sure that there’s some marketers that are hearing it for the first time in some cases when people are working with them on it.

[5:37] Making sure that that’s not getting in the way, and just remembering that technology is a monster in many people’s minds. So, we’re all going through this transition organizationally. Most organizations are going through a transition. I would say that those that haven’t been born into digital, even those are going through lots of transitions with the increased cross‑channel nature of our businesses and our design mediums.

[5:59] But I feel like if you can educate people in a way that they understand that you’re making decisions that are going to help them along the way, and that you’re collaborating on those, and that you’re just the filter, you’re just the person that’s going to go to the tool at the end of the day, and enter it into the way that you guys agreed it’s going to be. But you’re not a dictator of the way that digital assets should be managed.

Henrik:  [6:22] Well, thanks Abby. For this, and other Digital Asset Management topics, log onto AnotherDAMblog.com. For this podcast and a 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview, go to AnotherDAMpodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to to email me at anotherdamblog@Gmail.com. And Abby where can we find out more information from you?

Abby:  [6:45] At AbbytheIA.com, or you find me on Twitter @Abby _the_IA.

Henrik:  [6:49] Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Rubyliza Gaba on Digital Asset Management

 

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about digital asset management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Rubyliza Gaba. Rubyliza, how are you?

Rubyliza Gaba:  [0:11] I’m good, how are you doing?

Henrik:  [0:13] Great. Rubyliza, how are you involved with digital asset management?

Rubyliza:  [0:17] I am the Digital Asset Archivist at Fossil. Aside from ingesting images and checking out metadata integrity, I also do training and troubleshoot any issues our local and global users encounter.

Henrik:  [0:31] How does an American designer and manufacturer of clothing and accessories use digital asset management?

Rubyliza:  [0:37] Our DAM is used as a centralized archival repository. It houses all of Fossil’s final product images across multiple brands and product categories. Internally, it’s used by multiple departments, both locally and internationally via our regional offices.

[0:57] Actually, Fossil’s DAM is fairly young, only being launched in early 2014. So Pre‑DAM it was a bit of a challenge to locate images after they were worked on and finalized. Images were housed in multiple locations, including internal file shares and external FTP servers. We also have an archive system where images were actually burnt onto physical CDs and DVDs for archival purposes. Of course, this process was plagued with issues such as media being mislabeled, or maybe being checked out and never returned.

[1:32] Now that the DAM is in place, our users simply search for the images that they need, and they download them in the format that they require.

Henrik:  [1:42] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with DAM?

Rubyliza:  [1:45] I think the biggest challenge I’ve seen with the DAM system was change management. I can figure out system issues, but trying to introduce a new piece of technology to people, and convincing them that this system will actually help them was a bit tough.

[2:01] I completely understand that change is difficult sometimes. People are set in their own ways. They want to continue doing something that they’ve been doing for a while, because they know it works for them.

[2:13] When we were in the beginning stages of our implementation, we knew that user experience is the key to a successful DAM system. We wanted to make sure that our DAM would be easy for anyone to use, and in turn maybe ease any nervousness that they had for using a new system.

[2:32] What we did, my team and I, we set up meetings with our future users to discuss what they needed to be housed in the DAM, what functionality was required around that content, what pieces of metadata needed to be captured and how and when to capture it, and also the folder structure of the system.

[2:52] The final result is an interface that’s very sleek, and a search function that’s super simple to use. We found that with the proper training, users became more comfortable using our DAM.

[3:06] To us, user adoption is hugely important. We didn’t want to be to set in our own ways. We work with so many brands that are all individually unique. If something doesn’t work for a team, we’re always happy to discuss what needs to be done to provide the experience they expect from us.

[3:28] As for successes, I would have to say it’s knowing that people use our system. We’ve been getting pretty positive responses to it. Also, another success is seeing our user count grow. When we originally rolled out our DAM, it was only to a small group of users in our local offices. Now, our user number is in the thousands and span a global community.

[3:55] It’s really a great feeling to see something you’ve worked on so hard on it, just positively impact other people’s daily work processes. It’s been an amazing experience to be involved from day one, to be a part of the process and to watch our system grow into what it is today. It’s increased productivity across the board, and I really look forward to the future of our DAM.

Henrik:  [4:19] Excellent. Rubyliza, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Rubyliza:  [4:25] My advice is to network. That was the biggest advice given to me when I was in school. Networking is key, whether you are already a DAM professional or aspiring to be one. It’s always great to talk to others in our field. You can go to conferences, join organizations, and just meet each other face to face. We have a fantastic and supportive community out there, through my experiences.

[4:50] As for aspiring DAM professionals in school, I would get involved in volunteer work or internships. To me, you can have all the education in the world, but it’s that hands‑on training that helps. Also, it’s a good step towards building a network too. Also, work on that LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn, I think, is an amazing tool that not too many people are using, surprisingly.

“Always remember to be flexible.”

[5:15] Finally, remember when you do get the job, don’t get discouraged if you find yourself doing things that maybe aren’t always related to digital asset management. Always remember to be flexible.

Henrik:  [5:28] Great advice. Thanks, Rubyliza.

Rubyliza:  [5:30] Thank you. It was a pleasure to be a part of your podcast.

Henrik:  [5:33] For more on this and other digital asset management topics, log on to AnotherDAMblog.com. If you have any comments or questions about digital asset management, feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@gmail.com. For 150 other digital asset management podcast episodes, go to AnotherDAMpodcast.com.

Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Rob Schuman 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 Rob Schuman.
Rob, how are you?

Rob Schuman: [0:10] Great.

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

Rob: [0:14] Well, I got involved about 12 years ago, which was early for Digital Asset Management. Right now, I’m a general consultant. I help people organize, choose vendors, and help them implement the big change management that comes along with any DAM system. Also, advise people on technical issues of how to set up a DAM system that works well for everyone.

[0:39] Back when I was at Sesame Workshop, which was then called Children’s Television Workshop, the Sesame Street producers asked me if there was any way they could view their library without having to go up to the library and pull cassettes and cue up cassettes and all of that. The executive producers had a problem that they were reusing the same clips over and over and over again because those were the ones that people knew in their heads, while clips that were just as good were sitting in the library idle because no one wanted to take the time to go and find them.

[1:13] We said we’d do what we could, and about a year later, we developed one of the first DAM systems for video and television. It was very early in the DAM marketplace, and we believed it was the first or one of the first video Digital Asset Management systems. It was completely homegrown. We had any number of metadata fields and attached them to both proxy video and broadcast-quality video.

[1:41] We also were one of the first to include DAM as part of their workflow. It made producing the show so much easier, got them to do segments, have the segments approved by the producer, then get them right down into the edit room to complete them. I worked for Merck, the drug manufacturing company, and right now, I’m at the New York City Ballet. I call myself “content agnostic” because ultimately every company has their content professionals.

[2:11] They don’t need me to produce content for them. They need me to organize that content and make sure everybody has access to it and make sure that their workflows are automated. They don’t really need another person on content. Really, assets are assets, whether they’re talking about drugs, dance, or Sesame Street. I laugh that I worked for Sesame Street and Dow Jones, and the work is basically the same.

Henrik: [2:45] Organizing information?

Rob: [2:46] Yup, and making sure they can find it.

Henrik: [2:49] Yeah, very key. How does an organization focused on ballet use Digital Asset Management?

Rob: [2:56] Unlike music where there’s a score, dance is really a visual medium. Back in the mid 1980s, somebody had the idea of taking a VHS camcorder and sticking it up on the front of the balcony and taping the ballets. That stayed on VHS for a very long time, updated a little bit when camcorders became digital. They have a library of about 2, 500 or more performances.

[3:26] They have some rehearsals. It’s all on VHS tape. They got a grant from a government group called “Saving America’s Treasures” to try to rescue these. The New York City Ballet has this school so that the students could study choreographers like Balanchine or Jerome Robbins. What they’ve done is built their own Digital Asset Management in just stations.

[3:53] Right now, the theater has been redone with high-definition control room and high-definition cameras. All of the ballets or most of them are recorded as files, which we then add a whole lot of metadata to and put into their asset management system for anyone to find. You can look by choreographer by, of course, the date, and the musical piece.

[4:20] You can look at, “Let’s see all the variations of ‘The Nutcracker'” or “Let’s compare this choreographer’s version to that choreographer’s version.” They’re just starting to get to the launch of this. They want to put a computer and monitor in every dance studio that they’ve got. They have, I think, nine of them, including the ones from the school, so that they can work with the students and show them exactly how it’s done. Video is the only way to capture a live performance, and that’s what they do.

Henrik: [4:50] That’s great. Rob, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Rob: [4:57] The biggest challenge is the one that almost everybody faces. People think it’s choosing a DAM system or the technology you use or the metadata schema that you use, but really, it’s making sure that your customers are happy that there’s an acceptance of workflow changes. I’ve worked at places with both.

[5:18] At Sesame Street, we never really launched the DAM system, because by the time it came for the date to launch it, everybody had it. People saw it in beta and said, “I need this. I don’t care that it’s not ready. I don’t care, I’ll report bugs, but I want to use this.” That was a big success.

[5:37] At a big company like Merck, management came down and said, “We’re going to use this Digital Asset Management system,” and there was so much resistance. People were just tossing assets in there. There was a lot of metadata management that had to go followed up and a lot of wasted time, effort and energy that if you start with getting the folks enthusiastic, and if you get as close to their current workflows as possible and come in with the attitude that this is not something that management is demanding.

[6:12] This is something that will make your work easier and make you more productive. One example of that, again going back to Sesame Street, one day a woman came into my office in tears because she realized that the DAM system would be down over the weekend for some maintenance. She needed to get something done by Monday or her boss was going to be very angry with her, and she was just so afraid of that.

[6:39] I told her I would talk to her boss and smooth things out, but we still needed to maintain the system. But later, it occurred to me that that’s exactly how a successful DAM should be working. You should be upset if you can’t use it or if the system goes down, because it’s so critical to your work.

[6:58] Some more successfully than others tried to get across that being enthusiastic about the DAM and getting people on your side early in the game is the most important thing. The usual challenge, which is getting people on board and making sure that everything works, technology is changing so rapidly. One of the biggest challenges in DAM right now is the user interfaces.

[7:28] A lot of the systems that I’ve seen are really great on the back end, but forget that there are people on the front end who really need to be coaxed along, just throwing up a series of fields for them to fill in this form. It doesn’t help unless there’s a counteraction of, well, instead of having to write this on paper, or I can find stuff later if I put metadata on it now. Of course, there’s always the ‘metadata policeman’ who has to go in and look at everything going into the system.

Henrik: [8:01] We’re all familiar with those [laughs] , since we do those tasks regularly or we have in the past.

Rob: [8:08] One thing I did at Merck was I put a sign on my cubicle there that said, I thought “DAM” was too violent a word, even though we all like using it. I said this was “Marketing Operations Management,” and I thought “MOM”. Let’s call it the “MOM” system.

Henrik: [8:28] Rob, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Rob: [8:33] Basically, the only real advice I can give is to go for it. It’s a young and growing area of computer and personal information and marketing information. I’d say study what you can. Ask questions. Learn about metadata. Learn from others. Go to the DAM meet-up to meet people and find out what they’re doing. Then, if you can, get the exposure to a DAM system.

[9:04] You don’t really need to go back to school for a full library degree to understand basic metadata. There’s a need for entry-level people to actually be the ‘metadata policemen’ and enter things into the DAM system. Generally, the person who is in charge of it doesn’t really have the time, particularly for the large systems, to go over what’s going in, to be the ‘metadata police’, so to speak, and make sure that the DAM system is loaded with all of the proper information.

[9:35] I used to advise television people, “Just go and get the exposure to it and show that you’re interested. Volunteer to do some stuff. Sure enough, when they need somebody, they’re going to turn to you, or somebody else is going to need somebody, they’re going to turn to you and get you started at a career.”

Henrik: [9:54] Well, thanks Rob.

Rob: [9:55] Rob: You’re welcome.

Henrik: [9:56] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. Another DAM Podcast.com is available on AudioBoom and iTunes.

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 Rob Le Quesne on Digital Asset Management

 

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Can you tell us about the Seamless End-to-End Experience you designed using Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to connect the physical and digital world together?
  • 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 Rob Le Quesne. Rob,
how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Rob Le Quesne: [0:10] I have been working in digital media over the last 15
years. From 2000 to 2010, I had my own company in Milan, Italy called The Big
Space with my business partner, Dick Lockhart. We specialized in designing digital
installations and smart fixtures for predominately retail clients. That involved
working with Levi Strauss in Mexico City, Polo Ralph Lauren in New York, and a
number of other key European fashion retail brands. [0:47] That happened, I’d
say, quite organically. We didn’t have a plan to really be focusing on this area
when we started the company, but we ended up gravitating more and more
toward solutions that involved the use of radio frequency identification, RFID
technology.
[1:05] One of the key projects that we produced was for Polo Ralph Lauren in
Manhattan, New York. This was thanks to an introduction that we had to InfoSys,
the IT and consulting firm based out of India, who we met at the National Retail
Fair in New York in January 2007.
[1:31] They already had a working relationship with Polo Ralph Lauren, providing
them with a lot of their backend logistics. They were in initial conversations with
Polo Ralph Lauren to create a new digital archive system, in order to provide
Polo’s internal designers with a means of accessing the whole back catalogue of
Polo Ralph Lauren fashion designs to use as inspiration when designing a new
season collection.
Henrik: [2:02] Can you tell us about the seamless end-to-end experience you
designed using Digital Asset Management, or DAM, and Radio Frequency
Identification, or RFID, to connect the physical and digital world together?
Rob: [2:14] We were brought in to design the user experience for this new
digital archive. I guess from our point of view, the particularly interesting opportunity
we had with this project was to not only consider the user experience
that Polo’s designers would be having on a screen to access this digital archive
system, but they were also interested in creating a corresponding physical
archive of all their back catalogue of products that could then link to the digital
archive. [2:53] In other words, designers at Polo Ralph Lauren, the idea was that
they would be able to view the whole digital archive from their computer at their
desk, and then book products that they could then walk over to the other side
of the world in Manhattan and actually pick up the product they’ve seen on their
screen, and check it out from the physical archive space at Polo.
[3:17] It was a really great example of the online experience and the offline, the
physical experience, coming together. Thanks to the radio frequency identification
technology that we were going to be using to physically tag their whole
back catalogue of products. Then connect that tagging system into the virtual,
the Digital Asset Management System that the designers would be accessing
from their desks.
Rob: [3:44] How were we going to do this? There were some key players involved.
There was The Big Space, which was my company, that was really responsible
for the user experience, the front end design. Both of the Digital
Asset Management system, but also designing the physical experience of how
designers, once they were in the physical archive space, how they would then
actually check out a physical product, and check it in. Just like at a library, when
you check out a book, and then return it.
[4:19] We also came up with some other ideas of how they could best utilize
this RFID technology in the physical archive space to find out more information
about each product in the archive space. We came up with a smart surface
and a smart hanger, so you could just hang up a product in the space.
Then on a plasma screen you would access information from the Digital Asset
Management System based on that particular product.
[4:49] Coming up with these seamless experiences to marry all the metadata that
had been tagged to every product, and being able to access all that data when
you actually had the physical product in your hands, that was what it was about.
That was what The Big Space, my company, was responsible for.
[5:09] Alongside us we had Infosys, the IT consulting company, who were responsible
for delivering the whole backend, the database system that the
front end would be connecting to. They had picked a particular Digital Asset
Management software called Artesia, that they were using as the UI for holding
all the content that was being accessed from the backend system. There was
a lot of conversation whether we would build the front end user experience in
either AJAX, in dynamic HTML, or in a Flex based environment.
[5:58] In the end, we opted for Flex. We felt it would give us more freedom in
creating a more dynamic user experience. Being able to play more with faster
transitions and a richer user experience. We decided, with InfoSys and Polo
Ralph Lauren, to design the front end experience in Flex that would then bolt
onto the Artesia Digital Asset Management software. The whole backend
system and the integration of our Flex based front end with Artesia was then
handled by InfoSys, offshore in India.
Rob: [6:40] In the meantime, in Manhattan, New York, we found local suppliers
to build the smart fixtures. What I mean by that are these custom pieces of furniture
that would house the RFID technology that was provided by a company
owned by Motorola, called Symbol Technologies. The smart fixtures housed,
essentially, RFID, Radio Frequency Identification, readers and antennas. Which
would then enable the people in the physical space to just lay down a piece of
clothing on a smart surface.
[7:24] Each piece of clothing had an RFID tag sewn into each product that enabled
the clothing to be washed, with no detrimental effect to the RFID tags.
These tags enable these products to just be thrown onto the smart surface.
Automatically, it’s read by the antenna that’s housed within the smart piece of
furniture. Obviously, massive benefits over the traditional bar code. Because no
longer are people actually having to line up the bar code with an optical scanner
device.
[8:06] Instead, we’re using radio waves to communicate the unique product
number of each product to a database. Thanks to the antenna that’s housed
within the piece of MDF furniture. So you could then throw onto this surface 20
or more products, all in a heap, and they would all be individually read. Thanks
to the RFID tags sewn into each garment. At the beginning of this project, from
my point of view as a designer, the most important thing was to actually understand
how the design process at Polo Ralph Lauren currently worked. How a
Polo Ralph Lauren designer proceeded to work in the real world.
Rob: [8:57] How we could optimize and improve their experience through
technology and through this Digital Asset Management System. It was interesting
getting inside Polo and understanding the reality of the design process
there. Because they were relying on a very non-technological process at that
point. The design process they currently had was that they would initially look
for inspiration. How they would do that would be looking at their back catalog
of products, looking in magazines, going to old thrift stores, looking for vintage
garments.
[9:33] Initially, they would just be looking for a theme to tie their inspiration together.
Let’s say it was Wimbledon tennis in the 1930s. They would then create
a physical wall, a physical collage of inspiration imagery, involving old photos,
magazine articles, old garments. They’d create this physical wall of inspiration,
which would then be used to brief the product designers to go away and come
up with designs that reflected this particular inspirational theme. What we
wanted to do, using technology, was to replicate that physical wall of inspiration
and to help the designers in their quest for both inspiration, and being able to
look at the whole back catalog of products. To do that, we created a virtual wall
of inspiration.
Rob: [10:36] Through the interface that we designed for the Artesia Digital
Asset Management System, we enabled designers to pick particular items that
interested them. They could do this through a number of entry points into
the database. One would be by categories. You had, for instance, a different
season, summer, winter or through male, female. But also through inspirational
themes. Then you could create your own virtual pin board, a cross between
a pin board and a mood board, of content you found in the Digital Asset
Management System.
[11:23] Our idea was to play with the space and the spatial confines of the interface.
The idea was that, in the same way that previously they would have that
initial, key inspirational theme like Wimbledon in the 1930s. Our idea was that
you’d be able to have your key inspirational image in the center of the screen.
Then you could position your different images that you’d found in the database
around that central image.
[12:01] The further from the image you dragged the images, the smaller they’d
become. So the idea was to create this visual mood board on the screen that
you could then take with you to the physical space, and start finding the real
garments that corresponded to that mood board. That mood board really represented
your wish list of garments, which you can then book. You could send
a message to the archive manager in the physical archive, walk over the road to
the physical archive, and collect those garments.
[12:39] Check them out of the physical space. To do that, we created a check-in,
checkout table which, essentially, was a custom piece of furniture that housed
an RFID antenna and reader and screen, embedded within the surface of the
table. You would lay down on the table your pile of garments that you wanted
to check out. They would then automatically be displayed as a list view on
the table. Then you’d have your own ID card that you would swipe on the
side of the table, where there would be a reader for your ID card, identifying
who you are.
Rob: [13:26] Confirm that you want to check out those garments, and then off
you go. As I said before, there was an additional smart fixture in the physical
space that enabled you to just find out more, if you just browsed in the physical
space. Being able to put any garment on this smart hanger that had a plasma
screen next to it, to find out more about the details of that garment. When it
was designed. What the inspiration for that garment was and so on.
[13:54] That, in a nutshell, was the work that we did for Polo Ralph Lauren. Just
looking at it in hindsight, the key success factor for the project was having an
archive manager at Polo Ralph Lauren who really owned the project. It was her
baby. It was thanks to her that we managed to create that end-to-end solution.
It’s very interesting, RFID. It’s been around now for a fair amount of time.
People have been talking about it within the customer facing retail space for the
last 10 years.
[14:36] What we’re seeing now, obviously, is the telephone companies really
starting to embrace RFID as a means to communicate between your phone and
the real world. We’re seeing this a lot now, in terms of digital wallets, and the
ability to use your phone as a way to pay for stuff in shops, using NFC technology
in the phone. My personal interest now is just looking at ways of exploring
new solutions using NFC and RFID technology, for people within both retail
space and day-to-day lifestyle services.
Henrik: [15:22] That’s so fascinating. There will be a link to the article in the
podcast notes, on AnotherDAMpodcast.com. Lastly, what advice would you
like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM
professionals?
Rob: [15:32] What it really taught me was the need to be able to always check
your solution, compared to people’s familiar working methods in the real
world. [15:44] Finding ways to always ensure that the solutions you’re providing,
through Digital Asset Management, is actually complementing and improving
the methods that people already are familiar with in the real world. To ensure
that they don’t only use it once, but continue using it, so it’s sticky.
[16:05] Instead of just, “Wow, that’s great.” But then they only use it once, and
don’t use it anymore. It’s about maintaining people’s loyalty to these services.
Henrik: [16:14] I couldn’t say that better if I tried. Thank you so much, Rob.
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.