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Another DAM Podcast interview with Deborah Gonzalez on Digital Asset Management

Deborah Gonzalez discusses Digital Asset Management

 

 

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 Deborah Gonzalez. Deborah, how are you?

Deborah Gonzalez:  [0:10] I am good. Thank you for having me today.

Henrik:  [0:14] Deborah, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Deborah:  [0:16] First of all, I am an attorney. I also own a consulting company called Law2sm. What we do is look at the legal aspects of online digital and social media activity. One of the things that I work with, particularly with my clients, is to make them understand what the concept of Digital Assets is and that these Digital Assets have value that need to be protected. Right?

[0:43] Then, as they go and make certain decisions to protect those assets, to think about different scenarios of what may happen in case the access and control management that they have in place might need to change.

[1:00] We take two different perspectives. When we are working with individuals, we are looking at a digital legacy plan and personal digital assets, but when we are working with businesses, we are looking at a digital succession plan.

Henrik:  [1:16] Deborah, what should people consider for succession planning for digital assets whether individuals leave an organization voluntarily, involuntarily, or quite literally die while employed for a company in the United States?

Deborah:  [1:30] I think the first thing is that people need to be aware that this can be an issue. I don’t think people go into business and think, “Oh, my god. The person who is in charge of all my assets is going to get hit by a car and die or become so critically injured that they can’t do their job.” It is important as a business person to make sure that is in our consciousness.

[1:53] Then, make sure that we put it into a succession plan regarding the control access and management of these assets. No matter what kind of scenario happens. Right? Whether it is a voluntary separation with an employee or an involuntary separation with an employee.

[2:10] The second thing is that this plan should also include an inventory of the digital assets, who has access and control over those digital assets, and what are the credentials to access those digital assets. This will help because you combine this with the protocol in place for managers and supervisors to have those credentials as well. If something happens, the information isn’t lost to the business completely. We call this our digital record keeping. Making sure we know what we have and how to get to them.

[2:45] Third, I always suggest to my clients that they integrate into the exit interview. Some of these businesses might even have a terminated employee checklist that they have to go through these steps when an employee leaves the company but add a couple of items that relate specifically to digital assets and their credentials, and ensure that these credentials are transferred. Once they are transferred, make sure also that these credentials are changed, so that employee no longer has access to them from outside of the company.

Henrik:  [3:21] Deborah, are there laws protecting digital assets after death?

Deborah:  [3:24] Yes, and it’s really interesting because one of the things that we have to think about, is go back into the whole idea of the US, in terms of the laws being very property centric. The first laws that we have that will deal digital assets and any transfer are what we call the inheritance laws, especially for personal digital assets. That’s in our constitution, right? This idea of property, and so what we in the legal terms call, “The Power of Dead Hands.” This is very different from other countries who are more interested in that property not be wasted. If the person has died or been terminated, then that property needs to be changed to somebody who can use it. That’s a very different perspective than the US perspective.

[4:13] To add a complexity to that, in 1986, Congress actually passed a law that forbids consumer electronic communications companies from disclosing content without its owner’s consent or a government order like a police investigation or a subpoena. And so, the issue there was to protect the consumer’s privacy and for consumer protection. That’s why we have lots of companies that then include in their website terms of use, certain clauses that say if the person dies, then the account is automatically terminated.

[4:48] You can think of your frequent flyer miles, for example, what will they say? You can transfer miles, you can gift miles while you are alive, but not once you are dead. OK? Other things that also act that way are maybe your email systems or online banking.

[5:06] From a business perspective, then you have to think of some of the service provider agreements like if you are using cloud storage for your digital assets. What do they say about their assets and termination of an employee, or a change of the credentials? You want to make sure that if there is a third party involved that you know what the service provider agreements actually say.

[5:30] We are beginning to see some specific state laws that actually have included the language of digital assets in them. Right now we have seven states passing legislation talking about executor power over digital assets. These include Connecticut and Rhode Island. They only cover email. But Indiana, Idaho and Oklahoma cover social networking and blogging accounts, and also Nebraska. The problem is that these sometimes are in conflict with the website in terms of use of some these sites that we use with our digital assets, and the laws have not really been tested in court. So, in August of 2014, a governor, Jack Markell of Delaware actually signed HB345. This is the first of its kind in the US. Now again, it’s relatively new, but it is interesting to see the progressions that states have made.

[6:31] The other thing that I want to bring up is that we did have a Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act that was approved in July 2014, trying to get a standard across the nation, but that is voluntary. That’s not a federal mandated act.

[6:49] But you can get some additional information. There is a great blogger, Geoffrey Fowler, who wrote “Life and Death Online: Who Controls a Digital Legacy?” and you can certainly Google him and follow the information that he’s put out there. He writes for the Wall Street Journal. He’s definitely looking at the value these digital assets have.

Henrik:  [7:11] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with digital asset management?

Deborah:  [7:15] The biggest challenge that I’ve seen is this unawareness of the issue, that there’s all these assets out there in digital space, and that we’ve put someplace and it’s very easy to lose track of them if we don’t have a system in place to actually manage them. It becomes almost an afterthought for so many businesses and individuals.

[7:41] When someone dies, or when an employee abruptly leaves, this can cause a lot of chaos. It can be a loss to the business of client information, which can then lead to a loss of financial assets. There’s a lot of wasted time that happens trying to figure out what the password is or even how to reset the password and lots of frustration. It can actually affect the whole work environment as they’re trying to get a hold on these digital assets.

[8:11] As for the biggest success, I think it’s when clients actually develop a plan that addresses the issue, and it’s almost like a sigh of relief, that they know that they’ve addressed this and they’ve taken care of it. More importantly, not only did they address it, but then that they integrate it into the way that they operate their business, because this isn’t something that you just do once and then sort of forget, as you see the laws are changing. Therefore you have to make sure that plans that you have in place for your business change as well and is up to date with the laws and what you need to do to protect your assets.

Henrik:  [8:48] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Deborah:  [8:53] The first thing that I’d like to share is that the whole digital assets arena is really growing, and it’s getting integrated with things such as the privacy concerns and the security concerns. The first bit of advice is learn about it and keep learning about it.

[9:09] I usually tell people, “Read. Keep up to date.” I know there’s a lot of things going on. There are new technologies being involved, new trends and new headlines. You can certainly use things like Google Alerts or Talkwalker to get the new things pushed to you in an email so that you can keep up to date with that.

[9:29] Another thing I’d like to suggest is network. Meet with others in the digital asset management field, whether that’s following certain people on Twitter and seeing what they’re talking about, seeing what they’re reading, seeing where they’re going, or going to these conferences, even if you can’t go in person.

[9:46] So many of these conferences are now being done virtually, and so you’re able to even communicate with others who are not able to physically attend the conference, but that you can communicate online. Networking is really important because everybody reads something. Pulling that all together can make it a lot easier than having the responsibility of trying to read everything that there is.

[10:11] The last thing that I would suggest is talk about what you’re doing with digital asset management and listen to what others are doing and share those best practices. Share the lessons learned, because we all make mistakes. There’s always something to learn about what not to do or how to do it better next. Being able to talk about it also helps us reflect what happened and what we can do better.

Henrik:  [10:36] Great. Well thanks, Deborah.

Deborah:  [10:37] OK.

Henrik:  [10:38] Deborah, where can we find more information on what you do?

Deborah:  [10:42] You can follow me on Twitter @law2sm. The website is http://www.law2sm.com, or you can email me at deborah@law2sm.com.

Henrik:  [10:58] For more on this and other digital asset management topics, login to AnotherDAMblog.com. For more this podcast and 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview, 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 Jamie Litchfield on Digital Asset Management

Jamie Litchfield discusses 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 Jamie Litchfield.

[0:08] Jamie, how are you?

Jamie Litchfield:  [0:09] I’m good. How are you?

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

Jamie:  [0:14] I work at a full‑service ad agency. I’ve been here for almost seven years. It’ll be seven years this summer. I was originally hired to manage one of our clients third-party digital asset management system, which I do still currently do for them.

[0:31] I’m an admin, so I manage all of their users. I manage the assets. Mostly the assets that my agency creates, but then I also do work with some of our partner agencies and their assets as well.

[0:43] Through the time that I have been doing that, I started getting involved with our agencies internal system. I’m currently working to make some improvements with that system, and kind of rebranding for a new launch stock this summer to all of our internal employees.

Henrik:  [0:58] Jamie, how does a full‑service marketing and communications agency use digital assets management?

Jamie:  [1:03] At my agency, Digital Asset Management has been fully growing over the time I’ve been here. I came on board again seven years ago when there was a legacy system in place. It’s been in place for a very long time, before I started.

[1:18] That system was never really fully utilized to its fullest potential. It’s functioning kind of as a server that people can mount locally to their machine and browse through on that side. There are practically no users who log into and use the web interface that links over the repository.

[1:37] We definitely use the solution that we purchased a while back kind of as that functional server side, but not to the fullest extent of an asset management system that it really could be. That’s what I’m working on now with my team is overhauling the system, making improvements, doing some upgrades and things like that to make it a functional and usable system.

[1:58] We’re hoping to launch it this summer in phases to various departments at our agency. It’s still the same legacy system, so basically our end goal is to increase user adoption. Awareness is going to be a huge part of that. A lot of people don’t even realize we have a system like this.

“…our end goal is to increase user adoption. Awareness is going to be a huge part of that. A lot of people don’t even realize we have a system like this.”

[2:15] We’re doing all these things. We did the improvements on increased functionality and the user interface and things like that, so that when we do launch it this summer, hopefully we’ll have some great adoption, because it will really easy to use.

Henrik:  [2:26] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with digital asset management?

Jamie:  [2:30] At our agency, probably the biggest one is just simple lack of knowledge about the system that I just mentioned, because it’s been utilized just people think of it as a server, which has the very basic. You log in and mount the server on your desktop and you click through folders and your finder window. There is no smartness to the system. You just have to manually click through things.

[2:51] Sometimes they don’t even know that we have a librarian, like myself at the agency who is tagging files and making things easier for people to find our assets and things like that. That’s one of the biggest challenges, is just teaching people that across the agency.

[3:05] Once people know about it, they get really excited and they really see the value. When we roll out this summer, we’re hoping to partner with our human resources department and launch some training sessions.

[3:16] Get in when we have new hire sessions so we can get even 10 minutes intro with those new groups coming in to tell them about the system and get them log in from the beginning and things like that.

[3:29] Another challenge that I mentioned earlier was that this is a legacy system. We did look into a few years ago purchasing the new system, we did the whole use cases and things like that, but just couldn’t really get the dollars to spend the money from our financial team.

[3:46] We do have this system, and it was set up so long ago and no one has ever updated it since then, so we have out of date processes in place and out of date user profiles and things like that. We’re working hard to overhaul that and really bring it up to 2015. How we work now, it’s very different than how we worked when we first purchased the system and set it up.

[4:08] As far as successes go, right now we are in a very exciting time at the agency. We are working with our IT department, and we’ve got some buy in from higher up people to make some upgrades and enhancements for our user interface and increase some functionalities.

[4:26] We are excited to re‑brand and re‑launch our asset management system as a tool to our agency. People are pretty excited, there are some buzz going on, because they are starting to see the value of a digital asset management tool.

[4:39] Obviously, which a lot of listeners are going to be familiar with, but especially I think at ad agencies the time to market is so quick and creative and project managers in various departments are stretched so thin and doing so much. I consider anything we can do as our jobs as librarians to help them find the best assets in the quickest amount of time.

[5:01] They can really save hours, if not days off of a complete schedule, especially if we can find something that might have already been retouched and approved asset, we can save all of that retouching time and approval routing time and get that right out of their schedule and save them days. It’s definitely going to be a powerful tool.

[5:20] People from the feedback I’ve heard are very excited to have it launched. We’re also just starting to work and ingest new kinds of assets into our system. Up until now, we had been working just with static print assets, but we are going to be working to ingest our broadcast team video files, and potentially our digital teams’ digital banner files, and website files and things like that.

[5:47] It’s pretty exciting to be broadening up our horizon into those different mediums as well.

Henrik:  [5:54] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Jamie:  [5:59] This is a good question. When I first started at the agency, I didn’t even know what digital asset management was. I was just out of college and I was excited to have a job at a great agency. Over the years as I’ve learned, I think it’s important to be your own advocate, to be an asset management advocate.

[6:16] If you’re lucky enough to be in an environment where there is already an established asset management system in process, that’s great, but if you’re one of the many people I have a feeling who have a pretty small group and it’s not well known, I think you definitely can’t be afraid to do research and come up with ideas to push your asset management system forward.

[6:38] Especially if asset management isn’t established at your company, no one else is going to do it for you. You have to definitely be your own advocate.

[6:47] The other thing I would say, I think it’s great to participate in any opportunities you can. I do webinars and Webex all the time with vendors that aren’t our own vendors, but just to familiarize myself with what else is out there, other services. You make contacts that way.

[7:04] I think conferences are also great. I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Henry Stewart Conference in New York City two or three times now. I think that’s a wonderful conference. There are so many vendors there. It’s a great place to walk around and you can get a demo of pretty much every big system in the space, all in one day, which is a great opportunity.

[7:24] I think it’s just great information, the sessions are great and it’s very eye‑opening and informative. It’s a great couple days. I always find it very inspiring and exciting.

Henrik:  [7:34] Thanks Jamie.

Jamie:  [7:35] Thank you.

Henrik:  [7:36] For more on this and other digital asset management topics, log onto anotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM podcast is available at anotherDAMpodcast.com to find 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview.

[7:54] If you have any comments or question, please feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@gmail.com.

[8:00] Thanks again.

 


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Need a Digital Asset Management Consultant?

Another DAM Consultancy can help. Contact us today.