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Another DAM Podcast interview with Ron Gill on Digital Asset Management

Listen to Ron Gill discuss Digital Asset Management

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management.  I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Ron Gill. Ron, how are you?

Ron Gill:  Hey, how is it going, Henrik?

Henrik de Gyor:  Good. Ron, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Ron Gill:  That’s a good question. Like lot of my colleagues, Digital Asset Management was something that you kind of wander into. So in my case, I started out as a graphic designer with a fine arts painting background and throughout my career as a graphic designer all the way up to art director, I was always involved with the management of large archives of assets, whether it be for the architectural firms that I was working for, the advertising firms that I was working for throughout the cycle. And this is before Digital Asset Management and even became a industry, let alone a descriptor for what it is that we do. It was a series of organizing and making these assets useful within the company. So as the tools got better and as the systems got more elaborate, I basically had a trial by fire, a learning experience from the ground up. It was learning about how these systems are being used and how I could best implement them in the company’s workflow. So as I progressed, I became more and more involved and roughly around 2008 I became more heavily vested in Digital Asset Management. I kind of a made that my focus over design. So that’s how I got involved in Digital Asset Management, in the Digital Asset Management space.

Henrik de Gyor:  What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Ron Gill:  They are quite a few challenges. And there are also a number of successes that I’ve seen and I had. The challenges I think are, they’re varied actually. So silos, information stored in silos and teams not being up to cooperate with each other are some of the biggest challenges because in each, in each silo you have system, a subject matter experts that understand the content for their silos and they don’t necessarily communicate too well even though, for example, if you’re doing or you’re working for a marketing organization and the company is large enough so you’ll have different wings or different teams working on different aspects. They all might be doing different things, but in the same industry or sharing the same goal. So getting all these silos together is one of the biggest challenges and getting people to recognize that I think is the biggest challenge for Digital Asset Management. In the beginning, it’s getting a company sign on and higher-ups to pay for the system because it’s not something that you can get overnight.

Ron Gill:  It’s not something that’s going to happen, you know, by pulling the software off the shelf and then plugging it into your system. It’s something that takes thorough investigation. It takes an understanding of how the company is using assets and it’s understanding the needs of the end user. So those are the biggest challenges that, I think in Digital Asset Management. Of course, there’s a number of splinter challenges that come up from that way, you know, adding metadata and who gets to add metadata, adoption, so on, so forth. In the beginning, the biggest challenge is getting everybody on board and understanding the baseline workflow that needs to happen inside the Digital Asset Management system.

Ron Gill:  Now, so far, successes, successes wouldn’t be obviously getting that challenge, taking care of, so being able to find what the company would need in so far as their workflow is the biggest success I think you can have initially. Finding the system that is going to work for multiple teams and the system that will best make their output and workflow more efficient is the biggest success. Once you have a working DAM in place, those successes will come.

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

Ron Gill:  Advice I’d like to share with people aspiring to become professionals. There’s not too much information online or anything that you can glean through the Internet. There is some resources that you can, forums. I think Deb Fanslow has a great one, DAM Peeps. This is for non-vendors. It is a invite only Google group or forum and it’s a good resource that just came up. And it’s good to learn as much as you possibly can and there’s so many industries that DAM touches. So obviously going to big events like Henry Stewart or going to DAM Meetups will expose you to different areas, different industries. I mean I’m still talking to people that are also Digital Asset Managers, but I’ve never met before or I have, I didn’t know that industry was using DAM in that fashion. So getting out there and, and meeting new people and seeing how they’re using DAM to help their company and help their workflows is a vital resource. I mean, it’ll help you tremendously in, in what you’re doing and you’re trying to achieve.

Henrik de Gyor:  Well, Thanks, Ron.

Ron Gill:  All right. Excellent. Thank you.

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


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Mikako Ito 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 Mikako Ito.

Mikako, how are you?

Mikako Ito:  [0:09] Good, how are you?

Henrik:  [0:10] Great. Mikako, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Mikako:  [0:14] I think I’m a little bit unique in this profession. A lot of people who manage the digital assets, may be dedicated their time 100 percent to managing their assets or creating the assets. I’m a Art Director at simplehuman.

[0:32] Then when I was appointed by CEO to investigate the DAM system, I actually didn’t know anything about the DAM system. As a designer, I wasn’t sure how this system is going to be helpful to our company.

[0:50] But now that we implemented the system, I can see that the DAM system is really useful to, not only the company like us, but design and then produce the product by design agency, or any other design related company. Actually, our company is pretty small, so the graphic design department is small.

[1:15] Then what we were doing was, we are putting everything into our company server. But as company starts to grow, we realize that, if we don’t organize these digital assets eventually it’s going to get really messy.

[1:31] One day, our CEO was the one who recognized the company was growing and so was our assets. He put me in charge of finding the solution. I did research, and then I found is there asset management system out there. Then, eventually I pick one of them, and then I implemented it.

Henrik:  [1:55] How does a designer and manufacture of kitchen, bath and beauty tools use Digital Asset Management?

Mikako:  [2:02] All the designers use the asset management system to work on their projects. Once we have the asset which is whether it’s photography that we shot, or rendering that we created, it goes to the retouchers.

[2:20] Then clean up the images and stuff, and then eventually goes up to the asset management system. Once it get in there, designer can pull any of the assets whenever we need it for whatever we need it. Marketing and the sales team also use the assets, the ones which are available to them.

[2:42] Before [DAM System], the graphic team would get constant requests from the sales and the marketing, and we were the department within the organization to send them a file. Since all the assets was in the server, and then only designer, and if you worked on that project, knows where images were, and then what the final assets are.

[3:08] Then every time sales or marketing team needed those assets, we get requests. We have to spend the time to search the image, reformat the image and then send it back to them. We are actually spending a lot of time on organizing the assets, and distributing assets.

[3:29] But once we implemented the DAM system, marketing and then sales can find the image, and then download it in any of the format that they want for themselves. Then the designer doesn’t have to spend the time to do that job for them. That was really helpful.

[3:51] The designers and then other departments of our company, use the system to find assets or archive the assets. When we are thinking of implementing the DAM system, we were wondering if we can use the system to organize, and then archive, and then transferring the files to the factory for the design files. The actual product design files.

[4:21] But design file consists of different parts, so that we found that organizing all the different parts become the one product. It’s not just a file that it creates so that they way that the DAM system organize the files, it was challenging to organize the files that make sense to using for the…to keeping, and then archiving the CAD file.

[4:52] We don’t use the DAM system for the product design file, the CAD file, but we use it for everything else.

Henrik:  [5:00] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Mikako:  [5:04] The biggest challenge was how to structure the system, so how many catalogs we should have, and then who should have the access to which catalogs. Because of the amount of the assets we have, and then some of them are not really meant to use outside of the company usage, so that we have to create a structure that really works to the different departments.

[5:37] Then certain departments need certain assets only. So that way, accidentally the important assets [don’t] go outside of the company. By the time we implemented the system, we had already a lot of these digital assets without knowing it. To organize those, and then putting into the system the first time, was really challenging.

[6:06] The success part of it overlaps with the answer that I gave to the second question. It helped the whole company to flow, and the design department the time that we used to spend to prepare, and then create all those assets to the different departments that got really reduced.

[6:30] For example, the sales person also creates the file… it’s called planogram. It’s basically what the product will look like on the shelf. Before we were getting similar request so that every time we get these requests we have to resize all the products into the correct scale and then put next to each other on a four foot shelf.

[6:59] Then all our products how that look like on this four foot shelf, so that kind of thing was taking a lot of time for the design department. But now we created this catalog that has every SKU that are available to the sales in the correct scale.

[7:18] All they have to do is to pull all those images, and then just put it into the shelf. That thing really helped the time part of it. Another success is that we always have the most updated assets available to everybody.

[7:39] Before, different designers working in their projects, for example, one designer created this icon, and then during the process of finish that project, the designer Mike, fixed the icon. But the icon didn’t go up to the DAM system and then just lived in this person’s hard drive.

[8:04] Then other designers trying to use the icon, they might not have the most updated icon and..they might use it in a wrong way, or but now that we have system, so one designer fix something and then updated assets go uploaded to DAM system, so that always the most updated assets available to the other designers to use it.

[8:28] That really helped designers to actually could have used the wrong asset or wrong icons and stuff for the project. The number one benefit that we did get from this system was that we were be able to spend the more time to actually designing it than try to organize the assets for other people or other departments.

[8:55] Asset is always available to us, and then I was saying all the available asset is always updated the most current one. That reduced the mistake part of it too.

Henrik:  [9:10] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to DAM professionals?

Mikako:  [9:14] The organization is really powerful. If your digital files aren’t organized, you’re wasting so much time looking for that right file, or your team through all the assets are wasting time searching, and sending the files out, like our graphic department was used to doing.

[9:37] With DAM it helps you save the time and your company is saving money, because you’re able to be more productive. For us, it was really good time saving, and then…time is money so the more the time is saved and then everybody works efficient.

[10:03] I think that was really helpful. If someone who’s thinking about implementing DAM system or not, I think in the long run if everything is organized, and I think eventually that will make much more efficient the whole system.

[10:22] Also ,I do use the system everyday, but at the same time, I’m a designer as well. Then I feel like I’m still not…I don’t consider myself DAM professional. I feel like if you 100 percent, you do is to organize, and then manage the system, then I feel like that person might have better advice but…

Henrik:  [10:48] Thank you, Mikako.

Mikako:  [10:51] Thank you, and I’m sorry. I don’t know if I helped a lot but I just wanted to say that having the DAM system really helped our company. Hopefully, this would help someone who listens I guess.

Henrik:  [11:08] For more and this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. For this and 160 other podcasts episodes, 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 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.