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Another DAM Podcast interview with Anne Lenehan on Digital Asset Management

Anne Lenehan discusses Digital Asset Management


Henrik de Gyor:  [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I am Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Anne Lenehan. Anne how are you?

Anne Lenehan:  [0:09] I’m very well, thank you Henrik.

Henrik:  [0:11] Anne, how are you involved with digital asset management?

Anne:  [0:14] At Elsevier, I’m currently the product owner for our digital asset management system, and I was also involved in creating the business case for the DAM we introduced into Elsevier, and ensure that not only through the business case but also through the implementation phase at Elsevier.

Henrik:  [0:31] Anne, how does the provider of science and health information use digital asset management?

Anne:  [0:35] It’s a great question, when you think about science or health information you don’t necessarily think about all of the types of rich media and video, and audio materials that are part of not only just the diagnosis part of medical information but also in the learning and also in the patient information. The way that we use digital assets at Elsevier is they’re part of every product that we produce, every book, every journal and every online product that we have has images, videos, audio files, Google maps files or map files.

[1:08] We have special 3D and interactive images, we have interactive questions and case studies, all of which have a lot of rich media as part and parcel of those content pieces. Those are all digital assets that we want to store and manage, and potentially recompile and re‑use in future products. It’s really at the core of our content information. It is as big of a part of our content flow as the text content has always been.

Henrik:  [1:39] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with DAM?

Anne:  [1:42] I think one of the most difficult thing with digital assets and how we manage them through a DAM, is really understanding the work flows that are involved in creating the assets, and how they can fit together in an end‑to‑end workflow for production pieces. I think that’s probably the biggest challenge.

[2:00] The way that we view creating, say images or videos, are viewed as very much separate work streams, where in fact, they are very frequently work stream that all flow together or workflows that flow together and are connected in a way. Actually having a DAM enables us to view those work streams and workflows in a much more continuous manner and help us to improve our processes for creating rich media assets that are then part of the DAM.

[2:30] I think this has been one of the biggest challenges that we’ve seen within my company but that’s also a common thing within other companies is that certain parts of the workflows are not always identified as having the potential to be part of working with the digital asset management system. It’s actually very good way to manage assets coming into the company from our author base.

[2:51] It’s a great way to manage distributing those assets for improvements or for transformation to our vendors. Digital asset management system is a very helpful way for us to review those assets, to view them in [Inaudible 3:03] and the way that they are going to be used in our content product. Also to distribute those assets down the road to our product platforms and also as part of our compiled objects, be they books or journals, online content, e‑books, whatever the output is.

[3:19] That’s a great success and it’s actually seeing how the DAM can be in content, but the biggest challenge is really helping people understand how those workflows fit together.

Henrik:  [3:30] Anne, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Anne:  [3:35] I think one of the most important things to understand is actually how the assets are used in a company, and what the importance of those assets are. This was a big change for us at Elsevier, we had always viewed rich media assets with somewhat secondary..or a secondary part of our content pieces.

[3:52] It was only really when we started to think about video assets and image assets, and all other kinds of rich media assets as being core and central to our content pieces that we started to really look at DAM as being a way to manage those content pieces.

[4:07] The one important thing for an aspiring DAM professional is to really understand the business that they are looking at, and what the content pieces are that go into it, and how those content pieces, be they, digital assets. How are they working together? What is the overall picture, and the overall view or the overall importance of digital assets to that company?

[4:27] As those assets become more important and as the record or the management or the potentially the re‑use becomes more important. That would be something very important to understand and to translate to, particularly to senior management, in supporting and funding origination of a DAM system.

[4:45] The other thing that I would really recommend for aspiring DAM professional is to understand a lot about metadata and taxonomy and how they work together to support the assets that you are creating, storing and managing in a digital asset management system. I can’t overemphasize this enough, but this was really a core part of our mature view of digital assets within Elsevier is that we had established a really good taxonomy.

[5:11] That we are using as part of a process we call Smart Content across our product assets and platforms. We were using the taxonomy to tag our content and manage it to improve the search and discovery of the assets and content that we had on our platforms. One of the outgrowths of the Smart Content program was really to understand that rich media assets were being searched and were being used.

[5:37] That actually translated to…how do we use the taxonomy? What a taxonomy is? How it could be used in your particular industry and the importance of how that can be used to enable search and discovery and lead in the efforts of the DAM.

Henrik:  [5:50] Well, thanks Anne.

Anne:  [5:51] Sure.

Henrik:  [5:53] For more on this and other digital asset management topics go to

For this and 150 other podcasts episodes including transcripts of every interview go to If you have any comments or questions please feel free to email me at Thanks again.

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Another DAM Podcast interview with Abby De Millo on Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Why does an information and media organization use a DAM?
  • What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:02] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Abby DeMillo. Abby,
how are you?
Abby DeMillo: [0:10] I’m fine. How are you doing today?
Henrik: [0:12] Good. Abby, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Abby: [0:17] At the McGraw Hill companies, we view Digital Asset Management
as one component of what we call the digital supply chain. We’re not looking at
Digital Asset Management purely as an archival tool or as a brand management
tool. We’re looking at it as really a component of our content delivery ecosystem
so to speak. [0:48] It’s very much integrated in with our Content Management
Systems, our delivery platforms, our enrichment tools, so on and so forth. It is a
key component, but we look at it as a component of that whole chain.
Henrik: [1:03] Great. Just to reiterate, why does an information and media organization
use a DAM?
Abby: [1:10] We use it to help deliver content. Digital Asset Management
through the years has grown and matured, and the technology has matured as
well, to really offer more than just the storage and delivery out of rich media
assets. [1:30] It still does that. It still does that very, very well. I highly recommend
any company that has branding, marketing assets, rich media assets,
or any object related content to really invest in a repository, invest in a Digital
Asset Management. That is the best way to keep track of your master assets.
[1:54] B to B business are using it really in terms of delivering out and reusing
those components. You can supply a B-to-B site and web channel delivery of
content without a Digital Asset Management. It is completely possible to do
that, but you’ll find that you’ll be wasting a lot of infrastructure.
[2:20] Your technology footprint will be greater, because you will not have control
of your parent and child assets. The value to B-to-B business is to really keep…
you’ve heard of master data management. There’s not an acronym for this but
it’s really keeping track of your master rich media assets and delivering versions
of those assets.
[2:45] Rather than keeping the same asset in 100 different places, you keep it in
one place and deliver out renderings of that same asset. It saves a lot of money.
It saves in operations. It saves in human processes, business processes. That’s
why B to B businesses are very interested still in this technology.
Henrik: [3:08] It makes a lot of sense.
Abby: [3:09] It sure does.
Henrik: [3:10] What advice would you like to give to DAM professionals or
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Abby: [3:15] For people aspiring to become DAM professionals, you can go to
school in library sciences. You can go to school and get your degrees in taxonomies
and all of these great things today. Don’t think of it as a siloed discipline.
[3:32] You can’t really today think of Digital Asset Management without thinking
of the related fields and the related technologies that help deliver content
including enrichment, which we haven’t really touched on. In other words, creating
metadata structures, and taxonomy structures that deliver that content and
make it reusable in a number of different systems, delivery platforms, and the
ability to transform those assets into a number of different channels.
[4:03] Be able to, if you’re holding video assets, because Digital Asset
Management today you can hold video assets or flash assets. Are you planning
on transcoding those internally and delivering them out? Or are you planning on
really just holding the end product in your depository?
[4:21] No matter where you work those are the types of questions that will be
asked of you. If you are aspiring to become a Digital Asset Management professional,
don’t think of it truly as an archival tool. Think of it really part of that
whole ecosystem. You really have to have an understanding, at least at a high
level, of how those other systems play into this.
Henrik: [4:46] Great. Thank you, Abby.
Abby: [4:48] You’re welcome.
Henrik: [4:50] For more on Digital Asset Management, log onto Thanks again.

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