The 15th annual Henry Stewart DAM event in New York on May 11 and 12th is the largest gathering of DAM professionals on the planet. We were there supporting the event and put together a recap of some of the interesting trends in the DAM space. Read on for all the details.
Flashy Technology Does Not Mean Better Workflows
Theresa Regli, who gave the keynote speech to the 700 attendees, gave an illustrative historical metaphor for DAM connectivity by elaborating how the original train system in England was derailed by disconnected time standards from different cities across the country.
Five ‘o’clock in London could be 5:10 in another city making it impossible to avoid collisions due to poor scheduling. The fascinating new technology of the fast train was hamstrung by outdated, disjointed silos until widespread adoption of Greenwich Mean Time.
This was the perfect opening to a Henry Stewart DAM event that focused – to a large extent – on connectivity, unification and communication between systems during the panels, roundtables and speeches as well as the expo discussions hosted by DAM users and experts from all over the globe.
Silos Still Need to Be Connected
As the need for DAM expands, so does the discovery of DAM silos within organizations and the need to connect them becomes more pressing. Many organizations attending the event had numerous internal and external DAM workflows that did not communicate.
Quite a few DAM champions within organizations find they need some sort of unification in their DAM workflows between departments and locations. Potential solutions raised by panelists in these discussions included better governance, standardized integrations and, naturally, purchasing an enterprise solution.
Buy-in Is Still a Major Issue Within Organizations
Tom Barnouw, Director of Digital Workflow Systems at WWE, a longtime Cumulus customer, gave a powerful presentation on how buy-in is still quite important for DAM champions within companies. The successful implementation of a DAM largely depends on user adoption and the amount of resources and budget dedicated to the initiative.
Tom reviewed the challenges he had with migrating six million assets and over 200 TB of data from on-premise to the cloud. Many DAM champions face this task at some point and tackling it takes ingenuity and buy-in from many other departments, including the executive team.
Ian Matzen Digital Asset Management System Manager from America’s Test Kitchen, another customer of Canto, spoke about how the company structures the many dish recipes it has in Cumulus. The way the DAM users think of food is quite different; chefs, editors, marketing professionals and sales personnel all have various ways to structure food and the terminology linked to it.
This created a taxonomy issue for Ian which he solved within Cumulus. What he found was that he could create a user-friendly taxonomy by building on the structure he already had in place, involving the many stakeholders, managing the workflows regularly and reviewing the automation results continually. This strengthened his content reuse and repurposing, improved the search results for inquiries and enabled browsing by subject. It ended up creating a more efficient and effective workflow for America’s Test Kitchen. The case was a great example of how important it is to put time and effort into creating a functional metadata and taxonomy scheme.
Mobile Expands the DAM
The widespread use of mobile in e-commerce – and indeed e-commerce in general – has brought customers away from the storefront to the desktop and now the smartphone. The move towards mobile does bring some new challenges for DAM champions within organizations.
The picture you use for a promotional ad on desktop is quite different for the picture for the same product on mobile. On desktop, you may be able to make out the entire description of a product, like shampoo that’s 400 ml. But on mobile the image needs to be reformatted to ensure the shopper can read its small print.
With every new marketing or e-commerce venture, there’s an asset trail to clean up. The sheer volume of new assets being created for mobile promotional materials is tremendous and underscores the need for a solid DAM with good workflows in place. It’s also one of the reasons why this year’s Henry Stewart DAM NY was the biggest yet.
More to Come
We were thrilled to be a part of this ever-growing event and meet with our customers, digital asset management experts and the other organizations operating in this inspiring space. If you can’t wait until next year’s Henry Stewart DAM NY, don’t worry, HS DAM London is on June 20-21 and Canto will be there. If you’d like to set up a meeting with us, send me an email.