No two companies are alike. That’s why we present our customers’ case studies and talk to them about how they use Canto. The ESTREL Berlin is Germany’s largest hotel with conference and event facilities. We spoke with Miranda Meier about her job as a press spokesperson.
What is your job at ESTREL Berlin?
I’m a press spokesperson and work in the PR and marketing team here at ESTREL Berlin. The ESTREL is Europe’s largest hotel, convention and entertainment complex. The ESTREL is also Germany’s largest hotel with 1,125 rooms. We hold up to 1,800 international conferences and conventions here, along with media events. And that also describes our main target group: event planners and business travelers. So, we’re more of a classic conference center with a hotel rather than a hotel with event facilities. We also have our own show production, “Stars in Concert.” And it’s these three areas – hotel, events and entertainment – that make up the ESTREL Berlin brand.
In the PR and marketing department, we’re responsible for communication and marketing of all three pillars and we handle the press work, advertisements and design as well as our Internet presence. We’re a team of three employees and one student worker, so relatively manageable compared to a total of 550 employees.
When did you first come into contact with the topic of digital asset management?
We have an incredible amount of visual material that’s been accumulating for the last 25 years, ever since the ESTREL Berlin has been around. We also photograph a lot of events and even artists who perform in our shows, so a large number of photos has accumulated accordingly on various storage media. These images are stored partially on network servers in our Intranet, but on external storage media as well. The photos from the early phase of the ESTREL really only existed in analog paper form. Of course, it’s not an easy task when, for example, a colleague calls up and says: “Do you guys happen to have a picture of that event from 10 years ago – the one picture with the green carpet?” Then you have to start looking where that photo might be. That has always been extremely time-consuming, of course. To some extent, we here in the PR and marketing department spent all of our time looking for visual material for colleagues, then cropping the material and sending it via download links.
Therefore, that practice eventually reached a point where we said: We’ve got to be able to manage this more centrally and digitally. That’s how we discovered Canto.
So, who started the initiative at your company?
The impetus for this came from the management, which made the topic of digitalization by 2020 a top priority. Accordingly, in my team, we gave some thought to what processes we could digitize well and effectively. We were already relatively far ahead in PR and marketing and also wanted to take on a leading role in handling digital media data.
So, a little over a year ago, we started searching. I started asking around other PR professionals who work at various major hotel companies what systems they use and how their media assets are organized. And, time and time again, Canto kept coming up as their answer. So, of course, we looked into the system and relatively soon thereafter started talking with your experts.
How did the migration of your new DAM project with Canto go?
First off, we uploaded the existing image archive to the system. With around 8,000 to 9,000 photos, that was of course a sizable task since we looked at every single photo again to ensure that it had the right keywords. We did that as a team. Everyone spent two or three hours a day uploading photos. In total, the starting phase took about three and a half months, from system preparation to launch.
After we had populated the system, we started to add the first departments as consumers. First was the sales department with 14 people. Our colleagues from the sales team are frequently on-the-go and they often encountered the problem that they really wanted to show a specific photo on some topic to a client during a meeting, but they had no way of locating the picture they wanted quickly enough. So, it really comes in handy that Canto is so easy to use anywhere. It means that our colleagues can quickly find the photo or video they need via their cell phone, tablet or laptop, whatever they happen to be working on, and show it to the customer.