No two companies are alike. That’s why we introduce our customers and talk with them about how they use Canto. Evonik is a leading global chemical specialties company. We spoke with Christoph Bauer about his work as a Managing Editor.
What is your tasks at Evonik Industries AG? What role do images and other digital assets play in your day-to-day work?
I work in Evonik’s external communication department in the corporate headquarters in Essen. As a trained journalist, I’m fully aware of the importance of images for companies and media. That’s another reason why introducing a new image database was a major concern for me.
How have your requirements for digital asset management system evolved?
We’d been planning to significantly expand our press image database for some time, but our database at the time had reached its limit. One hurdle was the fact that our business units had created their own collections within the database which were not uniformly structured. There were a lot of subdirectories, different legal statuses, etc.
The group was restructured and streamlined over time. If images had been purchased by smaller legal units before, it was quickly no longer clear who they actually belonged to anymore.
Eventually, it got to the point that the solution could no longer live up to our increased demands. One thing was clear: we needed a more modern solution.
What were your expectations for a new DAM system? Why did you pick Canto?
When selecting the database, it was vital for us to break away from multiple small niche solutions and move to a single solution for all our employees. We didn’t want anyone to just sit on his or her purchased stock images anymore. We wanted organizing and sharing images to be simplified for both internal and external purposes.
Canto was one of our top picks right from the start. In their pitch, Canto quickly won over our procurement department, our photographers as well as the communication department. Our image agency with which we have worked for a long time now was already familiar with Canto and also gave us the green light. It was clear that Canto had a solution for nearly all our questions and requirements.
How did the introduction go?
Migrating our existing assets to the new digital asset management system was the biggest hurdle since our old database had a completely different structure. The new database was supposed to go online on January 1, 2020, but things got a little tight at the end. We were able to rely on Canto Support and after some overtime at Christmas, everything went off without a hitch.
I then adapted the structure of the new image data bank and reorganized the assets. All the images for which license rights were not entirely cleared up were screened out. The transparency of the process was crucial here. That’s why we like Canto’s comprehensive rights management a lot. Anyone sifting through the new database can for example see at a glance to what extent he or she can use an asset.
Which departments and colleagues use Canto?
We use the database both in-house and externally. Evonik employees can use Canto really easily thanks to single sign-on, without having to log in separately. Canto was quickly accepted, especially by our Asian colleagues. They used to have to send a request to our communications department for individual photos. Due to the time difference (up to 9 hours ahead), they would naturally have to wait a while. Now they don’t have to wait anymore before one of us answers their requests, but instead, they can simply find the assets themselves. Because a lot of online offers are created by colleagues over there specifically for the Asian market, they now find suitable images for their work more quickly.
Our social media team also uses Canto regularly. In collaboration with our external agency, we also connected Hootsuite to Canto which makes the team’s work even simpler. Our colleagues are really pleased that they no longer depend on complicated internal folder structures to find the right image material.
For external press requests, we have our own press portal where there are a lot of photos available for download. Our Canto account manager had shown us various examples of how you can structure this type of portal. That helped us a lot.
The press portal offers us the option to show our many locations and divisions without drowning in a sea of images. That’s why our press portal is clearly divided into business regions and thematic fields. Of course, you can still use the search feature with keywords.