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Managing Digital Assets

(September 2009) posted on Wed Sep 23, 2009

Organizing and archiving digital images and other assets.

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By Stephen Beals

At the Henry Stewart DAM Conference in New York this spring, for example, Henrik
deGyor spoke about his role as digital asset manager at online-learning provider K12 Inc., listing these questions that any company’s management—print provider or other—must answer when considering the implementation of a DAM system: Who is driving the progress of DAM? Who is tracking progress, measuring growth, and addressing risks to report on a weekly/monthly basis? Who will answer questions and support system users? What happens when something goes wrong? Who is in charge of the asset-management system? Who will fix it? Who will be the adviser regarding when to file a trouble ticket with the vendor versus what can be resolved in-house? Who will create the trouble ticket when the time comes? Who will follow up? Who will train users in the asset-management system?

Meanwhile, as you evaluate specific DAM systems, consider: Does the system allow you to use your existing tools? Does the system make sense with your workflow? Is the system integrated strongly with products like Adobe CS without the use of custom APIs or plug-ins? Would a user be able to copy a file from one location to another?

The asset-management market itself hinders the evaluation process a bit by utilizing an array of terms and acronyms. “Confusion can come about due to vendor branding strategies or a plethora of nebulous acronyms used within the industry,” reports CMSWatch, a service that evaluates DAM systems. Be aware that some vendors use a single brand such as “digital media” to cover all content-focused software regardless
of each component’s specific purpose, while some have one brand for image, another for documents, and perhaps another for Web content. And, in some instances points out CMSWatch, product names are synonymous with the firm’s brand. Further, keep in mind that many companies utilize terms such as enterprise content management (ECM), media asset management (MAM), content management systems (CMS), electronic document management systems (EDMS), knowledge management (KM), and many others.

If you’re looking for a helpful list when it comes to evaluating an asset-management system, consider the following points, courtesy of MediaBeacon and part of what that company calls its DAM Bill of Rights: