Everything has a brand. Theresa Regli of the Real Story Group urged those attending the Henry Stewart DAM event in New York to question what the brands are that surround them on a daily basis. Not just the Nike swoosh or Coca Cola. Think of where you live. What visuals would tell the story of your city so that a person who never visited could identify it?

Thinking about the brand of a city is a helpful way to approach the next step that Regli identified for brands in her opening discussion “DAM in 2012: What’s New, What’s Next”: brandspaces. The time for static brands being used for signage or mailings are coming to a close. Enterprises must look at the brands and the media that they manage and create a more immersive experience for the audience -- both internal and external.

Much like walking through a busy neighborhood in a city, being immersed in a brand experience helps users understand the brand at a level that static experiences cannot. This does not necessarily require creating new assets to perform the task. It’s about a new approach to your rich media assets, moving beyond the current siloed approach to build multi-channel, personalized, collaborative experiences.

Technology Solves 20% of Challenges

Creating these kind of experiences is not easy.

Regli emphasized that technology is not and cannot be seen as the end solution. By her estimate, people solve 80% of the real challenges. This takes into consideration the planning and the vetting process before investing in a DAM solution, identifying what the expectation is for the DAM solution, the needs that the solution should meet, and the results that the solution should accomplish.

The pre-purchase vetting is only the tip of the human factor. Once the DAM solution is in place, the work has just begun. Noting the number of companies who purchase solutions without having people in house with DAM expertise, Regli drew vigorous nods of support from the audience. The point was reiterated. Enterprises need a DAM administrator to manage and ensure that the DAM solution follows through on the expectations set.

Outside Expectations, Internal Realities

Raising a point that is relevant for many industries, Regli described the external factors that are creating new and higher expectations for the software we interact with at work. Citing her 13-year-old nephew’s regular game playing as an example, she questions when the solutions being built will be as intuitive and appealing as playing the game Rabbids - Alive & Kicking (and though I haven't played it, I have to say, it looks fun).

The consumerization of the enterprise is already seen in the BYOD phenomena, which vendors are responding to with mobile DAM solutions, but enterprise software hasn’t yet caught up with the ease of use and level of engagement that games and apps offer. It's time for these solutions to be built as the game players of today become the workers of tomorrow.

The Way Forward

As more industries outside of media use video and other rich media assets as communication medium, the demands on Digital Asset Management solutions will grow. The days of DAM systems acting as static repositories are over; their future is dynamic and the innovations they are driving are only now being realized.