Yes, what you see in front of you is a DAM new column. I’ll try to bring you some of the latest news in Digital Asset Management, as well as thoughts around the DAM industry. Off we go…

Why a DAM Column?

Because it's fun, of course! Also, as we discussed on a number of occasions, DAM is getting more and more traction alongside the world of content management. I could go into a long discussion on why DAM is important and how it relates to Web CMS and Enterprise CMS, but this endeavor deserves a separate post.

As we’ve been exploring the world of WEM and how it relates to DAM (and as I've asserted before, DAM loves WEM, and WEM should love DAM back) it became rather clear that Digital Asset Management is on the upswing with more and more organizations turning to the power of using digital assets in their online or offline presences.

DAM becomes critical to media-intensive companies that are looking beyond a Web CMS or an Enterprise CMS. Media moguls of the world are in need of specific systems that will allow them to manage assets – be it images, audio, video, etc. – wisely, cost-efficiently and productively.

While DAM exists in a close coalition with ECM and WCM, it deserves it's own special attention.

Making Meaning for DAM: The Mega Metadata

In the special metadata issue, the Journal of Digital Asset Management looks beyond assets on the surface and delves into their guts – metadata. Tom Bachmann authored one of the articles – Video metadata modeling for DAM systems – and talked about the challenges faced by video content managers.

When they use a Digital Asset Management system and have to manage gazillions of hours of digital footage, just like with content management systems, metadata is queen. And digital assets are king, of course, in this case.

Bachmann stresses the importance of a well-structured metadata architecture. Just like sound content modeling in CMS, metadata is important to DAM not only for search and findability, but also for a wider range of functions: tagging, ingesting, transcoding, distributing derivative formats, etc. For organizations looking to construct a healthy video metadata strategy, it is recommended to look closely at developing metadata schemas, carefully document data dictionaries and establish standards for inbound and outbound A/V formats.

More recommendations in this review aim to steer DAM users clear from unhealthy metadata strategies and crucial mistakes.

Is DAM a Commodity?

A Digital Asset Management vendor Widen (news, site) posted their thoughts on the commoditization of DAM. Beware of the vendor lens, but do take a look at this two-part series on why DAM in not a commodity.

Widen asserts that DAM is not commoditized because there is a lot of fragmentation in the Digital Asset Management market. In addition, DAM products are not uniform, prices are very different. Other reasons for non- commoditization include varied deployment options, specialized vs. core features mix, competitive market.

What is the ROI in DAM?

We talked about Return on Investment in Enterprise CMS. Digital Asset Management is not much different.

If you are trying to convince your stakeholders that this hefty DAM investment is really really worth it, you may want to consider the following justification facts that come from a research conducted by the self-proclaimed innovative think-tank on DAM GISTICS:

  • Digital Asset Management ROI is between 8:1 to 14:1.
  • Digital asset professionals spend an average of 1 hour per every 10 hours on file management. One third of that time is spent on searching.
  • US$ 8,200 per person per year is spent (on average) on file management tasks such as search, organization, back-up and security.
  • On average, people fail to find digital assets they’re searching for 35% of the time.

DAM and Culture

We can talk a lot about DAM from academic, theoretical perspectives (and, actually, enjoy it), but many beautiful stories happen in the real world.

Behind-the-Scenes at the Walters with Jim Maza is an interview with the CTO of the Baltimore-based Walters Art Museum. Maza talks about using a DAM system for managing and arranging exhibitions.

Notably, the DAMS was implemented only recently and now the staff is using it to store, retrieve and share the digital documents and images. On one side, the tech is helping the museum. On the other hand, Maza notes that the tech can also present challenges:

One of the biggest challenges is to make sure that whenever we use technology in an exhibition, that it enhances the experience for the visitor. It is easy to get caught up in the ‘cool factor’ of technology, but we want to be sure that we are not using a technology just because it is new or cool, but that it helps tell the story of the exhibition.

DAM Comes to Hollywood

Those of you looking to learn more about Digital Asset Management and hang out with like-minded professionals should check out the upcoming Henry Stewart DAM conference scheduled to start November 15 in LA.

Got a DAM Word?

Finally, I invite all of you to participate in these DAM discussions, send feedback about this new column, submit your ideas, tips and suggestions in the comments below.

Tot ziens until the next DAM column…