Setting up your Digital Asset Management system in line with your business needs

30 Apr


Written by

Louise McNutt




Setting up your Digital Asset Management system in line with your business needs
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Sébastien Levy, Managing Director at Wedia has built up significant experience understanding how best to support clients in the setup and running of their DAM platforms. Here he shares how this can be done smoothly, all whilst anticipating the changes that might be just around the corner. 

A DAM (Digital Asset Management) is a vital platform for businesses, allowing them to centralize their company assets, whether that be images, videos, or any type of document. Before having a DAM platform, these assets can be saved across a variety of different systems, countries and departments, so it becomes essential to centralize them in order to manage brand consistency, copyright, diffusion and content scoring. 

At Wedia, we are very used to working with a variety of companies, with a range of different needs, especially as we support large corporations, both in France and internationally. We are as such often confronted with many types of DAM projects, from what could be described as a ‘standard’ demand for centralizing assets to more complex projects which also focus on how assets can be correctly distributed whilst maintaining performance across a multitude of channels.  

Initial setup of the DAM platform

Sébastien Levy, Managing Director at Wedia

From the point where we receive a Call for Tenders, we work to carefully dissect the needs and challenges of the company and match them to the expertise and experience that we have. 

All our clients benefit from a standardized onboarding process, where we focus on the key questions to set up their DAM platform: we advise them on the structure of their assets (their metadata) depending on how it will be efficient to search and find them, and we ask a few questions on the portal setup for their users. In three weeks, they get a full-featured DAM platform which responds to the typical DAM needs.

In some cases, there is a need for more: data migration from a current platform, integration to a third party platform (CRM, PIM, etc. ), and in these specific cases we will add one or several “Sprint”s. Iterative deliveries are the best way to see your platform evolve towards your exact needs and priorities.

Ensuring proper training and adoption of the DAM system among users

Our DAM projects can really vary in size, ranging from three weeks from start to finish to projects which last a few months. This all depends on what is required by the client. 

In each and every case however, we have a dedicated client team involved in the decision-making process during workshops. This team will become the experts of any given project and will come to know it inside out. They will be responsible for providing specific documents, training exercises etc. for users of the DAM tool, ensuring that there is a full understanding of how to use the system.  

Seamless integration with other existing systems and tools within the organization

One particular strength of Wedia’s is the ability for our system to connect with other tools. This is a seamless process as specifications are made during the project stage in order for everything to be made automatic, whether that be connecting a PIM (Product Information Management) or CMS (Content Management System). Our DAM system has an exhaustive and highly-documented list of APIs (Application Programming Interface) which allow us to work with the majority of internal and external tools. 

Taking into account compatibility with different file types and formats

Our Product Team is constantly monitoring technological changes and innovations in order to ensure that each release of our product responds to the latest needs for file types and formats. We release new updates of our product every seven weeks, so this allows our Product Team to constantly update the system to incorporate new types of files that our clients want to use. This means not only being able to manage them but also to read them so thumbnails of the assets can be displayed and even be converted into different formats or dimensions. They can also be indexed if they contain text so that users can use the search bar to find words included in these assets. 

Ensuring the security of digital assets within a DAM system

In terms of the product, our team designs our system with security as a key priority and there are regular tests to make sure that this system is as robust as possible. When setting up the DAM, our Key Account Managers work with the legal department of a company to set out the level of security they need for their DAM, including double authentication at the login stage.  

In terms of the project, our system operates through roles and segmentation. Roles are defined as who does what and segmentation means who can see what. By using both of these, we can achieve a lot in terms of the specific needs of our clients, for example which countries within a company can see certain assets or the fact that external agencies can only see watermarked assets. This security guarantee is set up automatically at the beginning of any project and can later be refined by the client to tailor specific roles in order to have full control over access to assets. 

Assets can as such be classified as confidential and only able to be viewed by certain profiles. Embargos can also be put in place so assets are only visible after a certain date, so if brands are releasing new products and don’t want them to be leaked beforehand, this is a security measure which can be applied to their DAM. 

When it comes to videos we can employ a tokenized video delivery approach whereby the video can only be played by an authorized user. 

Therefore, when clients have security concerns at the beginning of any DAM project, we are able to perfectly reassure them with the proof that we have concrete measures in place. 

Accommodating future growth and changes in business requirements

Our DAM system is by its very nature ever evolving. The majority of our clients stay with us eight, ten years and more. This of course means that the DAM system they have ten years after they launched their DAM is not the same as it was at the beginning. The platform naturally matures, because of the new releases which offer the latest features and ones that adapt to new trends and technology. Upgrades are also regularly offered to clients, so the evolution becomes part of their DAM journey with Wedia. 

What’s more, each client can configure their DAM differently in order to respond to the changes in their organization or ways of working after the initial setup. This could for example be when they open up a new country or sub-brand, which they can do themselves or for more technical requirements, Wedia is on hand to assist them in ‘mini project’ updates. 

Very often our clients start with a new DAM system, and therefore a standardized offering, but their needs are likely going to change over time, particularly as their business grows. As time goes on, the use of the DAM system by different users grows across different territories and teams. This scalability with the Wedia DAM is guaranteed. Some of our clients have significant volumes of assets, both within the DAM and for distribution, so our architecture is built in such a way as to be perfectly scalable and we are able to keep pace with the evolution of our clients, something we pride ourselves on. 

Challenges encountered in setting up DAM systems

Setting up any new DAM system of course does not come without its challenges. One recurring challenge that we face with our clients is having to collect existing assets before putting them into the DAM environment. So here we are talking about data migration, which is something we do for all our clients, and which can represent a large number of assets. The challenge can be that of ensuring quality, as they can come from a range of different tools and are not always well indexed or are even obsolete. This means that there is a significant process of organizing these assets that has to be carried out. 

Sometimes we suggest uploading all assets into the DAM system so that the filtering and clearing of them can be carried out from within, as we can use the DAM technology to support us. 

We also have an Indexing Team who are able to step in here to help clients as they collect and index their assets, in order for them to be optimized for use within the DAM, as it is vital to have these strong foundations when beginning using the DAM. 

Collecting feedback for continuous improvement

Of course, having set up the DAM platform for a client, we need to ensure that it is performing in the way it should be. One very important mechanism for this is having Customer Success Managers integrated into the Wedia team, who are regularly meeting clients in order to ensure that the objectives that were originally set out are being met. Actions are taken if this isn’t the case, for example change management or upgrades which can be made to incorporate new features. This is a way of gathering feedback and comparing this to other clients’ feedback allows us to decide which new features need to be added to Wedia’s solution. 

Other mechanisms include a feedback tab within the DAM platform where users can share comments. There is also a scoring process within the Product Team in order to filter and assess the level of action associated with each request, so when we have a request that continually gets brought up, it will become a priority. 

Our KAM and Sales teams are also in regular contact with current and future clients, meaning that they are gathering feedback from their individual exchanges and feeding this back to the Product Team in order to decide if changes need to be made.  

A fully-rounded approach to setup and evolution 

Wedia’s process of supporting clients through the setup of their DAM system is well defined and we pride ourselves on the expertise of the teams that support the process, from Sales to 

Customer Success Managers.

Once a client’s DAM has been configured and launched, the journey of course does not end there. We know that content management, distribution and tracking continue to evolve and at Wedia we are committed to following these changes and keeping pace with the innovations our clients need to support them. 

Interested in finding out more? Book a demo today.

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