What is Digital Asset Management?
The power and added value of a DAM for your organisation
Your storage capacity is filled to the brim. Not being able to find the latest version of a certain file. Or the endless emails back and forth with colleagues to get hold of the right documents. You've probably experienced it all before. Well, such problems can be solved very easily by using a Digital Asset Management system. But what exactly is a Digital Asset Management system, or DAM for short, and what makes it so valuable for your organisation? And what advantages can you derive from it to make your business processes run more efficiently? A lot of questions that we will answer in this blog article.
DAM, EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF DIGITAL ASSETS
Bringing structure to a tangle of information. That is what it is all about when using a Digital Asset Management system (DAM). Videos, images, digitised documents, audio files, you name it, the flow of information in and out of the organisation is immense these days. All the more reason to deal in a structured way with the gigantic amount of digital assets you have as an organisation.
A DAM can best be described as a centralised digital platform. A place where all your employees, external partners and in fact every relevant stakeholder has easy and quick access to digital files. It is the solution for efficiently organising, storing and (re)using digital information. Call it a 'single source of truth', which in addition to archiving and making backups, also enables workflow automation and e-commerce. The advantages are far from negligible. So be sure to read on!
EFFICIENT, MORE EFFICIENT, MOST EFFICIENT
To realize the value of a [media] file (or collection of files), you need to have additional information about that asset. In short, you need metadata.”, aldus Theresa in haar boek “Digital and Marketing Asset Management: The Real Story about DAM Technology and Practices (Rosenfeld Media, 2016).
It describes exactly where the strength and added value of a DAM lie. After all, digital files are nothing without additional descriptive information, or metadata. By using a DAM, you can describe your digital assets and give them extra data in order to index and structure them. This way, files can be found much faster and easier. An enormous gain of time, which is also the most important advantage of a DAM. All files, photos, videos, etc. can be indexed and structured much more easily. can be found in one central place by means of various parameters (tags, descriptions and categories), and the internal or external sharing of files also goes a lot more smoothly. Furthermore, the use of such a system ensures that you can access your files anytime, anywhere, and that the risk of losing original documents is significantly reduced. Something that is crucial in COVID-19 times. After all, colleagues work remotely and some of your contacts may even be in other time zones. Unlimited access must therefore be available at all times.
AN ENDLESS SEA OF POSSIBILITIES, CONSISTENCY FIRST
- Thanks to user and workflow management, approval processes are adequately manageable and controllable. In this way, you guarantee brand consistency and are always sure that the right files are being used.
- Through the use of auto-tagging - a tag is a keyword - artificial intelligence can easily classify your digital assets. Think of it as extra metadata that provides an improved search function, more accurate use of filters and efficient sorting of files.
- It seamlessly integrates with front-end and back-end systems through a rich REST API (API first methodology). This ensures that you always have access to the same content via all the platforms you use as an organisation. Consistency of your business processes comes first.
- Easy conversion to derived formats when managing or distributing a wide range of media.
- Optimal storage management: from disk over object storage to tape, thanks to its own built-in Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) system
- Possibility of multi-organisational (multi-tenant) set-up, which implies that you can give different users or organisations access to certain parts of the DAM system. This includes data and specific configuration and management options.
- Easily scalable: from a few GB to dozens of PB, on-premise or in the cloud
Without getting lost in details that would lead us too far: the possibilities are almost endless. This makes it all the more important for Zeticon to think and work together with the customer from the very start of setting up a DAM. This way we want to anticipate customer specific questions like special metadata structures or adapted workflows, but also always taking into account the budgetary possibilities.
A WIDE RANGE OF APPLICATIONS
Who or which organisations benefit from the use of a DAM is not easy to define. Let's just say that it offers a lot of advantages in various aspects of use. We therefore list a few possible and targeted applications.
- Centralising a broad set of media, in order to fully enjoy the "write once -use multiple times" principle.
- Get rid of expensive storage costs due to the fact that the same finished document and/or assets are stored multiple times on personal environments and/or in multiple places in document management environments such as Documentum or Sharepoint.
- Control and manage the transmission of information from a central digital archive to other platforms such as websites, portals or e-commerce platforms.
- Collecting and managing image material to create evidence against damage, loss or waste, etc.
- The collection and management of visual material as evidence of the work and/or actions to be performed.
- Creating large amounts of audiovisual material for reporting or reference purposes.
- The long-term preservation and/or accessibility of (cultural) heritage.
Translated into concrete examples, these include cities and municipalities, international public institutions, government agencies, colleges and universities, manufacturing companies, marketing agencies and e-commerce companies, and many more. Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive.