Digital Asset Management implementation – how does it work exactly?

A digital asset management (DAM) system isn’t just a solution to bring order and structure to all media files in a company. It also contributes to improved efficiency and workflows in the long term. The act of implementing a DAM is a unique experience. You have to consider several things to ensure that the implementation is a success.

Clarity about requirements

You must be clear about the strategic goals you want to achieve with a DAM, before you start with the implementation. Which workflows should be made sleeker by the DAM, and which processes should be made more efficient? A DAM is not an isolated product, rather can fully unfurl its strengths when integrated into existing system infrastructure. Especially applications related to content can benefit from a DAM such as an ERP, PIM, CMS or an online shop. Our partner Comspace pointed out in this guest post that without connecting other systems, you create an isolated solution and the objective of a single point of truth for content gets diluted. 

Similarly, an overview of the current conditions is necessary: what digital assets are already available, where are they saved, who should be using them and have access? The answers to these questions provide a direction so that a suitable system can be chosen. A DAM is an individual decision that must suit the company.

Other important points for an optimally suitable DAM are: How is metadata acquired, and how can you select metadata standards? What is the system’s capacity? How easy is it to use? Is the user interface graphic or do you need a software a developer to make it work? How much can it be customized? How well can you structure assets, and is there a differentiated search function? What analytical functions does the DAM provide?

An experienced partner

Many providers offer DAM software. It is important to choose a partner with verified skills and experience. The successful implementation of the new system depends on them. A good partner can rise to challenges and works closely with the customer. They provide support in making pioneering decisions. We are proud to have dedicated partners around the world, who help our customers to achieve more with CELUM. Our partners support with the software implementation, advise on the business side of things, as well as create and maintain connectors for our system. We offer a detailed overview of all partners on our partner network page.

A plan for systematic integration

You can only start to prepare the implementation, after you have defined the goals of the DAM, analyzed the current conditions in your company, and found a competent partner if needed.

A DAM implementation can be a complex process that affects internal systems, data sets and existing processes: a flexible and agile approach allows you to design a smooth roll-out and directly integrate the users’ experiences and feedback while minimizing risks. This reduces the complexity, and quick wins are a way to increase user acceptance, especially when introducing a system in larger companies. In fact, one of the biggest obstacles for a DAM project is the acceptance within the company. You will be only successful, if your users are happy and understand the benefits and potentials of such a new system. 

Even data transfer should be planned. Assets come in various formats and are found in various target files and on servers. In addition, there is always externally sourced content as well, which also has to be transferred and categorized. That it is why it is so important that you never lose sight of metadata! Streamlining and automation are the keys to success here.

Team and budget

Implementing a DAM system requires staff and a budget. Responsibilities should be clear from the very beginning. A well managed DAM integration involves all three areas: specialist department, IT, and the users. This means that everyone is in the loop and can be quickly approached, while the system is a good start to encourage acceptance. The DAM team needs people with the right skills and the right mindset.

It can be worth creating the role of a Digital Asset Manager. This person can then function as a point of contact during implementation and support the users in using the system correctly as time goes on.

Involve employees

A DAM system can only be successful, when it is accepted by the users. Users often view new technological additions with suspicion. That’s why it’s all the more important to remember the benefits that the change will bring, such as:

  • better overview,
  • more efficient work,
  • easier finding of files,
  • and immediate overview of their previous use.
A DAM system basically helps you to cover the full content lifecycle, as we explained in our blog post about what Digital Asset Management is and why you need it.

Trainings will prepare employees for changed workflows. It is helpful to have an employee with a DAM affinity in each team to involve and support the others.

To see how well the system has been accepted, it is useful to view the statistics in the first few weeks:

How many users log in per day? How many searches do they carried out?  How many assets get downloaded?  How many users are using the system at the same time? These are some of the metrics that indicate acceptance.

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