Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions are often seen working beside or within product Master Data Management (MDM) solutions.
I guess I might have been some of the first folks working with relating digital assets and enterprise software. That was in the early 90’s when I worked with Wang Laboratories that was a pioneer in handling digital images in the IT world.
Digital assets today are typically stored as files of well-known types as jpg, png and pdf. Within product MDM they are images of products, installation guides, safety handling sheets and so on.
The rise of the multi-channel theme has emphasized the importance of digital asset management capabilities.
Data quality is as ever an imperative. Related to well-known data quality dimensions that for example for product images means:
- Uniqueness: You want to use the same image in your printed catalogue and on your web shop.
- Accuracy: The image must show the described product and not something else.
- Consistency: The images for similar products should have the same style.
Many of the leading product MDM solutions were born in the printed catalogue era. Here the product image was the dominant digital asset. Adding eCommerce and mCommerce means that a lot more digital asset types must be handled.
Usually we see digital assets as unstructured, or sometimes semi-structured, data. Therefore we often relate structured keywords in order to control the digital assets.
Digital assets should flow and should be controlled in the eco system of manufacturers, distributors, retailers and end users of the products. Here we have the same issues as with the structured product attributes. Giving the foreseeable steep increase in the volume, velocity and variety of the digital assets used as part of product MDM, we must drastically improve our capability in Sharing Product Master Data.