7 Considerations to Choose Digital Asset Management Right

Today’s guest blog post from Rajneesh Kumar is about Digital Asset Management (DAM) and 7 key factors to consider when choosing an in-house solution for that discipline. 

DAM_Blog_Resize

Digital assets are an enduring force of great value. They are the fuel of the new economy as organizations strive to be increasingly digitally driven. The way ocean of digital assets is rising, it is essential more than ever to optimally manage every type of digital content.

Organizations today put so much effort to deliver responsive, personalized and engaging experiences. Digital content has a very important role to play here. And, digital asset management (DAM) solutions are becoming a strategic priority for organizations to manage rising volume of content, streamline and automate processes for efficiency and quality.

Digital asset management supports solutions (web content management, eCommerce, and campaign management) by managing omnichannel brand and rich media content across all channels.

It also helps store, access, distribute, repurpose, and monetize digital content.  In fact, a good DAM contributes directly to the bottom line.

Organizations recognize this fact. And they are looking to transform their digital asset management solutions to improve marketing and sales performance for higher ROI.

But, it depends on how big their assets are, how distributed they are and how much integration they need to do.

Organizations must make an informed decision before choosing any DAM solution. They must choose a solution that fits well with their structure. And, it must also enable them to adopt the solution quickly with business benefits.

Here are 7 key factors to consider when choosing a DAM platform:

Implementation- Digital asset management plays a critical role to improve brand consistency across campaigns and channels. It serves many roles inside and outside of an organization. Thus, it must support greater automation in managing global or local versions of assets, various renditions of assets across channels, and integration with key systems of engagement.

Integration- A digital asset management solution should integrate well with the existing infrastructure of the organization. It should be easy for creative workflow and approval, collaboration, and version control. Your DAM solution must also allow you to take advantage of deep integration with campaign management, marketing automation, and marketing technology platforms to boost marketing agility.

Management- It should offer the deeper capability to efficiently manage a diverse set of content at reduced cost and lesser hassle.  Because, DAM is a creative innovation lab for your marketing and sales team. It must reduce time spent searching for assets, streamline approval processes, make it easy to collaborate better with external stakeholders, and provide better visibility of current status.

Infrastructure- DAM should be compatible with existing as well as modern infrastructure (like cloud and mobility) so that unnecessary cost can be avoided in the long-run. A next-generation DAM system must take advantage of the cloud and mobility to make access and sharing easier among all teams wherever and whenever they require.

Security- It must provide robust security, metadata, and workflow capabilities — along with the scalability to support or add n-numbers of assets.

Rich media capability- Today, rich media is created in bulk. The DAM solution should provide strong support for audio, video, and images (with the format conversion capability as well as previews and editing capabilities on images and rich media) to support today’s responsive, cross-channel digital experiences.

Adoption- The DAM platform must be easily adopted by both internal and external teams (using role-based accessibility) so that business value can be realized as soon as possible. It must empower teams for better asset reuse, avoid duplication of effort and rework, and reduce the number of digital assets that are created but never used.

The bottom line is: It is not about what digital asset management platform you choose. But it is more about how a DAM solution enables you to create value around your entire asset cycle— improving collaboration, strengthening brands, accelerating campaigns, and increasing the ROI. Plus, delivering amazing customer experiences that you always strive for.

As digital marketer and growth hacker, Rajneesh Kumar is currently marketing manager at Pimcore Global Services (PGS), an award-winning consolidated open source platform for product information management (PIM), web content management (CMS), digital asset management (DAM) and e-commerce.

Product Data Management is Like an Ironman

cofToday we have an Ironman passing through the streets of Copenhagen (and my breakfast). Kudos to the women and men who first have been on a swim lane of 3.86 km (2.4 miles), now is cycling 180.25 km (112 miles) and then will run a full Marathon of 42.2 km (26.22 miles).

Thinking about it doing product data management is a bit like an Ironman too. Overall it is a daunting task. And we have three disciplines to cover:

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) is an activity where many organizations start. It is about handling product images in various sizes and versions along the way, as well as, depending on the product category, installation guides, line drawings, data sheets and other documents. Also videos with that and other content is becoming popular.
  • Product Information Management (PIM) is about maintaining hundreds (sometimes thousands) of different attributes describing a product. Some of these attributes are common for most products (like height, weight and colour) and some are very specific for a given product category.
  • Master Data Management (MDM) is a Marathon in itself. Here you link the above product data with product data in the overall system landscape including ERP, SCM (Supply Chain Management) and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). Product data also forms the product domain that must be aligned with the location domain, asset domain, party domain and perhaps other domains in your MDM world.

How these disciplines stick together within your organization and your digital ecosystem was further examined in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together.

Master Data, Product Information, Digital Assets and Digital Ecosystems

When it comes to mastering product data there are these three kinds of data and supporting managing disciplines and solutions:

  • Master data and the supporting Master Data Management (MDM) discipline and a choice of MDM solutions for the technology part
  • Product information and the supporting Product Information Management (PIM) discipline and a choice of PIM solutions for the technology part
  • Digital assets and the supporting Digital Asset Management (DAM) discipline and a choice of DAM solutions for the technology part

What these disciplines are and how the available solutions relate was examined in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Sticks Together. This post includes a model for that proposed by Simon Walker of Gartner (the analyst firm).

The right mix for your company depends on your business model and you will also have the choice of using a best of breed technology solution for your focus, that being MDM, PIM or DAM, as well as there are choices for a same branded solution, and in some cases also actually integrated solution, that supports MDM, PIM and DAM.

When selecting a (product) data management platform today you also must consider how this platform supports taking part in digital ecosystems, here meaning how you share product data with your trading partners in business ecosystems.

For the digital platform part supporting interacting with master data, product information and digital assets with your trading partners, who might have another focus than you, the solution is Product Data Lake.

MDM PIM DAM PDL

How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together

When working with product data I usually put the data into this five level model:

Five levels

The model is explained in the post Five Product Data Levels.

A recent post by Simon Walker of Gartner, the analyst firm, outlined the possible system landscape. The post is called Creating the 360-Degree view of Product.

MCM-v1.0-284x300

Simon defines these three kind of platforms for managing a 360 degree product data view:

  • MDM of product master data solutions help manage structured product data for enterprise operational and analytical use cases
  • PIM solutions help extend structured product data through the addition of rich product content for sales and marketing use cases
  • DAM solutions help users create and manage digital multimedia files for enterprise, sales and marketing use cases

These two models fit quite well together:

MDM PIM DAM.png

And oh, when it comes to creating a business ecosystem digital platform for exchanging product data with trading partners, the best model looks like this:

MDM PIM DAM PDL

Learn more about Product Data Lake here.

PIM, Product MDM and Multi-Domain MDM

Over on the Informatica Perspectives blog Monica McDonnell of Informatica seems to be determined to separate Product Information Management (PIM) and Product Master Data Management (Product MDM) as we now have the second attempt in the post PIM is not Product MDM Part 2.

I can easily see the reason for this quest for Informatica, as Informatica will very much like to position the Heiler acquisition as an Informatica Multi-Domain MDM aware PIM solution as mentioned in the post MDM Aware MDM Solutions.

There will always be pros and cons for having capabilities delivered in smaller best of breed packages opposed to in larger integrated packages. On the MDM market the vendors pitch their offerings according to how they got there. SAP is using Hybris as an eCommerce focused PIM add-on to SAP. On the other hand Stibo Systems and Riversand have been adding MDM to PIM and now adds Multi-Domain to MDM as reported in the post The second part of the Multi-Domain MDM Magic Quadrant is out.

In the PIM / Product MDM realm we have several other considerations on how to address different disciplines with technology support. An important capability within PIM is Digital Asset Management (DAM) as described in the post Digital Assets and Product MDM. DAM can be a separate application or part of PIM / Product MDM. Technology support for Data Governance could also come separately as reported in the post Data governance tools: The new snake oil?

QuadrantNow, back to PIM versus Product MDM. I’m not sure it is wise to divorce these two. It seems to be a kind of back looking exercise. I would like to marry them as part of looking forward in a multi-domain MDM world. To catch up on Monica’s arguments PIM has been much about the sell-side of things. I think we should be better at integrating the buy-side and the sell-side of Product MDM / PIM as examined in the post An Alternative Multi-Domain MDM Quadrant.

Bookmark and Share

Digital Assets and Product MDM

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.
carlsberg six pack
A random product image

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.

Bookmark and Share