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Developing your DAM foundation

Choosing the digital asset management (DAM) vendor and an implementation partner puts set up the building blocks youll use to cultivate your DAM. You need that foundation to be as strong so when sturdy as you possibly can.

But what can you base your decisions on? How will you be confident youre making the proper selections for your organization? There are many key factors to bear in mind as you navigate your choice process. In the initial article of the two-part series, well concentrate on selecting your DAM vendor.

Show me the amount of money

While most of us wish it wasnt, budget will be the top consideration in choosing which DAM vendor youll progress with. Dont get discouraged if your selected vendor is outside your allowance and theres insufficient wiggle room to negotiate lower rates. Theres an abundance of DAM vendors available today for each and every budget. You almost certainly know the big players Adobe, OpenText, Censhare, etc. but theyre not the only real choices. A well-known name and high price usually do not necessarily translate to an increased quality product.

A lot of the success of one’s DAM would be the result of the way you create your taxonomy, metadata and workflows. The DAM system itself is the framework for all those important elements. And owner you focus on doesnt have to be owner you stick with forever. You might select a more basic starter DAM to obtain the project off the bottom and utilize it because the baseline for demonstrating the worthiness a DAM brings to your company.

If so when you outgrow your starter DAM and so are on the market to upgrade, youll have metrics and happy customers to assist you in negotiating an increased budget. Youll likewise have valuable insight into your organizations must-haves and nice-to-haves as you increase your established foundation.

Dig deeper: A 12-step guide for implementing an electronic asset management system

Narrowing down your options

Selecting a vendor with experience dealing with companies much like yours a very good idea, especially through the requirements gathering phase. In preliminary conversations with potential vendors, enquire about their existing clients. Are they much like your business with regards to size, structure and industry?

In the event that you read my previous article and followed my advice to get and analyze your articles before you start your vendor search, youre ready to ask a potential vendor if their existing clients have an identical mixture of content with regards to file types and sizes. Do there is also similar regulatory and/or legal requirements around some or all their content?

Make sure to require references at the start of the procedure which means you have ample time and energy to create discussions using them. In case a vendor cant or wont provide any references, thats an absolute red flag.

In conversations with the provided references make sure to enquire about both advantages and disadvantages. How specifically did owner handle the negatives? Not everything will go perfectly smoothly with any vendor, but the way the issues are handled and what support is provided makes a big change through the entire DAM building process.

Dont just talk with the references supplied by owner. Lean on your own network to secure a few references of your. Utilize your LinkedIn contacts, get in touch with colleagues youve met at conferences, or talk with former co-workers who’ve shifted to new companies and new DAMs. Owner offers you references that theyre confident will speak highly of these, nevertheless, you want the nice, bad and the ugly.

When you have either existing or future systems on your own roadmap that may integrate with the DAM, such as for example websites, product information management (PIM) or workflow management tools, ask owner about how exactly easily their DAM integrates with those specific or similar systems. Its also beneficial to ask any references you consult about their experiences establishing and maintaining integrations with the DAM.

Meet and greet

Once youve got your short set of potential vendors, its time and energy to schedule demos. That’s where the fun begins and you also reach see some DAMs doing his thing. Before you bring a vendor on-site, youll have to put together a summary of use cases you need them to cover within their demo.

When gathering your use cases, include all your stakeholders and make certain youre obtaining the perspective of most categories of customers, from uploaders to downloaders and everyone among. And dont just forget about your IT and Legal department representatives. Theyll have specific requirements and concerns beyond those of the normal day-to-day customers.

This isn’t the time to attend and carefully curate your wish list. You truly desire to see all that the DAM can perform. In the interest of time though, separate your use cases in to the must-haves and nice-to-haves to be sure you obtain through all of the must-haves. Which are the deal breakers with regards to requirements your DAM must meet?

Ensure that your use cases cover the complete asset workflow from upload to download, including metadata, approvals, versioning, searching and archiving.

  • Which kind of asset security and permissioning do you want?
  • Do you enjoy AI capabilities or other automation?
  • Does your DAM have to accommodate files and metadata in multiple languages and support users who speak languages apart from English?
  • Think about your integration needs?

While youre piecing together use cases, gather a couple of your companys assets and request that owner use those because of their demo. Be sure you have a number of file types and sizes. Not merely would you like to make certain their DAM accommodates all your required file types and sizes, nonetheless it gives you an improved idea of the ultimate product to see your personal assets flowing through the DAM.

Think about it just as as investing in a house and picturing your belongings in the area through the showing. Additionally you want to observe how owner handles assets which are new to the machine and not section of their standard polished and rehearsed demo. If one occurs through the demo with among your files, just how do they handle it?

Dig deeper: The case for digital asset management

Too good to be true or an ideal fit?

Avoid way too many yeses as you ask questions through the demo. Make certain owner is clear about which features and functions are from the box and which are custom. Owner may be letting you know again and again they can customize the machine to offer whatever you want, but thats definitely not a very important thing. Not merely can that quickly drive up costs and prolong assembling your project timeline, but over-customization can result in performance and stability issues. In some instances, additionally, it may prohibit future enhancements and upgrades.

If youre told that specific features youre requesting arent currently available but are on the roadmap for another release, get yourself a sense of the timeline. If theres no specific release date or at the very least a projected time range, be skeptical. You will be waiting years in the event that you start to see the new features at all and never have to go the custom route.

Prepared to build

Invest some time and become confident in your vendor selection. Dont rush through the procedure and dont hesitate to help keep asking questions if something isnt clear or seems too good to be true. The sturdier the building blocks, the stronger and much more successful your DAM will ultimately be.

Opinions expressed in this specific article are those of the guest author rather than necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


Rachel Edwards can be an experienced digital asset manager who’s passionate about metadata, taxonomies and data governance. She focuses on bringing order to data chaos since 2007.

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