Digital Asset Management and its uses

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, Orphea and Vocaza held two morning round-table discussions: The first dedicated to digital asset management, and the second to constantly measuring customer satisfaction. A look back at what was learned from the first round table. Several subjects were covered by attendees: What is DAM, its origin, if uses, its benefits, its evolution. The round table was concluded by possible vision of the future of DAM.

How well do you know digital asset management?

Malika Kechich, sales director of Orphea, opened the round table with the definition of what digital asset management is: “Some of you will discover DAM and notice that they are probably using it each day under a different name.” She added: “Often known by its acronym, DAM is a digital media and content management system, which addresses the issue of centralizing and distributing digital assets in all formats, such as photos, videos, sounds, PDFs, HTML files, etc.”

A short video was screened in order to briefly present DAM: Link to the video

DAM to manage a mass of data 

Since the early 2000’s, an increasing number of devices have been producing digital content: Video and photo cameras, phones, connected objects. “Global production of digital data will reach 35 zettabytes in 2020, or 5 times its size in 2015,” said Jonathan Kus, Orphea sales manager. According to IBM Market Insights, since 2010, video and moving images has been the leading content produced. “This volume of data can no longer be managed without special tools. DAM addresses these issues of volume, as well as uses. It’s a tool for collaboration, for sharing information, for efficiency, for data security, for complying with copyrights and licenses,” added Jonathan Kus.

Isabelle Roy, a document engineering consultant at M Stories (McCANN), noted several essential benefits from DAM. “The first benefit from DAM is that of sharing. Within a company, document and photo libraries are dispersed. A DAM lets you pool, backup, and preserve those libraries.”  Isabelle Roy explained that this pooling will increase harmonization and consistency. “Harmonizing the classification of media makes it possible to ensure an image in keeping with the company’s strategies,” she stressed.

Having worked as an assistant to the project owner for consulting and managing ENGIE’s DAM project, she said that “At ENGIE, the Orphea DAM encourages collaborative work practices between different stakeholders dedicated to production, indexing, publication, etc. (…) DAM also makes it possible to facilitate searching, highlighting content, and guarding against legal risks.” When rights are properly managed, a DAM tool will generate alerts for administrators and users when media is downloaded. She added, “These benefits are valuable to the company, and may represent economies of scale.”

Claire Lissalde, head of the audiovisual division at INSERM, manages tens of thousands of online media files, the main goal of enhancing the Institute’s library and providing the public with various photos, videos, and animations of medical and scientific research. “We encourage researchers to save their images in the DAM tool. As a small team, we benefit from what the Orphea media center can do in terms of indexing to protect copyrights and make our photo and video collections consistent,” she said. “This allows our users, such as scientific publications, to easily find the media they’re looking for.” Claire Lissalde summarized the benefits from DAM in three points: Consistency, speed, and saving resources and teams.

Media center, Brand center, E-learning: The main uses of DAM

DAM makes it possible to set up Media Centers, Brand Centers, and E-Learning platforms. Malika Kechich defines the DAM platform as “a customized interface that offers users the ability to browse media content, provided by the company or institution.”

An online media center enables communicators, marketers, journalists, service providers, and more to get the latest from the company in photos, videos, audio recordings, sounds, publications, documents, advertisements, etc.

The brand center, meanwhile, centralizes elements of the brand’s culture: Logos, style guide, pictograms, jingles, web buttons, site banners, etc. in order to enable stakeholders to use the right files on different publication channels (print, digital, social media, etc.).

“For some clients, the media center and brand center are on the same platform. For others, they are separate, but there is a link between the two platforms in order for the processes to be more fluid,” said Malika Kechich.

Other DAM uses include e-learning, which has been popular for years due to its flexibility and profitability. These platforms store tutorial videos, MOOCs, etc., enabling companies and institutions to deliver training internally, for instance. “These are generally projects supported by Human Resources, Training, and Internal Communication teams. These E-Learning platforms ensure permanent access to information, a process, training, etc.” stressed Malika Kechich.


ENGIE feedback

Isabelle Roy works as a project owner’s assistant for consulting and managing ENGIE’s DAM project. Her team at the agency M Stories (McCANN) manages ENGIE’s photo and video library. As the new name of GDF Suez, ENGIE came about from a merger of Gaz de France and Suez in 2008. “When that happened, we launched the ENGIE Photocenter with the goal of bringing together the digital assets of both companies on a single platform, streamlining the workflows on the tool, and managing usage rights,” she said.

The Group’s photo site is open to all employees as well as to partner communication agencies. It has changed over the years to suit trends and needs. “We wanted a customized front office in order to editorialize the content much more, highlighting subjects, accounts, etc.” 

According to her, collaborative work practices changed with the new workflows for proactive collaboration. “With Orphea, we set up a validation module that makes it possible for experts to approve photos based on a certain number of criteria. Those experts connect to the DAM and enter their comments directly on the photos before they are placed online. This saves us a great deal of time. It avoids endless email discussions and gives responsibility to our contributors,” she stressed.

In order to allow as many people as possible to add to the photo center, a contribution module was provided to communicators around the world so that they could upload their own creations with a form indicating a certain amount of information,” said Isabelle Roy. This improves the collection system and made it possible to recover new photos, with their legal information, and enhance ENGIE’s digital assets more fluidly.


How is the monetization of media via DAM going?

Common uses include the sale and distribution of media.

The most recent example is that of the M6 Video Bank. M6 makes all “parent” videos available for sale to its professional broadcasting clients. They can view those videos, and generate low- or high-resolution excerpts. HD commands give rise to a system of quotes, orders, billing, and copyright, all of which is fully managed by the Orphea solution.

“For INSERM, sales are not our primary mission, but the Institute must do the right thing for private agencies,” said Claire Lissalde. “We therefore opted for an open media center that fits seamlessly into the website,” she added.

With over 1000 users, INSERM runs the photo platform by providing videos, images, and increasing numbers of small multimedia objects animated from scientific photos.

“We were able to co-produce films that are in audio slideshow mode, very immersive. We centralize and sell texts, photos, scientific images, videos, animations, etc. Requests for sequences or freeze frames of videos are increasingly common, and the DAM tool makes it possible to generate them more easily,” said Claire Lissalde.

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