Synopsis: “Ever find yourself pulling your hair out trying to locate an image in a sea of thousands? Don’t you think it would be nice to preview a video on your iPad without a special plug-in, or even just have access to all your digital content on the go, so you are able to act fast if a client unexpectedly throws a “let’s see it now” lasso around your neck?”------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My name is Davin Kluttz and, at present, I work for Extensis in the United States.We’re a software company, headquartered in Portland, Oregon (on the west coast, between San Francisco and Seattle)We have a worldwide presence, including offices and distributors throughout the UK, Europe, Asia, North and South America.Enough about Extensis. Let’s talk about why I’m here and why we’re here…
First, why am I here?My background is in design and advertising, where I was fortunate enough to be a part of the massive changes, brought on by technology, that we’ve seen in print and publishing, the evolution of the web and social media, as well as rise of digital video for the web and mobile.Along the way, I’ve always had a passion and curiosity for software solutions in these areas, especially areas we try to harness the most out of digital workflows.I’ve been fortunate enough to work for Extensis for the last 11 years, where our mission has been to bring order to this (sometimes) chaos and find new ways for individuals and workgroups to improve efficiency and create new opportunities. It’s something I am very passionate about and I am lucky to work with people around the world that like solving problems with software.
So, why are you here?Hopefully you came to learn about Digital Asset Management and not why “DAM” was misspelled.This is not a software demo – If you want to know about Extensis software, come to our booth.This is a chance to learn, so it’s a conversation…I want to explain the concept of Digital Asset Management and how it can be leveraged to find, archive and improveaccess to digital files.I want you to walk away with an understanding of how it can improve turnaround times and create opportunities to improve workflow and communication with your clients.Please feel free to ask questions at the end.
First we need to define what a digital asset is…An “asset”, as you probably recognize is a term borrowed from the world of finance.It’s basically and item of value.We’re talking about digital files; basically your project files or anything used to produce them.More specifically, these can come from a variety of sources, but they are the critical bits, without which, the work wouldn’t get done.Here’s a test: When is a file an asset?Purchased or licensedIt’s critical.Re-create or re-purchase, if it cannot be found.(Lost time, money)Definition: It’s only an asset if you can find it!In other words, if you cannot locate it, it’s of no value to you, or anyone else.So, doesn’t it make sense that we find a way to manage these?
Now that we’ve established what a digital asset is, I am going to take you through a list.This is a list of 5 fundamental concepts to you understand DAM, so you can:Figure out if you need DAMDetermine how you might use it in your day-to-day businessAsk the right questions, within your companyBe informed, as you discover more about itI love lists, because they build excitement, so let’s get crackin’!
The first important concept is “search”.You know what it means to search for something and we’ve all used search tools on our computers and we’ve all used Google and other web tools.Who can tell me what’s different about how you search for your assets today? (Now that we know what an asset is.)More than likely, you’re being old-fashioned when it comes to search:Isolated searches are those performed from your own computer – When you search, you are generally targeting a single network fileserver, your personal drive, a disc or some other piece of media. If you use one or more online services to post files, you probably have to search those too. Maybe this problem is obvious, but let me summarize 3 points:Each location is isolated, so it takes time and you still may never find the original “asset”!Since you have no idea where it is, you have to wait for your search to scour the location and return the results… And it’s never “Google-fast”.Assuming you eventually find it, you’ve likely wasted time looking in 20 other places, first. (Maybe even multiple other people are searching!)We all know, you never find anything in the first place you look!The other problem is folder-based searches. Folders assume you have SOME idea of where it is and, while folders can help to filter or narrow results, there are two problems:You can only ever see the contents of one folder at a time, so you have to drill deeper.Your only other alternative is to search a different folder and now you’re back to the Isolated search problem.Let me underscore all of this, by saying, we have some real problems here, because beneath all of this, we’re only searching: Filenames and Folder Names.Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with that? (No one is consistent or thorough in this area.)I will say that computers have gotten fancy and can let you search for the contents (the actual words) in files. You can, of course, search by date and file type, etc. These are all just “extra filters” that insulate us somewhat from the problems I already said.So, what’s different about searching within a DAM?Everyone can go to one place to find everything, like the index for a set of encyclopedias: It’s centralized, so everyone knows where to go.It doesn’t matter where the originals reside – A good DAM can even help you locate digital files that have been archived.The other thing that’s super cool about DAM is our next concept: Metadata!
Concept #2 is MetadataA simple definition…Metadata can be specific…This can also include file properties like color, modification dates, who saved it, etc.A good DAM can help you collect and organize this metadata, so you can use it in your searches.Many companies using DAM will customize it to suit the needs of their business, so that the system uses “their language” and has search options that make sense to their users and customers.Ex. Find all of the images for this project with photos that have licenses on them, so I can review the usage rights.Ex. Show all the videos formatted for iPhone; Show those that are not yet converted, so I know what work needs to be done.Ex. Find all of the layouts that the client has not approved.Information like this can be stored in the DAM system, if you want.DAM systems can also save your metadata into the file, like a custom signature that can be read by anyone. (Ex. Copyright Notice.)
Number 3 is Preview…Once we have metadata to help us search, there’s no guarantee we will find the exact asset we are looking for…In fact, maybe we don’t want to find “one file”. Perhaps you want to review a photo shoot or all of last years presentations.Quiz Time…Answer: You need all of those applications on your computer (or access to someone who does, which takes away their time!)You also need a lot of time to open and close each file, if you are trying to find the right one. (And a notepad to mark the ones you want.)DAM can preview anything:Nothing to install – How many of you know someone who has an expensive “pro” app like Photoshop, just so they can open and view or print images?Video applications and design applications are even more expensive and cumbersome, if viewing is all you need to do.While you are previewing, most DAM systems will give you a way to enter more metadata to note decision points or approve items.(Tell a story here, if time.)
There’s a problem with sharing something you know much more about than others: It’s too overwhelming for people outside your team or those “not on the project”.Sometimes you need to share the things that I’ve been talking about. Can you share some examples?Ex. Anyone ever been asked to let a client see some images or design variations to approve? Did you make a PDF and email it, or make some JPEGs and send them?Ex. Some marketing groups I have worked with, have some “preferred photos” that they want people in other departments to use; They use DAM as a way to share those.Who do you need to “share” with?Clients?Focus groups?Other departments?How can you share?Web sites?Social media?PDFs?Over coffee (or tea?) – Tablet example
Our 5th concept is Derivatives!Don’t worry, I am not going to get into fancy mathematics, nor are we going to crash the economy!We often forget we’re the experts…Keep in mind, many users don’t have (or know how to use) tools you have: Photoshop, for example.Most creative users spend time servicing internal requests, including other departments to convert files from one format to another:This represents an enormous amount of time (and costly interruptions) – Think about how often your users struggle with requests like this:Can I get these formatted for PowerPoint?We need to take the final images and save them all to PNGs and JPEGs for the web site. (At 3 different sizes for mobile, iPhone and Tablets.)The Client needs RGB versions of these, NOW!Can you make a PDF of these images, so I can show the client?I have a video in Windows Media format, but we need it in MPEG.All of these require special tools, like Photoshop, Acrobat Pro, Video applications or perhaps even custom programming.In addition, many of these things will occupy a user’s workstation for hours!It doesn’t have to be this way.DAM can help you maintain a single “master” file and create what users need, on-demand.Less duplication. Less storage.Self-service.Reduced turnaround time.Better communication
Thank you for your time.I would like to thank everyone for attending. I can answer any questions you have afterward or you can stop by our booth.Here are some resources you can check out, if you want to know more:The DAM Learning Center picks up where I left off with some helpful topics that delve deeper into these concepts.Also the Extensis web site has videos and trial downloads for Portfolio, our own DAM product.
What does thisDAM thing do? Davin Kluttz Sr. Product Manager, Extensis
Why am I here?18+ years in design/advertising Print, publishing, web and video Digital media and technologySoftware solutions Mission: Tame “digital chaos” Individuals & workgroups Preserving creativity (and sanity)
Why are you here?Was “DAM” a typo? Digital Asset ManagementWhat is this not? Not a product demo Chance to learn Ask questions
What is an “asset”Digital Assets, not Financial AssetsWhen is a file an asset? Purchased or licensed It’s critical. Re-create or re-purchase, if it cannot be found. (Lost time, money)It’s only an asset if you can find it! So, let’s “manage” these. Make sense?
#1 - SearchDon’t be “old fashioned” Isolated searches Folder-based searches FilenamesCentralised search One place to find everything Including archives Metadata
#2 - MetadataA simple definition: Metadata is data about your data. Keywords or “tags”Metadata can be specific Author or Photographer Name License Expiration Project IDDAM systems read/embed metadata
#3 - PreviewQuiz: What must you have, in order to view… 100 photos from a Nikon professional camera? An InDesign document? A Keynote presentation?DAM can preview anything. No costly applications to install Make (and note) decisions
#4 - SharingSharing is vital Reduce turnaround time (less email, etc.) Let others contribute metadataThe DAM itself is shared: Who needs access? What do they need to access? How do they access?DAM can provide various ways to share.
#5 - DerivativesWe’re the “experts” The right tools and access to files Bottleneck Time better spentInterruptions? DAM helps: Single “master” file Avoid duplicates: less storage, less chaos Self-service, faster turnaround Better communication