When I was asked to create a new blog around “What’s happening in DAM?” I didn’t know what to say. Those of you who know me would find this very strange as I am never short of an opinion! This situation was no different, I had so much I wanted to say about DAM that I just didn’t know where to start. So, I am now going to make a commitment to provide an update to our chief blog whip every couple of weeks with another snippet of information feeding back a whole host of things I have learnt over the last eight years of working with DAM solutions. (That makes me feel old!)
So where should we start? Well, I think the first, and possibly most important piece in the puzzle of DAM is quite simple: what is DAM?
Stating what I expect you know as being the obvious if you are reading this blog, DAM stands for Digital Asset Management and is all about the centralisation and control of Digital Assets—images, graphics, video, audio, etc. Pretty simple so far, right?
However, so many people use different acronyms and effectively mean the same thing or, even worse, they use the same acronym and actually mean something different. I find it quite surprising that still to this day we receive Request for Proposals (RFPs) from some pretty large clients stating they want a DAM and actually that isn’t what they are looking for at all. Or, vice versa, they need a DAM, but are asking for a Web Content Management System (WCMS).
To be fair, I think this is not the client getting things wrong, this is the industry’s over use of TLA (three letter acronyms ;-)) to describe a solution or product that fits a customer need.
So what TLAs do we have for DAM (aside from of course DAM itself)? Well, the main ones are:
- Brand Asset Management (BAM)
- Digital Content Management (DCM)
- Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
- Media Asset Management (MAM)
- Video Asset Management (VAM)
There are plenty more, but the above are the main culprits. Everyone you speak to will give you a slightly different hue on what each of the above are, and some may totally disagree, but the key thing to note is that confusion reigns!
The bottom line is, if you are managing and sharing a large amount of digital content where most of that content is an asset of some kind (i.e. image, document, video, audio or design package) then you probably need (or already have) a DAM of some sort.
The level of DAM you need, very much depends on your usage of digital assets and how many disparate departments you have throughout the office, country or, potentially, world. There are plenty of “off the shelf” products that refer to themselves as a DAM, which in essence are more a “digital library” where you can store assets in the cloud but cannot otherwise integrate with other third parties or customise the DAM to your specific needs.
Moving to the other end of the spectrum with some Enterprise DAM technologies, it is not uncommon for clients to spend $500k on licensing and then the same on Professional Services for such systems.
At Tahzoo, we generally work with Enterprise DAM technologies as we focus more on Customer Experience Management (or CXM if you want another acronym that has multiple variants!). I won’t go into detail on CXM as our marketing guru John Kottcamp explains this much better in his blog.
What CXM effectively means in my layman terms is the end-to-end process of providing better and more efficient methods of both managing and distributing content to your end users. If we then think of this in relation to DAM, which is essentially the management of that digital content, then the DAM becomes central to the solution stack within our clients’ eco-system.
Of course it is absolutely true that digital content is more than just assets, but in my opinion, all other content systems used in the solution stack either are provided or consume digital assets. I will move onto those other systems and the touch points into the DAM in another blog.