Digital Asset Management

Frictionless Media – or why Open Text Media Management 7 is a big deal

My team is celebrating the launch of Media Management 7.0 from Open Text. And so, I’m wondering this:
What would you do, if you could wave a magic wand, and suddenly you could create any kind of rich media experience and deliver it anywhere, to whomever you wanted with no talent, technology or process to hold you back?

How would you better entertain, persuade and inform your organization? Your Market? Your customers?

A number of companies are doing just that these days. And they aren’t limited to media companies. Burberry is transforming the luxury goods market by doing extraordinary things with media – including allowing anyone in the world (with a good, fat internet connection) to participate in its runway shows, and even design its next products.

But what is holding companies back? Organizations of every type are relying and leveraging media more and more for everything from instruction guides to marketing to training to supply chain management – but there are barriers.

First – not everyone can create beautiful, impactful media. Some organizations spend fortunes on outside agencies to produce it for them. But what are they paying for? The bulk of it is for the essence of that media, and the talent and vision of the agency. But a not insubstantial chunk is to maintain that media on the company’s behalf so that it can be reused and repurposed. That may not be the best use of cash.

Those organizations that create media internally have a specialized set of almost universally over-burdened creative teams who again, spend the bulk of their time practicing their craft and applying their talent and vision, but a very significant part of their time, reviewing, managing versions and comments (often contradictory) from an ever increasing set of stakeholders. I don’t believe that anyone involved in this process – the creatives or their stakeholders – wouldn’t appreciate an easier way to get it done.

Then there are the technical issues. Media comes in so many formats, the files are so big, it can be darn hard to manage them so that they can be found (by the appropriate people) and used (in the appropriate way). In some media focused organizations the burden of finding and storing leads to warehouses full of material and small (or sometimes large) armies of archivists who are the keepers, and often accidental gatekeepers, to this material.

The result? The great media you’ve invested in sits on shared drives (a recent AIIM survey shows that nearly 50% of organizations keep their media on a shared drive somewhere) out of site, and out of mind, meaning lots of lost opportunities, inconsistent use and unnecessary creation of additional media which then gets thrown back into that increasingly impenetrable pile of media.
Or begins to create yet another.

The we can talk about publishing and distribution. Your media can only have impact when its in front of other people – whether that’s a youtube video, your website, Hulu, iPad, kindle, or a poster, the more you get it out there, the more opportunity you have to inform, entertain and persuade.

But its hard. There are not nearly enough standards in this very rapidly evolving media world. And the process of packaging up, formatting, re-encoding, and transforming media is very time consuming. And every new destination has its own set of requirements. So companies tend to resist publishing to new places because its hard and expensive.

These are the barriers that Open Text Media Management 7.0 is designed to take down. Findability, workflow, access, reuse and automation combine together in a new, thoughtfully designed user interface to make it easier and less costly for your organization to effectively produce, manage, publish and re-purpose media.

While there are a extraordinary breadth of uses for and types of media, there are really 4 basic processes that are common to nearly every use case we need to do with it.

1. Creation – it has to come from somewhere, and in many cases this is very hard.

2. Publication – with all the new places that media can be published, companies can’t afford to spend hours, even days, prepping each piece for distribution to each channel. Whether its print, partners, web, ebook, TV or theatres, you want to automate this process.

3. Repurpose – the primary barrier to reusing media is finding it. you can’t use what you can’t find, and media is notoriously difficult to find. Media Management software makes media findable.

4. Manage
Media has a lifecycle and a purpose. Rights, royalties, and dozens of other dimensions, both technical, business, content focused and aesthetic. OTMM

While I normally write about social media and collaboration, media itself is a big part of what is transforming within and without organizations. The democratization of publishing, and the saturation of broadband has meant that media is simply playing a bigger and bigger role in how we communicate – as people and organizations. Media Management software takes (much of) the friction out of the process so that you can focus on the essence of the experience.
Want to see a little bit of demo? Let me know what you think, please.

The best DAM thing you’ve probably never heard of.

Rich media. Everyone’s doing it. No really. everyone.

Rich media includes all that isn’t text: powerpoint, video, photos, layouts, music. We could just call it media and include all that text stuff too.

Organizations are beginning to have lots of it. everything from logos to demos to promos to evidence. And that’s just the companies where media isn’t the core business.

“Rich” Media can’t be managed the same way as text. There are 4 main reasons for this

1. It isn’t text, so search engines don’t work very well with it.

2. So many formats – everything that creates or lets you view media has its own funny set of formats that it reads and spits out.

3. Size. These files are measured in GB more often than not. So its not that easy to just pass them around.

4. It generally takes some level of effort or talent to create any that’s any good – so it tends to be more valuable than your average email.

So  – how does one deal? This has been what I’ve been working on these last 12 months or so.

Its called Digital Asset Management. DAM, and yes – no end of bad puns here – has heretofore been the realm of the high end media company – the BBC and Fox, Martha Stewart Living and Random House, Procter and Gamble and Macy’s.

But as more media becomes more central to more companies – DAM or MAM or simply media management gets to be a bigger deal for nearly everyone.

What do you want from your DAM? 5 things:

1. Collection – it should get the media where it lives, and hide the issues of formats and sources

2. Management – metadata models, security, versioning, hierarchies and taxonomies.

3. Find – you should be able to browse and search to effectively retrieve or discover what you’re looking for.

4. Use – you need to be able to view, tweak and rally your team and systems around your media

5. You need to be able to publish and distribute it  to hundreds or thousands of people or places – probably in a different configuration each time.

How much do you need in each realm? Well, that depends on what it is you want to do with your media. But don’t limit yourself to thinking that your DAM is a fancy filing cabinet. Your media manager should connect people and media to your opportunities – publish to the marketplace, your partners, syndicators, aggregators and more.

The most important thing your DAM can do for you is support your vision of how you want to communicate with the world.

So I’ve been working on understanding that vision and moving the Open Text Digital Media Group to meet it. I hope that there are some folks in my readership who’ll be interested in sharing their media vision and talking about what it would take to make it come true.

Web 2.0 and Digital Asset Management

Yesterday, I gave a talk to people developing high end DAM solutions about how Web 2.0 is affecting DAM. In short, Web 2.0 is creating a proliferation of media, changing the process of creation, collaboration and use, and driving the need for DAM solutions to integrate with more tools and think about metadata a bit differently. Moreover, Web 2.0 is changing how major media producers think about new ways to use their assets.

Here are the slides. Web 2.0 and DAM