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How Digital Asset Management Can Benefit Your Business


Effective digital asset management can increase revenue, cut costs, reduce risk, and boost productivity, an Adobe-sponsored IDC study found. Seventy-nine percent of companies using DAM saw revenue increases of at least 10 percent, and 21 percent experienced gains of 40 percent or more. Ninety-seven percent of companies using DAM increased productivity by at least 10 percent, and among marketing companies, this number rose to 34 percent. Companies using DAM also cut content creation costs by an average of 28 percent and reduced legal risk by 23 percent. If your company isn't using digital asset management already, maybe it's time you took a look at this new technology and how it can benefit your business.

How Digital Asset Management Works

In December 2004, Google announced the Google Books Library Project, an initiative to make books available online by scanning in the collections of major research libraries and making them searchable. By 2008, Google had scanned in eight million books. This illustrates the type of huge data management task that digital asset management software is designed to handle.

Let's say that instead of millions of books, your company has thousands of documents, images, videos, or audios that need to be stored in a way that your employees, contractors, or customers could retrieve them. A digital asset management solution such as WebDAM provides you with the equivalent of an online library, providing a central cloud-based platform where your digital files can be stored, organized, searched, retrieved, and shared within your company or with external partners or customers. This assists you with functions such as archiving data, automating creative workflow, maintaining brand consistency, and protecting your brand legally.

Streamlining IT Data Management

Making Hollywood special effects takes a huge amount of storage space. By the time the second Star Wars trilogy wrapped up in 2005, Lucasfilm and its special effects and electronics games divisions had accumulated terabytes of data, including every frame of every take of every Star Wars and Indiana Jones movie. To house and handle all of this data, Lucasfilm moved its headquarters to the Letterman Digital Arts Center, located on the site of a former military base in San Francisco's Presidio. Here Lucasfilm hired Oracle to set up a 100 TB database using 3,000 processors connected to 1,500 work stations, the largest computer network in the entertainment industry. This network was integrated with a DAM solution so that artists could immediately review high-definition clips of recently-composed scenes from their desks and make editing adjustments instead of having to wait for dailies to see new cuts. By using DAM, Lucasfilm's database was able to handle 20 million database requests a day. For smaller companies, a cloud DAM solution eliminates the need to build this type of huge IT infrastructure, but instead provides the power to tap into such existing networks without having to manage onsite servers, handle third-party file sharing solutions, or fret over file security.

Increasing Workflow Efficiency

Since the Dallas Cowboys were founded in 1960, the team has accumulated over five decades of memorabilia ranging from player contracts to video footage to historical footballs, jerseys, and trophies. In 2014, the Cowboys hired library archivist Jonathan Thorn to catalog all this material. Thorn, who had previously worked on projects for The Library of Congress and The Smithsonian Institution, eventually discovered there were 20,000 videotapes, thousands of film reels, tens of thousands of photos, slides and negatives, and thousands of physical memorabilia. To organize all of this material, Thorn approached it as a DAM project. His goal is to digitally archive all of this material so that staff members can instantly find any material related to any moment in Cowboys history, for internal use or for public purposes. Similarly, enterprises can use DAM solutions to streamline internal workflow so that any team members working on a project can instantly access the latest version of relevant files, saving time retrieving and sharing data.

Making Marketing Easier

Since 1939, Marvel Comics has been publishing comics in print form. In recent years, Marvel's movie success has propelled the company to unprecedented popularity, prompting Disney to purchase Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. With $4 billion worth of digital assets and growing, in 2013 Marvel installed a new DAM solution to migrate assets over from their old DAM. The new DAM makes it easier to handle functions such as streamlining the production workflow of Marvel's comics and covers, which in turn gets new issues ready for promotion. Once Marvel's new issues are ready to show the public, previews get posted on Marvel's site and fan sites for both print and digital formats. One advantage of using a DAM to organize promotions this way is that all brand content maintains a consistent look across all channels.

Providing Legal Protection

Marvel parent Disney is very aggressive about protecting its intellectual property, another area where DAM can help. As DAM consultant Henrik de Gyor points out, digital asset management lets you control access to your content by adjusting user permissions. This can help prevent unauthorized access, as well as create paper trails that strengthen your case and reduce paperwork hours in case of copyright infringement.

Published Wednesday, October 14, 2015 7:12 AM by David Marshall
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