In most cases when the Widen team chats with a future digital asset management customer, there are a handful of compelling reasons as to why they are searching for a DAM solution. Fairly simple reasons like not being able to find their assets, not being able to share their assets, or not being able to govern and control their assets. Although that’s usually the norm, on occasion an organization comes to us with a need where the frustration is very clear in their voice.
The Widen team recently had a conversation with a company that had 40,000 reasons to deploy a secure, hosted DAM solution. They had 40,000 reasons that lost the company millions of dollars, put jobs on the line, and completely halted work flows for their clients, vendors and partners in a blink of an eye.
The company did not have a list of these 40,000 reasons that they read from. In fact, the group had no idea where they were now. They knew their assets used to live in an internally-deployed DAM solution. They used to have a beautiful category structure, robust metadata and friends from all over the nation that used to log in and search for them, download them and use them in campaigns that reached millions of people.
These 40,000 reasons had been created, recreated, approved and updated over weeks, months and years. Their intrinsic value was worth more than the square block of prime real estate where they lived in a high-performing server in a top-dollar facility. Again, in a flash these 40,000 good reasons for this company to stay in business became 40,000 reasons to fail.
This company’s pain was apparent. But imagine the chaos once someone realized everything was gone:
- Immediate panic!
- Painful denial – Because this simply should not happen.
- OK, it definitely just happened – More panic!
- Email internal team informing them on what’s happened and ask for any ideas to help remedy the situation.
- Still gone? Meet with management and try explaining why measures were not taken to prevent this failure.
- Still have a job? Explain to clients that everything is gone and beg for them to retain their business.
- Still have clients? Explain to their partners, vendors and distributors that they need to salvage assets from emails, thumb drives, deleted items, etc.
- Wish them luck!
The organization did this and much more. After going through the denial and acceptance that their internal DAM system had failed and 40,000 assets were gone for good, the client was on an optimistic voyage to find a new Digital Asset Management solution with full real-time replication and all the extras that the previous system deployed 10 years ago could not offer today.
The digital asset management system that this company, in a very forward-thinking manner in 2001, implemented a decade ago lacked the essentials found in today’s DAM solutions. They bought into a legacy system and never re-evaluated the risks of not being able to update.
This is a differentiation point between a Software as a Service DAM solution and something installed on the customer site with limited support. You cannot expect technology to have the shelf-life of a Twinkie. If it’s an installed DAM solution, what’s new today is potentially outdated tomorrow unless you’re paying extra for those updates to catch up. Keep that in mind when evaluating DAM systems and comparing costs.
Here at the Digital Asset Management Happy Hour, we’re all about sharing stories. Stories that usually have a lesson learned or a feel good, happy ending. We like to share others’ stories as a method to teach and inform our audience to help avoid problems just like this. If you have a story you’d like to tell or would like to hear more about a scenario that others may have gone through, let us know and we’ll be happy to share.