Dear Dr. DAM: Installed DAM Software Is Outdated and Failing Me

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DEAR DR. DAM:  I’m Donna, the marketing coordinator for a global sporting goods and recreational products manufacturer.  We’re currently using an installed digital asset management software solution to help us manage 20,000 assets, which are mostly images but also have videos, presentations and other documents.  You see, the problem with the DAM installed software is that we’ve missed three or four upgrades and the version we’re working with is out-of-date and doesn’t meet our requirements.  It’s very difficult for our external users to navigate, which is a constant problem.  The search functions aren’t intuitive and our users don’t have time to read the user manual.  Furthermore, I don’t have time to make a more reader-friendly help guide.  It would be nice to have some assistance.

Internally, we’ve learned to work with the installed DAM system and its limitations; however we’re not opposed to switching to a better alternative.  After our experience with a failing installed solution, we would like to move toward the software as a service model.  The employee who originally recommended the installed provider and oversaw the implementation is no longer with the company.   In the past 30 days, the top 100 downloads were as large as 85MB and 90% were at least 10MB, which chokes many digital asset solutions at our volume.

As for our upstream workflow, we have photographers overseas shooting a majority of our products.  However, we need a collaboration engine to review and approve photos before releasing them into the DAM system.  Last, we would like something with some more elegant reporting capabilities so we can know who the heavy users are and what assets are most popular (or unpopular for that matter). 

Here are our basic needs:  unlimited downloads, unlimited users, user friendly/intuitive interface that is easy to navigate and download, and the ability to download files in multiple formats.  If you can recommend something to meet that then you’ve covered 80% of our requirements.  Please help us get up to speed.  

DEAR DEMAND DAM SaaS Donna:  Don’t cry over spilled milk.  Have faith in a DAM SaaS vendor to get you out of the installed software dark ages.  Consider Widen.  It’s been said that their solution is user-friendly with emphasis on “you” and requires little user training.  Better yet, they can have you up and running within a few weeks.  Widen will walk you through the entire implementation, which is not something you have only one person be the custodian of throughout the life of the system like many installed solutions.  You’ll never have to worry about software or hardware upgrades again.  If you need help, Widen can provide user manuals and launch kits for deployment promotions.  Also, Widen provides you with help desk technical support via phone, email or instant chat. 

If needed, Widen can look at options to help you maintain the internal workflow.  Widen has done similar web services integrations where the installed software serves the internal demand and the Widen Collective hosted model serves the global external demand.  The two solutions are integrated to have the internal software feed the Widen system serving the external users.  In cases requiring on-site access, the Widen Appliance serves the internal demand supporting creative workflows and disaster recovery policies.  Your internal power users will have plenty of features for version control and the Widen Appliance can be an effective engine for their workflow.  In any case, the Widen Collective will accommodate your external volume demands without problems.
Backdrop by Widen, an extension of the photo asset management software, will help out on the collaboration end upstream.  During or after a shoot, your photographers can upload the captures for immediate online review.  Necessary creative staff can either approve the photos or request a reshoot.  Approved photos are seamlessly released into the Widen DAM system for general marketing administrators and global accessibility.  Need asset/user reporting and auditing?  The Media Collective has reporting and tracking to help your marketing team be better informed for strategic decisions.  Widen can do more than get you up to speed, they will propel you into the new wave of digital media management and marketing operations.  I think you know what you need to do.


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