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Get to know Widen’s DAM professional services and consulting team

by Jake Athey, August 11, 2017

Digital Asset Management Consulting DAM System

While the reasons why you use DAM services to manage your digital assets are unique to your own specific business, we want you to know that you’re not alone.

In this article, we’ll talk about the many digital asset management (DAM) services offered by our Professional Services team — focusing on the problems you may face with your DAM system and how ProServ’s professionals can help you resolve them.

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Widen’s ProServ team is your expert and your advocate. We understand the importance of your work and we’ll always be on hand to give you assurance that the job at hand will be a success. We can step in (quite literally onsite) when you need us to take the wheel. Think of us as an extension of your team, when it matters most.

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Many people have a love/hate relationship with metadata! Some don’t know how to even get started creating a metadata taxonomy. Others might have one, but lament that users still can’t find their content. We get it. Approving downloads and managing uploaded content within your daily workflow is one thing. But the task of creating a format to categorize your company’s entire visual content can be, well, terrifying. But since metadata is what makes or breaks your whole DAM system, it’s too important to ignore.

We’ve seen companies struggle with its success. And we understand that you don’t always have the expertise — or time to learn— everything there is to know about metadata taxonomy and how it relates to your digital assets. So you’ve asked us to provide best practices — or even to build it for you. Our response? We’ve got you covered.

First, we asked ourselves, “Who you gonna call?” We knew we needed trained experts that know taxonomy structure and organization — who understand how metadata affects your digital assets. And the answer became clear — librarians! So we hired them for our Professional Services team.

Our ProServ team combines empathy with expertise to help you resolve your concerns. We start by asking questions. And then we ask some more. In order to build a proper taxonomy structure within your DAM system, we need to know your company. Not only you — but your users as well. We’ll talk with the people who search and consume content. We’ll learn about their day-to-day workflow. In a sense, we’re going to build your taxonomy from the ground up. Without rushing it — because these conversations take time.

But it won’t stop there. You may think of your current DAM system’s metadata structure as a disaster — but there are still things to be gleaned from it. So we look at your existing taxonomy structures as well as the folder structures on your servers. Then we look at the organization structure of other systems like your CMS. We want to make sure what we create fits together with the larger pieces of your company's digital asset management system.

Our goal — and our job — is to make it all work. To make it successful. And it will be — because our Professional Services team understands the importance of metadata and has the expertise and the know-how to execute it. Although our current customers and our new customers each have very different and unique needs, our ProServ team can serve them both

Let’s start with how ProServ can assist our current customers.

Site refresh

Consider Widen’s Site Refresh service to be our assurance to you that we’re focused on helping you get the most out of your financial investment in a Digital Asset Management system. And when it comes to metadata, it’s not enough to have a DAM system. Site Refresh means, quite simply, that people can find your digital assets quickly and easily.

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But Site Refresh doesn’t stop with metadata. We analyze all areas of your site, including site permissions, branding, and upload workflow. We look at your administrative dashboard to ensure tasks are not being unchecked. We listen to learn what your users’ current pain points and perfect world would be. We even come onsite to meet you face-to-face. We design new taxonomies and creative workflow solutions. And then, together with you, we’ll work to convert the current state of your DAM system into an enhanced and optimized configuration to fit your specific needs. And don’t worry — we’ll also re-train your users on the new system once it’s complete.

Organic Valley

Our Professional Services team recently went through this whole process with Organic Valley, a farmer-owned producer of dairy products. The result? They currently have over 55,000 digital assets in their DAM system, all beautifully organized and tagged with metadata.

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Cindy Tater, Traffic Manager at Organic Valley, shared the following feedback:

"Having a dedicated person come in with such a vast knowledge of the tool was invaluable. I was actually surprised at how they were able to go into the system and look at all the different areas — categories, upload profiles, and metadata types — and digest how we could simplify without knowing our co-op, and without me involved.

It was great! They had such a different perspective and way of looking at things. They were able to meet with individuals to find out what concerns were had with the system and show us how to address them. In the end, they cut our metadata types by half and simplified the number of fields considerably. The dashboard and category structure is much more intuitive. It's been a great success! I would highly recommend the investment."

Full-service implementation

You’ll be happy to know our ProServ team works just as hard to help our new customers get started. Quickly, easily, and successfully.

If anything, there’s even more at stake for those working with a whole new DAM system. And that’s where our Full-Service Implementation service comes in. Implementing any new system is stressful, especially when juggling many different parties with varied interests. Hearing all concerns — and keeping everyone happy — is a challenge in and of itself. But the truth is, if the project fails, it can impact multiple departments and possibly even external partners and agencies.

And it isn’t just about the metadata. Other factors and considerations include rights management, security, integrations, user engagement, training, KPIs, and distribution.

With your reputation on the line, it can feel pretty overwhelming. So how do you put it all together and effectively launch the whole DAM system? First, remember that you’re not alone. When you need the assurance of success from day one, our ProServ team is there with our Full-Service Implementation assistance to deliver expertise in terms of both content and project management.

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From project plans, weekly status reports, and on-site visits and branding, to answering technical calls and leading custom documentation, our ProServ team drives the entire project from kickoff to launch. Sticking with our tried and true approach of asking questions — and then more questions — our experienced consultants know how to put their broad knowledge to use while customizing your DAM system. Why? Because we take the time to learn what your users want and expect from their digital asset management system. Then we can effectively manage those expectations before your DAM system goes live.

Finally, we ensure that the data migration is on time and successful. With “on time” being the key. Implementation includes many moving parts — and data migration is one of the biggest. The scope of work is often unknown — until you get buried in that work with no way out! That’s why our ProServ team addresses the issue on Day One. We get ahead of the problem, assess its reach within the project timeline, and make sure to address any dependencies relating to its execution.

iRobot

Our ProServ team recently completed a Full-Service Implementation with iRobot, the leading global consumer robot company. Positive feedback is the norm when describing Widen’s ProServ team!

Widen is still family-owned today, and the money we use to invest is the money we earn ourselves. Our identity is in our service. And when you hire us for a project as big and challenging as a Full-Service Implementation, you can expect our standard of customer service to permeate throughout the entire experience. And it does.

Summing up their whole experience as “absolutely fantastic,” our contacts at iRobot described their ProServ consultant as “responsive,” “patient,” and “calm, very calm.”  And you can expect the same.

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Issues relating to setup and configurations of your digital asset management system are certainly important, but the administration of your DAM software is every bit as important. After all, that’s what keeps the whole DAM system running smoothly. If you don’t have someone in place to maintain all the good work that went into its initial development, well, what’s the point?

Of course, that’s something easier said than done. We often hear one or both of the following:

  1. “I don’t know what kind of administrator I need.”
  2. “I don’t know if I have the personnel budget to hire someone.”

We understand. If you’re a new customer or just had a Site Refresh, it’s hard to gauge your administration needs at this point. Do you need someone full-time or part-time? Do you need a professional digital librarian — or just an intern?

Our Professional Services team can certainly offer guidance based on how your site is configured. Considerations include the complexity of your user permissions, how many audiences use your DAM system, and whether there are a lot of order and upload approvals required. Unfortunately, your needs are often unclear — until someone starts doing the job. Many times, that someone is you! But since you probably have a million other responsibilities here’s where it becomes obvious you can’t do it alone. You need help. And we’ve got the answer — Widen Managed Services.

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Here’s how it works. One of our professional services admins will work part-time or full-time to fill your needs, including administrating uploads, monitoring and entering metadata, user administration, configuration updates, resolving conflicted assets, managing digital assets with empty metadata, administrating your dashboard, and more.

And after doing this for a couple months, our ProServ team can better understand your specific needs to determine what type of person should fill them, along with the number of hours your DAM system requires. We can even train your admin to ensure the transition is seamless and successful.

Still in doubt? Consider this. Our ProServ team can continue providing your administration long-term. We know that it’s often tricky coming up with the money to fund additional personnel. And of course, managing employees, handling staff benefits, and providing internal support and training, all create additional overhead that isn’t always available. But for most people, simply adding additional funds to your existing Widen subscription is much more manageable.

That’s why leaving the administration to Widen Managed Services can be the perfect choice. At the end of the day, your system is running smoothly, your users’ needs are met, your investment is fully utilized — and people recognize you as the person who put it altogether!  Best of all, if your admin needs change over time (which as the system grows, is quite possible), we can “swap out” a different admin with an appropriate skill set. If that sounds too good to be true, well, it isn’t!  But it is intentional — because it’s mutually beneficial to both of us when your system operates successfully.

An example

A recent example of Managed Services comes from a Pharmaceutical company whose administrator was moving on to other career adventures. They asked Widen ProServ to fill in while they determined what their next hire should look like. We took over management of their daily uploads from a vast network of design agencies, and their users have noticed no obvious change at all. And that was the whole point. The customer’s investment in their DAM system is secure, their user base’s current workflows are undisturbed, and the new hire process wasn’t rushed.

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And speaking of Workflow… this is a great tool for creative teams with sharing, productivity and teamwork at their core. Designed for creative staff, Widen Workflow pulls your team’s work together for high quality results with less confusion. Our creative workflow management platform helps you bring stability to the often-chaotic production process.

Once a project submission has been made, it’s easy for it to get lost in the shuffle and difficult to determine the status of the project. This can lead to confusion, errors and even mistrust or friction within the groups involved. Workflow resolves those problems. The program is easy to buy and install. All that’s left is getting your audiences on board.

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But ProServ can help. Here’s how:

  • We start with project planning where we (once again) ask questions to learn about the people who’ll be using Workflow and the types of projects that they manage.
  • Then we go on-site to develop an understanding of how you currently do your creative work and how you’d ideally like to do it.
  • Next, we review everything we learned about your current creative production processes from our observations and interviews.
  • And finally, we offer our recommendation for integrating your current DAM system with Workflow.

Need help?

Think of Widen Professional Services as an extension of your team — when it matters most. Get in touch with us anytime to discuss things further, or for more info.

Topics: Consulting

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