Serving more than 100,000 students, Indiana University (IU) provides broad access to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education for students throughout Indiana, the U.S., and the world, as well as outstanding academic and cultural programs and student services. We recently had a chance to sit down with Eric Rudd, art director, photographer, and producer with the IU’s Communications and Creative Services department. Eric is one of the global admins for IU’s DAM site, and he shared with us their journey of replacing an old DAM system with the Widen Media Collective.
Not all DAMs are created equal. Never has this been more evident than listening to Eric describe IU’s previous DAM system. Much of what he describes falls under the differences between an installed, on-premise DAM software that your IT department needs to implement and maintain verses a cloud-based solution like the Media Collective, where all of that upkeep is automatically taken care of by the service provider. He also outlines the importance of an easy-to-use interface and how that can affect efficiency.
Switching to the Media Collective has greatly improved IU’s efficiency and allowed them to use their assets more to sell the brand to prospective students. Eric explains how an image may be captured for use by one department, and now that there is a central repository accessible by everyone, that picture may be used by multiple other departments. Eric noted a “sigh of relief” by members of other departments now that they have this tool.
Making a change in DAM vendors for an organization the size of IU can be a monumental task. They budgeted a lot of time and money to make it happen. Two things to note based on that. One: It’s that important of a process that it required, and was approved for, a large budget spend. And two, at each step and phase, Widen made the switch significantly easier than anticipated. Steps that IU thought would take months were done “virtually instantaneous” Eric said.
Widen offers a number of integrations to extend the use of assets. For example, Eric gravitated to the Media Collective’s integration with Zapier. He uses it to follow hashtags on Instagram, then captures the images and descriptive information into the DAM.
Eric feels supported by Widen not only a technical level, but also on a personal level. He noted that Widen’s helpfulness in getting their system up and running was remarkable not only to him, but to their agency as well. We consider this to be part of the Widen Experience, a feeling many of our customers have that we’re more than just a software vendor. We’re another member of your team.
According to Eric, one of the most powerful assets of the Media Collective is the trust his people have that the system will work. IU users have faith that they’ll be able to find what they need quickly and easily and that the Collective won’t let them down.
We’re so glad to have Eric and his entire crew on board, and we look forward to helping them grow and expand their system in the years to come.