A common roadblock that can cause organizations not to commit to implementing a digital asset management (DAM) solution (that they have identified a clear need for) is that the process may seem too overwhelming to get started ... one that will require more expertise and resources than are available. This is understandable. For a resource-strapped marketing department to devote valuable time and energy to organizing their assets, only to come up short of their goal, would strike fear in the heart of any marketing manager. Well, never fear, Widen’s here. Cheesy, I know...but stick with me.
Since this is not Widen’s first rodeo, we have many years worth of experience on how to best handle our implementation process to ease the burden on our customers, from small non-profits all the way up to Fortune 500 brands. We also have a 100% success rate with our implementations. Every one of our customers launches a DAM site. Period. And here’s why.
The first and main reason is that we subscribe to the KISS method. “Keep It Simple S_ _ _ _ _.” Too many DAM implementations fail because they are over-complicated. Widen’s implementation specialists (WIS) have implemented over 300 DAM systems. We can’t do this on our own, and need cooperation from our customers, but we know how to ask targeted questions at the appropriate time to get the answer we need, with the least amount of our customers time.
A recent implementation with a small non-profit was completed within four weeks. It was guided by one of Widen’s implementation specialists, and two contacts from the organization. Over the 4 weeks, the WIS organized meetings and homework items for the customer contacts, minimizing their time spent.
Larger and more complex implementations, like healthcare organizations, can range from 2 - 6 months. Contrary to what you may think, this has little to do with the number of assets. It has more to do with the levels of governance and integrations with other systems. We regularly deal with customers who have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of assets. Our cloud-based system can chew through large amounts of data fairly quickly. The ability for different groups of users to have different levels of access to different groups of assets is what we call “Roles and Permissions.” For example, a user in an “Admin Role” may have the ability to order, edit and delete all active and archived assets, but a user in a “General User Role” may only be able to order active assets. An advantage to the Media Collective is the level of granularity around permission settings and taxonomy within the site. Decision making around these topics can take some time. In addition, DAM is a prime example of a system that can be integrated with other systems your business may use, like a single sign-on portal, or a content management system. Some of these integrations can take some time to get hooked up and tested. In every case, the WIS is tightly monitoring progress and bringing in the right contacts from both the Widen side, and the customer side, only when necessary.
The biggest variable in implementation times is directly correlated to the customer’s preparedness with their metadata, and their roles and permissions. In the event of a large, complex system with many roles and complex metadata, the DAM site can still be up in a fairly short amount of time if the customer admin comes in prepared. A great resource for this is Widen’s “ADMIN PLAYBOOK.” It gives a future admin all of the necessary information on how to prepare for the DAM implementation process. Understanding, and being prepared for customer decision points can greatly reduce implementation times.
Implementations start with a Kick-Off meeting. This is the meeting where the Widen Advisor that helped you through your decision making process hands you off to your WIS. The WIS will layout a schedule of events and send you links to materials that will be used throughout the implementation.
During the kick-off meeting, the WIS will give you two simple homework assignments. The first will be to answer a few questions about the branding of your site. The second is to attend a series of five short webinars that walk you through various aspects of setting up a DAM site.
After this, the WIS will schedule your site survey meeting. During the site survey meeting, you make decisions as to how your system will be configured. The WIS may give homework on metadata and roles and permissions. This is typically the biggest variable time-wise in the implementation process. This determines if your implementation is going to be 4 weeks or 4 months. It’s like the toppings of building a hamburger. Any hamburger is going to have meat and a bun. Depending on how many toppings you’d like, this is where the time can vary. If you want onions, you need to decide if they are chopped or sliced. If you don't know, then it can take longer. Either way, the WIS is there to coach you through the process and minimize your time commitment.
After all decisions are made, we configure your site. It’s now ready for you to upload your files and begin tagging them with metadata. Again, our Support team is always available to help with guidance through the finalizing steps. We have 18+ years, and 300+ successful site implementations worth of best practices to share with you.
The final stages include training sessions: to make sure that your admins understand how to maintain and grow the site, and general user training sessions. Your site is now live. These final stages are a fairly fixed time length, regardless of of size and complexity.
It is understandable that in the beginning, the process of implementing a DAM system may look like a mountainous task, but our vast experience, wealth of educational materials, and tried and tested methods allow us to tell our customers exactly where to “step” in order to move their project forward and quickly and painlessly as possible. The view from the top is breathtaking. Join us.
Get in touch with us if you'd like to learn more about our Widen Media Collective implementation process!