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The 2020 Best DAM Contest

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Abstract graphic with three quarters of the image on a black background with curved lines increasing in distance from the bottom left to top right and the right quarter of the image a gradient of green to blue to pink from the bottom left to top right corner.

This year’s Best DAM Contest brought together admins who overcame big challenges in how they worked and accessed their content. The teams at Autodesk, Life Time, and NVIDIA took different approaches to accomplish the DAM goals they set for themselves and had some fascinating ideas to share with the Widen Summit audience.

Read on to learn more about these inspiring transitions and watch the full Best DAM Contest here


The team at Autodesk, a global software company serving the architecture, construction, manufacturing, and entertainment industries, had an expensive challenge to solve. Prior to implementing a DAM system, asset management was like the Wild West and they incurred $300,000 in image-related lawsuits. Something had to be done. So admins Jodi Levin and Shelby Thorner embraced governance and got to work. 

Now, all of their 86,000+ assets are easy to find, on-brand, legally compliant, and up-to-date so their 18,000 users can always be confident in the content they’re using. And best of all, they’ve since had zero image-related lawsuits!

Lessons learned 

  • Make informed decisions about your content using data from Insights
  • Ensure assets are easy to find, on-brand, legally compliant, and up-to-date
  • Embed your DAM solution within the company’s digital ecosystem to improve adoption and solidify it as a core technology across teams


Life Time

Amy Nguyen and Kimberly Kuhn at Life Time, a fitness company with health clubs and resorts in the US and Canada, manage over 50 internal brands in their Widen Collective® site. By 2019, they’d outgrown their departmental DAM system and needed something with more flexibility, speed, security, and accessibility. 

In June 2020, the Life Time team launched their first enterprise DAM solution and there’s no going back. “The DAM [site] is now a true centralized hub for all assets, for any users,” shared Amy. 

Lessons learned 

  • Define clear personas and pain points to create a tailored experience to meet user needs
  • Find others in the company who are having similar issues and work as a team to solve them
  • Keep track of your wins and kudos to acknowledge how far you’ve come and celebrate your improved workflows


At NVIDIA, a full-stack computing company, the team tried implementing other DAM solutions before but none of them stuck. People kept going back to Google drive and their desktops. “No one could find anything,” remembered Jennifer Deauville. When adopting the Widen Collective, the team moved 120,000 assets into the new system and thought they were good to go, but that feeling was short-lived. There were now duplicate, triplicate, and sometimes octuplicate assets in the site so users were still unsure of what to use. Jennifer realized that 90% of the assets had to go. 

With around 10,000 assets as their new starting point, Jennifer and her team got to work engaging users and helping them embrace the new system. With easy-to-use training assets, metadata mapping, and an empathetic approach to user adoption, NVIDIA teams across the world are using the site consistently and upholding brand standards no matter where they are.

Lessons learned

  • Engage with your users and learn from them in order to keep optimizing
  • Don’t set it and forget it 
  • Don’t be afraid to fail — use it as an opportunity to grow
  • Provide the best DAM service for your users and they will thank you!

2020 winner

When all the votes were counted, Jennifer from NVIDA took home the crown. Summit attendees really appreciated her empathetic approach to DAM and how she’s conscious of the speed at which her teams work so she keeps things as simple as possible for her users. Congratulations, Jennifer!

For more highlights from the 2020 Widen Summit, read the full recap here

Topics: Widen Summit, Best DAM Contest

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