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DAM in the Cloud: Learning from Widen Enterprises

DAM in the Cloud: Learning from Widen Enterprises

Posted on December 7, 2012 by Emily Copp in Our Partners | Leave a comment

Widen Media Collective is a cloud-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution whose company is based in Madison, Wisconsin. With over 60 years of experience, Widen is dedicated to providing cutting-edge solutions for the management of digital assets for marketing, creative and IT teams. Some of their clients include the adidas Group, Brunswick Bowling & Billiards, Kohler and La-Z-boy.

By featuring our partners in our blog, we not only hope to highlight the great work they do as a company, but also have them aid in educating our readers on their industry.

Widen’s Marketing Manager Jake Athey chatted with us about Widen’s role within the Digital Asset Management industry.

How does Widen define Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

At its core, DAM is all about creating, managing and distributing digital media. As a system, DAM works as a central repository that supports the lifecycle of an asset everlasting. DAM is composed of more than just systems- it also has the people component, the process components and rules and governance that go along with that.

The Asset Lifecycle

What are the top 3 reasons people come looking for a DAM solution?

Widen has an ongoing survey that asks prospective customers what their biggest challenges are when it comes to managing their digital assets before adopting a DAM solution. The survey identified that the three biggest challenges are:

1)    Lacking a means to find their existing digital assets

2)    Not having access to digital assets for people within their organization

3)    Needing to reuse and repurpose existing assets across multiple channels

How are people using DAM?

Marketing professionals are using DAM to manage and distribute content. Creative professionals are using DAM to create new and exciting things that support building a brand and creating those memorable customer experiences that can be managed and distributed ongoing. Those things that creative teams build are all part of a broad story. Without a tool like DAM to ensure they’re representing themselves consistently and accurately, the story loses credibility and becomes less compelling.

Why DAM in the cloud?

Widen’s decision to go the cloud route (years ago) was supported by the foresight to understand the needs of the mobile generation and distributed workforce, in addition to being able to offer much greater scalability without all of the up-front investment.

Additional reasons to do DAM in the cloud include: 

1) Faster implementation than installed

2) Greater user adoption

3) Automatic upgrades

4) On-demand scalability

5) Pay-for-what-you-use pricing

What is one of the biggest trends affecting the DAM industry?

DAM is becoming a strategic necessity for organizations of all types. In the last year or so there has been:

An explosion in the amount of content we consume and all the different ways we consume it. To become more competitive in the wake of this explosion, companies want to be more efficient in how they can manage and distribute their content.

With DAM, a marketing or creative team can, for example, gain full control over their digital assets in order to figure out which ones resonate with their key audiences. DAM allows for that accuracy and control. For example, Steelcase (a manufacturer of office furniture) could tell that individual product shots are in higher demand from their dealers than shots of room scenes. This level of intel would tell Steelcase to invest more in photo shoots of single product shots versus room scenes to save on unnecessary expenses. Steelcase may also correlate digital asset orders to actual product sales to assist with budgeting and forecasting.

Where is DAM going?

DAM related jobs are being created

Companies are starting to see the need for DAM and are staffing for the Digital Asset Management role. They may not have expertise in marketing and design, but are trained in library sciences or information architecture.

DAM vendors are integrating with other best of breed solutions

DAM is an enabling technology by driving and synching workflows across various systems. DAM vendors are beginning to define themselves and their core abilities and are gaining a competitive edge by partnering with creative review solutions.

How ConceptShare and Widen work together

Widen integrates with other technologies that support the asset lifecycle that fall under: CMS / WCM, online video platforms, CRM, digital watermarking, ad and brochure building and catalog publishing.

Want to learn more about DAM? Widen offers 30-minute consultation session for DAM newbies.

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Emily CoppView all posts by Emily Copp


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