Keeping up with user demands - the 2017 DAM Landscape

Elvis, News

In the real world, we’re taught that you never get more for less. A product’s value is calculated as a simple equation of quality over cost. But the digital world is infinitely more complex.

Whether it’s because the internet was created as a free-exchange of information, or perhaps because digital products are seen to be so easily updated (after all, it’s just another line of code, right?), our demands are higher than ever.

Add to that, the ease and speed at which competitors are setting up shop and software vendors are constantly pushed to create more for less.

But I want to stress, this is not a complaint. This is one of the most exciting challenges software developers must acknowledge and use to strengthen their product offering.

Here’s a look at how these contrasting demands are shaping the DAM landscape in 2017.

 

Flexibility and freedom, with added security

The availability of cloud products in our everyday lives means we’re all getting used to having access to the things we need, whenever and wherever we are. This demand for on-the-go access is no different for DAM users.

But cloud convenience comes with a risky reputation. For the average person, the convenience of cloud services generally outweighs the security risks. But when it comes to businesses, leaving their assets vulnerable is simply out of the question.

It’s important to note, cloud solutions are backed by an enormous amount of data security. For example, Elvis Cloud - WoodWing’s standalone cloud product - relies on Amazon Web Service technology. This alone uses over 1,800 security measures.
 

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Private cloud solutions offer freedom and flexibility with added security.

 

But as business data policies get stricter, they demand specific, configurable security measures. This means businesses are demanding a greater say in the cloud service provider they use.   

This is why we’ve seen a rise of configured, hybrid solutions that we like to call Private Clouds. For our customers, that means taking and hosting the full Elvis environment with a chosen cloud provider, in the country of choice. 

This ensures flexibility and scalability of a cloud product with a provider that can be configured to specific business requirements.

 

Less labor, more metadata

The more care and attention you pay to the metadata of your assets, the easier it is for your users to find what they’re looking for. But as your collections grow from thousands and into millions of assets, simple searches deliver large volumes of results for users to filter through.  

To make life easier, users will search by specific, narrow keywords to reduce the results volume. But for your DAM to support these terms you need a lot of metadata to ensure they arrive in the results. This can be a long and very subjective task for DAM administrators or librarians.

There are a variety of ways to resolve this challenge. Taxonomies provide a structured way to add metadata to assets. But when it comes to tagging emotions or other highly relevant but subjective fields, it has typically required a manual approach and a lot of time. 
 

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Is the girl anxious, or disappointed? Deciding how to tag this image would have a huge impact on whether it would be found and used in the future.

 

Many of the major search engines are using AI to automate categorization of images. There are a few key tools on the market that can analyze an image and identify a mountain from a desert, or a happy face from a sad one.

These tools signal a more efficient way for administrators to handle batch-tagging of assets with relevant metadata. For users it means finding exactly what they’re looking for, in less time.

But despite the industry hype, AI is far from a perfect solution at present - Google’s “gorilla” AI error is testament to that. It’s a useful addition to the DAM toolbox to enhance and speed-up manual metadata processes, but let’s not pretend we’ve lost the need for a human perspective just yet.  

We’ve been working on ways to enhance the current AI solutions, ensuring you gain accurate and useful metadata whilst minimizing time spent manually adding it. You’ll see some really cool stuff in the coming weeks, watch this space. 

 

Greater use, less visibility

Ever felt a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of tabs, apps and programmes you are running? These tools can be incredibly helpful when it comes to achieving specific tasks. But managing so many processes at once can actually increase distractions, making us less productive and reducing our attention spans. 

Across a business, a DAM’s full functionality is typically used by just a few departments, such as Marketing. But its benefits are multiplied when every department uses the same central database of approved assets. In cases like this, the more you can reap your DAM rewards without pushing users out of other tools, the more efficient it can be.
 

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Keeping people focused on one task or tool helps minimize distractions and boost productivity

 

Reducing time users spend jumping between tools helps them focus on their tasks and means they’re more likely to search for the latest assets, rather than relying on old ones they have to hand. This is integral to getting the most value out of your assets. 

WoodWing’s roadmap promises see huge leaps and innovation in supporting DAM functionality within other tools. Take for example our Salesforce integration - enabling teams to share assets with customers or internally without ever leaving the platform. 

In addition we’re planning a host of partner integrations that solve specific business challenges - like our webinar to speed up catalog production in partnership with 65Bit.

 

Better decision making, faster

Manual decision making can be quite a slow process, based on evaluation of different scenarios and outcomes. 

But in an era where we’re practically swimming in available data, we increasingly rely on numbers to help us speed up these decisions and work more quickly.
 

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Data overload does not make for effective decision-making 

 

When it comes to your assets, knowing how they’re being used and how effective they are helps you make smarter decisions. But as the number of tools we use grows, so too does the volume of available data. That’s why simple, visual analytics have become critical for effective decision making.

Take WoodWing Enterprise users that also use Elvis DAM for example. The analytics within the integration not only uses simple visuals to demonstrate how often an asset has been used; it details where, how it has been cropped and the publication title.

This is essential for knowing at a glance if an asset is available for reuse in other publications or markets, or whether an alternative would be better.

 

Final word

This exciting, evolving landscape underpins Elvis DAM’s roadmap of features and integrations for the coming year. Keep an eye out for developments that support these themes, we’re excited to share them with you as soon as possible.

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Jaap van Blaaderen, Software Integration Architect

Jaap is one of the co-creators of Elvis DAM and has been working in the DAM industry for more than 15 years. His current job (or should we say hobby?) is to create integrations between WoodWing products and other software solutions. Jaap loves to run, try new beers and beat his colleagues at ping pong.