I'm here in New York attending the Digital Asset Management Conference put on by Henry Stewart. I'll be giving a brief talk on SharePoint for DAM but I'm most interested to hear what my colleagues are doing in this difficult and ever changing area.
When I think about DAM for my organization here are the top points that come to my mind:
1. Digital Asset Management is not Digital Rights Management: Knowing where your assets are is not the same thing as controlling who has access to use and reproduce them. Segment your business practices accordingly.
2. Realize that DAM is a portion of a larger ECM Strategy: Enterprise content management existed long before the explosion of visual assets like video and images in our organizations. Try not to reinvent the wheel but incorporate DAM specific needs into your existing (or soon to be created!) ECM strategy.
3. SharePoint was not considered a major player in this space: In versions of SharePoint prior to 2010 there were limitations that required some engineering to overcome when architecting DAM solutions. Some issues, specifically limited Mac support were deal breakers. No more. With the advent of SharePoint 2010 these issues such as global metadata, automatic thumbnails and Mac support have been addressed.
4. Distinguish between complete assets and Work in Progress (WIP). For the purposes of a successful DAM implementation I continue to think its important to separate final vs WIP digital assets. The workflow needs surrounding WIP are more complex and require more skillful implementations that might be ambitious for your organization. However, most organizations can handle the requirements of securing, tagging and delivering final assets to the work groups that require access.
5. Do not skimp on hardware. No matter which DAM solution you implement in your environment do not skimp on the hardware requirements. Digital assets take up space and space can be cheap. What isn't cheap is the processing power required to tag, search and deliver those assets in a user friendly manner. Take a note from your consultants or vendors and get or exceed their hardware requirements.
I'm sure I will learn more interesting tidbits at this conference that I can apply to my SharePoint 2010 DAM initiative back home. I'll share them with you as they come!
For those of you on Twitter you can follow conference chatter at the #dam hashtag. You'll just have to filter out some of the non-related posts that you can image attach themselves to this tag!