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Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
1Copyright © 2015 Widen Enter...
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								 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
Copyright © 2015 W...
Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
3Copyright © 2015 Widen Enter...
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								 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
Copyright © 2015 W...
Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
5Copyright © 2015 Widen Enter...
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								 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
Copyright © 2015 W...
Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
7Copyright © 2015 Widen Enter...
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								 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
Copyright © 2015 W...
Migrating to the Widen Media Collective:
Six key points to a successful DAM system migration
9Copyright © 2015 Widen Enter...
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Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration

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The tips in this paper will help you create a strong foundation for a system migration, a complete collection
of assets, a solid plan for permissions, and a roadmap for updates, maintenance and change.

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Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration

  1. 1. Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration 1Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. 2 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Patience, grasshopper. Take your time when migrating your digital assets to a new digital asset management (DAM) software service, and you’ll be rewarded. The tips in this paper will help you create a strong foundation for a system migration, a complete collection of assets, a solid plan for permissions, and a roadmap for updates, maintenance and change. The six keys points to a successful DAM system migration: 1. Needs assessment: Know your users and their needs and what they like and dislike about how you currently manage your content. 2. Vendor research: Survey the field of DAM providers and use your research to inform your process. (The DAM Decision Toolkit provides good questions to ask.) 3. Informed decision making: Leverage the research and education when choosing the new vendor. Put candidates through real-world tests to make sure they meet your needs and are responsive. 4. Pre-implementation: Double check that the system will meet your needs. Also, revisit your metadata schema, assets, user roles and asset groups. Be prepared to re-conceptualize and re-categorize. 5. Implement and test: Move all your assets and metadata, then make sure the new system works as you would expect. Use your resources to correct problems. 6. Post-implementation: Keep track of what needs to be addressed post-implementation and can be added to a roadmap. “A company I consult for recently completed a system migration to the Widen Media Collective. Of all the steps taken, the actual implementation with Widen was the shortest. The research and preparation done in advance laid the groundwork and made the final move a snap.” The core team Before getting into the migration process, here is a list of the core team that was involved: • Senior marketing manager: She was the primary business stakeholder, having ultimate responsibility for the DAM system. She set guidelines for the process and worked with upper management to get approval for the migration. • Librarian/digital asset manager: This was my role. I made the initial push for the migration, then did the primary research, managed the implementation and ran the beta testing. I also manage the DAM system today. • Marketing/needs assessment consultant: More below on her role. She was a special hire for the system migration project. • Marketing specialist: He was a seasoned user of the existing DAM system and managed one of the secondary libraries that was to be integrated into the new DAM system. Needs assessment Understanding the existing system, reasons for migrating and user needs The company was already on its second DAM system. The first system gave too many users access to upload and edit metadata, and there was no formal standard for cataloging assets. The result was inconsistent information for searching and incomplete information for licensing and ownership of assets. In short, users could not rely on the DAM system, and it was not well-utilized. In 2011, the company migrated to an enterprise-level DAM system that had too many bells and whistles. It was deployed locally, so it required IT support, which created some challenges internally. For example, making changes to the system was complex and required three players: me, the IT team and the DAM vendor. The upside was that
  3. 3. Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration 3Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Good Bad Wish List One repository for marketing Secure Filtering is not intuitive Local installation requires IT support and forces the company to have an additional, external library for sales agents Users can’t administer their own passwords Customer service Maintain easily, scalable metadata Improved filtering Consistency in the interface, intutive navigation Cloud-based Simplified user preferences and administration, remain secure Easy-to-reach support Google search -easily configurable metadata Replace secondary and tertiary libraries within the company (outside of marketing) Strong abality to integrate with current and future Content Management System (i.e., good API’s) the company created a strong metadata schema and solid workflows for getting assets into the DAM system and categorized effectively. Why migrate? Initially, the company wasn’t sure they needed to migrate. The enterprise-level DAM system was manageable. But the version being used was out of date, so they would have to update soon, and it was the perfect opportunity to see if another DAM vendor could punch all – or at least more – of the buttons. We started with a two-pronged research attack managed by the marketing department. This included: • A needs assessment of users • Vendor research of products matching our known needs The assessment I asked my employer to hire a marketing consultant to perform the needs assessment. I felt I was too close to the system to be objective. That was a good call, as the consultant had enough background with DAM to ask informed questions, but didn’t have preconceptions about what we needed. She did a series of eight interviews with people who used the internal image library on a regular basis. This included employees, vendors, power users, casual users and administrators. From the interviews, she created a list of what worked, what didn’t work and what people wanted most from a new system. This is a snapshot of the what she learned regarding the “good” and “bad” about the existing system, and the wish list for a new system. A secondary assessment revealed some desires to factor into the final decision. Chief among those was to use a cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model rather than having the software installed locally. With the existing system, the time needed for IT to manage the DAM system and work with the vendor had caused significant problems, such as day-long outages and general difficulty in making changes and updates to the system. A cloud-based system would alleviate that problem and centralize management in the marketing department. Vendor research Creating a documentation tool My first task was to survey vendors and available solutions, then provide the company with an assessment. I created a spreadsheet with categories such as: • Information about the company, which included notes about founding, location, history (like takeovers) and anecdotal information about their customer service. • Specifics about the software, including the model (enterprise or mid-size), cost, cloud or local deployment and plugins and reporting capabilities. • Library management, including metadata scalability, user management and transcoding capabilities.
  4. 4. 4 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. • User needs, which included things like filtering capabilities, ease of search and user interface. These were given Likert scale ratings of 1 to 5 (low to high) with accompanying notes fields. For each, I included scorekeeping fields to rate perceived match with our needs. I tried to be objective, taking ratings for the individual categories and averaging them, comparing key and related categories (e.g., metadata scalability and filtering are intertwined and important) to differentiate similar vendors. Here’s what the spreadsheet looked like: Vendor / Product Company B Company G Company T Company Z Candidate Overall Rating Overall Feel Notes About Company The tool seems young. Lacks - ing is good enough. Easy to pull the basics straight from the interface. Can get more sophisticated information from the rep. integration. Also very strong interface with Adobe. Main focus is DAM with a growing focus/awareness of marketing technology as Europe-based. No substantial presence in America. Too big for our needs. Company Location West Coast Worldwide Mid-West Europe Service Rating Unknown Service Notes They report 99.5 % up time. Have local person who would be our account rep. Unknown Good word-on-the-street. And personal experience has been good during demo phase. Metadata Control Notes Low grade for metadata. Not as extensible as I would like to see. Standard package comes with Easy to extract metadata. Powerful. Easy to add/ delete/change the parent and child relationship can be created. Unlimited number of up controlled vocabulary. types of assets. Logos can have one set of default Permission Notes Can restrict access to tasks as well as images. Can control tasks, access and more based on simple check boxes. Many many layers of per- mission. Roles and asset groups. Can add users to multiple roles. Can restrict download tasks based on permissions. Order approval for users who only have view access to any given asset. Model Mid-Market Enterprise DAM Enterprise DAM System Mid-Market Enterprise DAM Enterprise DAM System Cloud Based Reporting Yes, for the basics that we use. Easy to dump to excel. Can get the basic data pretty easily. Can have them build Asset level reporting is quickly available. Analytics can be connected to Google Analytics and can check search terms! Plug-ins / API Support Intuitiveness Filtering 1 1 Filtering / Search Notes within results, however. Not really. Easy, faceted filtering.
  5. 5. Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration 5Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. I started my research with the Real Story Group (RSG) vendor map. RSG also writes a report about every vendor/software package on the map. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the budget for that resource, so I needed to do original research. I looked up websites, did innumerable demos, joined and studied LinkedIn for groups related to the software, and created the DAM comparison spreadsheet to narrow the list from the 40ish vendors to a more reasonable number. Informed decision making Comparing needs and DAM vendors Comparing the DAM vendor list to the needs assessment helped my client narrow down the number even further. The core team met several times to discuss specific vendors, revisit our goals and prioritize the results of the needs assessment. The ultimate goal was to send an RFP to three vendors, including the existing DAM provider. At each meeting, we came up with questions about capabilities for each vendor’s solution, and I went back to the vendors, clarified the capabilities and documented whether it met our needs. The final cuts weren’t easy to make, but the candidates we chose were strong contenders. Selection team The DAM users our consultant interviewed were perfect candidates for a selection team to help choose the new software solution. In the end, the selection team looked like this: • The core team, as described earlier • Creative services manager, representing the primary users • Creative services designer as a primary administrator • Marketing specialists (same job title as the core team member) as casual users who represented another secondary library that would be moved • Marketing director, a key stakeholder who would take the proposed DAM vendor to budgeting • Vendor representative from a creative agency with special requirements for integrating the DAM system into their workflow • IT representative to consider security and scalability, especially related to APIs Request for proposals We sent an RFP to three DAM vendors and asked them to present to our selection team. Each vendor visited the company’s office for that presentation. They did a general overview of their company’s history, a walk through of the software and then addressed specific questions that the core team had devised, as well as answered questions informed by the needs assessment. For the presentation, we gave each vendor a collection of about 50 sample images with associated metadata culled from our library. We asked them to use those assets in their presentations so we could guide what was important to us, and so the selection team would see recognizable assets and ask questions based on their library use and experience. For example, we asked each vendor to do a search for the word Tulip – which had assets related to both the flower and a product the company produces – then asked how to find each asset using search and filters. (Note: The product was filterable, the flower was not.) Vendors and the members of the selection team were each given the same list of questions and a scorecard that was used to compile results. The questions related directly to key points uncovered in the needs assessment, such as filtering and metadata adaptability. The questions also covered service-related questions, such as response time for outages and the availability of customer support. The scoring for each question was done on a Likert scale, using one as a low score and 10 as the high score. Simple addition of the ratings from each team resulted in raw scores. We also requested written feedback for each question to provide qualitative data. Vendors were able to see the scorecard template (not the results), so the process was quite transparent.
  6. 6. 6 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. The submissions from the vendors included price quotes for service, which was a potential factor in the final decision. Pre-implementation Once the results were tabulated and the winning vendor was contacted, we had final steps to complete before we could begin the implementation. These included in-house tasks, such as getting approval from executives and signing contracts. Contracts and administration Getting the software upgrade pushed through upper administration was the most time-consuming part of the migration process. Each level of decision makers had to be convinced that the change was a benefit. A primary concern centered around the software’s ability to replace libraries that served media and other business partners. The current library served marketing and its vendors, but other departments had their own libraries and needs. Smaller needs assessment meetings were held with those stakeholders to make sure that the new software would comply. In short, we had to prove a financial benefit. We spent a fair amount of time double-checking functionality in this phase. We talked directly with the managers of the secondary libraries to make sure the Widen Media Collective would work for them, and took their questions back to our Widen advisor to make sure that features – such as collection share pages or the Adobe plugin – performed as we understood and met the requirements of our team. Once we got approval to migrate to the Media Collective, we continued working with our DAM advisor to create a Statement of Work (SOW) and a Master Service Agreement (MSA). These documents are critical for implementation. The SOW covers items such as: • Pricing and structures for charges • Number of users • The implementation process, including a sample schedule • A description of the web hosting service and security related to the hosting services • The Service Level Agreement (SLA), which outlines expectations for access to and reliability of the software and response times to queries and outages • Optional/additional features, including both those that will and will not be implemented While the items covered in the SOW can be altered, having a solid understanding of what will be implemented makes the process go smoother. For example, the Media Collective offers single sign-on (SSO), which allows the DAM system to connect to your company’s active directory and employees to quickly log in to the DAM system. But, it could affect how you design your permissions structure and how you assign users to user groups, so changing to or away from an SSO midway through implementation can have a ripple effect. The SOW became an exhibit on the MSA – the binding contract that both parties sign. You’ll want to have your legal team review the MSA. Once that is signed, implementation can begin. Migration checklist Parsing migration tasks is essential. Putting the responsibility for a task with the appropriate department or person not only makes work lighter, but also gives the work to an expert who will do it right. The company had two main players involved in the system migration: business and IT. In this phase, we were also introduced to our Widen implementation specialist who gave essential guidance and support. The marketing department (business side) had the bulk of the workload including: • Project management. Keeping the project on track and reporting up the chain with changes. A major
  7. 7. Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration 7Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. part of this function is maintaining a calendar of tasks and who is responsible for them. Widen provides a calendar for their specific tasks, but you will have additional tasks or will need to break down some of Widen’s steps into more digestible tasks. So, you’ll probably want to create your own calendar either using Widen’s as a template or using Microsoft Project, a spreadsheet or some other tool you like. (Responsibility for this was with the librarian and the senior marketing manager.) • Image audit and weeding: When migrating, take the opportunity to go through your library and remove duplicate, expired and under-used images and other files. Much of this work was done after our files were loaded into the Media Collective. If you are close to your storage limit, you may want to audit and weed before migration. (Responsibility was with the librarian with input from stakeholders.) • Metadata audit and cleanup: Review your metadata schema and remove unnecessary fields. Move data to new fields. This work was done in both the legacy system and in the Media Collective. (Responsibility was with the librarian.) • Defining asset groups and user roles: There are two sides of the permissions coin – figuring out which buckets to place assets into and what groups of users to give access to for each of the buckets. This is arguably the most challenging part of implementation process, as new types of assets are added and new groups of users need access to them. (Responsibility was with the librarian with consultation from stakeholders.) • Communicating with users: Letting users know that the system would be updated, scheduling training and setting up registration systems. (Responsibility was with the librarian and senior marketing manager.) IT, which managed the infrastructure for the old system, was responsible for one primary task: copying the assets and the metadata from the old library and delivering them to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Widen. This turned out to be a more difficult task than expected with the eccentricities of the old system. IT saved all the assets to a hard drive, copying them folder by folder from the old structure. They did the same for the metadata. The Widen implementation specialist both consulted on best practices for the migration and was the obvious subject matter expert on the software, advising on specific tasks and helping to put the tasks in the right time order of tasks. Implement and test Widen provided a host of resources to help prepare our DAM administrator for the migration. The most important resource was the implementation specialist. Widen will assign an expert who will work with you throughout the process, offering options, sound reasoning and knowledge to help you with each step of the implementation. The implementation specialist knows best practices and will guide you toward them. Look for valuable resources like these to guide your system implementation when migrating: • The Admin Playbook, which covers activities and processes necessary to run a DAM system. It’s a big- picture document that shows the basics of maintaining a DAM system. • The Site Setup document, which covers how your login and interior pages will look, how you’ll be transferring the assets and metadata, password specifications, the end-user license agreement and the system URL. With the Media Collective, you can get a personalized “vanity” URL or use a subdomain of widencollective.com (e.g., yourcompany.widencollective.com). • The Implementation Worksheet, which takes you through the steps needed to get the system rolling. You’ll use it to set up your administrators, to outline your permission structure and metadata schema, define your categories, identify your beta testers and more. When you’ve completed the Implementation Worksheet, you’ve done the lion’s share of the conceptual work and you’ll be ready to launch. Delivering assets and metadata We were given a hard drive by Widen to save our assets on, then send on to AWS. The assets were then uploaded into our Media Collective site. If you have the wherewithal to organize your assets into folders in advance, the upload will
  8. 8. 8 Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. also result in a category structure that will better help users navigate your system. Delivering the metadata took a little more thought, in our case. Widen offers the ability to upload metadata from a spreadsheet if you can extract it from your current solution. That wasn’t an option with our files, so Widen worked with us on alternate solutions to help migrate our metadata. During implementation, we had mapped out a high-level taxonomy for the DAM site. So, Widen helped me align our metadata migration with those implementation decisions. Once that was done, our assets were uploaded, metadata was added to the associated images and the basics of the site were up and running! Roles and Permissions Setting up the assets groups and corresponding roles is critical to controlling access to your assets. In our old system, we assigned one role to each user. This created some confusion, as we had many different asset groups and users needed access to more than one group. With the Media Collective, we implemented a modular system, meaning that the assets were broken down to fine- grained asset groups and subsequent user roles. We also created roles for some of the functionality -- like sharing -- separately. Users get access to any number of those roles, so they’re often assigned to six or eight roles. While this sounds complicated, it makes it really easy to see which assets a user can see and download. Beta testing The selection committee was a tremendous help with beta testing. I created scripts that guided through various tasks: searching, filtering, finding metadata, downloading, creating and sharing collections, and, for more advanced users, uploading and editing metadata. We also tested different user roles to make sure that permissions were correct, and we tested on Mac and PC platforms using various browsers. The scripts were created in Excel with screenshots to help testers find their way in a new program. Testing lasted about two weeks, and the results were good. We addressed some specific changes in permissions and updated the filters that were available and the order they appeared. We launched to our larger user base about ten weeks after the implementation process began. Widen helped us create a short training video for our users, and we took advantage of additional training offered, so users could easily register and login for the first time. Post-implementation The launch is a great day, if perhaps a little anti-climactic. There wasn’t any tickertape. No doves were released. We thanked everyone who helped along the way and congratulated the core team. Then it was time to get back to work. Throughout the migration, we identified features that we wanted to use but knew we wouldn’t be ready for with the initial launch. Chief among those was connecting the Media Collective to a CMS platform our IT department created. We also had clean-up tasks, like closing down the other libraries. Working with the senior marketing manager, I devised a schedule to address these migration items, and prioritized them based on cost, value added and readiness. For example, closing a specific secondary library would save almost $10,000 per year, so that was a top priority. But the CMS was at least a year from launch, so it didn’t rank as high. It’s important to note that system migration is an organic, ever-changing thing. We felt one clear sign of a good DAM solution was being able to grow and morph with our needs over time.
  9. 9. Migrating to the Widen Media Collective: Six key points to a successful DAM system migration 9Copyright © 2015 Widen Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Conclusion A couple of days ago, my boss was looking for reference material from of our migration process. She found a file dated October 2013 and was reminded that it took 15 months to identify, select and launch the Widen Media Collective. “ Three months after our launch, I’ve heard nothing but good comments about our new DAM system — and NO ONE says they wish we had the old system back. That says a lot about the success of the system migration.” The time we took to check in with users and research other systems paid off. We improved the structure of our data and permissions and worked on the future road map. We are also working with IT on a CMS platform that will integrate with the Media Collective. As the librarian/administrator, I couldn’t be happier. Users like the product and usage is up. And I can get back to my day-to-day work of cataloging images and helping users. John George is a digital asset archivist and seasoned DAM professional. He has a strong background in information management theory, and is experienced in metadata development, taxonomy construction and managing digital archives projects. John has worked with a variety of digital asset management software such as Widen, CleanPix, ContentDM, and proprietary systems.
  10. 10. CONTACT US Widen Enterprises 6911 Mangrove Lane Madison, WI 53713 P: 608-222-1296 E: marketing@widen.com www.widen.com About Widen Widen is a marketing technology company that powers the content that builds your brand. Leveraging cloud-based resources, Widen delivers configurable, scalable software services that help marketing and creative teams easily capture, organize, share, and analyze marketing content. Organizations of all sizes use the Widen Media Collective to streamline their workflows and make their content work harder. Widen is trusted across various industries by hundreds of thousands of users worldwide like LG, Roche, Trek, Cornell University, New Orleans Tourism Marketing, The Atlanta Falcons, Red Gold Tomatoes, Electrolux, and Yankee Candle. To learn more about Widen, go to www.widen.com.

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