In a previous article, we explained that many AEM customers are ignoring true power of Digital Asset Management (DAM) in their Web Content Management (WCM) deployments.

That article was full of funny tweets and jokey diagrams. This article has the real fun stuff: bulleted lists!

Work in Progress Assets

DAMs come in two flavors--simple repositories for final assets or multifaceted systems that help streamline and coordinate Work in Progress (WiP) assets. You won’t increase your creative production without tackling the WiP challenge, which has a number of implications:

  • Roles and permissions so your web authors don’t inadvertently post an unapproved doodle to your corporate homepage
  • Feedback and revision collaboration tools
  • Storing and retaining multiple pre-production versions
  • Relationships between the original asset and the derivative assets tailored for communication channel and local markets

Search and Metadata

“Search” to most AEM web implementations means site search, and metadata is mostly restricted to tags that allow for dynamic content delivery.

But searching internally becomes non-trivial when your repository includes every product shot, lifestyle image, stock photo, logo and font as well as all the assets assembled using those components. Here are several areas where search and metadata often require adjustment when adding DAM functionality to WCM:

  • Significant customization to AEM’s out-of-the-box search interface—typically adding facets for asset status, product and/or product group, business unit or other organizational unit, geography and/or language, subject or topic, and content review cadence
  • Digital rights management metadata to manage assets that have expiration dates, usage restrictions, or pay-per-usage terms
  • Workflows and policies using a centralized librarian function to ensure compliance and governance for your tagging and taxonomy

Creative Business Processes

Most WCM systems have basic workflows to control content publishing, but creative workflows are usually much more complicated. A single photoshoot might have 50 workflow steps—and that’s before layout, copy, approvals, and localization of the actual banners, ads, collateral, presentations, and packaging that use the resulting photos. Accommodating these new requirements in an existing system comes with a number of complexities to consider:

  • Involving third-parties—photographers, retouchers, creative agencies, or media agencies—with direct access to the DAM or indirect access through an internal point of contact 
  • Project management capabilities to plan and manage more complex and longer workflows 

Non-Digital Channels

A well-designed DAM should help coordinate consistent brand messaging across all your communication channels—not just digital channels.  So your existing WCM system should take into account a number of additional factors when adding an enterprise DAM:

  • Efficiencies can be created by using the DAM to check and revise specifications for print materials--or even generating and sending a print-ready file to your printer
  • Additional stakeholders for non-digital teams need to be involved, excited, and trained about the benefits of DAM

  • Integrations with third-party systems that may not have been included in the initial WCM deployment, such as with point of sale (POS) systems, printers, and direct mail partners

If you found this content helpful but wanted more dry technobabble, you’re in luck. We have an article on Technical Considerations of Retrofitting True DAM Functionality into Live AEM Sites Deployments right here!

If you’re tired of reading but would like to just talk to someone, please contact us to learn more about Freedom’s DAM Healthcheck for AEM Sites Customers.