Interview with Heike Gramkow, Director Sales & Marketing on Digital Asset Management Systems
Interview on Digital Asset Management Systems
March/April 2010 issue of WAN-IFRA Magazine, we feature an article on
Digital Asset Management (DAM) on pages 26-29. As there are numerous
suppliers in this area and we have limited space in print, we could
only publish a small portion of what each told us about their soltion.
Here, we are publishing expanded interviews with the vendors for
readers to get a fuller picutre of what each told us about their
Responding for picturesafe is Heike Gramkow, Director Sales & Marketing.
Why is digital asset management important for news publishers?
news still means evaluating what is worth to be „in the news“.
Therefore pieces of information are gathered. The sources for
story-starters are traditionally news agencies, TV, broadcasting and
today of course the internet providing a large variety of new sources.
those pieces which today are usually provided in digital
representation, can be called assets. So it is more than usefulto
bundle and stream all these pieces into one system.
For users (i.e. people working on publishing news) it is very efficient to have just one tool for reseaching their main sources.
second main aspect is to foster the creation of efficient workflows.
The de Pers Groep (DPP) has set up a great production system, covering all steps from the
integration of information sources to specialized editor clients and
further on to a seamless integration with the production system.
a process for automated archiving is triggered. The solid foundation of
such a system is a stable and fast enterprise class DAM providing open
interfaces to connect all the workflow components and applications
publisher usually work with.
Basically, a DAM like dio:content helps
tailoring an integrated, efficient production system, connecting
workflows and applications which hitherto often existed as isolated
How is DAM different from a database?
database is an essential part of a DAM. Like with any other system, a
„pure“ database is perfect to store information of any kind and doing
the math to shuffle it around. A DAM is something on top of a database:
First aim is to provide a convenient view onto all the „drowned“ pieces
of data, helping to convert them into useful information. Editors
usually do not want to learn a complex query language and work with
command line tools, thus intuitive search interfaces need to be
The presentation of information should be adaptable to a user’s
needs – e.g. searching for articles: Do you prefer just to browse the
headlines and read the whole article for interesting headlines? Do you
prefer reading abstracts, automatically created by the DAM? Would you
like to find matching articles, images or videos on a click? Or is it
more suitable to browse information already clustered to topics and
sorted by category? All this is DAM-logic helping to get a grip on the
vast streams and archives of data – helping to turn them into useful
What benefits do users get from DAM?
DAM should be able to do a balancing act: there are different kinds of
users. Some would like to work with very simple search patterns, like
„show the latest images“ to find a strong image making up a story.
Would prefer to search a specific article from the archive, and so need
to apply far more complex search patterns.
Both groups strongly
benefit when pointed to additional, matching information along the way,
arranged in a useful and easy-to-use manner.
should provide a convenient way to interact with existing systems and
applications. This means integrating into heterogeneous IT
environments, so from the IT department’s point of view a browser based
solution is desirable.
What is the future role of DAM for the publishing industry?
Integration and conditioning.
Integration and adaption of existing and oncoming sources of information.
of well established tools, like a print production system or a CMS for
online publication. Routed information will be adapted automatically
for different production channels based on a publisher’s production
Integration of different publishing channels, like
classic print, online formats and teaser formats, the information
flowing into these channels now may be controlled and triggered at one
Once the contract has been
signed, approximately how long does it take for a publishing client
such as De Persgroep, to begin using dio:content?
implement an integrated system of the given size a period of a couple
of weeks to months should be considered. As in this case the DAM is a
basic system closing gaps between existing systems nearly all workflows
would have to be reviewed.
Adaptations to the DAM and to
existing components are recommended to guarantee such a massive success
like the DPP achieved it with their system. They did the right thing
when going the whole way of integration – and not introducing a DAM as
another system besides others.
How much training is required for a publication‘s staff to start using dio:content?
Typically just one day for regular users like editors. It is part of
the administrative preparation to provide simple and tailored
environments and workflows for different kinds of users.
it is recommended to invest into the training of some „power users“ who
later can act as tutors for their colleagues when rolling out the
system to additional departments or publications.
What developments in this area are you working on now?
this moment, we are enhancing interfaces on every level. These are user
interfaces for a better intuitive working or a better conditioning and
presentation of information.
Standard Interfaces to new sources
becoming relevant (like certain blogs or social platforms like twitter
or facebook). To facilitate the integration of future installations we
work on interfaces to standard production systems and CMS’s.
glance down the road shows that Speech-to-Text is oncoming. This will
provide a seamless integration of audio and video formats.
Interview conducted by Brian Veseling, senior editor for Publishing, Editorial and General Management and WAN-IFRA Magazine.