Saturday, 27 October 2012

Digital Asset Management – LCMS, ECM and SharePoint

Interesting post by Vic Uzumeri where he responds to a question that I asked him.  I'm going to also address the broader concept he raises about Work Networking.  But in this post, I want to consider:

    We developed CoSolvent because we couldn’t find a reliable way move rich media (typically video) to and from the individual subject matter experts (SMEs) and managers among our various corporate training clients.

Living near Hollywood and the many different production companies and studios, I've talked to and worked on several projects that were digital asset management systems.  This includes working on the software the runs sites like Nasa Images.  So, I'm pretty familiar with the issues of digital asset management (DAM) and having to move large and manage large media assets.

Vic provides the following list of reasons that companies use his digital asset management software for eLearning projects:

    The companies that employ our target audience strongly discourage employees from putting company assets on ‘public’ sites.
    Workers often didn’t want their co-workers to see their materials until they had a chance to approve them.
    People often work with collections of related, but dissimilar materials.
    We wanted to accommodate all types of video as input.

What's interesting is that my impression is that most corporations don't have that much of an issue with digital asset management and that these concerns are there, but not enough of an issue for people to jump on these solutions.  Am I wrong on that?

Is there a need and desire for software or software as a service that provides digital asset management as part of eLearning projects?  Does the LCMS already provide this for you?  Does your enterprise content management solution provide this for you?

I do know of a couple of large corporations that do a good job of cataloging and organizing the digital assets – images, digital videos, documents.  They have hundreds of hours of courses.  And there developers are geographically dispersed.  Even still, most of these companies use relatively simple organization methods and the issues are getting developers to contribute assets, catalog them and then provide effective search and browsing.  In one case, they use a fairly rich enterprise content management (ECM) solution (a corporate-wide solution).

By the way, my impression is also that the digital asset management that comes with LCMS solutions is pretty limited.  Theoretically, this provides this same ability to organize digital assets so they can be shared by developers.  In practice, once things scale up, it becomes pretty hard to keep it organized and effectively find the assets you want.

I have heard a common lament that large files cause a little bit of an issue in that many IT departments limit network storage because of the need to provide robust back-ups and retention.  But using a storage as a service model with these large assets outside the firewall doesn't make much sense in that there's also often a restriction on network traffic.

The workflow and access restrictions are there.  You don't want people seeing your stuff that's still in development.  There's some course content that should not be accessible outside a particular group.  Again, most of this gets handled by standard network folders and permission structures.

Oh, and let's not forget that a lot of companies are Using Sharepoint for the exact purpose of organizing the efforts and assets of learning development.

Maybe it's because I have not run into these situations, but my impression is that there's not that much need for digital asset management solutions around eLearning and that you are probably already served by your LCMS, enterprise content management, or SharePoint if it is an issue.

Please share your experience and knowledge around this.

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