Implementing media asset management

Media Asset Management Implementation: Best Practices

If you’re thinking about implementing a media asset management (MAM) system, you’re probably at a point where your workflow is getting out of hand. Multiple collaborators contributing various media file types to your repositories will likely leave you desperate for a solution to organize and integrate digital assets (especially large video files) into your workflow.

So, you understand your need for a MAM system, and you can define your media asset management requirements. The question is – can you implement a DAM or MAM system without causing your organization and team more pain?

The answer lies in towing the path of those who have gone ahead. You need to follow best practices for MAM/DAM implementation, and that’s why we’ve created this guide. So, let’s delve in:

Table of Contents

Best Practices For Implementing a Media Asset Management System

Adopting a new MAM system across your organization is not like picking a new phone screen cover. The journey is a protracted one involving multiple stakeholders, with various hurdles and milestones to track progress.

However, if you have decided on the best MAM system for your team, you are further along the journey than most. The next hurdle is implementing a strategy that ensures a smooth transition to your new system and workflows.

Get it right, and your teams will enjoy a more collaborative workflow and faster turnaround times on published media projects. Get it wrong, and you’re saddled with lengthy deployment times, frustrated team members, and a video production workflow from hell. To avoid this unpleasant state, here are some best practices you should adopt:

Align User Buy-in to Business Expectations

Before implementing your selected MAM solution, you must solicit feedback from a select group of senior team members to determine the pain points (in priority order) within their workflows. User buy-in entails confirming the validity of these pain points with users, then aligning them against organizational goals to determine where the proposed solution fits in. 

Align User Buy-in to Business Expectations

Share your goals with all stakeholders and your implementation/integration specialist to ensure that they align with organizational expectations. Create a timeline for completion with a stakeholder sign-off on your expected milestones. 

Create an Implementation Team And Select a Project Manager

With your expectations set and agreed to, create an implementation team from which you should select a key stakeholder as the project manager. This person remains the main contact for internal and external matters relating to the project. 

Your implementation team’s job is to oversee the project. They manage and track milestones and serve as the primary contact point for content creators, media managers, video operations assistants, and other users who will interact with the new system.

The team should also discuss and implement a strategy for sharing and collaborating  on all project-related documents. 

Media Asset Migration Audit

A critical element of implementing your selected MAM system is auditing your assets for migration from existing data stores to your selected MAM platform’s central repository. While you probably performed an audit to decide on your preferred MAM system, you’ll still need to take a deep dive into your media files to determine your ingest volumes, assess file types, media codecs, identify and track missing, corrupt, or unwanted files, etc. One key feature of a successful MAM implementation exercise is opening up access to your archives by design. Your pre-migration audit information is foundational to improving accessibility to your archives.
3-in-1 cloud-based MAM + DAM + PAM

You must also be able to define your user access role requirements – specifically who has permission to view, comment, edit, and use raw files, processed video files, audio files, etc., within the security policies set by the organization.

How do these individual roles and access permissions impact the final delivery of finished projects? Does your project delivery time impact your competitive advantage? Do you have a designated role and a timeline for unearthing archival footage? Can automation replace this to shorten the media production lifecycle and release finished videos faster?

By understanding your asset and workflow requirements, you can structure your deployment exercise in tandem with your existing projects to avoid jeopardizing your output during implementation.

Delineate Current Business Processes & Workflows

For a successful MAM system deployment exercise, it is critical to document your  current workflows using swim lane diagrams before execution begins. 

This helps you to visually identify how your media assets are handled, which departments or teams manage each stage of your workflow, and how assets interact with other teams within your post-production workflow. 

swim lane MAM workflow diagram

Following this, you will need to map these workflows to the new MAM system and document with new swim lane diagrams that depict the process with the MAM in the loop. This further helps your implementation team understand change and manage stakeholders’ expectations around change management. 

Visualizing your workflows before implementing your new MAM will help to ascertain the efficiency of your processes, and highlight priority areas for the entire project. 

Incorporate Feedback Early and Often

Incorporate Feedback Early and Often

Incorporate feedback early into your implementation process. Open communication is key to driving user adoption, improving UX, and meeting your user’s expectations. Open communication also signals empathic management, which experts cite as a way to boost performance by creating a culture of willingness to go the extra mile.

By following up with your teams regularly using feedback forms or regular check-ins, you can find opportunities to learn what works for your users and what doesn’t. You can gain cooperation and generate valuable data that you can incorporate into your MVP workflows when you launch. This also creates an opportunity to feed data back to your MAM vendor and request customizations that help you get the best ROI from your investment.

Feedback is a 2-way street, so also offer feedback to your team and leadership. You can generate momentum and elicit more cooperation by communicating quick wins like “we ingested 4TB of data last week and generated proxies for 50 hours of footage!”.

Evolphin Transcoder Top 4 Features in 8.2 Export
Robust MAM systems like Evolphin Zoom MAM help you leverage analytics by offering visibility into trend data that you can use to communicate progress to your team.

Choose the Best-fit Approach to Measure ROI

One of the most important reasons for implementing a MAM in the first place is to improve productivity. To measure how well your team meets these objectives, you need to create a system that quantifies and reports (to upper-level management) the improvement in user productivity for all user sets – editors, media managers, business owners, etc.
MAM ROI calc

For example, you might choose to track and measure metrics like the number of hours searching & finding assets from archives by the post-production team, total hours taken from planning to publishing finished assets, total weekly hours spent on remote collaboration, etc. 

Organize Incremental Roll-outs

There is a better alternative to rolling out your selected MAM system all at once. The last thing you want is for your users to have to wade through documentation to learn how to use the software. Your user adoption rates will be heavily determined by how well you design and execute this stage. At Evolphin, we advocate for small, incremental roll-outs for increased user adoption and recommend the following best practices:

Rollout Plan
  • Roll the software out in small, easily digestible chunks to enable your users to adapt gradually to the change in working practices. For example, in the first week, you could focus on organizing the repository by finalizing mandatory metadata fields, folder structure, etc. In the second week, you could advance to structuring your team workflows and evaluating your pain points against user MVP workflows.
  • Roll out to the most enthusiastic users first. You will know who these are by their willingness to embrace change, and eagerness to adopt a new system to improve the team’s productivity. They will become your emissaries to convince the laggards.   

This approach means that team members can gain mastery of each section or feature before moving on to the next – helping support to provide better targeted and more intuitive guidance. 

Get Early Wins

The bulk of your workflows will take time to fully adapt and deliver the transformation you signed up for. In the meantime, however, you can aim for early wins to motivate your teams about the rollout. 

For example, an early win on Evolphin Zoom MAM could be getting all team members to ingest into the cloud repository so that they can immediately access and find digital assets more easily. 

You can also migrate your historical content into Zoom’s cloud repository, bringing to the surface a wealth of content previously locked away in storage islands, tapes, drives, etc. Being able to video thumbnails and previews of previously fard-to-access content is likely to make users appreciate the value of the exercise. 

What's The Difference Between Implementing a DAM and a MAM?

Implementing a media asset management (MAM) system vs. a digital asset management (DAM) system rollout are very similar processes. The differences lie in their individual use cases.

A DAM system is best for storing and managing published files – photos, videos, audio, HTML, documents, and metadata. The right DAM system will handle various file types but with limited optimization (smaller files <100MB) rather than larger files like video footage. 

Browse Mode – Asset Browser

On the other hand, a MAM system is better suited and optimized for rich media assets like raw, unprocessed videos much larger in size (Terabytes).

Unlike a DAM, implementing a MAM is more technically demanding, requiring expertise to focus on complex elements like scaling the on-premises or cloud infrastructure.

A MAM implementation exercise also features more specialized steps, such as video transcoding and large data migration sets (reaching Pbytes sometimes), compared to a DAM implementation involving just Gigabytes of data.

The stakeholders involved in each implementation exercise also differ. MAM implementations often include many stakeholders –  video editors, media operations teams, etc. A DAM implementation, on the other hand may just involve the marketing team. So a more involved cross-team rollout strategy is required with MAM over a DAM.

Avoid Costly Mistakes By Leveraging Best Practices

The failure of a media asset management implementation exercise is a real possibility that no one wants. Poor MAM implementation exercises can come with disastrous effects for your organization – abysmal user adoption, missing deadlines, going over budget, disruption to your workflows, negative ROI for the business owners, etc.

Finding best practices involves conducting research to discover the best approach for doing things. With your findings, you can leverage other people’s mistakes to avoid the high cost of a failed MAM implementation exercise. The guidance that comes from following best implementation practices helps you save time and cost, increase user adoption, and gain a healthy ROI from your new MAM system.

Implementation Is A Breeze With Evolphin Zoom MAM

Fully-managed deployment

Evolphin offers a fully managed AWS Cloud SaaS package that includes consultations, technical setup, and long-term technical support. This saves prospective customers the cost of creating a budget for hiring technical staff or expensive system integrators to implement the project.

Fast Data Migration With Evolphin Cloud’s Data Migrator

Our Cloud MAM’s data migrator app utilizing a global network of transfer hubs makes it possible to move large volumes of files (millions) rapidly and efficiently from on-premises. Traditional file transfer apps can severely slow down the migration of your content, especially when handling large files.

AWS Snow Ball Migration

Our cloud data migrator app can be a lifesaver for ensuring that content of any type can be ingested with metadata & previews extracted quickly. 

Ongoing technical support

Our specialized team is on hand to help you not just with the implementation exercise but also with a rich library of deployment and post-deployment documentation to help you and your team with the new MAM system. 

Final Word

Implementing a media asset management solution across your organization is no mean feat – especially if it’s your first time doing so. But it is worth the effort because best practices help you reduce risk, improve efficiency, giving you control over the deployment process.

Making the right decisions from the onset during this exercise will save you from the painful course correction that comes with costly mistakes.

With these MAM implementation best practices, you can reduce your chances of failure with a well-designed rollout exercise based on tested and trusted core principles.