Looking back at the Canto DAM Summit 2015


(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 4 2015)

Digital transformation has become an important topic in many industrial and economical areas. Realised in the right way, it means profit-bringing and service-supporting effects. Just how Digital Asset Management can help with this realisation was discussed at the Canto DAM Summit in Gießen.

In the digital age, not only do communication processes change but also internal work processes, structures and also appearance before the customer. Depending on the branch in which one company is active, the demands which this development brings with it varies. The so-called digital transformation is a big issue in many companies and doesn’t only affect the management levels but also the individual employee. The advantages are obvious: as a result of the changes of strategies, structures and processes which are part of the digital transformation, new sources of revenue, business and customer relations become accessible. How this transformation can best be achieved and what role Digital Asset Management plays was a topic at the DAM Summit which the company Canto successfully held in the newly founded company-own DAM Center of Excellence (CoE) in Gießen at the end of September.

The CoE is a training and research centre which Canto brought into being in order to give companies, experts and consultants a contact point for topics, questions and solutions surrounding Digital Asset Management. Workshops and trainings are offered on location - but above all personal exchange is made possible. The event took place this year for the first time and is the first conference in Germany which specifically dedicates itself to these topics. 

How can a Digital Asset Management system help users to overcome the challenges of digital transformation? This question was pursued by the 100 leading internationally active concerns and SMEs responsible for IT, data and content which came together in Gießen. On two fascinating days of the conference they were able to discuss various possibilities available for use in companies with customers and partners as well as Canto experts in presentations, panel discussions and workshops.  

Numerous speakers expressed the necessity of DAM in companies. Users and forward- thinkers were among the speakers who have already implemented DAM systems in their company. They reported on best practices, selection criteria upon selecting a system and gave present partners and customers the possibility of discussing different processes. Jörg Müller, Head of Meta Data Services at ProSiebenSat.1 spoke about ‘how to select a DAM system and how to manage the implementation process’ in the presentation about his experience in the field and explained: “Digital Asset Management is an essential part when it comes to supporting our products and services in the area of video - and that is almost all of them. The Digital Asset Management system is the core of our video platform”.

Digital transformation puts many companies face to face with great challenges, and uncertainty prevails in many areas. In order to reduce uncertainties, the exchange of experiences first hand is important, that has been proven at the DAM Summit and is confirmed by Jörg Müller from ProSiebenSat.1: “I found it very interesting and helpful to experience how other companies use and profit from Cantos Cumulus.”

Several of the workshops were lead by Canto experts themselves. The company founded in 1990 and based in Berlin, Gießen and San Francisco, had participated in the development in the area of Digital Asset Management from the beginning, has an extensive insight into the needs of companies and the constantly changing demands at its disposal and leads the DAM market correspondingly. The core product ‘Cumulus’ is used by 2,500 customers worldwide. With the business area ‘Canto Professional Services’, the company‘s know-how is at their side for the successful realisation of Digital Asset Management projects - from the planning and strategy development to a tailor-made solution. 

The fact that simple company servers are no longer enough for efficient administration and distribution of ever greater amounts of digital content is being recognised by ever-more companies. This – whether these are publishers, online shops, service providers or manufacturing businesses - manage enormous amounts of photos, videos, documents and presentations. The more employees work in a company, the more important approval processes or the effective controlling of questions regarding copyright or the duration of use for image material are. This can be organised quickly and easily internally via Digital Asset Management. But how do companies find the right software? The workshop ‘10 core characteristics of DAM’ dedicates itself to this question. A large problem lies in the fact that when you look closer, ever more solutions and suppliers who call themselves DAM and aren’t, are pushing their way onto the market and are making things very unclear. The DAM foundation would like to put an end to this development and has identified 10 characteristics in order to be able to have the suppliers undergo a standardised test with which a professional system can be distinguished. With the certification, the quality level within the branch should be improved. Many suppliers offer sophisticated database systems, that doesn’t mean, however, that DAM problems can also be solved with them. Canto supports organisations which strive towards an independent and transparent analysis and the advancement of professional standards in the branch.

A partner of the event was the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (Technical College Mittelhessen), with which Canto has worked together on research for a long time. As a result of this, the possibility of viewing and further developing Digital Asset Management under theoretical and technical points of view is available. Companies profited from the event by getting an overview, and gained inspiration of how Digital Asset Management systems can be used better in order to continue acting efficiently and effectively and master the digital transformation.

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Thomas Mockenhaupt has been employed by Canto since 2011. With his brother Andreas Mockenhaupt, he founded and managed the company Vitras last year, which merged with Canto in 2011. As Chief Sales Officer, he is responsible for the area of marketing and sales of the Digital Asset Management solution ‘Cumulus’.

Canto GmbH 
Thomas Mockenhaupt

Picture credit © Nathan Anderson/Unsplash

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