The Tower of Babel & Digital Asset Management — 5,000 Years of Confusion
Let’s go back to the beginning...all the way back.
The Book of Genesis relates the origin of the languages of the world in the story of the Tower of Babel: Initially everyone spoke the same language. Settlers building a new city decided to build a "tower that reaches to the heavens", but seeing the construction in progress, God said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them", and He mixed up their languages and scattered the people all over the earth.
Anyone who’s ever been involved in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) implementation probably sees the parallels. When you initially set up a DAM, you have to decide how to describe the content you’ll add. If you’re focused on the merchandising department for a food company you’d include fields for product names, ingredients, dates of introduction, and source plant, for example. Six months down the road, your corporate communications team wants access to your DAM to track images used in content marketing and PR campaigns, but your DAM doesn’t include fields with campaign IDs or press release number, so they ask for content by email. Three months after that later, the marketing department asks the agencies that produce commercials to use it too, but they need information like shoot location, on-air talent used, and relevant rights and royalties, so they go back to FTP. The reality is that every large organization is just like the Tower of Babel, with each department speaking in its own language.
You could add additional fields, but some legacy systems require an outage to do that. When you consider the number of different potential users of digital assets in the organization, it’s a huge barrier to leveraging the same assets across the whole enterprise.
So should we give up?
With the Nuxeo Platform, your Digital Asset Management application can easily manage multiple sets of terminology at the same time, without any one department having to wade through the lexicon of another. What’s more, you can add synonyms and address common misspellings so people can always find what they need easily.