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Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Management, and Creating Order out of Media Chaos Wednesday, April 9, 2014

During the Summer of 2013, a book publisher approached me to write a book about Digital Asset Management (DAM). At the time, I was Director of the Digital Asset Management Practice at Marlabs and this would be my third book on DAM…if I were to accept to write it.


After reviewing the details for this book project, including the sponsorship from Intel, it sounded interesting. This would not be the first nor last book about Digital Asset Management, but more focused on the people, process, technology and information involved. Many aspects were not covered in any book before this one. A few other people had been approached to write this book before I was asked, but they pointed to me since I had written a blog about DAM for over 4 years and I follow the DAM market closely. I spoke to the publisher and a few DAM colleagues about it over a few days around July before making my decision.


Writing a book is not an easy task. It is pretty hard if you are actually going to contribute something meaningful, original, understandable and possibly even useful to others who read it. I knew who my audience was and this book would expand it. I was not going to simply copy work from others and compile it all like authors sometimes do. Creating original content is a labor of love…and hate. I am my own harshest critic when it comes to my work and I actually do not like a lot of my own original content because it could be better. On the other hand, we cannot aim for perfection because there is no such thing in this world. Why do I say this? Because that fictional bar of perfection keeps changing. Do not aim for perfect. Do aim for the best you can and move forward. Otherwise, we dwell in doubt, which yields nothing. I prefer to actually refer to others who will provide truly honest feedback and constructive criticsim. In my years of blogging, I still find editing harder than creating original content. With everything we want to share with the world, we just need to start it, work on it and then ship it.


I was debating whether to even start this project by first weighing all the pros and cons. The challenge was not the topic, which I know well. It was not a lack of ideas to write about which I had plenty of. It was not an issue of energy needed to do this because I have plenty of that. I was really wondering if this was worth my time as a side project. What were the benefits, aside from the small fee upon completion and some royalties? I was prioritizing among my other projects and willing to walk away if this project did not sound worth it to me. How long was this project realistically going to take to complete? How time consuming was it going to be and could I realistically fit it in my 168 hour weekly schedule? After all, no task gets done without time. The answer from the publisher was months. About 6+ months from start to finish. These were to be intensive months with lots of back and forth.


At the same time, I was still completing the delivery of a separate book project titled Another DAM Podcast Transcribed by Henrik de Gyor which was pre-funded through Kickstarter. That separate book project is now available as an eBook and Print on Demand.


I finally declined to write the book and notified the publisher… due to the time commitment involved. Within a month, another author I know named Elizabeth Keathley accepted to write this book. This author realized the time commitment involved and decided to actually quit her job to focus on writing this book full time. A few weeks later, I was approached by that same author and publisher to be the technical reviewer for this new book.


What was that going to involve? During Fall 2013, every chapter drafted by the author would be forwarded to me for review, comment and constructive critique. Sometimes this involved thorough dissection to improve the clarity or expand on a point seen by the subject matter expert acting as a technical reviewer. That is exactly what I did with as much regard for her work as if it were my own. I believe we can critique thoroughly as long as it done respectfully and patiently. This process also takes a certain level of maturity to keep all emotions in check by realizing how would you take the same criticism of your own work. The review process is not about being nice nor accepting, but remaining professional when telling someone what they need to hear. Not for the faint of heart nor the shy. My feedback was very well taken though. The technical reviews took a total of a few days (not months).


digital asset management book

About the technical reviewer and acknowledgements from Elizabeth Keathley from the book


The result was book released in late March 2014 titled:
Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Management, and Creating Order out of Media Chaos
by Elizabeth Keathley


If the topic of Digital Asset Management interests you, I hope you enjoy reading this book.


By Henrik de Gyor


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IT Service Management – Why everyone needs ITIL & CMMI Services Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Sharath Chenjeri Rajgopal – Associate Manager, Quality & Process Improvement at Marlabs, presented a webinar on the topic of IT Service Management on TechGig! This Webinar focused on Conceptual Understanding, Process Activities, & their Relationships in line with ITIL & CMMI for Services Frameworks; it concluded with an Implementation Roadmap.


Sharath was quite excited about taking the webinar and the challenges posed by the same. This is what he has to say:


“Through these Webinars, I`m able to engage hundreds of participants and educate them on a particular subject matter, without having to leave the comfort of my workstation. It is also quite challenging in terms of the resource and time constraints that are inevitably present. For example, the Webinar I conducted on “IT Service Management” on Monday the 24th March 2014 initially hit an air pocket, due to a glitch in the software. This caused a little unrest with the Audience & most importantly I lost precious Webinar time. I had to tactically make up for this lost time during the course of the Webinar, which was very tricky.


Other than time constraints, I also had to see to it that the webinar content was crisp and clear, to ensure that the participants could grasp concepts quickly. Additionally, the huge number of participants in this webinar was a key challenge when it came to the section for queries from participants due to the sheer volume of questions.”


In any case, the webinar was a huge success with more 300 people in attendance, and good feedback from attendees!! Here are the statistics:
Total Registrations: 355
Total Questions Asked: 15


You can register at TechGig to view the recorded webinar here.

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Moving to Office 365 Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Launched in 2011, Office 365 is a subscription based online office and software plus services suite. Office 365 serves as a successor to Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite, and offers access to various services and software built around the Microsoft Office platform.

Why Office 365?

Moving to Office 365 offers the following benefits:

Security: Office 365 applications are accessed through 128-bit SSL/TSL encryption so that if a transmission is intercepted by someone without authorization, they won’t be able to read it.

Reliability: Microsoft Online Services provide a service level agreement (SLA) and has a 99.9 percent scheduled uptime. Microsoft has multiple datacenters, located all over the world, hosting redundant network architecture.
Compliance: Compliant with ISO 27001 standards, completed SAS70 Type I and II audits, and achieved the EU Safe Harbor seal. Microsoft has also added controls for helping customers comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

UP-To-Date Version

With Office 365, users get all the features and functionality of the very latest versions of Microsoft’s server products. The services run on Exchange 2010 or 2013, SharePoint 2010 or 2013, and Lync. Client software is Microsoft Lync 2010 or 2013 for Windows (Communicator for Mac).

Single Sign-On: Assuming the network is running Server 2008 Active Directory on-premises, Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) can be configured to achieve single sign-on, so that users can log on to the domain and be automatically authenticated to Office 365.

Office Web Apps: Even when users are away from their Office-equipped computer, they still have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote using web apps and can create or edit content and post it to their SharePoint site or save in their SkyDrive folder.

Components of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft 365 includes the following components:


 Control and Efficiency

  • Single user interface to purchase, administer and use with role-based access control
  • Single sign on with on-premises Active Directory
  • About 99.9% financially backed SLA
  • 24×7 IT Pro Support
  • Built in geo-redundancy in regional datacenters


Office 365 for Enterprises User Segments:  Right features for the right users

For kiosk workers, Microsoft offers Plan K Family, while for information workers the offering is Plan E Family. Plan K is a low cost offering without the options for messaging or collaboration. Plan E is a feature-rich offering with messaging and collaboration capabilities.

 A typical Kiosk Worker spends 5%-10% or less of their time on a PC, shares a terminal with other kiosk workers, and hasn’t had access to a corporate mailbox in the past. Examples include manufacturing line workers, retail clerks, and mail couriers.

Plan K Suites built to address different Kiosk worker needs:

Office 365 K1:

  • Addresses most kiosk worker scenarios, where customers want to provide light email and access to a company portal
  • Provides capability to view Office documents

Office 365 K2:

  • Addresses kiosk workers that require information access and simple data input
  • Includes Office Web Apps editing capabilities for an additional cost

 Plan K Family

  • 500 MB mailbox
  • No SharePoint storage allocation
  • Outlook Web Access (full OWA, not Lite)
  • POP Support
  • Messaging, calendar, contacts
  • Anti-virus/Anti-spam
  • Site search capabilities
  • Office Web Apps

User Segment Offers: Plan E Family

  • 25GB mailbox
  • 500MB SharePoint storage
  • Full Client Connectivity (MAPI/IMAP)
  • Mobility
  • Lync (real time communications)
  • Advanced Exchange & SharePoint capabilities
  • Office Professional Plus
  • On-premises access rights

Office 365 Migration Approach


Depending on the size of the organization, one of the two options can be chosen

All-at-once migration: Smaller organizations can often get away with an all-at-once migration, perhaps moving all of their users to Office 365 overnight or over a weekend maintenance period.

Staged migration: Larger organizations may prefer a staged migration in which both their internal legacy email system and Office 365 coexist for a period of time. With staged migrations, users’ mailboxes are moved in blocks or phases.

How to Plan, Prepare, and Migrate



Post Migration – Management

Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises allows for roles-based security for your organization,

customer security, and administration roles in Microsoft cloud services portal have full permissions to your organization. The initial user created when signing up for Office 365 will be assigned this role. You may assign administrator permissions to other users in your organization.

Billing administrator: as access to perform common billing related tasks; has full permissions for billing tasks; and read-only permissions for company objects (domains and users). Any user with this role will also receive notifications for billing events.

User Management Administrator: Has access to perform common user management related tasks. Has read-only permissions to all company objects and has administration permissions. Cannot make changes to Billing or Global Administrators.

Service administrator: Has access to perform common support tasks; has read only permissions to all company objects; and has the ability to manage service requests and monitor service health.

Password Administrator: Has access to perform common support tasks and reset user passwords; has read only permissions to all company objects; resets passwords, manages service requests, and monitors service health. They can reset passwords only for users and other password administrators.

User: A person consuming Office 365 service offerings. This is the default role and does not include any administrator permissions.

Tips and Tricks

  • Rolling out a new version of MS Office will increase support calls; ensure service desk is ready
  • If a software distribution method is absent, consider leveraging one such as SCCM or Windows In-Tune
  • Keep exchange migration window as small as possible, don’t drag it out!
  • Break users into migration groups if necessary to keep things simple
  • Clean up Active Directory service sooner than later
  • Prepare for the necessary DNS service record changes before you start the installation process
  • Use the checklists provided by Microsoft, and do not skip any steps under the assumption they are not necessary
  • Take full advantage of the opportunity to review hierarchies and archiving plans prior to migration
  • Test the migration process early and often

An article by Kiran Kumar.K 

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