Solve the Case of the Missing Digital Assets with Adobe Workfront & AEM

Metadata syncing means you'll never lose another image, video, or document.

Content Supply Chain

You know it's out there somewhere. You can picture it in your head. You remember when it was created. And yet, no matter where you look in your digital asset management (DAM) system, no matter what search terms you use, you can't find the photo, banner, PDF, or video you're looking for.

So you ask around. You hit up your co-workers to see if they know where it is. (Don't worry about the interruption: tomorrow they'll probably be pestering you about some file they can't find.) Finally you just give up and ask for it to be created again. You can sense the creatives rolling their eyes. But they drop what they're doing and create it again.

As you file your re-created asset away in the DAM, you swear to yourself that this time will be different. You add some metadata tags that will certainly bring the asset up again the next time you search for it. From now on, it'll be easy. But a little nagging voice in your head asks 'wasn't that what you said last time'?

The best-laid plans can go awry over one elusive banner

Nobody knows exactly how much time knowledge workers waste looking for files. Estimates range from 12% to 25% of work hours spent hunting for internal documents, but it's hard to pin down across such a diverse range of roles and tasks. Even harder to measure are the costs of the duplicative re-work, the missed opportunities of settling for the assets you can find rather than the ones you need, and the effects of so much stressful disruption to your team's flow, your planning, and your day. 

What's not in dispute is that it's all too much. All of these issues will be depressingly familiar to everyone who's ever worked with a flawed, disorganized DAM setup (or, even worse,  with no DAM at all). But just because a problem is widespread doesn't mean it's inevitable.

When Adobe Workfront is properly connected to the Adobe Experience Manager Assets DAM, asset metadata suddenly becomes very easy to maintain. And those assets become very easy to find. Here's how.

Information is power - and good information is a superpower

Good metadata tagging makes searching in AEM Assets a breeze. Problem is, it's hard to get people to enter metadata for every file. You can set up some nice airtight rules for your team. But especially in crunch time, with production deadlines looming, careful tagging is one thing that's all too easy to let slide. Humans, are, after all, only human.

So take it out of their hands. A custom connector can grab metadata from all over the Workfront project, not just from the document. We're talking about metadata associated with the task used to create the document. Or with the project the task resides within. Or with the program or campaign that the project belongs to. Or even the overarching portfolio that the campaign was created to support.

Keep in mind, this is all information that Workfront already collects. No additional keying-in necessary.

All that data gets attached to the uploaded assets automatically. All you have to do is map the metadata in AEM Assets to reflect those fields. Then all those keyword tags come right along with the images, videos, and files when they're sent to AEM Assets. That's a lot of crucial info that you only ever have to enter once.


All the metadata that fits your team

Every company, every team, every project is different. You can create custom metadata fields in Workfront to capture all the info that matters to your particular workflow. 

Maybe it's the licensing terms of a photo asset, describing how it can be used. Maybe it's the model's name or shooting location for a photo. Maybe it's the particular event a video was created for. Whatever's going to be relevant to your team can be turned into a custom metadata field. Your assets have never been so searchable. 

By the way, that's just the beginning of what great metadata can unlock, with the right integrations. For instance, you can set up assets to expire along with their licenses, to protect the company from violations for unauthorized asset usage. Or you can use metadata terms to run reports on the performance of those assets. Which video format drives audiences wild? Who's your next top model? But that's a topic for another time. The point is, metadata makes good things happen.

Consistency is the mother of success

"I know this isn't all of the banners for our spring accessorize campaign. Maybe in this folder... ah, here they are. But why weren't they coming up in search? Oh, some of them are tagged 'spirng'. And a few are tagged 'accessorise'." Cue head banging into keyboard repeatedly.

Again, humans aren't perfect. But your asset metadata should be. Having a single source of truth for metadata like Workfront means inherited metadata is always clean and correct. You can then make that metadata read-only in AEM Assets to protect that integrity. No more worries about whether every graphic designer on a project knows how to spell "separation", or whether your globally-distributed team disagrees on "jewelry" vs. "jewellery".

Govern metadata best by governing least

All this means higher metadata quality with - get this - less effort than you might be spending now to achieve worse results. By all means, train your team well, monitor their results, and put in a governance system to ensure good metadata practices. 

But you'll have to do a lot less hands-on management if you've got the right automations and connections between Workfront and AEM. The fewer decisions your team members have to make about metadata, the less they have to think about it, and the happier you'll all be. And that goes double for that future time when you're searching for a particular asset.

Let's make a connection 

How can you find the onramp to this hassle-free asset management future? Start with WNDYR. Our Adobe Expert-certified team of technologists and change managers have brought custom Workfront-AEM Assets connections to enterprises large and small, boosting productivity and satisfaction for hundreds of thousands of employees. Let us show you what WNDYR can do for you, too.

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