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  1. Develop a
    taste for the different flavors of DAM:
    A great deal of
    differentiation exists among DAM products — DAM means anything and everything,
    depending on the vendor you're talking to. Customization often cannot overcome
    a misaligned DAM technology.

  2. Think of
    DAM as a piece of the larger customer experience management (CXM) puzzle:
    DAM solutions are
    rarely siloed, so consider how they will integrate with other key systems, such
    as web content management (WCM) and eCommerce.

  3. Remember
    that taxonomy is the key to findability:
    Searching images
    is hard; there's no equivalent to a full-text search, so navigation is key. The
    most effective navigation schemes communicate the system's breadth and depth so
    that users are exposed to the whole menu of possibilities from which they can

  4. Treat your information workers well: Focus on configuring
    user interfaces according by role and creating intuitive advanced search forms
    that will allow users to build robust and effective queries in order to find
    relevant content.

  5. Contemplate
    your video plans carefully:
    Not all vendors are
    created equal. Image concerns often dominate DAM vendor selection despite the
    growing importance of video content.

  6. Apply governance
    with a rich media-specific twist:
    different types of people implement, administer and use DAM. With so many
    "cooks" getting involved, governance becomes very important.

  7. Avoid the
    packrat mentality, and don't use DAM to store anything and everything:
    While DAM systems can help control the number of renditions,
    they don't prevent information workers from uploading multiple variations of
    the same asset.

  8. Call the
    retention police:
    As DAM initiatives
    grow, enterprise retention policies must align in order to ensure compliance,
    protect company interests in litigation matters and ensure appropriate
    management of company assets.

  9. Don't be afraid to play Big Brother: Periodic system
    audits measure and analyze system performance, usage and resource capacity.
    This is especially important with DAM systems, where the assets stored are
    significantly larger than in other ECM systems.

  10. Put on your
    detective hat when it comes to customer references:
    Be careful of
    vendors, regardless of their size, that have all the right features in a demo
    but can't easily produce references of companies like yours.

is a research director & principal analyst at Forrester Research, where he serves Business Process Professionals. For more information, visit www.forrester.com.