Bertelsmann Stiftung Nonprofit

As one of Germany’s largest foundations, Bertelsmann Stiftung manages its share of digital assets. And though the organization already had a digital asset management system, its maturing DAM requirements had surpassed that older product’s capabilities.

The Challenge

With the majority of its users requiring DAM access from within SharePoint, Bertelsmann Stiftung needed a digital asset management solution that worked well from within SharePoint. What’s more, it had to be easy to use because managers didn’t want to undergo months of change management and user re-training. It also had to make sharing videos to YouTube easy.

The Solution

Picturepark offers Bertelsmann Stiftung a DAM solution that provides all the in-SharePoint functionality users need. This makes things easier for everyone and it prevented the organization from spending time and money re-training. Even better, Picturepark enables the organization to extend DAM functionality to external suppliers and agencies through the product’s Web-based asset ordering and uploading features.

“Our goal was a DAM that was easy to configure. Picturepark offers what we need today and tomorrow too.”

Bertelsmann Stiftung IT Project Coordinator, Björn Brockschmidt.

Experienced Professionals make their Choice

In addition to the organization’s former DAM, Brockschmidt used Celum at a previous employer. This enabled him to better anticipate and describe what Bertelsmann Stiftung needed.

“Bertelsmann Stiftung knew exactly what they wanted because they knew what was possible with DAM,” said Picturepark Sales Director, Philip Axmann, who manages the account. “Their previous DAM experience meant we could focus on refinements and goals rather than the basics. It also meant they immediately recognized the value Picturepark offers when they saw it, which made my job easier.”

“Picturepark works well inside SharePoint and this was most important for us. Because it is so simple for users, we didn’t need to offer any training. It is all self-explanatory.”

Bertelsmann Stiftung IT Project Coordinator, Björn Brockschmidt.

A Better DAM for SharePoint

Björn Brockschmidt cites Picturepark SharePoint Connector as a primary purchase influencer. In contrast to SharePoint integrations from other DAM suppliers, Picturepark’s SharePoint Connector works as users expect and it provides the functionality they need.

Most users access the Bertelsmann Stiftung Picturepark from within SharePoint. All standard Picturepark functionality is included with SharePoint Connector, so users can access the entirety of their corporate archives within a single interface.

Full-resolution previews are available to SharePoint users. Because SharePoint Connector provides a live link to Picturepark, everything users see within SharePoint is always current.

A Better DAM for Users and Agencies Too

Picturepark also provides DAM functionality that was missing from the older DAM. Editors are able to quickly batch-edit any number of records at a time, and users can easily share digital assets across social media and other channels.

Bertelsmann Stiftung was also able to improve its process for acquiring content from external sources. To ensure the organization has all the metadata values it needs, a list of required XMP field values is shared with agencies and suppliers. When images are uploaded into Picturepark, an automated workflow confirms all required metadata values are present. If not, the uploading user is informed and the file is rejected. Files that are accepted by Picturepark are announced to DAM editors via email.

Cloud-based Prototyping for On-premise Deployment

The Bertelsmann Stiftung Picturepark was built in the Picturepark Cloud even though it was destined for deployment on the organization’s own servers.

Cloud configuration made it faster and easier for Picturepark and Bertelsmann Stiftung to collaborate on configuration ideas, and it eliminated delays that would have otherwise been caused by waiting for data migration and hardware acquisition and setup. Once the completed system was approved by the organization, it was moved onsite. Less than a day later, users were again working in the very same system they’d used the day before—only now it was hosted on-premise.

Granular Rights Management

The Bertelsmann Stiftung Picturepark houses tens of thousands of images that come from a number of sources. Whether purchased, licensed or borrowed, it is imperative that the organization track the source and usage restrictions for everything in their system.

Picturepark rights templates make the otherwise onerous task of controlling granular permissions manageable. And because asset rights templates remain connected to assigned assets, Bertelsmann Stiftung can update template settings and have all assigned assets updated automatically.

Model release forms are also managed in Picturepark, which helps the organization determine when an image is approved for use.

Moving between DAMs

The Bertelsmann Foundation, created in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn, is the largest private operating non-profit foundation in Germany.

Because Bertelsmann Stiftung was already using another DAM system, there was a rich repository of metadata and assets that had to be migrated to Picturepark.

Picturepark is capable of importing assets and metadata in bulk, but the older DAM wasn’t designed for easy system-to-system data transfers. This resulted in a challenge for which third-party expertise was called in.

Germany’s FHCon offered the unique qualification of being familiar with Bertelsmann’s older DAM and Picturepark too. Even better, they had the expertise to overcome the older DAM’s proprietary data storage technology so that a reliable and relatively painless data transfer workflow could be developed.

After the data migration was complete, Bertelsmann Stiftung users could begin to leverage the benefits of Picturepark without having to redo years of work.

Asset Ordering for Greater Control

“I can send watermarked versions to people outside Bertelsmann Stiftung and tell them I can provide the originals if they like.”

Bertelsmann Stiftung IT Project Coordinator, Björn Brockschmidt

Because of the sensitive nature of most of the organization’s digital assets, Bertelsmann Stiftung DAM managers restrict access to photo originals for virtually its entire collection. Picturepark makes it easy for users to request the assets they need. Watermarked previews are available, and all order fulfillment is handled automatically by functionality built into all Picturepark systems.

Brockschmidt also leverages Picturepark’s watermarked formats to proactively promote digital content to others.

Digital Asset Management for Typo3

Bertelsmann Stiftung has also integrated Picturepark with its Web CMS system, Typo3. By further leveraging Picturepark as a central hub of digital content, the foundation has gained greater control over its collections and made it easier for website editors to access what they need.

Worth noting is that Bertelsmann did not use Picturepark’s standard Typo3 Connector, as Björn Brockschmidt explains.

“The Picturepark Typo3 Connector didn’t offer the exact functionality we needed,” he said. “We showed our agency the Picturepark API and Asset Connector Framework and asked if it would be possible to build a version that better fit our needs. They said it would be easy, and that turned out to be the case.”

Among the requirements Bertelsmann Stiftung had was to make sure that assets from Picturepark could be placed directly into Typo3, without first being downloaded. In fact, the act of downloading would have been a license violation for some of the content.

“Our website editors can search for what they need and then select from a set of predefined cropping and sizing templates that match our website image placeholders,” Brockschmidt explained. “This way, they know that what they place into Typo3 will be the correct file format and fit perfectly.”

Further upstream in the production pipeline, Brockschmidt’s team is able to use Picturepark rights templates to identify which images are accessible to website editors. This ensures that website editors aren’t slowed down by having to get approvals for each image placed, and it helps the foundation remain confident that it is not using imagery outside the scope of its licenses.

Brockschmidt describes the integration as fast and reliable, and a welcomed addition to his organization’s website development efforts.

Digital Asset Management Expansion Projects

Bertelsmann Stiftung also plans to use the Picturepark YouTube Connector to upload videos to the BertelsmannStiftung YouTube Channel.