The success of any organization depends in part on its ability to access and manage its own digital media, and for a healthcare provider, it’s mission-critical. But it’s easier said than done, especially if the healthcare organization is more than a hundred years old, and employs tens of thousands of people in facilities across the country.
Over the decades, different groups in such an organization develop their own efforts to organize their work — from human resource teams responsible for onboarding dozens of new employees every week, to creative teams producing external and internal communications. These efforts are, by definition, siloed, and gradually the disconnections become more pronounced. Eventually, the idea of a unified, organization-wide digital asset management solution seems impossible.
That was the situation facing one of Aldis’s most-valued and longest-standing clients. The relationship started in 2018, when the soon-to-be-client’s leadership team reached out to Aldis… for a demo.
“They asked me to do a demo for them — any DAM demo,” said Phil Seibel, Aldis librarian. “Really, it was: ‘Please just pick a system that can show us what’s possible, and let's start talking.’ They had seen some of our work with other clients, and they had a feeling that if we just began to spool out ideas, that a solution for them would come from it.”
Eventually, it did, but the process was a gradual one. Seibel and the Aldis team began to interview stakeholders across the organization — a current-state audit.
“We talked to each of several individual media production groups — all in different silos — and we’d sit down and take it from the top, very big picture,” said Seibel. “‘How do you get your job done? Where's your stuff, and how do you access it?’ And then we’d drill down from there.”
These in-depth conversations led to a comprehensive audit of media usage, storage, and accessibility across a broad spectrum of internal groups. Also coming into focus: the needs of those same teams.
Seibel again: “We wound up creating a constellation of needs and priorities. Then we worked to coalesce that into two documents: one process document and one policy document — the beginnings of a governance plan.“
Design & Deployment
Those outputs provided the nuts and bolts for a formal RFP process, to identify a DAM platform provider. That process was managed by the client’s procurement team, but Aldis remained involved in other aspects of the larger project, laying the groundwork for the eventual deployment and adoption of a DAM system. For example, Aldis helped write the job description for an in-house librarian. This person would eventually manage the DAM system — and to this day works hand-in-glove with the Aldis team.
“It’s rare for one of our clients to have a trained librarian in-house — and it’s great,” said Siri Raasch, Aldis librarian. “We can all nerd out together and communicate in a shorthand that really makes things run efficiently.”
The RFP process resulted in a choice for the client’s DAM platform: Cortex by Orange Logic. The Aldis team got to work on two fronts: the librarian team dug into Cortex, fast becoming experts on the software; and Phil helped the client’s leadership develop a sustainable governance plan — now based on and tailored to the Orange Logic system — and worked with the Orange Logic AND client teams to navigate user acceptance.
“We played the role of middle-man, but in a good way,” said Seibel. “We could be the objective team that didn’t tip the scales — we were just all about adoption, making sure the organization got the best out of a great platform.”
Today, Aldis provides ongoing, daily support for the internal team. The weekly drumbeat of run-the-business work includes things like tagging the never-ending stream of new employee photos, but the steady rhythm is punctuated by frequent stand-alone projects that represent different facets of the larger goal: migrating decades of siloed work into an integrated system.
Two examples: re-ingesting and re-tagging all the videos on the organization’s YouTube channel, so video content is now searchable and accessible through the DAM; and refreshing the taxonomy for thousands of stock images, with language that’s more contemporary and more relevant for today’s employees.
Technically, this ongoing support is called “fractional librarian services,” but really, Aldis is an extension of the internal team.
“We’re integrated, definitely,” said Kyle Henke, Aldis librarian. “We have consistent meetings, consistent communication. We're treated like staff and that’s how we think about it, too.”