CELUM DAM at Switzerland Tourism
by Philipp Böhner
Switzerland Tourism, headquartered in Zurich, is the marketing organization of the Swiss Confederation and promotes demand for Switzerland as a vacation, travel and convention destination both at home and abroad. Worldwide, ST is present in 23 markets with around 240 employees in 34 offices.
Media data – such as images, videos and various other marketing materials – was previously held in two systems, which have now been transferred to a central digital asset management system (DAM). Important aspects of the new solution are the central data storage, the intuitive maintenance of the metadata and the distribution of the assets in line with the target group.
When the project was put out to tender in the summer of 2020, we were able to convince Switzerland Tourism of our proposed solution together with CELUM as the DAM system and were awarded the contract.
For Covid reasons, no face-to-face meetings could be held on site throughout the project. All communication and project management was handled remotely; including weekly status meetings. To make collaboration as transparent as possible, project documents were shared with stakeholders on both sides. This meant that everyone was aware of the project's progress at all times. What would have been unthinkable at the beginning turned out to be extremely positive and advantageous in retrospect. Efforts were saved on both sides, resources were conserved and work was more flexible.
In the first year, the focus was on the concept. During the implementation phase, the respective configurations were applied on a test instance and rolled out on the productive system after acceptance. This allowed continuous and parallel work on the concept and implementation. Thanks to the agile approach, what had been discussed in theory was quickly brought to life in the system. This project approach – a combination of the rigid waterfall model and the SCRUM approach – once again proved to be very successful.
The Go-LIVE took place in several steps. The video team has already been working with CELUM DAM since November 2021, the other teams worldwide since the beginning of February 2022; this took place after various training sessions in German and English in the fully configured DAM system. The definitive Go-LIVE took place with the conversion of the Sitecore connection at the beginning of March.
For further external stakeholders, the SAM – Switzerland Asset Management – has been accessible with an appealing public area since mid-March.
With CELUM, a system was implemented that serves as a central data hub and source for many peripheral systems: a true single source of truth. Various external image and video suppliers load their content directly into the DAM system via a flexibly preconfigured upload link, where it is processed, supplemented with metadata and released internally or publicly. Connections to the world of Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud are available via CI HUB, which on the one hand helps to easily and quickly integrate image data in Office documents and on the other hand enables print media production with Creative Apps.
With the connection to Microsoft Azure services, Switzerland Tourism has the possibility to use the constantly improving image recognition technology «Computer Vision» of Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services (AI services) for the automatic tagging of images in CELUM and can also automatically translate metadata into other languages (German, English, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian). Thus, the PowerUser in CELUM can perform the keywording in their native language and the other languages are automatically translated and populated. This has massively reduced the maintenance effort of the metadata.
The most important interface in operation is the Sitecore Connector, which allows CMS users to integrate images into websites directly in Sitecore without any detour (upload/download). This has been extended with a cropping module so that images can also be cropped to fit the website right away. Images placed in Sitecore are tagged with a usage record in CELUM DAM so that DAM users can always see which images are used in Sitecore. Workflows have been implemented in Sitecore itself that act accordingly when the usage rights of the images expire. This allows the usage restrictions and copyright information maintained on the assets to be adhered to at all times.
In total, about 5'000 videos with 17 TB from the Swiss Video Library (SVL) and about 65'000 additional assets with just over 3 TB from the old DAM system were migrated to CELUM. Since January 31, 2022, the new DAM has been operational for all employees of Switzerland Tourism and is continuously growing. Thus, about 74'000 assets with a total of 22 TB are currently managed in the SAM.
The migration of the SVL videos already took place in spring 2021. For this purpose, a CELUM plugin was developed, which as an importer transferred the videos and metadata directly from SVL to CELUM DAM.
The assets from the previous DAM were migrated to CELUM in three steps: A large initial import took place in December 2021, followed by two delta migrations shortly after Christmas and in January 2022. This was necessary because work was carried out in parallel in both DAM systems over the migration period and the Sitecore CMS was only connected to the new DAM in the very last step.
For the metadata import, the category structure, EXIF and IPTC data of the delivered binaries (videos, photos, etc.), as well as metadata of the source system were used. Whether direct import into new information fields, a mapping by renaming existing terms or transformations by a set of rules from category structure and previous metadata fields – we found a solution for all variants. In this way, many new labels were also automatically created in the generic structure. In addition, existing asset collections could be transferred automatically.
The user permissions from both systems were merged and completely reworked during the project. This resulted in a permission concept with 143 hierarchically structured CELUM user groups – many of them of a technical nature, as well as 24 roles to be able to fulfill the very generic permission requirements. The employees of Switzerland Tourism log in via Active Directory, the external users have manually configurable user accounts.
Only selected assets are made available to the external users for utilization. Thanks to the brix extension «Smart Collections», assets are automatically assigned to user-specific areas based on metadata, where external parties have different access. Thus, based on the usage rights, source and copyright information, the data can be made available in a targeted and secure manner.
- Archive Manager to automatically (or manually) archive assets whose usage rights expire and remove them from users. Assets can be re-archived to their original structure with a click of the mouse.
- Asset Marker to read information from the metadata and display it along with the preview image: For example, storage location (archive, public, trash), usage rights, movie duration, language, aspect ratio, color space, or video size.
- Configurable Date Sync to define the validity of an asset depending on an information field. This automatically adjusts the asset's availability when the copyright date expires.
- Focal Point Setter, to automatically crop the image during download based on a set focal point.
- Login Management, to set the expiration date of external users in advance and automatically disable user accounts when not in use.
- Multi Node Reference Editor to allow editors to selectively change, delete, or assign labels to a selection of assets.
- Smart Collections assigns assets to specific structures based on stored rules. This allows the asset lifecycle and the correct assignment of permissions to be elegantly organized.
- Metadata Mapper: For uploaded assets, the EXIF, XMP and IPTC data is read and written to information fields. This makes it easier to find these assets – via search or filters.
- Asset Validation flags assets that do not meet the defined minimum quality requirements.
- MS Azure Autotagger: Automatic tagging of assets through image recognition of Microsoft Azure services.
- MS Azure Autotanslator: Predefined info fields are automatically translated into other languages during the approval process. In addition, newly created labels are also translated into the other languages.
- Relation Handler to link multiple assets simultaneously. The type of relation is freely definable.
- Create Collection, for easy creation of collections (also by read-only users), which can be shared internally or published to external users via pin link.
- Duplicate Handler for periodic cleanup of duplicates and transfer of metadata during the cleanup of duplicates.
- Asset Statistics for the evaluation on asset level regarding the usage of the asset.
- Global Statistics for global evaluation of statistical data (number of assets in the system, required storage space, etc.).
- User Sync Field to automatically provide users of the DAM system as a value list for labels.
- In planning: Kibana Connect, to provide and evaluate the statistics data from CELUM in Kibana.