Holland College is a small public community college located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Established in 1969, the school is named after British Army engineer and surveyor Captain Samuel Holland. Using Webdam, the school has been able to easily manage its growing number of digital assets, which were previously in a state of disarray on physical media.
With more than 65 full-time career training programs, Holland College is a well-regarded post-secondary institution in Canada. Because of its emphasis on hands-on learning methods, the Holland College marketing team – all six members – manages a large influx of photographs depicting students hard at work in their respective fields.
The school needed to find an easy-to-use solution for its digital asset management needs to help facilitate the many image requests and projects that the marketing team responded to on a daily basis.
Digging Through the Discs
Holland College’s marketing department had one person responsible for managing the thousands of high-resolution images of events and activities, which are spread out across 13 locations on Prince Edward Island.
With approximately 3,300 students enrolled at Holland College in Canada and in China, and an additional 5,200 students in adult and continuing education programs, the nonstop flow of high-res images was continuously creating a digital asset management disaster at the school – creating bottlenecks and efficiency issues for marketing and other stakeholders.
Whenever another department or outside organization wanted to use a photo of a Holland College student or building, the request would have to be sent to one specific person who had to sift through every single high-resolution image to find the right one. This is because there were no easily accessible hard copies, digital previews or easy search method for all pictures – they were all stored on DVDs.
We just had piles and piles of DVDs,” said Sara Underwood, media and communications officer at Holland College. “We had no viewable hard copies and there was no labeling. It was a mess.” Underwood said that Holland College,like many other schools, used these images primarily as marketing tools. And with no clear rules in place for what pictures can be used for what purpose, Underwood found many instances of images being used improperly.“You’d look up at an advertisement or a sign and think, ‘Huh…how did they get that picture?’” she recalled. This was when Underwood and her team made the decision to find a new tech solution to better manage the school’s valuable digital assets.
A Highly Recommended Technology Boost
Underwood said her team evaluated several different DAM vendors, including Webdam, prior to making its final decision. She saw Webdam’s website, specifically the impressive list of existing customers and recognition as the best DAM for higher education. She decided to give a few customers a cal on her own to learn about their experiences first hand.
“I made a couple of phone calls, mainly to other educational institutions, to ask how they found the service and how they use it,” Underwood said. “We got really great references from other universities. We decided to go with Webdam because being a happy customer is important to us too.”
After a quick, no-fuss deployment of Webdam, Holland College’s brand portal was up and running, instantly creating a branded centralized repository for its image library that was easily accessible to the marketing department. Underwood explained that she was quickly able to customize access permissions for various other users across the school, significantly reducing the time she and her team would normally spend responding to individual requests for access, approval and usage rights for photos.
“Most of the time, people were using images for PowerPoint presentations or other simple documents. We didn’t want them to download high res images for everything, so setting up different rules for automatic format conversion and access was very important,” Underwood said. “Now, whenever somebody downloads something, we also get an alert so we know what they’re using it for.”
Holland College’s image library is also often featured in other regional college publications for the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. Thanks to the school’s deployment of Webdam, images of Holland College and its students enjoy much greater circulation on various research project websites and other publications.
Working at Digital Speed
Underwood said that since deploying Webdam to manage its digital assets and overall brand, Holland College’s marketing team has been able to save hours of time and effort that was previously spent sorting through physical DVDs full of unlabeled images.
“We have been able to do so many things that were once impossible,” Underwood said. “Before Webdam, processes were so time consuming that people in other departments became discouraged and stopped asking us for help and just started doing things on their own.”
That’s when Underwood started noticing images being used improperly for marketing purposes.
“Webdam has eliminated the perception that Holland College’s marketing team is the guardian of valuable assets that we would meagerly dole out,” she said.“People who were used to making frequent image requests were just thrilled that through Webdam, they could independently find pictures in seconds. When you’re putting together a PowerPoint or some other marketing material, you’re usually pressed for time so the ability to pick out images yourself makes it much more convenient.”
Webdam also made it convenient for Holland College to share limited access to its image library with the outside media and designers that it frequently works with.“With Webdam, our processes are infinitely more efficient,” Underwood said.“Once we got the system in place, there was no backlog anymore. I can’t even begin to quantify how much better it has made things.”
Holland College is a good example of how Webdam can take even the most frustrating cases of digital asset management problems and quickly turn them into a manageable and scalable solution.
By deploying Webdam, Underwood and her team at Holland College was immediately able to save valuable time and effort sorting and organizing the constant flow of high resolution images that came into the marketing department.
Webdam’s platform was also easy to extend with limited access to other departments and outside designers, giving these individuals more flexibility to search and use images as they needed rather than funnel all requests through one marketing team member.
“The feedback about Webdam from the rest of the school is very good. At first,they didn’t anticipate that everything would be so easy,” Underwood said.“Because of the way Webdam is designed, it’s so self-explanatory and intuitive.People become familiar with the system very quickly.”
Webdam has helped Holland College take back control of its brand and streamline its digital management system, saving time and boosting productivity along the way.