Transitioning your teams from a current digital asset management (DAM) system to the Widen Collective can be a smooth process with minimal to no downtime if planned accordingly. Our customer success managers (CSMs) and onboarding coaches (OCs) have successfully assisted many customers with this transition.


There are four key pieces to a successful transition:

  1. Clear communication to your team by your project owner on the benefits of the Collective and expectations
  2. Migration path for assets and metadata from your current DAM system to the Collective
  3. Migration path for your users to ease adoption of the Collective
  4. Use of the current DAM system during the transition period


Communication plan

  • Notify your users of the transition and benefits of the Collective

  • Introduce the Collective through recorded video demos or trainings

  • Announce the rollout plan for the Collective in advance with transition dates


Migration path for assets and metadata

During a kickoff meeting, set a milestone for a technical meeting between our technical team and your technical team to identify the migration path needed to export data from your current DAM system into the Collective. The goal of this meeting is to determine if our technical team can extract your data or if you need resources to extract the data yourself.

  • Identify if your current DAM system is hosted, publicly accessible, and has an API available. If so, our technical team may be able to connect to it and extract your data via the API. No additional effort is needed from your team, except to provide access to us. This is available for transitions from systems like Flickr, Picasa, and MajorTom.

  • Identify if you have an installed system that does not have public access. In this case, you will need technical resources to write and run programs to export data from your current DAM system. We will assist in providing details on file structure and the format to provide the data. This is common for transitions from systems like MediaBin, OpenText, Cumulus, and MediaBeacon.


During the meeting, the amount of data will also be discussed to determine if it can be transferred via bandwidth (customer uploads all their assets to the site) or if it will need to be placed onto a hard drive and sent to your CSM. The preferred method is always to copy assets onto a drive. Our automated migration process from a supplied hard drive includes de-duping and checksum validation, and the folder structure on the drive is used as a source both for asset security settings and asset organization in your Collective site. Transferring via bandwidth is time consuming and does not offer the efficiencies of hard drive migration. However, if you have more than 20 TB of assets and opt for using an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Snowball drive of either 50 TB or 80 TB capacity, those are shipped directly to the AWS data center.


Migration path for users

Discuss how users are accessing your current DAM system with your CSM or OC and determine if that is sufficient going forward or if it can be improved. A variety of single sign-on (SSO) options are offered in the Collective that can be used to ease the transition and increase user adoption of the system.

  • Review your current users and map them into their new user roles in the Collective.
  • Determine if you want our technical team to import your users prior to rollout or if an SSO or registration codes will be used to start with user creation.


Use of the current DAM system

The needs of your current DAM system will need to be evaluated during the transition period. We recommend that your current DAM system is either in read-only or light-use mode during the transition.

  • In read-only mode, no additional files are uploaded and metadata isn't modified after the data has been exported.
  • In light use mode, there will be a smaller subset of data that you can download from the current DAM system and manually upload into the Collective after the transition is completed.

Once details are set for the communication plan - as well as asset, metadata, and user migration - the milestones below can be set so there's limited interruption and downtime.


Note that the transition period can vary from four weeks to six months depending on the amount of data to transfer and if technical resources are available on your side.


Milestones for project and technical teams

  • Kickoff meeting with your OC to outline high-level milestones
  • Technical meeting with our technical team and your technical team responsible for the current DAM system
  • Notify users of the change from your current DAM system to the Collective and the benefits of the Collective
  • Modify use of your current DAM system to read-only or light-use mode


Project team milestones

  • Set up the user interface, metadata fields, user roles, permissions, and more in the Collective
  • Set up an SSO, if needed, or import users


Technical team milestones

  • Your technical team exports files and metadata (one to four weeks)
  • You (or your technical team) copy the data to hard drives and ship the drives (one to three days)
  • We import the data into AWS (one to four days)
  • We run scripts to import the file data (one to seven days)
  • We run scripts to import the metadata (one to five days)
  • You verify the data import in the Collective and that the site is set up to specifications (one to five days)
  • You introduce users to the Collective through video or live training
  • You alert users of the rollout date and how to gain access to the Collective
  • On the rollout date, you turn off external access to the current DAM system and redirect users to the Collective URL
  • Run both sites concurrently to verify data, if needed. If you've chosen to use light-use mode, you can use that time to manually download new assets from the current DAM system and upload assets and add metadata in the Collective (five to 10 days).
  • You turn off the current DAM system and enjoy the Collective

Outstanding questions

  • What additional questions do you have for us?
  • What additional questions do you have for your internal teams?
  • What additional questions do you have for current vendors?
  • What additional questions do we have for your teams?