Sébastien Levy

What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?

I discovered the DAM world a while ago, in 2012, when Gesco, the reference company for DAM in France at the time, was integrated into the Wedia team.

Before this, I had been involved in the media industry, working as a provider for various newspapers’ editorial platforms. This meant dealing with images (and localization) but in a very different way than with a DAM for marketing and communication services in large companies.

Since then, I have been involved in building Wedia’s DAM platform as we know it today, adapting it to customers’ needs, designing its setup methodology, as well as working to attract new clients. I now manage Wedia on a daily basis, and our focus is 100% on DAM.

How do you describe Digital Asset Management to others?

I like to speak of the Single Source of Truth for all assets (digital images, videos, documents) where things are very clearly organized and rights are managed in an automated way, mimicking the organization of multi-country, multi-lingual, multi-brand companies. For years now, the DAM has become key in the MarTech stack for these large companies, acting as a central hub for such assets to be delivered to all kinds of channels, always in the relevant format, and with the ability to track what happens to the asset at all times. It is also seamlessly connected to many other platforms within the MarTech stack.

What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about it?

The DAM is the reference point for all kinds of company assets. Ideally they are never duplicated, only distributed and tracked from within the DAM. It’s a solid means of maintaining brand consistency, and offering your users around the world the right asset in the right format for their exact needs. It is way more technical than most people think, but this complexity is cleverly hidden from users.

How did you learn about DAM? Any recommended sources?

Handling the many different assets required to publish a daily newspaper is a good starting point :-) It helped to establish my understanding of how automated and industrialized these processes must be.

Then, learning about the DAM, for me, came from the experiences I have had working alongside a variety of different companies since 2010.

What is your greatest challenge to date when it comes to DAM?

Technically speaking, we have a great platform, which is very complete and highly scalable.

The greatest challenge is to align the various functional needs of our clients into one single platform. They are looking for a tailor-made, intuitive platform which responds to their specific organization and business needs, which for us is an exciting challenge to take on. This requires us to design everything to be flexible, meaning a standardized model which can be adapted for each client.

Sometimes, we also need to convince prospects to choose a best-of-breed DAM platform. It’s quite easy to do so once we can introduce all the necessary features for a DAM, but it can  be confused with a simple image gallery in a different platform (Creative Workflow, PIM…).

What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?

DAM editors are becoming more and more professional, meaning we are now able to propose performance SLAs (Service Level Agreement), that go into great amounts of detail. The DAM that was used a lot for archiving purposes 10-15 years ago is now mostly a central piece of the marketing organization. It is increasingly integrated into the rest of the MarTech stack. We see more customers using our DAM through its API (Application Programming Interface), I believe it’s likely some of them will use microservices more in the future, and build their own processes on top of the DAM.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a key element that we are actively exploring. It’s been used for a long time (automatic tagging, etc.) but keeps improving, and Generative-AI may be a game changer (automated background for product packshots etc.).

What was your biggest mistake with regards to DAM?

In the very beginning, my first impression was that DAM was a simple image gallery, with a search function. It is difficult to convey how much this is only the tip of the iceberg, when we are able to fully understand the complexities and multi-functional abilities that a powerful DAM platform can provide.

What was your biggest success with regards to DAM?

After an initial period where it was challenging to convince new prospects, we began to build up our reputation to the point where on meeting a significant new prospect, we were greeted by a team who already knew us before we had even arrived. This meant that they were already convinced by our services, having heard good things about us from other clients, resulting in us hardly having to pitch. It was a very satisfying moment.

If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?

Having trained as an engineer, it is my passion to solve a variety of issues or problems, by managing projects with my clients.

On a more personal level, I would probably play music and travel.

What more would you like to learn about DAM?

I’m eager to learn about new needs within marketing teams, and build solutions alongside them around the DAM. This happened already when the DAM was used for the first time to deliver assets to eCommerce websites, and this was a giant leap. I want to know what’s next, most likely AI!


About Sébastien Levy

Sébastien is the Managing Director at French DAM software provider Wedia, where he has worked in  numerous roles throughout the organisation from Sales Account Manager to Chief Operating Officer and subsequently his most recent position.

You can connect with Sébastien via his LinkedIn profile.

This interview was published in DAM News on 26th March 2024. For more DAM News interviews, see the interviews index page.

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