Les Mousquetaires – One DAM for all and all for one / Episode 2 : Project implementation and internationalization

February 24, 2016
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After introducing on February 10, 2016 the objectives and the genesis of the Groupement des Mousquetaires BIG project, discover today the following testimony that reveals the development and internationalization of the project.

BIG project implementation

What work method was used to carry out the project?

The BIG project followed an agile approach incorporating the principles of Scrum. On its side, Keepeek managed the project by integrating their internal method combining SCRUM and KANBAN. The project initially was cut into release (batch) with an iterative development within each release.This operation has been decisive in driving the project. DAM projects are quite recent. Each trade has to make his own learning of the problem. As often walking is learned. This is exactly what happened in the case of BIG.

We quickly went on successive prototyping, which gave the business departments concrete matter to think about. From the first days, the SAAS application version was available to the trade. The steps specifications were made directly on the application in "real time".
This approach oriented iterative prototyping helps to provide a framework and focus thinking on the essential. This avoids the syndrome of the blank page and quickly crystallizes the essential needs.

What difficulties have you encountered during the project?

The first task was to identify all the needs and make them converge. The number of project stakeholders is important. Due to its transversal nature, a DAM project is confronted to a great divergence of needs and perspectives. Everyone is interested in images: marketing, merchandising, IT, eCommerce, photographers and even procurement and legal services (there are certainly many more). The standardization of these image management processes thus proved to be complex. We had to quickly define project scope, including the consideration of acquisition and media distribution processes.
However, the agile and iterative approach we used is certainly the best response we could have to understand these needs.

The second difficulty appeared for the resumption of the existing. This is true for all IT projects, but especially for a complex project DAM. There were very many media databases with data recoveries and very different rules of organization. The picture file type is not standardized, we ended up with thousands of duplicates that we had to deal with. Not so easy to choose the best image to return. Is it better to take a recent picture of low quality or an older image in HD? Here are the type of questions that had to arbitrate. In total, over one hundred thousand pictures were taken.

The third challenge was to integrate our suppliers into the quality control process. We wanted to become an integral part of the quality process. Yet it is the users that we do not know very well and have very heterogeneous IT knowledge. We have implemented a very simple specific site to use for them. But this technical response was not sufficient. We have put together a team to lead the relationship with users and meet their demands. The quality of visuals offered by our vendors is so heterogeneous that we had to review our processes of basic feed flows approval in order to impose strict controls humans.

How is BIG integrated into the information system?

We have positioned BIG as the media document repository of our information system. We connect other applications to BIG to enable bilateral exchanges between systems.The first integration was achieved with our Argos repository. It contains the information of the products. A synchronization mechanism makes it possible to fill in product information on the media into BIG. This information is then used for research and export media.This integration also allows continuous quality control of the media and products to detect for missing media or product. Finally, it ensures consistency in the media life cycle so that they are related to the lifecycle of the associated product.

Implementation and internationalization of BIG project

What are the existing applications that consume BIG?

First, we set up BIG to push media towards applications requiring image. Targets are the e-Commerce websites, merchandising applications, our receipt application Catalina. It is integrated in push mode : BIG generates every night thousands of images in many formats and distributes them to other platforms.
Other applications are then connected to BIG via Keepeek Restful API. This connection is simple and light to implement. Our corporate website now offers content from BIG thanks to this device. These multiple integrations are completely in the logic of urbanization of our IS.

And tomorrow, what are the future applications that will consume BIG ?

We are working on a large 3D stores project with Dassault System editor. The textures used for the products will come from BIG and push standardized 3D images to the base. We also plan to integrate BIG with our new app store running on tablets.

Internationalization of the project

Why did you deploy the international project?

Groupement des Mousquetaires is deployed in several European countries. Once the project is launched in France, we chose to deploy to Poland. The objective is to enable others to benefit from what we have already done for France.
Within the same basis, we added all media of Polish products. The interfaces have been translated for the occasion. A specific tree was also deployed to comply with Polish nomenclatures. Description forms and synchronization processes have also been adjusted to allow exchange with Polish products repositories.
The Polish project is not the copy of the French project. We were able to adapt to the specific country and not just the language. Once more, our agile and iterative process has greatly contributed to this success.

Are you going to pursue the European deployment?

Our role within STIME is to offer solutions for the entire Group. We aim for a deployment to other countries, including Belgium and Portugal. However, it must consider the context of each country and not to rush deployments. Let us not forget that a project like BIG has repercussions on the organization of the entire graphic chain and marketing, internally but also with suppliers.

Can you give us feedback on the choice of the DAM editor Keepeek?

Very early in the process of selecting candidates, Keepeek marked us with its expertise on the subject and by listening to our own needs. Throughout the project, this proximity in understanding the needs allowed to identify the best solutions to implement for the users benefit. We continue also to meet Keepeek regularly to talk about future developments regarding BIG or DAM.
DAM software Keepeek was particularly adapted to our situation. It is simple to handle and allow rapid deployment with our users. This software is very powerful and yet was able to adapt to all our business rules that were sometimes very complex.
Moreover, beyond the traditional scope of the management of multimedia file, Keepeek solution is very flexible for integration of product data.

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