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INTO University Partnerships

How an Asset Bank relaunch ignited a spark across INTO's marketing teams and transformed the way they manage their digital assets

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Who are INTO?

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INTO University Partnerships provide academic and English language courses to help international students progress onto Bachelors and Masters degrees at leading universities in the UK, USA and China.

With a growing network of university-based study centres, it’s essential that INTO’s marketing and communication teams can quickly and easily find relevant digital assets to use both internally and externally. To fully achieve the benefits and cost-savings of a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system it’s vital that the configuration and process are tailored specifically to the needs of each individual client.

We learn how INTO use Asset Bank as their central hub for digital assets to save
time and money across their organisation.

The Challenge - Making their digital assets easy to find and use

INTO have been an Asset Bank customer since 2011 and over the past 7 years, as with many systems purchased for a specific team or department, requirements tend to change and evolve. INTO were no different and it became clear that Asset Bank was still configured with the original purchasing team’s requirements in mind. They began to find that as new staff joined the organisation (and were expected to use Asset Bank), they struggled to locate what they needed with ease. In addition, staff members were still uploading images and other digital files into Asset Bank, but the sheer number of ‘required’ text fields that needed filling in on upload, meant that very few had the inclination to complete them.

“People were finding it hard to find specific assets, we didn’t take advantage of the full range of features... we had to improve it.”

Oscar Catling, Web Content Coordinator, INTO

This resulted in images and files being tagged incorrectly and it simply became harder and harder for teams to locate their digital files. Once this started, it quickly snowballed with individuals choosing to re-use the same assets over and over or searching on the internet for relevant imagery for ease of use - which became a concern due to the risk of incurred fines or unseen costs due to license requirements.

In 2018, INTO decided that rather than start again with a new system (which would’ve required a significant amount of research and investment), that they would re-engage their teams and users by making Asset Bank really work for them and we were delighted to get involved to make this transformation happen.

Key areas of system improvement:

  • Overhaul the Existing Taxonomy - Reduce the number of mandatory metadata fields needed to be completed on upload by merging some and removing others that are no longer of use.
  • Redesign Folder Structure - Review the historic folder structure to identify areas to simplify, and then match to the new teams workflows in order to make it easier for users to find the assets they are looking for.
  • Review and Improve the User Experience - The user experience for different groups and individuals throughout the organisation was challenging as the system wasn’t configured with INTO’s up-to-date requirements in mind. 

The Solution - Redesign and relaunch

Our Asset Bank consultants worked closely with members of the project team from INTO to discuss and identify the different areas of the system that could be improved. Whilst the changes were wide-reaching, they fell into three main categories: updating the organisation’s taxonomy to suit changing business needs, re-designing the folder structure to make it easier for users to browse and search for assets and updating the look and feel to a more modern design that adhered to revised brand guidelines. Along the way the Asset Bank team provided INTO with resources including blog articles and help pages to both guide and inspire new ideas.

"It brought all the teams together - now we all have a process, we work better together, it helps us to track things and actually communicate more."

Chrissa Manioudaki, Enrollment Services Manager, INTO

In order to give the project team a tangible experience of how the new system would work, a sandbox environment was created in order to have a safe space to work on configuration and branding changes, without interrupting the day-to-day experience for users.

The Results - A beautiful streamlined system that helps INTO save time

The re-launched application has received an incredibly positive response from both users of the system and administrators alike. The number of users accessing the system has increased by nearly 20% and alongside this the number ‘failed’ search requests has dropped by over 40%, demonstrating a huge change in the ease that people can find what they are looking for in the system. Two of the key features that have made a big difference to INTO is the introduction of Auto Tagging and a more effective way of handling consent forms relating to photography of specific individuals. Both the teams within the UK and the US have been able to more easily find and use assets which enables a better customer service to INTO’s students across the globe.

"We just want to say a massive thank you from all of us here for helping us to get this done. You have been really helpful throughout the whole process and we are very pleased with the result. I would definitely recommend the consultancy and training services. You have to put thought and planning into creating your own personalised system because every company is different.”

Oscar Catling, Web Content Coordinator, INTO

Since Asset Bank has been re-launched, INTO have been able to more effectively use it within the organisation and sharing assets with third parties has also been quicker and easier.

INTO now have future plans to integrate their Asset Bank with other applications used across the business helping to ensure that their DAM remains a key part of their organisation and a single source of truth for the future. By having a central repository for their digital assets it is easier for all employees within INTO to find the relevant files they are looking for as well as being given guidance on how they can then use the assets. To make this simple for new joiners to the organisation, a set of guides and naming conventions have also been added to the system so the information is always at hand.

INTO results

"I honestly think this looks great and is really easy to navigate. I particularly like the most used and recently added assets plus the new categories in the photo sections for each university!”

Oscar Catling, Web Content Coordinator, INTO
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