World Health Organization (WHO)
Releasing the Value of a Global Health Archive
Start Small - Think Big
Managing digital assets for a major organisation like WHO is a challenge of gargantuan proportions.
Like any major undertaking, however, it's often best to start small and learn as you go. In the case of our collaboration with WHO, we did just that. We initially started working with a regional office (Western Pacific Regional Office - WPRO) in the Philippine capital, Manila.
Through close co-operation with WPRO's highly motivated team in Manila, we were quickly able to demonstrate the power and potential of the LightRocket's Digital Asset Management System.
We like to think that one of the least important facets of our service is training. Not because we don't want to train our clients (of course we do!) but because we have worked hard to ensure LightRocket is so intuitive that training becomes quick and easy.
Decades of experience have taught us that by establishing good practices and developing workflows customised to the needs of our clients, we can release maximum value from our platform. However, while great software facilitates frictionless workflows and provides structure, trained team members are still a vital part of the process.
All of which is to say, we jumped in early with WPRO to provide on-site and remote training and consultancy to the team. We discussed in granular detail how LightRocket could be made to work for the specific requirements of WHO. We looked at new features that could enhance the power of the platform.
Our archives are now organised, accessible and secure. A great platform with friendly and professional support.
Marie Villemin Partow
Head of Records and Archives, World Health Organization
A Great Leap Forward
By developing efficient and appropriate workflows through consultation and by revealing the various ways in which the LightRocket's digital asset management system is able to release the value of an archive, word began to spread to other regions.
Here was a company that hadn't just signed over its system with a vague promise of after-sales service. LightRocket was in for the long haul and it was ready to share its expertise as a partner with its client.
It wasn't long before we were in discussions with WHO's Head Office in Geneva.
It was a giant leap forward - both for LightRocket and for WHO.
A highly competitive evaluation process followed. LightRocket's functionality was measured against other DAM providers, our team was scrutinised, and our credentials were vetted.
LightRocket is not a marketing machine. We are first and foremost committed to the quality of our product. Marketing is what we have to do, it's not what we love to do.
After months of consultation, comparison with the competition, and internal debate, LightRocket was finally adopted by the WHO's archive team in Geneva.
Seeing LightRocket's potential, the archive team at WHO's headquarters in Geneva quickly focused on ways to get as much value as possible from the system.
Indexing was prioritised, while WHO's team set up about ensuring that the ingestion and annotation of files was standardised. Right from day one the team was looking to the future, making sure that investments in time and expertise were always for the long term.
The logic of a digital asset management system tends naturally towards centralisation. The fragmentation and dispersal of digital assets is one of the core problems DAM systems were created to solve - and LightRocket is no different.
In the context of a global organisation comprised of distinct and independent regions, each with their own archive collections, this posed a distinct challenge.
While it made sense to centralise WHO's archives, it was simply not possible, politically or practically, to suddenly ask regional offices to dispatch their media archives to head office. Even if that had happened, it would have created an unmanageable workload for the team at HQ.
The solution, it was decided, could be delivered by creating a search portal that allowed users to search across all of WHO's collections from a single location while still allowing each region to retain control over how and by whom its files were used.
Working in close collaboration with WHO, the LightRocket development team swung into action, knitting together a string of regional archives that independently use LightRocket to manage their archives.
The result was the creation of WHO's global search portal. Users can now visit each individual archive for each region or they can browse WHO's global resources through the global search portal - making usage enquiries to the corresponding administrators of the archive to which any given asset belongs.
Progress Through Collaboration
LightRocket's WHO story is an example of how a software provider can become a consultant and collaborative partner with its client.
Our goal is to create great software and to ensure our clients get as much value as possible from our systems. We understand that no two clients are the same, that each organisation has its idiosyncrasies, and that it is our role to respond and adapt to these specificities.
By working with WHO, by learning how their organisation is structured, and by understanding both their needs and limitations, we have been able to ensure that LightRocket evolves to meet the needs of WHO today and into the future.