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Uelzena Gruppe

Customer Stories Digital Asset Management

Enabling a smooth journey to the Cloud: The Uelzena Group

22. March 2023

The Uelzena Group is a dairy cooperative headquartered in Uelzen, Northern Germany.  For more than 70 years, the Uelzena Group has produced a large variety of different products for the global food industry.

Today, they produce milk-based ingredients such as butter, anhydrous milk fat, cheese and sweetened condensed milk for the confectionery and food processing industry, as well as instant drinks for vending machines. 

The Uelzena Group has used a Fotoware Digital Asset Management system since 2014, and recently moved their DAM solution from On-premises to SaaS (Software as a service).

We caught up with Anja Brand, Brand Manager of the Uelzena Ingredients division, to hear more about why they decided to move to the Cloud, and what are the most significant benefits after the migration.
Anja Brand and Uelzena Group products

Left: Anja Brand, Brand Manager of the Uelzena Ingredients division at the Uelzena Group. Right: Products by the Uelzena Group

What is the primary purpose of DAM in the Uelzena Group?

We manage most of our photos - already more than 8,000 - in our Fotoware DAM. We’ve also started to store print files for brochures and other materials, as well as logos and videos, in the system. The DAM is mainly used by the marketing team, but we’ve also set up access for our advertising agencies and photographers, and make photos available to our colleagues in other departments when needed.

Why did the Uelzena Group decide to move to the cloud?

Previously in the On-premise environment, we had to make sure computers are always up to date and at the same level for everyone working with it manually. In addition, work was only possible on the computers on which the software was installed. In the same way, we always had to rely on our IT department to take the time to provide support.

We wanted the system to be kept updated automatically, and the employees needed to be able to work when they want, no matter where they are.

LEARN MORE: SaaS vs. On-Premises: What system to choose?

Uelzena Group Headquarter

The headquarter of the Uelzena Group in Uelzen, Northern Germany

What are the biggest benefits after the migration?

The system is now automatically kept up-to-date without us having to take care of it ourselves. This is very convenient for us. And a system that’s current, of course, has advantages in terms of digital security, which is why our IT department also embraced it.

What’s more, an internet connection and a browser are now all that’s needed to work with the DAM system and access all its functions: we’re no longer limited to the use of specific computer workstations. This has been very practical, especially in the last few years with the increase in home offices. And when we take on short-term interns or apprentices in the marketing department, training is much easier now.


LEARN MORE: How Fotoware SaaS enables CROW to work with images securely and flexibly


What problems did you face during the migration, and how did you solve them?

Overall, the migration went very smoothly. The biggest challenge was keeping the content on both platforms in sync during the migration phase. To do so, we froze the inventory at a point in time (X) and temporarily stored new assets locally. Once the cloud platform was fully available, we loaded the different data into the new system.

It was also good that the old and new systems ran in parallel for a short time during the changeover phase. This made it easier to check whether everything had been transferred correctly. Due to the migration, we automatically changed to the new Fotoware version and took the opportunity to organize helpful user training. 

The only thing we hadn't considered was that the albums we’d created were no longer available after the migration. But we saw that as an opportunity to clean house, and only restored the ones we wanted to keep.*

*Migration of albums can be configured depending on the requirement and the process. Please consult with your Migration project team.

Uelzena group Fotoware DAM

The Uelzena Group's Fotoware Digital Asset Management solution

What are your favorite features of the Fotoware DAM solution?

Metadata: In the past, we only stored images in folders on the computer. The more images we added, the more difficult it became to manage them and pick specific ones for projects. Thanks to the DAM’s extensive keywording system, searching for the perfect image has become a breeze - which is truly one of the most important reasons for using a DAM system. To ensure that all colleagues use the same system and terms for keywording, we created extensive keyword lists and had them entered into the system so we can easily select the appropriate terms from a large pre-selection. 

The plug-in for Office programs: The feature is great, especially for picking out images from the DAM directly when creating PowerPoint presentations and inserting them in the desired size. And personally, I was very pleased that this option is also now available for Adobe Photoshop.  


What are the challenges facing the DAM’s future development?

For us, the biggest challenge lies in consistently entering and managing other files - such as print data of all kinds and layout files for packaging - into the system in addition to the photo inventory. Managing videos is also becoming increasingly important for Uelzena.

In general, it would be great to be able to do extensive image (pixel-) editing directly in the system. And an even more intuitive user interface would also be helpful. Looking forward, we want to evaluate the new Fotoware module for organizing and managing consent forms, and see how and where it can provide benefits.

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