Keeping DAM Solutions In Check in 2009

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CMSWire recently published an article Digital Asset Management in 2009: Trends, Features and SharePoint Integration.  The article had a few DAM players weigh in, so now I would like to continue the conversation by Keeping DAM Solutions in Check in 2009

What’s driving the adoption of Digital Asset Management solutions?  Moreover, how do you justify the purchase of a DAM system in this economy? 

Did you stop creating digital content?  No.

Did you shift the way in which you deliver content?  Likely.

Do you need to continue supplying the digital content that is the lifeblood of commerce and marketing to those that use and repurpose it to help your brands sustain?  Absolutely.

Do you need to do that in a way that minimizes cost and maximizes effectiveness in the areas that drive revenue?  DAM, you’re good.

Enough of the Q&A.  Let’s get into what’s big in DAM in 09. 

SaaS – While it’s hard to lose sight of the current economic conditions, let’s bring SaaS to the forefront.  Service is King… right?  In this economy, SaaS is not looked at as an alternative, but as the answer.  You’ve already answered the questions above, but how about these:

Do you have the financial resources for hefty capital expenditures on infrastructure costs?

Do you have the human resources (IT) to devote to “just another marketing project?”

Since SaaS is quick to deploy in a time when ‘time is of the essence’ and resources are limited, a cost-effective monthly subscription that can be budgeted for looks like a clear choice.

Widen understands the objection that sometimes you just need your digital content to be on-site.  The Widen Answer:  The Widen Appliance – an extension of the SaaS model with managed services on the client site.  Local access (for the creatives) and business continuity (for everyone). 

Let’s get a little more SaaSy with some highlights from an article from business technology publication ZDNet, SaaS model here to stay, say vendors

  • SaaS solutions can be deployed without ramping up skill sets and infrastructure.
  • Why deploy an installed solution that may take 12 months if it’s out of date by the time it goes live?
  • Economies of scale and scalable resources.  You’re renting the infrastructure, but you own the content. 
  • Stronger security, redundancy and reliability than most companies can achieve on their own.
  • Not limited to simple applications, but a way to kick start a complex deployment.

Moving off the SaaS train to one of the hottest topics today...

Video - With the rise and popularity of consuming video – online and via mobile devices – organizations must look for video management solutions.  Not to the level required by traditional media companies, but lighter weight solutions for the marketer looking to publish videos on web sites and social media outlets.  Widen has added functionality to preview and transcode video assets, embed links to centrally control and globally repurpose and consume the most recent video asset, and cloud computing resources to scale with the demand.  
Collaboration – The new way of saying “Teamwork.”  Organizations are not siloed, or at least they want to break the habit of operating independently.  Creative, marketing, web, sales… they all need to be on the same page.  People want to be involved closer to the creation end of the digital asset life cycle and approval processes continue to be complex.  A web interface into the collaboration process is critical to teams both internal and geographically-dispersed.  With project collaboration comes workflow and reporting capabilities to streamline processes and hold people accountable. 

Recognizing the demand for creating efficiency in review and approval workflows, Widen created Backdrop, a web-based tool to automate the complex photography routing and approval cycles behind the scenes for photographers and creative approvers.  Separately, the Widen Project Collaboration application for the front-end of the digital asset library supports online reviews, annotations and versioning in one central repository to keep it all together and hold people accountable. 
Social Media70% of online adults use social media.  With the popularity and opportunity of rich media and social media together, organizations are inquisitively anxious and excited about how to use and manage rich media within social media. 

DAM supports marketers wanting to get into social media much the same way it’s used in the traditional sense, however requires stronger consideration over managing access levels, digital rights, and what happens when an assets leaves the system?  One solution Widen brings to the table, again, is embed links.  Another trend to watch is how social media will shape how DAM and other software solutions work by creating a stronger sense of community and more variety in the way digital media is published and delivered.

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