Not your Grandpa's Digital Asset Management System

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Digital Asset Management for Lemonade Stands aka SMBsDigital Asset Management has long been the domain of the large enterprise – those companies that have front page stories on Time Magazine or companies whose owners make the Forbes 500 richest list 5 years running. But, is all that changing?

Is the DAM system that we know and love morphing into a tool that is useful to not only the PepsiCo's of the world, but also that little lemonade stand down the street? And more importantly, is DAM software entering the price range of that lemonade stand?

In this multi-part series of blog posts, we’ll look at the growth of DAM in the small- to medium- sized business space… from the why’s to the how’s and everything in between.

This first article, "Not your Grandpa's Digital Asset Management System," focuses on the why, as in "why is DAM growing in popularity among smaller size companies?" What is driving that growth?

Research shows there are four main drivers today in the SMB (small- to medium-sized businesses) space for Digital Asset Management programs:

Number of Files -- There is no indication that the number of digital files SMB companies create, manage and store will decrease in the foreseeable future. In fact, all signs point to extreme growth in this category over the next 5 years (and beyond). The IDC (EMC, 2009) estimates that “the digital universe will double every 18 months.” Internally, we estimated that our own company (with a marketing department of five) used approximately 47 gigs of video in the past year – a several times increase over the prior year and a number that we expect to increase by several more factors over the coming years.

Video Growth -- As SMB companies realize the benefits of video (customer testimonials, product demonstrations, training, marketing, etc.) the need to manage, control and distribute these files to the necessary parties will inherently increase as well. According to CMSWire, “organizations are looking for lighter-weight solutions (than [current] video management products) to manage their video assets. We see this as more and more websites offer videos and allow user-generated content in the form of video.” Furthermore, over 65%  of companies using online videos and that number is expected to continue increasing  (VideoBloom, 2009). This increase in video will also mean an increase in the amount of bandwidth required to serve the video – a requirement that many SMBs may struggle with.

Project Collaboration -- A long-time hot topic in the world of DAM, the advances of web 2.0 “is another trend that is moving DAM away from being more than a basic repository” (Mosher, 2009). According to Eric Barroca of Nuxeo, “users want to work together on developing this type of content, so features such as tagging, annotation for documents, pictures and video, collaborative filtering and viewing assets via a web interface are key to building a better repository of digital assets.”

Lower Cost to Entry -- With many DAM solutions still in the 6-figure range and most SaaS solutions in the 15-25k range, many SMBs struggle to justify an enterprise DAM. According to Frost & Sullivan (Frost & Sullivan, 2007) a lower-cost SaaS model “is expected to help the market grow significantly by luring price sensitive customers to adopt DAM technology.”

So the momentum is building… the need is building… But, how is the DAM industry responding to meet this need?

In the next article we’ll look at the DAM industry as a whole and in particular, how it is addressing this growing need.

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