With the growing need to deploy more robust systems to manage digital assets, it’s no surprise that many companies who urgently require DAM software are unsure about which solutions work best to handle the variety of challenges and use cases with a company's growing digital library. Nevertheless, checklist RFPs are still a common part of the process used for evaluating and purchasing digital asset management systems.
Perhaps this is because decision-makers feel they have more control over the buying process if they can pull together capabilities and requirements in the form of an RFP. This situation is preferable to many buyers because they feel they're retaining more control than what is handed over to potential vendors.
Some main problems and concerns with digital asset management RFPs, however, when it comes to your primary means of choosing the best DAM solution for your organization are:
- Checklists are based more on what decision-makers believe is needed as opposed to being a function of the problems that require salient solutions. Because decision-makers probably aren’t familiar with all of the potential issues and problems related to DAM asset management, they won’t be able to realize the full potential of the software until they allow their teams to interact with the product. In this respect, being unaware of how the software in question can deal with any number of problems negates the perceived benefits of greater control associated with RFPs.
- Making use of RFPs in the buying process as opposed to making decisions based on a digital asset management demo and trial period doesn't allow the buyer to see firsthand how the software functions within the context of their organization. They don’t allow the buyer to see whether or not marketing teams and partners can adequately, effectively, or easily use the software in question. Once again, it may seem as if RFPs furnish control over the buying process but they don’t allow users to experience firsthand the efficacy of software features and workflows as can be experienced with an actual digital asset management trial.
- Where is the control of using RFPs when ROI can’t be assessed? While time constraints might prevent extensive demos of the software used for image libraries and video content management, decision-makers and users will garnish a much better idea of the ROI benefits to marketing operations with a trial compared to purchasing DAM software based solely on RFP responses.
- What about the greater benefits of having control over the buying process with a hands-on trial period compared to only viewing a standard demo? The illusion of the buyer losing control is particularly valid when you’re leaving the research and evaluation process up to a vendor-controlled demo. You as the buyer should challenge the vendor to present their product in a way that shows your workflows and use cases. However, when it comes to a trial, you have control over assessing how well the solution can fit the requirements and use cases of your organization. Of course there are limitations to every demo platform, but the buyer (not the vendor) is the party interacting with the software in real-life situations.
- While RFPs may be used to narrow down a short list of solution providers, demos and trials of the software designed for managing your digital asset library are always going to give a clearer picture of the benefits, potential issues, and value of the product in question compared to making decisions based solely on RFPs.