One of our featured DAM Vendors, Southpaw Technology announced yesterday that they have made their TACTIC Open Source Digital Asset Management solution available via the Amazon AWS market place. This is the quote from Southpaw boss, Gary Mundell:
“TACTIC has always been available via browsers as an internally deployed platform. With AWS, we’ve moved TACTIC’s same powerful functionality to the cloud. With the click of a button, customers can start working with TACTIC to manage their massive databases of digital assets and to streamline their digital workflows using the latest and greatest cloud infrastructure. This represents a huge leap forward in terms of simplicity and time savings for digital content creators across multiple vertical markets” [Read More]
Perhaps a little heavy on the platitudes compared with some of their other press, but it’s difficult to talk these AWS release packages up as they are essentially just packaged application hosting. For those unfamiliar with the AWS marketplace, my rudimentary understanding of how it works is that the developer/vendor prepares an AMI (Amazon Machine Image) which is a virtual server appliance that can be started via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform – aka ‘the cloud’ (as marketing people will prefer to refer to it). There is no physical kit involved, it’s a case of choosing the option from a menu of AMIs and starting it up from a web control panel.
As an end user, what you get is an approximate hybrid of SaaS convenience but with the flexibility of an internal deployment. I have seen a few of these packaged AMIs from other vendors (in DAM and other fields). If the implementation team know what they are doing they can be a good way to get up and running by leveraging the advanced features of a DAM application server combined with the scalable infrastructure of a Cloud hosting provider.
A trend my co-contributor has remarked on before is some users (especially IT departments) doing DIY SaaS DAM where they effectively compete with SaaS vendors for internal budget by taking components and using open ended cloud services (like Amazon, Rackspace etc) to host it all. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on demand for SaaS and whether further hybrid options between the two start to appear. To a greater extent, this will depend on the specifics of the use-case. For the type of more complex and larger scale production oriented DAMs that Southpaw specialise in, a pure SaaS option might not be flexible enough for many of their prospective end users who still need to heavily configure their solution – so I can see why they have started to offer the AWS option now.