Earlier this week, Bynder, announced some updates to their SaaS DAM platform. As is the case with this kind of vendor news currently, the level of innovation is not exactly sending the graph into a frenzied state, but these features may hold more interest for some people:
- Arabic language support
- ‘Read Only’ sharing of collections (shortlists, favourites or lightboxes as they variously known in other systems)
- ‘Bare uploader’: CSV metadata importing
- Public URL for derivatives (i.e. different renditions of assets at alternative sizes etc)
“Thanks to the new feature, Bare Uploader, it is now possible to perform a batch upload with a CSV file of your metadata. As it is programmed by new back-end technology, Bare Uploader has an extremely fast upload time.” [Read More]
Given that they have stated their support for 11 languages, someone at Bynder may wish to do a bit of work on English names of a few of these features. DAM News is a family-friendly publication, so I will refrain from speculating about what alternative interpretations of ‘Bare Upload’ could be inferred, but perhaps something like ‘Raw Metadata Upload’ might have been closer to what they mean? In addition, the graphic for the multiple public URLs feature shows an identical link for ‘large’, ‘medium’ and ‘small’ (or at least it did when I was writing this article). I’m not aware that telepathy is yet on the Bynder feature roadmap, so presumably this is a designer’s mock-up?
The copy for this reads like someone in marketing got left with the task of writing a blog post about it and either was given no guidance from the product people, or perhaps a very terse email which they then had to expand into something usable, combined with exhortations from senior colleagues to ‘just get on with it’ etc. It is a widely acknowledge fact that high quality educational materials (especially when it’s about your own stuff) sells DAM software and generates leads itself without recourse to more ham-fisted method like cold calling every entry in the phonebook (as used to happen a lot more in this market than it does now). Some vendors have grasped this, hence why they devote a lot of time on not only the visual presentation, but the credibility of the copy also.
It’s easy enough to pick faults in Bynder’s PR, but if there was something in this that was genuinely innovative, as opposed to just new for them, I could forgive them using unconventional terminology or minor mistakes etc, but this is all stuff that’s been done numerous times before by lots of their competitors. In mitigation, although Arabic language support isn’t unique to Bynder, many vendors have tended to ignore non-western languages because of the extra complexity. With that said, the revelation that the CSV upload was not present until July 2015 is a bit of a surprise, how did users get a lot of data into Bynder by themselves up until now? Presumably this would have depended on professional services support (i.e. may have cost you money)?
These are the kind of details that still seem to catch quite a few people out when it comes to selecting potential DAM systems. The ever-lengthening feature lists that vendors come up with can give prospective users the impression that a system they might be interested in can do everything they might ever need them to. The scope of products, however, has got very wide at a swift pace, so blind-spots and differences of interpretation can and do frequently crop up, not just in the case of more recent market entrants like Bynder, but also with more established firms also. It does further illustrate the need to both work out how you plan to use your DAM system and to rigorously check the facts as well as all their implications.
The phrase ‘the devil is in the detail’ is one I seem to end up using a lot recently, I can’t tell whether this is the tepid hand of middle-age fully taking hold, or the fact the Digital Asset Management business is getting progressively more complex and confusing (perhaps a bit of both). Either way, it does seem to be an idiom you have to keep uppermost in your mind when it comes to making purchase decisions regarding enterprise software applications and DAM is no different, in that respect.
Since this story was first posted, Bynder have changed the name of the ‘Bare Uploader’ feature to ‘Mass Uploader’. It’s still not semantically correct, but probably is a better choice.