“Flight was developed for the increasing number of organizations looking to access applications in the cloud rather than deploy on their own infrastructure. With its cloud, social and mobile focus, it is a terrific complement to our long-proven Cumulus solutions. We believe the addition of Flight allows us to offer a full range of digital asset management options to our customers, with solutions tailored uniquely to their specific deployment and workflow requirements.” [Read More]
Canto are one of the older names in the DAM industry and an issue with their Cumulus solution was that it was an installed application which had to be deployed with skilled IT staff. Flight looks like to be an answer to those criticisms and has been designed to enable them to go head-to-head with Cloud vendors like Widen, WebDAM or one of the other many alternatives now available. To emphasise that point, the press release includes pricing details ($6k per annum) and mentions that it is hosted on Amazon Web Services. A lot of the features seem like standard fare for DAM nowadays:
“Flight offers single click access to smartalbums that automatically assign all images, videos, audio files, presentations and documents into their respective content groupings. Users can also mark any file as a “Favorite” to access frequently used content at any time with a single-tap and collaboration is enabled through Flight’s commenting feature.” [Read More]
Flight seems to have been developed as a completely new product, the Canto blog post describes it as “born in the cloud”. Given that Cumulus uses a proprietary database, setting up a new product brand is likely to have been their only practical option to support large-scale multi-user hosted DAM. Their blog has some spin about avoiding “one size fits all” solutions, but the subtext appears to be an acceptance that the on-premise installed software model has now entered the sunset period. Given the number of users, I cannot see Canto dropping Cumulus for a few years, but as Adobe have been doing with Creative Cloud, it seems highly probable that they will start trying to persuade existing users to move towards Flight instead so they no longer have the expense of maintaining multiple platforms.
As with any SaaS or externally hosted software, prospective and existing users must have a full understanding of the risks they are exposing themselves to and they may wish to review our DAM SaaS Survival Guide before taking up a solution like Flight (or any other similar option).