ConceptShare, a tool to enable users to annotate media such as artwork, video and web pages have announced two separate partnership agreements with ECM vendor, OpenText and one of our featured DAM vendors, ADAM. This from the ConceptShare/OpenText tie up:
“The ConceptShare integration with OpenText Media Management will provide annotation and markup capability for documents, images, audio, web pages, interactive assets and video. Secure, controlled access is provided for internal/external users oragencies to collaborate during the creative review and approval process. All actions from feedback, to change requests, to approvals are saved; including reviewer actions, date and time of all annotations and comments that are created, modified or deleted. All annotations, change requests and approvals gathered after a review cycle is completed are stored as metadata and can be used for auditing, metrics, and reporting purposes.” [Read More]
The ADAM press release emphasises the collaboration theme more than the ‘control’ benefits:
“Enterprises are looking to streamline labor intensive marketing tasks to improve efficiency, control costs, and measure the effectiveness of marketing resources. By integrating cross-media collaboration and annotation tools to share, annotate and approve media within a centralized DAM platform, we can help companies save time, reduce error, and optimize business workflows in their creative collaboration between teams in different locations and time zones.” [Read More]
We have often observed that partnership announcements tend to be pretty dull reading material that software marketing departments exploit as an excuse to release a bit of press, however, there are two interesting points with these (although only if you ignore the copy and read between the lines, it must be said). The first is that the OpenText release plays up the security, governance and approval element of the functionality offered. As we noted before, this seems to be the one of the enterprise vendor’s key bulwarks against the threat to their business from pure Cloud vendors; they are eager to emphasise the security and safety of media that goes through their product as opposed to some random ‘drive by DAM’ that marketing staff might have signed up for to solve an immediate problem like getting signed off PDFs over to an agency/printer etc.
The second interesting point is the trend towards vendors accepting that they are increasingly offering a method of integration and communication (i.e. a platform) rather than a ‘do everything’ product exclusively developed in-house by them alone. Rather than trying to grab every available slice of the pie, vendors are clearly now needing to make key resource allocation decisions about what they do best and engage partners to deliver the rest – presumably as the cost/benefits of build vs buy are harder to justify. As I discussed last month in my CMSWire.com article, we see this as further trends towards the fragmentation of the DAM market into separate ‘framework’ and ‘front end’ components. There needs to be at least of marriage of convenience between both to meet wider customer needs and ensure both can continue to sell their products.
One point not hitherto discussed here, although mentioned in my last article earlier today, is the increasing significance of integration and API standards. The cost to developers (and buyers if they are saddled with the bill) of enabling the kind of partner promiscuity that appears to be in prospect in the DAM industry will rapidly become prohibitive. While one might be able to expect some enterprise vendors to be able to use their scale and clout to externalise this expense on to their partners, that might not always be feasible, especially if the front end in question is in hot demand.
Another intriguing possibility that might come to pass as open source DAM vendors become increasingly more commercially oriented is partnerships (or even acquisitions) between both groups. In the past, we have considered the likelihood of enterprise vendors acquiring open source operations to reduce their development expense and also to gain access to a wider and more cost sensitive market. So far that hasn’t happened very much, however, it does appear to offer a highly appealing and low cost ‘lab’ (ring fenced as an alternative brand) to enable vendors to get sections of their R&D done for them so they can concentrate on developing core platforms with a multitude of integration options that are very difficult to compete with. This will further protect them from the impending threat posed by commodity cloud offerings that will gather pace as the DAM market enters a more mature phase.