DAM vendor, Extensis (one of the few who have yet to finalise a damvendors.com profile) have announced Flow, a mobile application that integrates with their Portfolio Server DAM system. Here is the ‘boss quote’ from Chad Slater, Director of Engineering at Extensis:
“Extensis worked in concert with our customers to develop Portfolio Flow and make it a quick solution for extending digital asset management to the mobile device. Simply select, tag, upload, and you’re done. It’s that easy” [Read More]
I’d give that a 9/10 for clarity and simplicity (more charitable readers might even grade it a full 10).
The detail about Flow is that it appears to be a mobile asset capture supporting app rather than a full mobile client for their DAM solution. This is somewhat different to other vendors who have widened the scope to allow search and download of digital assets too (either using a dedicated app or via mobile browsers). In theory, this makes Flow quite a lot more limited and less useful. With that being said, we are still pondering the practical value of these mobile clients here at DAM News. There clearly will be use cases that are more suitable for it than others, but if the whole mobile subject was not as currently fashionable in wider tech circles as it is at present, then you wonder if anyone would bother to invent them in the first place.
Mobile asset capture and associated instant integration with your DAM of choice has an obvious business benefit: the ability to record an image, video or audio and then get it back to the central DAM server straight away without waiting to return to a laptop or workstation. In this sense, Extensis’ economy of effort, simplicity and focus on the part of the digital asset management process that benefits the most from mobile support is possibly more realistic and useful than those who have invested heavily into the other elements of it.
I have potentially generalised quite a bit with that last paragraph and a lot depends on how your end users will typically interact with your DAM solution. It is essential to critically evaluate how useful a given feature will really be rather than allowing either tech fashions or blind cynicism for anything new to set the pace in terms of your DAM requirements specification. I do suspect, however, that those DAM vendors who have not yet implemented mobile clients of their own might be more inclined to follow the Extensis model (at least to start with) than some of the more fully featured examples on offer.