Extensis announced an upgraded edition of their Portfolio DAM system today. The highlights are:
- Updated User Interface
- Increased in capacity to 10m assets
- Live ‘as you type’ searches for assets, or ‘Guided Search’ as Extensis call it
- Faster search results (i.e. more efficient indexing)
- Faster metadata extraction for generating automated cataloguing data
- Addition of required fields which can be specified by administrators
“Portfolio’s elegant end user experience is matched by powerful administrative functionality. Requiring little to no IT support, Portfolio holds millions of assets in one catalog or several, allowing the solution to be used by multiple departments. Companies can choose what they’ll use with Portfolio’s modular platform, offering options for mobile DAM, single sign-on, dynamic web portals and more. Additionally, Portfolio’s new RESTful API provides ease when integrating with other third-party business applications such as eCommerce Systems, Collection Management Systems, and Web Content Management Systems.” [Read More]
The press includes details of ‘new’ modules, such as Portfolio Flow, their Media Engine and SSO support via LDAP. I’m not too sure these really are that new as I think we have covered Flow and their adoption of Equilibrium Media Rich plus LDAP when reviewing their whitepapers before, but perhaps they mean those modules also got updated as well as the core system.
A lot of the feature upgrades do read like they’re a bit ‘old’ to me in terms of what other vendors can offer you, with that said, you can’t compare products on feature lists alone and the quality of their execution is the key criteria rather than mere box-ticking alone. In addition, much depends on whether you like the how Extensis solved the Digital Asset Management problem, with particular reference to the way they have implemented their user interface (and by that, I mean how productive you can be with it, not just whether it looks slick and modern).
The PR has obviously borrowed heavily from the B2B sales theory that marketing managers like tangible numbers that are big in all the right places, for example, “2000% increase in capacity” being a case in point (a follow-up question might be why there was a hard limit before?). Another is”500% faster cataloguing” which isn’t really cataloguing, it’s the system extracting metadata from assets, the actual cataloguing and decisions about whether the embedded metadata is usable is still a problem for Digital Asset Managers to solve themselves – at which point things might well slow down quite a bit. For large scale press users where they might have thousands of assets being ingested in very short timeframes to coincide with breaking news stories, this is potentially a more valuable enhancement, however, so you need to reality check the PR against your specific use-case.
Extensis are one of the oldest names in the DAM industry and they do have a many existing users, especially early adopters who have been doing DAM for a decade or longer already. An issue with older implementations is that making big sweeping upgrades generates a lot of upheaval and bugs plus support issues, so those vendors with lots of long-term customers will tend to need to be more deliberate and careful about introducing changes. While newer entrants to the market (or those who have already gone through the challenge of major re-implementation) are less encumbered by this problem, anyone planning to switch to them also has to migrate all their assets away from an older platform and therefore expose themselves to all the risks that this process entails. With that in mind (and based purely on the press alone) this looks like a reasonable mid-point between keeping pace with an ever-more demanding market and maintaining continuity for existing users. Whether it is enough to attract new DAM users is a harder questions to answer and you’ll really need to see it in action to decide for yourself on that score.