.NET tool vendor, Telerik yesterday announced the release of a new 6.1 edition of their WCM platform, Sitefinity with Digital Asset Management capabilities added:
“Analysts are seeing a nearly 60 percent year-over-year increase in DAM-related client inquiries. These users require the ability to quickly and easily do their job, without having to jump through hoops for the most mundane tasks such as making minor edits to an image, creating and editing a document, searching for a video, or editing a news item or post. Sitefinity 6.1 introduces this lightweight DAM functionality in the form of a desktop application synced to the CMS to make digital assets more findable, easily tagged and meta-tagged, lower re-creation costs and maintain brand consistency.” [Read More]
The main features of the module appear to be:
- Drag & drop assets into libraries (this sounds like what more seasoned DAM people might term ‘lightboxes’ or ‘collections’)
- Proxy generation (thumbnails)
- Image editing (cropping, flipping, effects and other bitmap manipulation features)
- Live document editing
- Video and audio player
Probably the biggest limitation on the first read through is that this is a module for a desktop app. While more intensive Digital Asset Managers (human ones rather than computer software) tend to still prefer that modus operandi, casual DAM users (especially those in larger companies where getting anything installed is not an easy option) are going to need browser access. You can already do what they’re offering now in a browser with a dedicated web-based DAM product – and a lot of the time it’s largely functionally indistinguishable these days. I’m aware that Telerik market a variety of sophisticated web controls for ASP.NET developers and they probably need to put that expertise into making them work for proper web based DAM if they want to ensure more widespread adoption of this feature.
I’m intrigued by their exact definition of ‘analyst’ in that quote, whether they mean people like Gartner, Forrester etc or if they’re talking about their own analysts who assess customer requirements and then build or recommend a solution (what you might otherwise call ‘consultants’). Also, the 60% number sounds like another one of those 86% of stats that get made up on the spot – either by Telerik or the ‘Analysts’, but I’ve probably picked over the phoney numbers debate far too much already, so I’ll let them keep that one!
This does mark a clear point of convergence between WCM and DAM – an outcome which has been talked about for some time and now looks to be definitely happening. It’s interesting to note similar trends with DAM systems starting to offer WCM functionality as discussed earlier this week. Some prospective buyers might be wondering whether or not they could get away without needing to buy both types of product and just do it all through either a WCM or DAM. Whether they really can or not is more debatable, but those with limited budgets might be inclined to try anyway. I can foresee some friction between DAM and WCM vendors as a result and maybe some cross-sector acquisitions in prospect too where they both try to out-manoeuvre each other.