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WebDAM Release Mobile Client

by Ralph Windsor on October 15, 2013

One of our featured DAM Vendors, WebDAM Solutions, have announced details of an iOS (iPhone and iPad) client for their SaaS DAM system:

Supporting the rapid adoption of mobile devices in enterprise work environments, teams will never be disconnected from marketing files and workflows again. From the palm of their hand, creative teams can now streamline workflows and manage and approve their company’s valuable digital assets — such as corporate graphics, designs, logos, stock photography, videos, presentations, documents, audio, and more.” [Read More]

Looking at the mobile app features, the key points appear to be these core DAM functions:

  • Search
  • Download
  • Upload
  • Approve and comment (collaboration)

In essence, this is a stripped down DAM UI that gives users the basics to allow them to operate WebDAM’s core platform while mobile.  WebDAM have used a dedicated iOS client for their tablet UI, contrast this with MediaBeacon and also Brandworkz earlier today who I believe have delivered their tablet UIs via a regular browser (i.e. Safari on the iPad).  WebDAM claim this:

WebDAM for iPad and iPhone is the industry’s first and only full-featured digital asset management mobile app.”

I am not sure that is actually true and I suspect if you’ve polled a few other vendors you might find several others with dedicated apps also.  Whether or not it is desirable to have a dedicated app is a further question since if you happen to be an Android user then you’re going to need to wait until they port their app to that platform.  If they have used one of the numerous mobile app development tools (which I’m told is how these often get implemented) then that should not take them too long, but it is a point to consider if you are really keen on mobile DAM.  For what it is, I personally think the iPad is ruinously over-priced and basically a big phone, without a telephone, but perhaps that’s just my middle aged cynicism getting the better of me!

Mobile DAM is a subject that we intend to address in more detail later, but the more useful scenarios where you might want to employ it are:

  • Capturing assets in the field
  • Approving assets while away from your desk
  • Checking some detail or other while in a meeting (and not near a laptop or workstation)
  • Extended periods where mobile access is the only option available (e.g. longer jounreys where a laptop is unavailable or because you didn’t fancy lugging it around)

In essence, you can boil this down to two key benefits: streamlined asset ingestion and convenience.  Taking the first, one of the clients I consult for is a sporting organisation and a big task the club franchisees have is signing up new players – which usually involves the scouts travelling all over the place (including overseas).  In the past, the scouts might have shot the film and then uploaded using their laptops back at their hotel later in the evening.  I can buy into the idea that a mobile capable DAM has some advantages for that type of user and means that in time-pressured situations, you can get assets in front of people who need to see them far more quickly and with less chance of the essence data getting lost.  The second item, the convenience benefit is useful, but has less of a clear cut business case and is probably more of a ‘nice to have’ feature than a complete show-stopper (if missing from your candidate DAM) unless your staff are also out and about for most of their working day.

Since mobile is a fashionable subject (and probably will remain one for a good few years) it’s quite easy for purchasing authorities to get carried away and see mobile as an essential feature for no good reason other than they have been told so.  It is critical to understand who the majority of your users are and where they will be accessing the DAM system from.  In many cases, it will still probably be in an office, sat on a chair and at a desk.  You need to keep that  uppermost in mind when picking the best DAM solution for your needs.

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