Yesterday, WoodWing Software, developers of the ‘Enterprise’ multi-channel publishing software system acquired DAM vendor, Dutchsoftware, who develop Elvis DAM:
“Our publishing system, Enterprise, and Elvis DAM are very much complementary,” said Erik Schut, President of WoodWing Software. “Enterprise streamlines the publishing process through collaboration, an efficient workflow and easy publishing to multiple channels. Elvis DAM is all about securely storing a quickly growing amount of media assets, classified with metadata to make them easy to find and re-use. Depending on the industry and requirements, our customers can choose one of these solutions or a combination of the two. Media assets in Elvis DAM can be accessed directly from within Enterprise through the already best-in-class integration. Now, that we develop both products, we can bring the integration to an even higher level.” [Read More]
A number of other DAM vendors have WoodWing integration components and it wouldn’t be the first time that a tech vendor has started competing with its own customers. The circumstances for this merger seem a little different, but still have some (in my view) unavoidable negative effects for other suppliers. Both the vendors are Dutch and in very close geographic proximity to each other. They also share a similar market (publishers), so from a business perspective, this makes sense. In addition, for now at least, WoodWing probably still need the support of their other DAM ‘ecosystem channel partners’ (to use the sales & marketing jargon) and depend upon the revenue that they either directly generate, or by proxy through recommending their solution to clients on the basis of their existing integration with it.
There will be a few WoodWing partner DAM vendors who might be considering their position today, however. One would be expecting lots of reassuring noises to be coming from WoodWing towards their DAM vendor partners along the lines of ‘we still love you’ etc. Where it might get more complicated for everyone is if they start pitching for the same publishing clients and offering a similar service with products that tick the same set of boxes. I’m not sure how that situation would get resolved, the combined entity looks set up to corner the publishing digital media supply chain market to me – which may not be great news for other DAM vendors who are active in that market, especially if they were integrating with WoodWing to help bolster their offer.
These kind of horizontal integrations are likely to become more common in the DAM sector and are further evidence of a shakeout that is now in play as the maturity phase of this market gathers pace. There are a few other close horizontal DAM industry partnerships that exist (unavoidably due to the features that DAM systems provide). Based on this recent activity and other similar moves, I would expect many vendors to be assessing their position also now and maybe contemplating the threats/opportunities that these situations present.