WoodWing Software have released an updated version 4.1 of the Elvis DAM system they acquired last year. The key features seem to be:
- Distributed storage
- Linux server support
- Support for Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean
The update doesn’t sound much, but while the three bullet points given above are easy to summarise, they may well mask a significant amount of underlying development work. From my limited experience with this kind of undertaking, the non-western language support can be a veritable hornet’s nest of technical complexity, usually made harder by the fact the dev teams involved rarely include a full quota of people able to read/write the language in question (or anyone at all with those skills in more than a few cases).
Elvis uses an AIR client for end users. Some might argue that enterprise DAM systems should not require so called ‘fat clients’ these days. The use of AIR as the UI technology might have seemed like a good idea when Flash/Flex were still in the ascendancy six or seven years ago, but whether they would still gone with it given a second bite of the cherry in 2013 is a different question.
That being said, many web interfaces are still decidedly clunky – especially when used in the typically older versions of Internet Explorer many users have been given by their employers. A lot depends on job function of the target users and how much time they will spend with the DAM. For digital asset managers, working exclusively with web interfaces all day can be a frustrating experience and we have noted a few times on DAM News that many prefer to stick with Lightroom for images and similar desktop tools for other media then upload the results for their colleagues.
From my understanding of Elvis, a web client does exist, but it’s more of a ‘get your files and go’ type of tool. I gather they plan to introduce an HTML5 client for those that might favour a pure web-based option (and some iOS client features too).
WoodWing have the obligatory ‘boss quote’ in their press, but they have a unique spin on it given the nature of their update. This is from Remco Koster, Managing Director WoodWing Asia Pacific:
“In Asia, we see very high interest in efficient digital asset management. One of the reasons for this may be that many newspapers publishers in Asia also operate radio and TV stations and share very large file collections throughout their businesses. With the added support for a number of major Asian languages, we can tap into the great business opportunities Asia offers for Elvis DAM.” [Read More]
This concurs with trends I have observed also and it does seem that demand for DAM (and suppliers to meet it) might well now be expanding outside its core European and North American markets at a faster pace than before. This will deliver another sack of threats and opportunities for vendors and even more products for end users to evaluate, but it should be interesting, whatever happens!