Can You Trust DAM Vendor Responses To RFPs?


For those unfamiliar with the DAM News Vendor Directory, it is an online resource presenting over 100 Digital Asset Management vendors’ responses to a large and detailed set of industry-specific questions.  In addition to showcasing DAM platforms and providing business information, the vendor directory can also be regarded as a collection of replies to the kind of questions that might appear in an RFP (Request For Proposal) that prospective DAM buyers have issued to find out more about candidate DAM platforms.  The directory is totally free to access for both vendors and users.

Direct from the Vendor

It is important to highlight that the information presented in the profiles has been provided by the vendors themselves.  Our vendor directory has been designed so that vendor representatives are free to update their profiles at any time, including the option to provide extended notes about their software, and upload screenshots, videos and attachments.  We do not update vendor profiles on their behalf, and we have no affiliation with any of them.

We have encountered two problems with this approach, however, both of which we find somewhat baffling.

The Moon on a Stick

The first issue that we have come across is related to potentially disingenuous responses to our questionnaire.  In order to help us identify vendors that simply go through and tick every available checkbox, we inserted a number of questions with fictional responses.  Sadly, yet perhaps predictably, a number of firms have specified that they support these bogus options.  One pseudo-logical reasoning behind this would be for vendors to make claims along the lines of “we have an open architecture, so we can integrate with anything”.  We believe this is tantamount to stating that you have a system that can accommodate every possible requirement, and that you simply have to write the code for it.  Making spurious and over-zealous claims about a platform’s capabilities ultimately erodes trust and can damage vendor-customer relations from the outset.

Free Lunch

The second issue is that of out-dated or ‘stale’ vendor profiles.  As the DAM industry changes and new technologies emerge, it is important for vendors to stay ahead of the game by adopting new methods and models – AI is one such example, which has introduced numerous new features to DAM including image recognition, auto-tagging and metadata generation, and Visual Search.  More recently, content created using generative AI is starting to become supported by some DAMs.

Although we try to encourage vendors to keep their directory profiles up-to-date, there is only so much prompting we can do.  As such, some vendor information is out-dated.  This is problematic for both vendors and end-users: the former are missing an opportunity to freely promote their product, and prospective customers are likely to overlook DAM systems that do not meet their criteria (whereas in reality they might, but contain out-dated or erroneous information).

DAM Sleuthing

A recent phenomenon is end-users beginning to use AI platforms such as ChatGPT to learn more about DAM vendors; although we advise against regarding such sources as fact, it is nonetheless, a valid approach.  The data used to feed the machine learning models for these platforms would have invariably scraped publicly available information – from sites like The DAM News Vendor Directory.

For those wishing to learn more about RFPs, a DAM News premium subscription includes Ralph Windsor’s How to Buy Enterprise DAM Systems, a 30,000 word report which features an 11-page example RFP containing a series of potential questions that can be used to assist you in constructing your own RFP.

For vendor representatives wishing to add or update their company’s profile, you simply need to sign up for a free DAM News subscription account.  Further information about claiming an already existing profile can be viewed at the link below.

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