Review Of Bynder’s Orbit Content DAM System

Spencer Harris, who a number of DAM News readers will know from his participation in various DAM-related LinkedIn groups and his contribution to the excellent New Jersey DAM meetup group webinars about metadata automation last year has written an initial review of Bynder’s recently released Orbit DAM system.  The item is more of a preliminary overview pending an in-depth critique which he is working on, but the initial piece is well worth checking over for those considering this:

I have had my account active for only a few days and uploaded half a dozen personal assets to test out the basics of their platform. My initial feeling (and this is a common amongst other DAM professionals) is that I am under-whelmed. While the platform has a clean interface in terms of their color pallet selection and hidden menus, there is nothing ‘out of this world’ about their platform (except their pricing plans). There isn’t any new or unique functionality to their platform.” [Read More]

‘Underwhelmed’ would be a fair summary of my impression also and I’ve read similar comments on David Riecks’ Controlled Vocabulary group.  I did an overview of the press from Bynder about Orbit in August and the wider Content DAM industry implications of releasing completely free to use apps.  The consensus I am reading about the product is that it’s a trialware/crippleware hybrid.  It doesn’t give you enough to use it as a full Content DAM solution and the step up to get to an edition that is useful is excessively in terms of cost.  Worse, it might give prospective users a false impression that Bynder’s paid-for options are lacking certain important features (read Spencer’s article to find out more about this issue).  The length of time taken to process free accounts and the arbitrary decisions they have made about what to include/exclude from free Orbit are not confidence inspiring either (a point born out in Spencer’s article).  I have had conversations with Emily Kolvitz from Bynder in the past and she always presents as highly credible and expert about all matters relating to Digital Asset Management, as such, I believe they have the ability to up their game and resolve some of these concerns, but they need to listen to what the Content DAM community are telling them (or at least the sections of it represented in this journal)

For comparison, the method used by Picturepark where they give users full access to the complete system for a six month trial (rather than a month or a couple of weeks etc) is probably superior to a limited functionality free edition, although I do acknowledge that if your budget is restricted then it might be the preferable option – of those two, at least (but whether it is sufficient to compete with Dropbox etc remains open to debate).  What would be even more useful than freebies, trials etc, however, is simply the ability to choose exactly what features you had to pay for in a given Content DAM system.  I suspect many users who are reluctant to take up a new or replacement Content DAM would still be willing to pay money for a system where they didn’t get bundled a whole load of stuff they’re never going to use and could control their expenditure more precisely.  That subject may need to wait for another article, however and in the mean-time, I can fully recommend reading through Spencer’s review of Orbit to see if his opinion concurs with your own.

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