SDL Acquires DAM Vendor Calamares: Start Of The Convergence Of WCM & DAM?

Web Content Management (WCM) and translation technology vendor, SDL has acquired DAM SaaS provider, Calamares:

With the acquisition of Calamares, SDL extends its customer engagement offering to include video and rich media management. The Calamares media management and enrichment solution will be fully and seamlessly integrated into SDL’s Global Information Management solutions, starting with the SDL Tridion Web Content Management (WCM) Platform. By integrating the Calamares media platform with the award winning SDL Tridion Web Content Management solution, the state-of- the-art platform not only enables SDL customers to easily produce and distribute video and rich content, but it also greatly enhances customer engagements, marketing efforts, overall service, customer satisfaction and new revenue opportunities.” [Read More]

The move marks a trend we expected to begin to occur this year: the convergence of the WCM and DAM market.  Where previously DAM systems were seen as repositories of content that may have either once been analogue or at least destined for non-digital use (print in particular) this is now increasingly no longer the case.  As more content is both digitally generated and used exclusively for online use it makes sense for the digital supply chain to converge around the key points where assets transfer from one hub to another.  More end-users will want to be able to query their DAM system for assets directly without leaving the WCM interface and may eventually not discern a difference between the two.

A critical question for DAM vendors is whether they can retain a distinct identity or merely become tool vendors for WCM/ECM platforms.  Certainly, some ECM vendors are making strong plays to embed their technology into core platforms (i.e. using open source as a passive/aggressive customer acquisition strategy) and this will pose a dilemma for DAM vendors about whether to persevere with their own platform or risk losing their identity (but improving their margins) by falling in with someone else’s.

We expect more M&A activity in the DAM market leading up to 2012 and ongoing convergence across market segments, what will be most interesting is who will be doing the acquiring.

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