WCM and DAM systems have historically been on two separate sides of the dance floor, with WCM focused on text-based content and web pages, while DAM focused on all that wasn't text and had larger multi-channel ambitions for content output. As the web becomes more multimedia-intensive and branding demands become more complex and web-dependent, the functionalities and use-cases targeted by WCM and DAM are converging more frequently. As a result, it's no surprise that vendors like Open Text, Day, and Interwoven tout their WCM and DAM offerings side-by-side with increasing frequency, or that partnerships like the one announced today by Netherlands-based SDL Tridion and Belgium-based ADAM are springing up.
As readers of our Digital & Media Asset Management Report know, we've been exploring the greater need for integration between WCM and DAM technologies since the first release of our report in early 2008. Vendors haven't done much to facilitate that need: implementers of the technologies are often faced with long custom integration efforts, even if they're using two tools from the same vendor, such as Interwoven's TeamSite for WCM and MediaBin for DAM. Those two tools have radically different application platforms and require completely different skill sets (Perl & Java vs. .NET). "Integrated" is the last word we'd use to describe them.
Will ADAM, MediaBin's main rival among the few .NET-based DAM offerings, have a better story to tell as it pairs up with Tridion? In some ways, the tools are good technical fits: both are .NET-based with comparably strong workflow capabilities; both systems are good fits in multi-national and multi-lingual scenarios. The companies are a good fit as partners: they are particularly well-positioned to work together in their backbone markets of northern and western Europe, as well as the UK.
But, the "integration" story, for now, is more like those of the larger vendors who offer both WCM and DAM than it is unique to them. It means little architecturally; you'll be able to buy an optional DAM "add-on" component when you buy Tridion WCM. So while this new partnership and joint offering indeed sounds like a smart one, it will take some time before we see the real technical and "integrated" benefits for you, the buyer and end-user.