Adobe To Acquire Day - Second Take - DAM Perspective

  • 2-Aug-2010

As a digital asset management analyst, one of the most common questions I get is, "Why doesn't Adobe have its own DAM?" Given the lion's share of DAM users are in an Adobe-driven world, constantly using products from the Adobe Creative Suite -- Photoshop and Illustrator in particular -- it's a question that makes sense. I'd usually answer, "they don't now, but they will eventually." At which point I'd be asked to predict which one.  Some buyers thought it a potential future advantage if they were to buy the DAM product that Adobe would eventually acquire.

Now that Adobe announced last week that they've acquired Switzerland-based Day, I no longer have to answer that common question as to why Adobe doesn't have a DAM. But I will have to start explaining to buyers just how immature Adobe's DAM is compared to the other DAM technologies out there, and that I think it was a poor choice of acquisition from a DAM perspective. In fact, in our DAM product evaluations we cite Day's integration with Adobe's own Creative Suite as among the weakest on the market.

Day has a very short history in DAM, in fact, Day only became a DAM player a few years ago when it spun off the DAM piece of Communiqué as a standalone product (though, like Vyre, the company's DAM and WCM are based on the same technology platform). Recently, as in the days before the spin-off, Day's DAM is primarily sold to Day's customers as part of large WCM deals, rather than as a standalone to non-WCM customers. Day's DAM isn't particularly strong on the video front, and it's never been one to compete for large Europe-based DAM deals alongside pure-play DAM vendors like ADAM or ECM players with longstanding, mature DAM technology like Open Text. Day just doesn't have the track record in DAM, despite having added a wealth of new DAM features to Communiqué during the past two years. At the core, Day as a company is and always has been focused on WCM.

Though I'm an analyst, not a fortune teller, my best guess is that Adobe will turn Day's DAM into another "boxed" solution, much like the products of their Creative Suite. Under Adobe, Day's DAM will more likely compete with Extensis, Canto, and Xinet for mid-market, lower-priced, and departmental DAM needs, than grow into an enterprise player. As Apoorv pointed out in our first take on the acquisition, Adobe doesn't have deep experience selling server-side software.

Otherwise, Adobe has a lot of work to do on their new DAM product before it can compete with the major players in the DAM space. As a buyer with creative specialists employing Adobe tools on the desktop every day, don't assume that buying Adobe's DAM is necessarily the right choice for you.