Extensis Portfolio was one of the first software products to carry the DAM classification moniker. Similar to early versions of Canto Cumulus, Portfolio was in the category of what I like to refer to as "iPhoto on steroids."
A step up from what came with your Mac iOS, and priced at less than $1,000 per user, these early workgroup DAM solutions were the first to enable marketing, branding, and creative teams to share, find, and transform assets.
DAM is very different now; the low-fi, small workgroup DAM scenario that exists simply to establish a searchable "one version of the truth" -- while still relevant -- now at minimum requires teams to share and distribute beyond their own small teams to the broader enterprise, partners, and directly to customers.
Although Portfolio still mostly supports workgroup / departmental use cases, the product and the company have come a long way since their early days. Extensis now has over 100 employees, making it one of the biggest pure-play DAM companies in the industry.
Despite this significant market presence for 20+ years, the company has been slow to innovate and support larger implementations. Heavily used in art departments, creative agencies, museums, and libraries, Portfolio rarely is part of the creative process; it usually just stores final assets.
Oftentimes, we are engaged in "Portfolio divorce" discussions with our subscribers, who look to us to find a more functionally rich, enterprise-grade solution. As a result, Extensis is losing out to SaaS vendors like Bynder and Widen in particular, both of which offer a broader feature set, albeit at a higher price.
The question for you as a buyer is: how urgent is the need to grow beyond your departmental Portfolio implementation, and do you want to wait for Extensis to take you there? Will simplicity, low cost, and ease of implementation continue to be enough for Extensis to maintain its market presence?
To facilitate integration, Portfolio now has an API, and Extensis is increasing update frequency, and rolling-out of a number of features to both retain customers and silence its detractors.
Is Extensis enough for you? We can help you decide. We've just updated our review of Extensis Portfolio in our Digital and Media Asset Management report. You also can use our Realtime Vendor Comparison tool to get details on how Portfolio compares to 40+ DAM vendor alternatives.