North Plains, celum, ADAM and Autonomy tout collaboration features in DAM

It was last year at Henry Stewart's DAM conference in New York that I first stated that despite the industry's multi-year love affair with the word "workflow," collaboration trumps workflow in DAM. It's only recently, however, that DAM technology is starting to catch up with the fundamental fact that creative processes and creative people are not particularly linear: the old-school, law-firm-oriented document management workflow functionality that sometimes made its way into DAM technology simply doesn't mirror the reality of the creative process.

Instead, creative people tend to come together and mark up, draw colorful lines, and talk about look-and-feel or brand impact of what they're producing -- oftentimes together, in the same room (a real one or virtual). Many DAM vendors understood their customers' natural preference for collaboration over traditional workflow approaches well, and in some ways this accounts for the general paucity of workflow functionality in DAM systems. 

Last year vendors such as North Plains and celum began touting their markup technology for both images and video; more recently, ADAM and Autonomy are debuting similar functionality that allows DAM system users to annotate an image with a variety of shapes or comments, or in the case of video, pick a particular segment of the video and annotate on a frame or series of frames. MediaBeacon, meanwhile, has incorporated a "presence" widget that allows you to send instant messages about particular assets, real-time, with other users who are also logged in.

Occasionally vendors build these functions themselves, from scratch, whereas others might OEM an already-tested and proven collaboration technology, such as the case of ADAM with ConceptShare. Usually (as with the typical workflow component), these collaboration components cost US$20-$80k on top of your base DAM product, so don't get too excited about the demo unless you're ready to shell out the extra spend.

Earlier this year, in our detailed DAM product evaluations, we decided to separate workflow functionality and collaboration features and rate them separately, so our subscribers could more clearly see how the vendors compare in each area. Given how the technology is changing -- and for many vendors, evolving at very different rates -- it no longer made sense to consider workflow and collaboration as one in the same. If either feature proves important for you, be sure to understand the difference between workflow and collaboration systems within DAM. They're sold separately -- and most of the time, you won't need both.

Our customers say...

"The Digital Asset Management Research is a straightforward, comprehensive report that's invaluable to anyone considering or implementing digital asset management. With a no-nonsense approach to evaluating the major vendors and best practices, this report is a true handbook. It's my new bedside reading..."

Faith Robinson, Content Strategist & Industry Thought Leader

Other Digital Asset Management posts

New Conference: Creative Tech Europe 2024

I’ve been asked to Chair a new conference devoted to the Creative Technology topic.  On 28 June 2024 in London, we’ll look to bring together creative leaders and practitioners who are looking to find more powerful and scalable solutions.

DAM Trends to Watch in 2024

To navigate this dynamic environment, we are excited to announce a must-attend webinar: "DAM Trends to Watch in 2024," scheduled for February 28, 2024, at 01:00 pm ET / 18:00 UTC. This webinar is designed to accelerate and align your DAM initiatives with the evolving marketplace, ensuring your strategies are current and ahead of the curve.

DAM New York 2023: Year 20!

Henry Stewart’s next in-person event, DAM New York 2023 (aka the World’s largest event dedicated to Digital Asset Management) is the 20thyear of the conference!

Join Us at DAM LA

After a few long years, we are now just a few weeks away from the DAM community reconvening on the West Coast.