More activity in the DAM M&A space: Recently, the maker of multi-channel publishing system WoodWing bought Dutchsoftware and its “Elvis DAM” digital asset management system. According to WoodWing, this purchase will allow them to enter the DAM market, as well as expand the set of offered functionalities to its customers.
Here’s a quick refresher for you on Elvis – one of the products we cover in detail in our DAM research. Elvis originally comes from the “Dutch software belt,” as I like to call it. The estate of Mr. Presley, however, is not involved. The product name stems from its early versions and internal code name while it was been developed in Krommenie, the Netherlands, circa 2001, in a spin-off from Graphit BV (an SI in the Benelux media sector). From the UI perspective, Elvis is a rather elegant product, and is one of the few DAM vendors with a fresh code base and a more modern technological approach. But, Elvis DAM is targeted at basic brand management and marketing operations scenarios.
A little about WoodWing: Also the residents of the “Dutch software belt,” the company rarely ventured outside the borders of serving the media and publishing industry. The multi-channel component is what’s particularly interesting about their offering, as their toolset attempts to manage and deliver content to various channels: web, social, mobile, print, etc. Until recently, DAM has been the underperforming part of the WoodWing toolset (aside from InDesign and similar plug-ins), until the vendor realized how crucial is DAM to any multi-channel strategy.
So, what does this acquisition mean to you -- if you’re a customer of either Dutchsoftware or WoodWing; or a prospect in the midst of a DAM product selection evaluating different options for digital asset management?
First of all, you should be prepared for a period of transition and growing pains that inevitably touch both parties in most acquisitions. This means that there will likely be some rough periods when dealing with both products and the parent company WoodWing.
Secondly, specifically with regard to Elvis DAM, keep in mind that it’s one of the youngest vendors on the DAM market. With that comes certain hesitation and immaturity – geographically and resource-wise. Currently, it is not easy to find skilled Elvis resources even in Europe, and it will take some time and effort for WoodWing to repaint that picture.
And finally, the touted “integrated solution” will take time to transpire, therefore be careful not to buy into the vision instead of the reality, and bite into too much before you carefully research what exactly has been “deeply” integrated and to what degree. This particular acquisition is a good example of why a Proof of Concept (POC) shouldn't be the area where you cut your budget.