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Digital Asset Management Round-up, April 2016

Digital Clarity Group’s DAM round-up condenses and consolidates some of the digital asset management industry’s most topical news and happenings from the past couple of months.  This edition’s round-up covers how artificial intelligence is making DAM better, the massive projected growth of the DAM market by 2020, and this year’s CODiE award finalists in DAM.

Automatic image cataloguing – getting better but still has a way to go

Automatic image cataloguing is the mecca for digital asset managers/librarians. To have the capability to upload an image and it classify, store, tag, and essentially take of itself so that it can be found and tracked at will – who wouldn’t want that? Unfortunately, although some would try to claim otherwise – IBM’s Visual Recognition, Adobe’s Smart Tag, Extensis, and the list goes on – DAM technology isn’t all-the-way there quite yet.

Google’s recently announced Cloud Vision API is making some serious headway in the space, allowing developers to analyze the components of an image via an easy to use REST API. It detects individual objects and faces within images, sorts images into pre-defined categories (dog, house, garden, Disneyland), and even reads words that are contained within an image. Users can can build their image catalogue metadata structure within the tool, as well as detect inappropriate/offensive content, and perform sentiment analysis by examining emotional facial attributes of people in the images.

There are a variety technologies vendors are using today to facilitate image cataloguing. Artificial intelligence (AI) and metadata cataloguing are leveraging machine learning, pattern recognition, and batch comparison to fill in some of the essential details needed for comprehensive digital asset management. When used in combination with each other these functionalities can net out some good results. But ultimately, all rely heavily on the initial manual setup of a catalogue and metadata structure within the DAM tool, and adherence to some basic best practices.

4x Growth projected for DAM market by 2020

According to Markets and Markets research, the Digital Asset Management (DAM) market is projected to have a 4x growth, from USD 1.42 Billion in 2015 to USD 5.36 Billion by 2020.

There has been rise in interest and adoption of DAM solutions among companies across industries, not just those focused on marketing and advertising, who have been on the DAM bandwagon for some time. Customer experience management (CEM), the ever increasing dependency on content marketing, and the proliferation of digital assets to feed that strategy is driving the increase interest, and investment, in DAM. Rich experiences demand rich media – video, audio, images, print marketing collateral, office documents, fonts or 3D models, which in turn deserve (and need) a dedicated digital asset management solution. Its no longer just good enough to “store” digital assets in a shared folder or KM (knowledge management) tool; companies need the added capabilities of metadata management, licensing enforcement, usage tracking, and more to make the most of these valuable assets and maximize their ROI.

Also contributing to the growth is the emergence of cloud-based solutions, which enables smaller orgs to adopt DAM solutions within their budges and without heavy dependence on their (limited) IT resources.

No surprises on the 2016 CODiE DAM finalist list

The SIIA CODiE Awards are a peer-recognition award program that evaluates and recognizes various software industries for excellence and innovation in their domain. In the DAM category judges look for the best solution in terms of managing large amounts of digital assets, across various formats, with added functionality and capabilities like workflow, analytics, and the tool’s interoperability with other technologies like CMS, CRM, and MRM . This year’s finalists include Cumulus by Canto, OpenText’s Media Management v10.5, and Widen’s Media Collective solution. No big surprises there, and here’s why:

  • Cumulus by Canto is one of the best known DAM solution out there. Used by global brands such as Honda, Aveda, and Intel, its simple UI and robust functionality make it a shoe-in as a finalist. It offers the standard DAM capabilities to store, access, organize, share and manage all types of digital assets, but surpasses many of its competitors with its video transcoding and device-recognition players, and file sharing capabilities with others in- and outside the firewall via secure links or an easy to use portal. Highly configurable with granular permission capabilities, Cumulus easily scales to address both simple and highly sophisticated DAM needs. Deployable on-prem (one of the few) as well as as a service in the Canto Cloud or hybrid cloud with Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3 integrations.
  • OpenText Media Management is a long time player in the DAM world and with its most recent releases has become one of the best in my opinion. A powerful yet simple-to-use interface, Media Management facilitates the ideation to creation to consumption process with comprehensive metadata capture and workflow management capabilities, enabling a “single source of truth” for digital assets that is sadly missing from many other DAM solutions. Highly interoperable with other parts of the marketing technology landscape (WCM, commerce, MRM, PIM, etc.), Media Management v10.5 is available on-prem, in the cloud, or on-demand.
  • Widen’s Media Collective another long time player, is a SaaS cloud-based platform that allows its users to to easily find, share, publish, archive, and analyze their brand assets from any device, at any time, from anywhere. It’s highly configurable and scalable, offering video and image management; brand portals and collections; lifecycle and rights management; long-term archiving, workflow, and collaboration tools. With connectors into WordPress and Drupal, it also facilitates the creative workflow process with integrations with Adobe InDesign, ProofHQ, and Workfront and offers asset-level and site-wide analytics to track the usability of content.

My prediction – OpenText will take the CODiE DAM crown this year.

Want more on DAM? Listen to my latest podcast on the role of digital asset management.

Catch up with the key news from around the related industries with Digital Clarity Group’s CMS, e-commerce, and service provider round-ups. All of which, along with other great posts, can be found in the Blog section of our website.

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