Digital Asset Management: What’s New and Coming Soon

Stephanie Pieruccini
Apr 24, 2012

What was once a solution designed to manage, organize, and archive valuable digital assets is playing an even more vital role in media management and workflows. Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions are expanding to include a range of functionality that serves the changing needs of marketers, corporate brand owners, publishers, and the businesses that serve them, such as print and marketing service providers.

DAM solutions not only house critical assets, but can process and manipulate them into their final form, blurring the line between traditional asset management and other media-based solutions. The opportunity that DAM presents to optimize and automate the media value chain is a powerful proposition that deserves further exploration to uncover and resolve the many creative and process-related issues found in marketing and publishing workflows today.

Some of the key developments found in DAM solutions lately include support for:

Rich, Digital Media: Over the past few years, the number of technology types used for media consumption has increased, and will continue to do so. The adoption of mobile continues to increase, as smartphones and tablet devices become more robust and media is distributed to these devices for consumption. The gathering, managing and reusing of social media assets is also being addressed by the latest releases of DAM solutions. The newest challenges, however, focus on managing and manipulating video and three dimensional objects used for web or mobile sites and interactive catalogs.

Brand Management & Template-Driven Workflows: To optimize the production of regularly produced documents and to ensure brand consistency, DAM solutions are increasingly supporting template-driven workflows. These workflows ensure consistent design across distributed user bases and enable mass edits for brand critical items such as logos, legal disclaimers, and more when tagged appropriately. Templates also provide users with specific permissions and workflows revolving around collateral, and user permissions can trigger predefined processes such as approval.

Multi-channel Publishing Workflows: Designing for or publishing to a single channel is becoming a thing of the past. As mentioned previously, Digital Asset Management has evolved to meet the requirements of the expanding list of available media channels.  By leveraging templates formatted for each selected output type, publications and enterprises can automatically publish documents through any channel of their choosing.  Similarly, in the marketing space, DAM solutions are providing workflows to distribute marketing messaging across a variety of channels that is personalized, targeted, and delivered on demand from the DAM repository.

Over the past year, the DAM market has also experienced a number of notable partnerships and acquisitions. Very recently, North Plains announced their acquisition of Xinet, which PrintWeek reported will form “the largest pure-play DAM vendor in the print industry”. ADAM Software acquired Van Gennep to strengthen its position in editorial publishing, and announced a partnership with EPAM to integrate more heavily with enterprise marketing management. Additionally, Van Gennep entered a strategic partnership with Aquafadas to provide mobile and tablet output to publishers. Last summer, Hewlett-Packard took many by surprise and acquired Autonomy, whose business includes media management. We expect to see more acquisitions in the DAM space this year.

To track the trends in Digital Asset Management, Henry Stewart Conferences organizes a series of DAM events each year in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London, bringing together DAM vendors, publishers, marketers and domain experts to learn about the latest DAM features, case studies on implementations and to discuss the challenges and changing needs DAM users face.

Readers can save $100 off the registration price of this year’s Henry Stewart DAM NY by using the discount code INFOTRENDS at checkout. This year’s DAM NY event will be held May 10-11 at the Hilton New York.

This year’s event is featuring speakers from well-known media providers including Showtime, American Express Publishing, Pearson, Yahoo!, Comcast Media Center, Simon & Schuster, CondeNast, and MTV Networks. As DAM is continually looking beyond traditional publishing, speakers are also featured from leading brands including Victoria’s Secret, Yahoo!, UPS, Hasbro, Hallmark, and McDonald’s. Also speaking at the event is the VP of Workflow Solutions from Multi Packaging Solutions, a packaging print service provider. In addition to a great speaker line-up, HS DAM NY will feature exhibitors and sponsors from known brands including Adobe, MediaBeacon, ADAM Software, OpenText, BrandWizard, Kodak, MarkLogic, and North Plains.

Read more about last year’s DAM NY event by downloading the free InfoTrends’ analysis found here.

With increasing reliance from organizations looking to better-manage and streamline their media workflow processes, DAM is becoming a critically important technology in business today. As more devices are introduced and media use grows exponentially, DAM systems are not just managing digital assets anymore; they are an integral piece of technology infrastructure for brands, marketers, publishers, and more. With media transformation occurring at a rapid pace, InfoTrends predicts that DAM systems will become full-blown “Media Management” systems that help support the end-to-end media value chain.

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