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DAM--Getting Organized

March 1999
Digital asset management (DAM) solutions are plentiful, ranging wildly in everything from robustness to flexibility to price. But which offering is right for you? That may be the million-dollar question.


BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


The search is on. There are at least 75 DAM technology providers (not a slight on these fine technologists, just a widely tossed about, clever acronym for digital asset management) that are more than happy to visit you, send you materials, access your digital archiving weaknesses, advise you on ways to retool the content management at your operation and probably wash your car if you ask them nice enough.

For the sake of this article, your company is a $25 million general commercial printer specializing in catalog publishing. You need to invest in a competent digital asset management solution, but you are not sure which one is the right fit for your operation. You don't want to spend a fortune, but, at the same time, you are willing to invest the bucks if the right solution presents itself.

Price-wise you have a game plan. You are keeping your mind open to solutions between a $20,000 and $40,000 pricepoint—but you have no intention of limiting yourself if you are absolutely dazzled by a particular asset management solution.

You begin your investigation.

You talk to Canto about Cumulus; you confer with Cascade about MediaSphere; you get information from Imation about MediaManager; you investigate iStore StorageLink from Marcus Technology and TeleScope from North Plains. You heard TeleScope moved to version 1.5, and you're impressed with its new hierarchical searching and added PDF functionality.

You send e-mails requesting a visit with representatives from Inso regarding MediaBank. You wonder what happened to DALiM's Galerie. You consider Xinet's WebNative; after all, the Web image distribution and digital archiving combination in WebNative interests you. You are also curious about Virtual Ticket from Meta Communications, intrigued at its ability to combine both digital asset management and electronic job ticketing.

As if that isn't a big enough field of candidates to decipher, you are also interested in exploring Extensis' Portfolio 4.0, a digital asset management program that can handle the needs of a single user, or a large enterprise. You heard from a colleague that Portfolio 4.0 works in both a standalone and client-server configuration, and includes a plug-in that also lets the user access and distribute assets over the Internet.

Boy, you are one busy person!

"For commercial printers looking to integrate a DAM system, there are many factors that should be considered. Most important, though, is to make sure that the product under strong consideration is flexible and customizable," advises Jay Greenwell of North Plains.
 

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