2014 Digital Asset Management (DAM) Vendor Rankings Insights


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The DAM market has experienced a surge recently, for several reasons. First, user demand has driven an explosion in rich media content. Companies must create exponentially higher volumes of content as they engage users across more channels and from multiple departments within the organization. Once an island reserved for marketers, rich media and other forms of digital content are now routinely created by people outside of marketing. From human resources training videos and content to product images and logos leveraged by channel sales teams and foreign offices, it seems almost everyone in the enterprise either makes or accesses digital content today. At the same time, Marketing’s need for DAM has simply exploded. The competition for strong branding and engagement over social, web and mobile channels has pushed marketers to continuously drive new and fresh content to market in numerous formats. Content volumes have raised so high that many marketers view DAM as an organizational imperative – a “must have” solution. It’s the only way to manage the lifecycle of assets and prevent costly errors of displaying and/or distributing the wrong content. The right DAM system and processes manage the complete lifecycle, including digital content creation, management, distribution, archiving, and repurposing.

Top reasons to implement DAM according to Top Performers.

Top reasons to implement DAM according to Top Performers.

Hundreds of vendors make up today’s DAM market, due in large part to the need for managing assets across a broad scope of user requirements. Some DAM vendors grew out of a need for organizations to manage rich media applications, others from marketing’s need to apply rights management to content, more still as complements to WCM, and yet others for various enterprise needs, such as branding or training. This market fragmentation makes it difficult to pinpoint the right vendor for your DAM needs. Add to that the new quandary of whether to use a cloud-based system or an on-premise system.

2014 FLASH Vendor Rankings for Digital Asset Management

2014 FLASH Vendor Ranking for Digital Asset Management - Click here to view the interactive chart.

2014 FLASH Vendor Ranking for Digital Asset Management – Click here to view the interactive chart.

While choosing a vendor may seem daunting, the task becomes much easier if your organization develops a high-level DAM strategy long before engaging any vendors. Let your business use cases dictate your needs, then find a vendor that can fill those needs. Selecting a vendor this way avoids the pitfall of buying a technology rather than undertaking a multi-year initiative to transform digital content into digital assets for enterprise-wide business success.

That said, assuming you are targeting an enterprise-wide or multi-department DAM system, there are critical functions you should demand of DAM vendors vying for your business. These include strong metadata capture, easy and robust workflow modeling, powerful and simple search, and easy collaboration. With usability and adoption highest among factors that impact the success of DAM, you cannot forego any of these core functions and should turn away from any vendor that cannot show them right out of the box.

2014 FLASH Vendor Ranking RAW data for Digital Asset Management - Click here to view the interactive chart.

2014 FLASH Vendor Ranking RAW data for Digital Asset Management – Click here to view the interactive chart.

Finally, you will need to decide whether your DAM initiative is right for cloud-based or on-premise solutions. Cloud may save money initially, but it may cost you more in the long run as monthly per user licensing quickly aggregates over time. Also, DAM is best implemented in stages. As your organization moves from stage to stage, users will have new and unforeseen requirements. Once implemented, an on-site solution should be much easier to tweak than a cloud-based solution that relies on periodic vendor updates. The cloud vendor is likely not developing new features and functions specific to your company’s business needs, whereas you can do so with an on-premise solution.

One additional consideration for DAM is the growing prevalence of cloud-based storage options such as Box, Google DRIVE, Dropbox, iCloud and others. These are attractive options for line of business users because they promise rapid implementation time and the perception of cost savings. But buyers need to weight business requirements against these offerings. In many cases free storage options don’t have the robust metadata, rights management, and workflow options inside core DAM solutions. Also, while initially free, the actual cost of rolling out cloud-based storage options can easily be more money than a DAM solution as soon as free thresholds are exceeded. Bottom line, there are a ton of really viable and great options for asset management. The investment should not be taken lightly; consider what your organization will need 3-5 years out and look for solution that will be able to scale with those needs – even if you don’t use the functionality initially.

To view the software directory for Digital Asset Management click here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ian Michiels
Ian Michiels is a Principal & CEO at Gleanster Research, a globally known IT Market Research firm covering marketing, sales, voice of the customer, and BI. Michiels is a seasoned analyst, consultant, and speaker responsible for over 350 published analyst reports. He maintains ongoing relationships with hundreds of software executives each year and surveys tens of thousands of industry professionals to keep a finger on the pulse of the market. Michiels has also worked with some of the world's biggest brands including Nike, Sears Holdings, Wells Fargo, Franklin Templeton, and Ceasars.


  1. You are missing some pretty big names in the industry.

    How did you determine your vendor sample?

    You’re missing ADAM, Picturepark and WebDAM to name a few.

  2. I see you omitted my company MerlinOne as well. Real Story Group has a more comprehensive listing of DAM vendors as well as the DAM Foundation.


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