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The last decade has seen a rapid rise in the need for both Digital Asset Management and Enterprise Content Management. The reasons are clear. On the push side there have been enormous strides in technology, in particular CPUs, storage, bandwidth, compression, user interface, and displays. On the pull side, businesses are competing in a global marketplace where brand and product messaging are key components to competitive advantage while regulatory, compliance, and governance mandates have now fully focused on digital workflows and associated content.

Vendors have responded -- first with proprietary systems to archive and manage important digital content, but now increasingly with systems that stress interoperability, flexibility, and speed of deployment. In much the same way that the Internet's greatest value is not in the speed of its pipes but in the simple and standard manner in which the pipes connect and communicate, this simple, even subtle evolution from focusing on performance of standalone systems to focusing on standards and modularity, has transformed the nature of all communication, content, and increasingly media with far reaching consequences for every sector of economic activity.

Integration imperative

Today, the question vendors face with their DAM or ECM systems is not what they do, but how well they work together. Certainly ECM systems have challenging and unique requirements in terms of volume, complexity, and timelines, just to name a few metrics. And DAM systems must adapt to new formats, creative tools, and business models. But there is no question technology can meet these challenges today. The questions are how fast, cost-effective, convenient, and extensible are the solutions?

The experts at CMS Watch put it this way: DAM is an important part of any organization's content management strategy. Whether it's used to support web content management or ECM, the requirements for a DAM solution have gone far beyond just a solution for storing digital assets.

Rarely can any one vendor provide a single holistic solution to an enterprise's needs. All organizations have content that should be managed. And all organizations are seeing increasing use of digital media as part of their daily communications, collaboration, and marketing activities. The focus today is on integrated solutions.


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