Mark Guthart, vice president of sales, says publishers should ask the following questions when considering a DAM system: Is the solution able to organize digital assets in an intuitive and easy-to-use manner? How much metadata is it able to provide about an asset, and how customizable is this information?
Meanwhile, Scott Seebass, CEO, XINET, Berkeley, Calif., a developer of networking software, suggests publishers consider their target audience. Will the DAM system be for Intranet or Internet users? How flexible will the solution be? How much will publishers have to change their workflows to accommodate it, and can they customize the solution?
DAM solutions can get very expensive, says Seebass. He suggests that when publishers look at feature-rich solutions, they should consider if they will use all those bells and whistles: "The more complicated the solution, the longer and more costly the implementation." Xinet's products include FullPress, a server software package, and WebNative, an Internet-based image management/distribution tool.
Looking beyond a immediate concerns for managing production workflows, sources say, a good DAM strategy should address integrating digital assets with other areas of a publisher's business, as well as emerging technologies and markets. That said, following are some questions to ask: How can a good DAM solution enhance other areas of my operation such as cross-media publishing, enterprise-wide access and interpretation of legacy files?
IBM's Rocha says NICA is a multipurpose, scalable, enterprise-wide solution due to it's underlying architecture, relational databases (DB2 and Oracle) and hardware platforms (RS/6000 and Sun). "NICA can deal with data from across the enterprise—from editorial to prepress to advertising to Web publishing," says Rocha. "It supports any file type needed, allowing publishers to centralize data into one system rather than many, so it eliminates a need for complex system integration." He notes that NICA is used as a production system and an archive. "By customer request, we've integrated NICA with various editorial and prepress systems at each installation," says Rocha. "And NICA's TCP/IP-based clients deliver the right amount of features for users of varying levels, both on the intranet and Internet."