Canadian-based North Plains has acquired Xinet. The combination of the two sets of products will fill holes in the North Plains functional range that still exist despite its ongoing growth.

North Plains, DAM

You only have to take a look at North Plains over the past two years to see how rapidly it has been growing. Over those years, it has also kept up with developing technologies and adopted is digital asset management product to emerging trends.

Such is the case, for example, with the iPad, with North Plains making its DAM product available through iPad in November, with the new app bringing tablets into the media workflow process and supporting the management of end-to-end digital asset lifecycle.

More significantly for the future though, it also outlined a long-term mobile strategy for DAM, while most other DAM vendors are still stuck in the starting blocks where mobile is concerned.

North Plain’s Functionality

That said, it didn’t stop the Real Story Group’s Irina Guseva (formerly of CMSWire) pointing out in a recent blog that it still lacks functionality, which it is hoping the acquisition of Xinet will solve. She points out that workflow capabilities have long been the Achilles' heel of the majority of DAM vendors.

She also points out that Xinet is not so much a standalone DAM tool, but more a workflow tool for prepress activities. Combining the two, then, should solve this problem for North Plains.

The result of the buyout is that thousands of combined North Plains and Xinet customers can leverage the lifecycle of a rich media file, from its creation and work-in-process (WIP) to its global distribution and archiving as a valued asset.

North Plains, Xinet

What North Plains sees happening is that it will use Xinet’s technology for file-based management of WIP assets, particularly for enterprise organizations, publishers and media companies that need to globally distribute their global media. The principal areas of interest for both companies include:

  • The XinetWebNative Suite: Enhances collaboration and accelerates rich media workflows between staff, vendors or clients in industries such as advertising, publishing, prepress, retail and corporate communications
  • TeleScope: North Plains’ modular digital asset management platform enables the secure access, management and distribution of  digital and rich media content in virtually any file format, across any size organization in any industry

North Plains, Xinet Expansion

But there are other things here that North Plains will be getting out of the deal. It gets the expertise and a considerable boost to human resources.

The Real Group’s Guseva has also pointed out that their feedback from customers and prospects of North Plains suggest that at least some of them have expressed concern about resources on the ground despite attempts by North Plans to build its Professional Team.

And then there’s Xinet’s position in Europe. Outside of its California offices, Xinet also has an office in Munich, placing it smack bang in the middle of Europe along with a partner and integrator channel, which also has elements in Japan.

So in a single blow -- or buyout -- it gets both a foothold in Europe and a partner channel, which for any growing company is invaluable. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly how valuable as financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

For the immediate future, North Plains says it will invest in lightweight integration dealings with workflows.

However, it also says it does not anticipate significantly changing Xinet’s products other than to provide ongoing product upgrades as previously done to meet customer demand.

North Plains does envision a smoother product integration between WebNative and Telescope and says it will communicate all stages of integration during the process. Let’s see what it communicates over the coming months.