The DAM Lowdown returns with: The impact of the Amazon outage on DAM, more KIT Digital news, Digital Asset Management Forum in Chicago on May 5, DAM Education launches in North America and Europe plus more Quick Hits.

What Does the Amazon Outage Mean to the DAM Market?

Along with every housewife in America, no one was happier to see the Royal Wedding come along than the public relations department at Amazon. The fallen cloud has been covered extensively, to say the least, but how does said failure effect the digital asset management landscape?

The impact could be substantial, considering the push by almost every DAM vendor to move its customers onto a cloud solution. Think about it: Nearly every solution that is covered in this column is either a new cloud-based product or an existing product being updated to leverage a cloud architecture.

Downtime is unavoidable for any software application, and, while it won't make your customers happy, it isn't the end of the world either. Data loss, on the other hand, is a different story. Customers can handle their platform being down for a little while. But if assets are missing when it comes back up, that's not good.

Therefore, the Amazon outage shines a spotlight on the reliability of cloud-backed systems. DAM vendors that are pushing the cloud need to be able to answer one question: "If it can happen to Amazon, why can't it happen to you?"

KIT Digital Stock Gets Hot: Is That a Good Thing?

It seems like I can't write a DAM Lowdown without mentioning something about KIT Digital. This week it is the realization by The Motley Fool -- and other stock analysts around the world -- that KIT Digital could become the of the video asset management industry.

Naresh Sarwan, writing for, isn't quite as enthusiastic about this news as most KIT Digital shareholders probably are.  Sarwan goes so far as to use the "b-word" (bubble) and refers to the dotcom era of the late 1990s when many web content management vendors had a more attractive stock portfolio than they did a product portfolio.

While I am not quite as concerned as Sarwan about KIT Digital's fast-rising start, I can't help but agree with him on this statement:

"Rather than basing the investment case on vendor lock-in (which is never as secure as those that pursue it hope it will be), I would prefer to see DAM companies promote positive benefits, like the versatility of their product and compliance with open standards. To me, these seem like more effective methods of encouraging a critical mass of user adoption, which will ultimately lead to the opportunity for long-term sustainable revenue generation (which is what investors should be looking for)."

Digital Asset Management Forum in Chicago on May 5

Enough seriousness. Let's move to a topic that we can all enjoy -- conferences. It seems like every week, we have a new meetup to mention, and this week is no different. This time, Extensis invites us to Chicago, IL for a free one-day seminar.

The focus of the event is the presentation of a real-world case study in how DesignPac leverages DAM for both 1-800Flowers and 1-800Baskets. Attendees will learn:

  • How DesignPac finds and repurposes design files while maintaining brand consistency and rights usage compliance.
  • Digital asset management best practices for both agencies and internal marketing departments.

Oh, and don't forget about the obligatory networking that goes on over mediocre appetizers and over-priced cocktails.

DAM Education Launches in North America, Europe

Just when you think the industry couldn't possibly support another consulting firm, along comes a new one. Appropriately named, DAM Education specializes in DAM education and training -- I said the firm was appropriately named.

Furthermore, DAM Education offers training on the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of DAM
  • Fundamentals of Metadata
  • Fundamentals of Taxonomy
  • DAM for Social Media
  • DAM & Workflow
  • DAM & Digital Preservation

Training is available online and in-person using the following formats:

  • 3-hour seminar
  • 1-day workshop
  • 2-day workshop
  • 10-week course
  • custom webinars, courses, seminars and workshop are available upon request

DAM Education is currently making the conference circuit and you can also follow them on Twitter @dameducation.

Quick Hits

You may as well get comfortable with this section, because there is always more information in the DAM world than can reasonably fit in this column. Let's finish up with some product announcements.

MerlinOne Releases New M5 Client

After five "person-years" of development effort, MerlinOne releases a new version of its digital asset management client,  Merlin 5. The latest release is a ground-up rewrite, focusing on support for multicore processors. Early returns are that the performance improvements are substantial.

Xinet Supports QuarkXPress 9 with WebNative Suite XTensions

When a player like Quark announces a major release, everyone in the ecosystem gets in line to support it. The recent update to QuarkXPress leads to a new version of Xinet's WebNative Suite XTensions. The XTensions include: Picture Wrangler XT, WebNative XT, FullPress XT and Annotator XT.

360Works Launches DocuBin

If you are looking for a FileMaker Pro solution for document and digital asset management, take a look at DocuBin from 360Works. DocuBin provides an upgrade to existing file servers with features such as version control, multiuser edit locking and flexible query controls.

DocuBin is available starting at US $295 for single users and US $1,800 for 10-user workgroups, with discounts for educational and nonprofit organizations.

As always, thanks for your time and I will see you next Monday.