Managing content in a rich media world


Because of its highly unstructured nature, rich media tends to be a mishmash of interrelated video, still images, and PowerPoint presentations. It can be particularly hard to manage when it's created and edited by a large team located in multiple locations throughout the world. Furthermore, digital content frequently needs to be stored in a variety of formats, from broadcast-grade video to compressed files suitable for streaming. That means DAM systems must also be able to handle transformation, check in, access privileges, and workflow processes.

For the international real estate firm Hines, with 3,000 employees in 80 offices, it was becoming increasingly difficult for workers to collaborate on and share video and still images related to the properties they were managing and selling. Content was scattered all over the world, often creating costly delays when a worker in one time zone had to rely on a colleague halfway around the world to access or process a piece of work.

So Hines turned to EMC's Documentum to centrally house and index the content and make it available to authorized workers via Web browser. It has proved a boon in helping salespeople discover past work that a separate office may already have done for a client, or conduct specialized searches to find all content related to art installations performed in a particular location.

"For the corporate communications group, it really turned that group around," says Beth Franssen, Hines's manager of electronic corporate marketing. "It allowed them to be more strategic and provide a better service."

An end-to-end solution is attractive to many customers, but others, including the NewsMarket's Purushothaman, say Documentum lacks advanced tools such as those for handling video.