Managing content in a rich media world


The market for solutions that manage rich media is highly segmented, and no single vendor meets all needs. That means IT managers who are ready to deploy a DAM system should consider the products carefully before choosing. Discovery, a broadcast network that owns the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and other properties, has such specialized needs that it uses DAM systems sold by four different providers to manage music, video, royalty images, and royalty-free images.

IT professionals must also decide whether they want to outsource the system to a company such as Getty Images or Corbis, or to manage the system themselves. "IT loves the fact that they can wash their hands of it," says Susan Worthy, vice president of marketing at ClearStory Systems, another hosted provider. Other organizations, such as government agencies handling highly sensitive information, often prefer to house their data in-house.

Perhaps most important of all is for IT professionals to closely coordinate with managers in every department that works with rich media to clearly map out how the system will be used, says Melissa Webster, an analyst at IDC. "The solutions are quickly differentiated once you understand whether it's about supporting the creative phase of the lifecycle or the publishing phase," she says. "Working with business stakeholders is the first thing."