After Sean’s interesting little entry on whether more companies are going to move their application offering into the cloud, I had the pleasure of spending a lengthy amount of time Murray Oles of Chalex. They have taken a rather different approach to providing Digital Asset Management as a service and not as the key application driver. Workflow orchestration is their approach and storing assets is just a process that happens during our working day, and lets face it in our pre-media environments we are all about getting our jobs out and the assets are attached to our jobs, so this is a refreshing approach from a DAM vendor.
There are two things that make this system stand apart from the other; the first one which isn’tunique to what I have seen, but is unique in their implementation to it is the ability to build workflows to manage the process flow of your jobs, now this could be anything from the automation of tasks, to the people that need to review and approve something and right down to the assigning of tasks to people, studios or outsource partners. Now I said it wasn’t completely unique and that was because we have seen workflow in systems offered by Artesia and ADAM, but the workflow is all based around the assests and not the business processes.
The second thing that is pretty unique is that the system is offered completely in the cloud… yes completely – assets and all…. It all sits up there on the Amazon servers, this provides them with the ability to deploy an instance of the basic setup in a matter of hours, for more advanced configurations where the processes need to be mapped and custom panels need creating then these can be developed after the process has been worked out.
The system is using some great technology under the bonnet, such as Cozimo the collaborative, review and presentation system for online digital content in real-time, this is similar to other systems out there from Kodak, Dalim, and ProofHQ but also allows you to annotate video!
On top of these they are able to integrate additional services into the system such as:
- Google integration –iGoogle “Gadgets” –Google Apps
- Collaboration services
- Video previews
- FLASH previews
- Web to print services
- Promo planning
- Adobe In Design Server engine
- Translation services
- On-line page building
Naturally there are the normal features such as published workflow models, resource groups, workflow teams and roles & permission setting along with a dashboard that allows you to keep track of your work assignments. They have also started developing smart forms based in Flex allowing for the information to be dynamically generated.
On top of all this they have an Adobe Air application that allows the users to connect and interact with the assets connected with a specific task. All for either an annual subscription fee or an outright price with annual maintenance fee that is very very competitive against other offerings on the market.
So with the prediction for 2010 being the year of the DAM Cloud Explosion, these guys are well positioned to get ahead of the race with a concept that doesn’t put the digital asset management as the key driver, but rather the business process is the heart of the solution.
We look forward to seeing how this system develops over the next 6 to 12 months as they find more integrators around the world to help them get a better saturation in the market.
My only closing comments would be that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, unfortunately their main website for the products http://www.pakzar.biz does need a bit of a marketeers touch.
Author: Gary George
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