Nuxeo Aims to Level The DAM Playing Field

Feb 09, 2010


Open source enterprise content management company Nuxeo is expanding out of the ECM space and into the larger world of digital asset management-and hoping to give smaller companies an edge against larger competitors. With those goals in mind, Nuxeo announced the general availability of its DAM 1.0 on February 4. Derived from its open source ECM platform, the new application allows users to manage rich media assets such as image, video, or audio.

"Nuxeo DAM has the same high level of flexibility as its underlying platform - Nuxeo EP - thanks to its extension-point, plug-in infrastructure. Thus, Nuxeo DAM can be adapted and customized to create a new kind of media-intensive content application matching ever-evolving business and creative needs," said Nuxeo CEO, Eric Barroca.

According to Cheryl McKinnon, Nuxeo's CMO, the beta version of the DAM product was released in December. "We basically opened up to community feedback. We had a very open community-driven road map, and prioritization bug fixes before we went into launch mode," she said. Nuxeo is also the first DAM application to meet the currently available draft of the OASIS Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification.

McKinnon gives credit for this latest expansion to Nuxeo's user community: "A lot of our customers have pushed us to look more in the nature of rich media assets." DAM's rights management tools aid users in protecting themselves, controlling the use of external assets. Here users can find information on licensed content, expiration and embargo dates, broadcast restrictions, and usage constraints for specific assets.

There is no cost for the actual DAM product. Nuxeo gets its revenue from support service packages. Nuxeo Connect, a subscription that offers software maintenance, support, and premium tools for users, ranges in price from $5,000-$70,000 per year. This makes it an ideal tool for small companies without a lot of money to spend on a DAM tool.

Features include asset capture, batch import, filter-based navigation, watermarking and export of media files, security and access control, and it is fully browser and web-based. 

The early release of the product sparked interest in small- to medium-sized media and graphics companies that work with multiple customers in order to produce digital content. "We're very much a horizontal company so we have customers in all the major verticals," said McKinnon. "This is where I think small and medium companies can really benefit from some of our offerings because it's an approachable price point, but they have all of the same risks of a big company. We want to make sure they have the ability to protect themselves as well as their bigger competitors."

The non-existent initial cost isn't the only affordable aspect of DAM 1.0. The not-so-large companies will also have the ability to increase use of the product without having to make any new commitments. McKinnon says, "because of our open source licensing model, you can go from 50 to 500 users. We don't actually try to penalize the customer for wanting to grow."

Nuxeo hopes to have a competitive value against larger competitors that offer ECM software such as IBM and Oracle. Co-founder and Principal of Information Architected, Inc., Carl Frappaolo sees Nuxeo's potential and appeal to smaller enterprises. "It will help the smaller companies most definitely, things are changing so quickly that that definitely could be the case."

"I think it is definitely a strong competitor and it's as competitive here in the DAM space as it is in the ECM space...they're an alternative to the traditional ECM," said Frappaolo.

"Also as we evolve the overall ECM platform we're going to be looking into more enhanced record management," says McKinnon. So far, at least one user seems impressed. Frappaolo said, "They have a good sense of both ECM and DAM. The fact that these two products are architected as one function is a great advantage."

Nuxeo won't stop there, though: it has its sights set on the clouds. Going forward, according to McKinnon, the company hopes to launch a cloud addition. Companies without a hardware infrastructure or an IT staff would benefit, enabling further flexibility.