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Can An Enterprise DAM Manage Video?

Why you need an enterprise DAM?

We are in a golden age of video as a business tool — it’s no longer used just for marketing but for many other business functions too: sales, corporate communications, training, testimonials, and much more.

Combined with this proliferation of video benefits for enterprises, the democratisation of video has made video a “must have” rather than a “nice to have”. 

Why are video files problematic?

Video, until recently, was a very specialised craft that was handled by editors and engineers. They traditionally used a MAM — Media Asset Manager — to store, share and manage their content.  MAMs are different from DAMs — Digital Asset Managers — in that they deal only with video content.  

What most enterprise DAM vendors won’t tell you is that DAMs were never built for managing video. They all claim that they do. But the reality is that the amount of resources, storage and compute power needed to manage video content is considerably greater than what is needed for images and documents — and ALL traditional DAMs lack the necessary technology to manage video content properly. 

The thing is: now there is a need to enable business teams to manage video content as easily as images and word documents but the workflows just aren’t there.

Video files are large…ahem, very large. If you decide to work with 4K (which most brands and advertisers do), they could be ginormous! And they are complex: there are so many formats that it can be tricky to create the right format for your chosen destination (e.g. a social platform, a website, a mobile device, etc.) This is precisely why they are difficult to manage.

The result is that organisations develop workarounds. Solutions that are, frankly, okay but not really scalable. They save video content on external hard drives; store them under a desk somewhere. Share content via WeTransfer or YouSendIt. None of this is native to managing other files — but we make an exception for video.  

Ultimately, that means that finding a video clip involves manual searching under desks for the external drive, manual scrolling through oodles of footage, and ultimately wasting a tonne of time. 

Video considerations when investing in a DAM

If it’s your company’s first time investing in a DAM and you want it to manage video, then it’s best not to look at the legacy providers. Some have partnered with video specialists to better manage video content, but it is not core to what they do and this can lead to issues down the road.

When evaluating an enterprise DAM provider, make sure to assess your video needs. There are many workflows that are similar to those for images and documents, but they can’t be managed in the same way. For example, you can easily ingest a large batch of images taken at a photoshoot. But let’s say you have an hour of raw video footage — how do you plan to ingest that and how are you going to share it with your colleagues? Answer: you’ll need completely different infrastructure to an image workflow and it will likely include a cloud network if you want to do it right.

Think of your KPIs — your key needs may be finding files quickly, avoiding duplication of video files, operating from a “single source of truth”, tracking versions of projects, and outputting to multiple video file formats. These are modern video workflows that the majority of DAMs do not support. 

What if you already have an enterprise DAM?

You may already have a DAM that is struggling to manage your video content. So you go to the market looking for something new. It can be confusing. Vendors will try to sell you lots of solutions:  MAM (Media Asset Manager), PAM (Production Asset Manager), CMS (Content Management System), or an ECM (Enterprise Content Manager). They are all valid — but they are unlikely to be what you are looking for. 

Transitioning from legacy DAM technology to something that can manage your video assets can be a real challenge. The least expensive way to do it is to integrate a video solution that can operate with your DAM. If you can’t find that, then best make the change. 

Taking the leap to the cloud

There really is only one answer when it comes to managing video content: move to the cloud. When moving workflows to the cloud, the big question on people’s minds usually is: “How much is this going to cost me?”

We found that none of the tools on the market accurately answered that question. Different cloud solutions have different calculators, but they are not very accurate because they never take into account the full compute cost. For example, let’s say you have 100 TB of video stored in the cloud and you have a single archivist managing it. Then let’s imagine you have the same amount of storage, but 1,000 people all accessing it, sharing it, posting to social, etc.  Same storage — very different cost!

So, we built Overcast Max Simulator to allow you to run a real-time simulation of your video workflows, which helps you to understand the costs of storing and managing your content in the cloud. 

Return on investment is slightly trickier to calculate but you can read one of our business case studies, which clearly demonstrates savings in terms of time and cost in addition to potential revenue generation.

What can Overcast do for you that others can’t?

Overcast is a Video Content-as-a-Service platform. We’re based on AWS (Amazon Web Services). We are a team of video experts who worked in TV and are now helping non-TV people to manage their content.  The platform is built specifically to integrate with DAMs by providing a microservice architecture that allows enterprise businesses to scale their video workflows in their own time.  

Find out more

We recognise that all of this technology and jargon can be confusing, so if you’d like to have a chat about your particular challenges and how to solve them, please do get in touch with our CEO Philippe on info@overcasthq.com or click here to get in touch — he’d be happy to answer any questions you have. 

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