How DAM system companies can provide assistance
BY SABINE KÄRGER
(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 2 2019)
Today, everything revolves around data, the raw material of the 21st century. Digital transformation would be simply inconceivable without it. Data has an impact on every single business throughout all sectors – what is interesting here is the fact that software companies and integrators are themselves also affected by change. Whereas silo-like solutions were sufficient until now in individual areas of data generation, data processing and data distribution, PIM, CRM and CMS systems, among others, are today faced with the crucial issues of classification and further development. The pioneering role in this development could be assumed by DAM systems. We spoke to Antonius Huerkamp, Managing Director of Pixelboxx GmbH, about changes within the market, additional services and potential new pricing models.
Toni, you have many years of experience in the media sector and have recently been appointed Managing Director of Pixelboxx GmbH in Dortmund – a real ‘institution’ among MAM/DAM systems suppliers. How did this come about?
I was appointed as a consultant at Pixelboxx at the end of 2018, getting to know the company intensively in the process. In so doing, I was able to reveal the opportunities for Pixelboxx within a changed market environment. It didn’t take long for me to decide when I was offered the position of Managing Director.
From your perspective, how have the requirements for MAM/DAM systems changed?
In the past, inquiries for MAM/DAM systems were frequently made in isolation, with the necessary integration somehow following later on – this is no longer the case today. MAM/DAM systems are the focus of corporate communication – internally but especially externally. To this end, visual language is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, businesses will once again increasingly include the topic of DAM in their general IT procurement process.
Companies reach their clientele with a high-quality visual language, outputting it through all channels. Here, customers require image-related services, a task that Pixelboxx will also be addressing. This is currently in the process of being confirmed by corresponding inquiries/tenders.
We believe that the importance of MAM/DAM systems has changed considerably within the context of digitalisation. Can you confirm this?
Absolutely, without a doubt! Based on the interlinking of systems, the topic of content customisation will become progressively more important. This includes the demand for DAM to be more heavily integrated into the content generation process, which in turn results in DAM systems having to cater to more process-related functions. This can go as far as DAM systems being able to, or actually having to, carry out the ‘last mile’ in content production as well as the delivery of content. With this, DAM is an elementary component of the digitalisation strategy. Pixelboxx will thus also be offering services that enable the customisation or even the orchestration of content – including the creation of advertising messages and customised offerings, for instance.
What further challenges do you see facing MAM/DAM systems in the near future?
MAM/DAM systems must become completely open and dovetail more closely with technology partners. It is all about finding these partners and sustainably merging with them, including from a technological point of view. In this respect, artificial intelligence will, of course, assume a dominant role. Using sets of rules to find and develop images in a highly automated manner and to reach our customers’ clients even more efficiently with these means increases the conversion rate – and will result in higher sales!
Does this development also have an impact on the pricing of MAM/DAM systems?
As these complementary IT topics require considerably greater investment and a switch to SaaS takes place, DAM will be subject to new pricing structures: one for SaaS and one that, in view of other IT systems’ prices, will once again become relevant in terms of pricing.
What other developments can we expect in this area?
All businesses will, and want to, initiate digitalisation strategies and focus intensively on these. But companies are organisationally ill-equipped for it. High-quality content continues to be maintained in various system environments and not linked. Although this is nothing new, top managers are demanding that their organisations develop concepts for this. For this reason, we are also becoming increasingly involved in consultation as a MAM/DAM provider, with the remit of developing business cases/use cases in collaboration with the customer.
In light of this, what is the strategic focus of Pixelboxx?
In the future, content delivery tasks will also be assumed by DAM systems, which is why the associated channels will result in a ramping up of all aspects of DAM. With regard to future pricing models, we should assume that deliveries will come with a price tag. On this basis, the DAM delivery service business could undergo exponential growth. For Pixelboxx, this means dovetailing ‘more closely’ with technology partners and proactively offering services and consulting solutions. Our objectives also include strengthening the core environment with ‘new’ features and enhancements. Furthermore, we are planning to extend the value chain through services and to acquire new technology and sales partners in the process.
Business administration graduate Antonius Huerkamp has been the Managing Director of Pixelboxx GmbH since February 2019, having focused on the optimisation of media processes in various management positions for many years. At Pixelboxx, he joins an experienced team with long-standing customers – including the METRO Group, Osram, Melitta and KFW Bank. On the basis of this experience, Pixelboxx is developing a solution portfolio that extends well beyond the scope of currently conventional DAM systems and caters to the future requirements in this area.
Picture credit © John M Lund Photography Inc