This morning I took part in a phone conference with Widen.com, a US based provider of digital assets management (DAM) solutions via SaaS. I got hold of Widen while researching for a conference presentation later in the year and they kindly offered to run me through their product offering.
First some history – unlike many SaaS vendors who are new businesses, Widen has a 60 year history in their field, giving them a real understanding of what they do and what their customers need – their backgrounf is in pre-press and colour manipulation, and a few years ago, seeing the abundance of digital assets in existence (video, audio, images etc) decided to create an in-house solution to solve some of the problems.
Quickly they realised that the solution was also eminently applicable to other businesses, and set out to create a SaaS DAM product for other businesses to use.
To summarise – their SaaS product stores and catalogues any digital assets. Users upload assets and then provide meta data (tags) on the asset. The solutions then provides to the user a dashboard where they can search for, catalogue and order those digital assets in whichever form they require. Widen handles the storage, the inline conversion and the background work to make sure search and reporting happens quickly and correctly. Their charging model is similar to that of the mobile phone players, with a monthly bill covering bandwidth and storage used.
In another smart move (especially for those of us with bandwidth constraints), Widen have created an onsite appliance to allow local large size file manipulation. This appliance is connected to the Widen SaaS product meaning that all the reporting that come with the Widen product, is available on the local content too.
Widen has some high profile customers, Motorola and Trek bicycles both handle all their DAM requirements through Widen. Widen’s offering seems a sound concept for those with large digital asset lists, diverse geographical locales and minimal IT resource for the sales/marketing areas. It also has applications on Salesforce.com’s Apexchange platform providing added value to sales and marketing departments.