Analysis: Open Text buys Artesia for DAM

10 August 2004 Open Text is acquiring digital asset management (DAM) software vendor Artesia Technologies amid a lively debate over the merits of the buyout – and the value of the DAM market.

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Enterprise content management software supplier Open Text plans to integrate Artesia’s DAM applications into its core LiveLink platform.

The acquisition will help Open Text manage all types of media for improved content management and collaboration, said Open Text CEO Tom Jenkins, as well as helping companies to comply with new regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley, SEC17a-4 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), all of which place strong demands on record preservation and the audit trailing of reports.

“Rich media makes up a large and increasing portion of the intellectual capital of world-leading businesses,” he said.

Indeed, experts believe that management of digital assets will become an increasingly important component for ECM companies. The ECM market is forecast to increase in value to $1.7 billion by 2008, according to some analysts, as regulations demand that companies start to organise their unstructured data.

“Most of the information that exists in organisations is unstructured and there is an ever-growing imperative to manage this unstructured content,” said Gartner principal analyst Tom Eid. “Over the past two years, there has been greater acceptance of an integrated content and document management suite and many content and document management vendors are now providing focused solutions.”

But some observers are doubtful about the merits of the buyout – and the value of integrating DAM into ECM suites. “Digital asset management (DAM) is a very small market, outside of media and entertainment,” said Lee Roberts, CEO of Open Text rival FileNet.

The reason that Open Text acquired Artesia – a company that FileNet itself considered buying, but rejected – is because of its acquisitive strategy that is reminiscent, he says, of Computer Associates in its heyday.

“Its strategy is a ‘buy everything out there in the market strategy’… They have a massive redundancy and overlap and no consistent architecture,” added Roberts.

Open Text rejects such claims, pointing to the number of acquired technologies that have already been integrated with its core platform as proof.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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