StevepowersBy Stephen Powers

I’ll give you five seconds to recover from your pun-induced groaning [5…4…3…2…1] Now, on to the news: Open Text announced late last week that it has acquired eMotion, a software-as-a-service digital asset management (DAM) product, from Corbis. Open Text plans to rebrand eMotion as Artesia on Demand for Marketing, complementing its full-featured, installed Artesia DAM product.

This move into SaaS DAM is a smart move by Open Text. The installed version of Artesia has a reputation as one of the top DAM solutions out there, but its functionality and price tag may be daunting for those organizations just starting to dip their toes into the DAM waters. Some enterprises don’t have the need for some of the high-end functionality – management of broadcast-quality video, for example – that "Classic Artesia" offers. Instead, many enterprises exploring DAM want to use it to manage rich media assets for use in the online channel.

In addition, marketers are now driving some of the demand for DAM, and they’re not excited about waiting in the IT queue for another installed content management implementation. While other components of ECM (like Web content management) may need customizations that don’t lend always themselves to the SaaS model, marketing requirements for DAM tend to be more a bit more straightforward: repository, workflow, search, metadata, permissions, and hooks into delivery mechanisms.

Now, Open Text has a DAM solution that can meet mid-level needs, and customers who want SaaS – without worrying about the stability of some of the niche DAM vendors – get the benefit of the relative stability of Open Text. Plus, this acquisition has the possibility of being an effective answer to North Plains’ recent release of a SaaS version of its TeleScope product. Time will tell how much tinkering Open Text needs to do with its new acquisition, but this is a good first step into the SaaS world.