Managing content trickles down

Content management is becoming a crucial system to have as more companies begin to store more digital data. Signs of the market heating up are showing.

Content management isn’t just for high-end publishing enterprises anymore.

As manufacturing, travel and pharmaceutical companies continue to store digital data, doors in this space are opening wider for integrators, solutions providers and ASPs.

Sometimes called digital asset management, content management provides "archiving" or storage for digital data such as text, images, audio and video.

Many content management systems are now adding workflow for content routing and collaboration, as well as XML conversion engines for translating Web pages into formats suitable to PDAs and DVD-ROM drives.

What would CMS do for a company? YES

New partnership programs are one indication that the content management market is heating up. For instance, Cantos plans to release it "enterprise-level" content management system later this year along with its first indirect distribution program, aimed at integrators, resellers and consultants, says Jennifer Neumann, CEO of Cantos.

Meanwhile, EidosMedia of Italy and Seinet of the U.K. already are rolling out U.S. partnership programs.

How such programs fare in the real world remains to be seen, but some integrators have taken the plunge. DeepBridge, for example, is now targeting financial and pharmaceutical markets in the content management area.

At least part of what’s driving this market is price. Until recently, most content management products were Unix-based, costing from $250,000 to more than $1 million. Now, some vendors have hit the market with less-expensive Windows and Macintosh-based systems, priced as low as $15,000, says Luke Cavanagh, an analyst with Seybold Publications.

Even at the low end, integrators can offer value-add by building custom interfaces and creating XML or Java-based workflow scripts.

Ford Motor Co. is using Saepio’s content management system in a Web-based ad creation system, which allows auto dealerships using a Web browser to modify text and graphics for newspaper ads. The system for dealerships was implemented by NSI, an integrator, says Saepio CEO Kevin Ruttan

"Our intention is to be the vortex," says Ruttan, adding that Saepio is also licensed to various ASPs.

Also, 3Com recently worked with integrator Fahrenheit 401 to deploy the Cantos system.

Integrator Wave Corp. is so confident about the future of content that it recently bought the MediaBank content management system from Inso Corp.

Among many corporations, though, content management is still a toddler.

"Most customers today are still at the stage where they’re digitizing their content," says Cantos’ Neumann. "Workflow, XML conversion and digital rights management will come later."