There are an overwhelming number of video management solutions, which can make choosing the right vendor for your business a very difficult task.
It’s all about the specifics of your company and what you want your video management solution to do. Start by developing a list of project goals and the key issues the system must resolve. Then filter, filter, filter a little bit more and eventually you will end up with the best vendor for your business.
But where should you start? You could evaluate the vendors and their solutions out there in four stages:
Stage one: The long list
Start the process by eliminating vendors that don’t measure up to your business’s key video management criteria in terms of:
Management System & Asset types supported – this should help you to identify the type of solution you need. Whether this is Digital Asset Management (DAM), Media Asset Management (MAM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or Production Asset Management (PAM). The acronyms are endless and sometimes confusing, click here for a little more clarity on what each acronym offers.
Most vendors specialise in one of the above areas. Here at Cambridge Imaging Systems, our Imagen system offers end to end Media Asset Management to help businesses cope with the increasing number of video and other media files flooding today’s DAM systems.
Technology framework – what framework does the solution work from and is it the best fit for your existing systems?
Licensing models – are you looking for an open source solution or a commercial off the shelf one?
Delivery models – do you want an installed, on premise solution or one that’s based in the cloud? We can install our Imagen platform either onsite or through our cloud based service to give clients complete flexibility.
You can also eliminate vendors by working out who your target users are. Will you be providing an internal only system with strict security protocols, or will the platform be a public access window – Imagen can do either, but many providers are geared towards one or the other.
Through considering the above, you should help you to filter down to around 10-15 providers, aka the ‘long list’.
Stage two: The short list
Now it’s time to work out the type of video management solution based on your specific business needs.
Start building use cases and scenarios for the new system requirements and assess each vendor’s capabilities in key functional and technical areas by answering the following questions:
- What does the User Interface look like and how easy is it to use?
- Will you have 24/7 access to your media?
- Will you have full control over who can see your media and what they can do with it?
- Will the system provide relevant search results to easily locate your media?
- How do the system’s workflow tools ingest and manage your media?
- What formats can the system convert your media into?
- What is the reliability and redundancy of the system?
- How fast, scalable and flexible is the solution?
- Does the system provide open interfaces for third party integration?
- Can the system cope with multiple use cases?
If you are unsure of any of these questions, you can discuss with the professionals behind these products the kind of workflows that would best suit the platform you wish to create, and therefore find the features that would really make it a success. With Imagen, we have had many clients come to us to explain the problems they have and we have helped to find them a suitable solution that they are happy with.
Step three: Drill down to the facts and figures
You should now have a short list of between three to four vendors and it’s time to start asking them some tough questions on pricing, SLAs and so on.
Grill each vendor on factors such as the total cost of ownership, hardware configuration and the makeup of the team. Ask for references from current clients and tentative project schedules and roadmaps. If a vendor is not forthcoming with this level of information then alarm bells should start to ring.
In the end it boils down to which of the final two vendors can best meet your need and handle your data best. Consulting with the vendors, aligning your needs to their services and a real trial of the product using your actual media and metadata is by far the most efficient way to test how far this solution ticks your boxes. At Cambridge Imaging, we offer a consultancy package for this exact reason, 5 days of professional services to ensure that our technology best meets your need and will fulfil your expectations, and prepare for a quicker delivery should the project move forward.
By selecting the right vendor, everyone wins.
Good or bad, this is a decision that you will need to live with for many years.