…Usability, mobile Devices and APIs! These are the top 3 trending topics our team should focus on in the future, according to a vote taken by the participants of the DC customer days held in Hamburg on March 1 and 2. At the end of Tim Strehle’s presentation about Digital Asset Management trends 2017, 19 out of 40 participants voted for a more user-friendly and nicer GUI; 15 lifted their finger at the keywords “Mobile and Responsive Design”; 14 answered in favor of better APIs and a service oriented system architecture.

That’s very convenient as our R & D Department is currently working on a new GUI that will have a lot to offer in terms of usability. The project involving external designers and UX experts was kicked off about a year ago. A first prototype saw the light of day last autumn and the first customer plans to start working with the new interface by the end of the summer.

APIs connecting DC-X to other systems are another key aspect in the media industry, as underlined by Silvano Oeschger, Head of Publishing Systems at the Swiss publishing house Ringier. He presented workflows in the Zurich newsroom where DC-X is used as a central tool for data management. “Our problem was that we had a different system in every department. Today, we have one input channel – DC-X – and various output channels: Woodwing, InDesign, Escenic, WordPress, Drupal, Brightcove… And there are still more to come. We are very flexible and able to integrate almost every publication”, the IT expert said.

At the local newspaper Ostsee-Zeitung (Madsack Media Group) as well, all articles are written in DC-X and a few months ago, editors there started publishing Facebook stories using the DAM system. “The advantage is obvious”, said Robert Haberer, editor-in-chief for Online development. “All information about what has been published and where it has been published is merged in one system. I can see at a glance and without having to keep an eye on a dozen Facebook pages if a colleague has published a certain article to a certain channel.”

When it comes to mobile workflows, the newspaper Kieler Nachrichten is an excellent example for what DC-X is currently capable of. At the customer days, project manager Thomas Ammermann showed how their reporters use the system to write their stories on-the-scene and directly enrich them with pictures using iPads.

Beyond these specific use cases, the customer days presented some interesting future prospects. Manuel Scheyda from ppi Media’s recently founded division “Strategy & Innovation” explained innovative methods to develop new, user orientated products. According to him, the challenge is not to have a ready reply to everything but to ask the customer the concrete question: “What exactly is it that you need?”

Martin Borek, consultant for Content strategies and Change Management, delivered some thought-provoking ideas on second-hand content marketing. “Placing existing content onto the B2B market, e.g. press reviews, archive hosts and web aggregators, is a simple and quick interim solution that can be applied alongside every strategic line”, he said.

Florian Benne from Microsoft Germany filled the audience with enthusiasm about the company’s “Cognitive Services” allowing to distill actionable information from images and videos. Those aren’t finished products but always “APIs that can be integrated by suppliers such as DC in order to enhance their own products on the basis of Artificial Intelligence”, he said. DC and Microsoft started talking about this a few months ago. They also plan to move even more DC systems to the cloud in order to offer DC-X as SaaS.

Artificial Intelligence, Geotagging, Big Data – there are a lot of topics that will influence our work in the future. “The aim isn’t quite clear yet, but the path is aready discernible”, said DC’s CEO Ole Olsen. “We don’t have a five-year plan and I’d say everyone who thinks he does in our industry is overestimating himself. The most important is to be prepared and able to react as fast as possible – beacause the journey can change directions any second.”