In a previous blog posting, I wrote about our Content Services strategy and the innovative work we are doing to ensure that the Nuxeo Platform remains the most modern solution in the industry. Today, I thought it was timely to refresh our strategy for Digital Asset Management and to share with you some of the equally innovative work we are doing for our enterprise DAM customers.
Before I begin on the roadmap, let’s talk a little bit about strategy and, in particular, about digital supply chains. As we entered 2020, we began to expand our focus beyond DAM for Marketing to look at the larger product lifecycle and the role that digital assets and data play in helping our customers bring new products to market more quickly. Alan Porter, in this blog, did a nice job of introducing Product Asset Management (PAM) and exploring its relationship with PIM and PLM systems.
The critical argument behind PAM is that product companies need to free themselves from the constraints of their analog supply chains. Product designers can’t wait for new materials to ship from overseas nor can they design products without understanding material lead times and availability. Manufacturing and shipping physical prototypes and samples no longer makes sense in a world where 3D modeling enables a much more collaborative and real-time design experience. Yes, PAM is ultimately about enabling digital supply chains - providing ready access to critical visual assets and data throughout the product lifecycle from initial point of ideation all the way to the shelf. And PAM is about competitive advantage, giving customers a critical edge in time to market.
Fast forward a few months and the world has changed quite a bit, and many of our PAM customers are perhaps less worried about time to market than they are about business continuity. It’s no secret that, unless you are Amazon or Costco, the retail sector has been hit hard and many product companies have similarly suffered. However, the need for digital supply chains has never been greater. When manufacturing is shut down, materials and samples become unavailable. When employees are remote, the creation of new campaign content slows perhaps when it’s needed most for digital marketing. New photo shoots are impossible, placing an even greater premium on existing digital assets. For many of our customers, a digital supply chain is vital to their survival during this crisis. As a result, we believe our strategy and focus on Product Asset Management is more important than ever.
As a refresher, here’s a quick recap of Nuxeo’s 2020 roadmap priorities:
- Low-Code. Our goal is to make it easy for our enterprise DAM customers to quickly build the apps they need to support their digital supply chain.
- Artificial Intelligence. Nuxeo Insight is a unique offering in the DAM market that allows customers to train machine-learning models with their own assets and data. Our goal is to make this service intuitive and easy to use even for the most novice AI organizations.
- Cloud First. Regardless if a customer uses our cloud or their own, our simple goal is to make the Nuxeo Platform easy to operate, maintain, and upgrade.
Ultimately, we believe that by making it easier and less expensive for customers to build compelling apps, by incorporating leading-edge AI technologies, and by enabling them to operate our platform like a SaaS offering, we are offering even greater value to our customers and addressing some of the most pressing needs in the industry. If you’d like to learn more about our roadmap priorities or roadmap themes, please refer to my February blog which highlights our 2020 roadmap.
What We’re Working on in Q2
Now let’s take a quick look at what we are working on in Q2 and I will focus specifically on features that are most relevant for our enterprise DAM customers.
Visual design paradigm. A critical component for our low-code approach, we are implementing a new visual design paradigm for Nuxeo Studio. This will enable developers to simply “drag and drop” reusable Web elements into the Nuxeo visual designer. A key goal is to provide a much more flexible environment for designing Nuxeo user interfaces with a WYSIWYG design experience. This approach will not only accelerate app development on the Nuxeo Platform, it will also produce more compelling user experiences for Nuxeo apps. Time to market is important, but so too is DAM user adoption. We expect this work to be completed in early Q3.
Continuous innovation. A key component of our cloud-first initiative, for the past twelve months, we have invested a significant number of engineering resources to enable a continuous innovation, continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline for our Nuxeo Cloud offering. This will allow us to deliver upgrades and new features to our customers seamlessly and much more frequently. This work is also expected to be completed in Q3 and then we will turn our attention to extending our continuous innovation paradigm to our self-managed customers.
Wizard-driven UI for Nuxeo Insight. This is the conclusion of work that we began in Q1. In mid-2019, we launched Nuxeo Insight to enable our customers to use their own assets and data to train custom machine-learning models. Since that time, this service has proven itself, allowing customers to use AI to address a number of different use cases, like product identification, talent recognition, asset classification, rights management, etc. In Q2, we will complete work on a new user interface for Nuxeo Insight that will make it easier for users to define new machine-learning models, select appropriate training data sets, export assets for training, and even deploy and manage their machine-learning models. Based on a point-and-click paradigm, this UI will enable even novice organizations to take full advantage of our AI capabilities.
Aspera integration. In Q4 of last year, we provided our first release for Aspera, enabling Nuxeo customers to use Aspera to upload and download large assets to and from the Nuxeo Platform. Based on early user feedback, we are making several enhancements to this integration, improving the overall user experience and providing support for multi-folder and nested-folder uploads and downloads. This work will be completed in Q2.
Nuxeo viewer enhancements. Over the next few quarters, we plan iterative releases for new evolutions of the Nuxeo viewer based on customer inputs. In our Q2 release, we will accelerate the time to access large media files and we will add support for bookmarks. We will enhance the user experience around opening multiple documents at once within the viewer. And we will enable the dynamic selection of which layers to display for file types like PDF and Photoshop.
Large-scale metadata for objects. Many of our enterprise DAM customers employ the Nuxeo Platform for complex use cases with incredibly rich and detailed data models. As a result, they often have UIs that feature very large sets of metadata combined with digital assets. In Q2, we will begin work on this new paradigm to display and edit complex metadata in a more intuitive, flexible and customizable way.
Large-scale object transfer. While many of our customers have standardized on Aspera, we recognize that moving large objects or large quantities of objects to and from the Nuxeo Platform, particularly in the cloud, is a common challenge. We will enhance our native Nuxeo Drive offering to support large-scale object transfer. This includes functionality to pause and resume uploads/downloads, support for background uploads/downloads, and UI enhancements for tracking upload/download progress.
Nuxeo Photo Studio. Last, but certainly not least, in Q2 we will begin development of a Photo Studio solution. Designed to address a common PAM use case, our Photo Studio application will be built entirely on the Nuxeo Platform and will enable product companies to manage complex photo studio operations. The solution will include features for managing samples, coordinating photography selections, pre-populating data entry fields, automating review and approval tasks, and ingestion of designated assets into a work-in-progress creative repository.
For more information about our entire roadmap or about any of the above deliverables, you can also access our roadmap online at https://doc.nuxeo.com/nxdoc/roadmap/.
Continuing to Innovate
Now, more than ever, we believe that digital supply chains are vital - not only to our customers’ success, but to their continued survival. And, we believe that our platform plays a critical role in helping our customers to go digital, to persevere in tough circumstances, and to thrive in good times.
So, we will continue to innovate. To add new features and capabilities. To make investments to ensure that our customers are well supported in their efforts to digitize their operations. And we won’t stop here. I plan to write this blog at the outset of every quarter, outlining our roadmap and planned product enhancements. And I am already excited about Q3, as we will add integration for frame.io, enhance our support for Amazon Glacier and multi-tier archiving, and add new UI elements for a number of different bulk actions, like bulk editing of metadata or bulk ingestion of assets. Stay tuned, there’s so much more to come.