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Why ResourceSpace will never be acquired - and why it matters
31st August 2022
Digital Asset Management expert and editor of DAM News, Ralph Windsor, recently wrote an article about the 'DAM Software Market's Customer Acquisition Problem' (part one of two).
In the article, Ralph examines the recent trend of DAM software vendors 'consolidating' (or as he puts it later in the article, 'competitor deletion') through acquisitions, whether that's by private equity/venture capitalists, suite vendors (they already provide a suite of related solutions and would like to add DAM to their offering) or funded vendors (typically companies that want to buy their competition and have the funds to do so).
It's the latter of those acquisition types that Ralph thinks is most prevalent right now.
Why is this happening?
Digital Asset Management is no longer a new marketplace, and the reality is that there are few 'first time' buyers of DAM software anymore. What does this mean for DAM vendors? If you want to grow your enterprise customer base you have to replace an existing DAM.
It's much easier to simply buy up your competitors and inherit their customer base than put in the effort needed to acquire their business on merit.
Why should DAM users care?
The increasing acquisition of DAM vendors isn't simply a piece of industry news, irrelevant to DAM customers. As Ralph explores in the article, a DAM acquisition can have very real implications for the users of that DAM system.
First of all, Digital Asset Management migrations are not easy. If you've ever had to conduct one in the past you'll probably already be aware of this. They're more than worth the time and effort if you've identified a superior DAM solution, but it's not something you'd want to do regularly (which is probably part of the reason it's hard to attract new customers from rival vendors) and certainly not something you want to be forced into.
The acquiring vendor might take care of this, but it's going to be hard for them to deliver a positive customer experience. The vendor will have to balance providing a custom migration service with the need to carry out the migration at scale.
Migration issues aside, a lot of these customers will have chosen the original DAM solution for a reason. If they wanted to go with Vendor X, they would have chosen them to begin with. This also poses a threat to the acquiring vendor. They will have placed a valuation on the DAM solution based on the number of users it has, but post-acquisition that customer base is going to be at its most volatile.
The acquiring vendor might choose to leave the original system as an independent solution, as Bynder did with WebDAM, but will they prioritise development of that platform in the future? The danger for users of the purchased DAM is that their new owners view it as a revenue source, but not a product to be invested in.
Why ResourceSpace will never be acquired
Unlike all of our major competitors, ResourceSpace cannot be acquired by another vendor. Why? Because we're the only 100% employee-owned DAM vendor on the market.
Montala (ResourceSpace's parent company) employees own the company through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), and it's written in our articles of association that no money can be received in return for share purchase - all proceeds from a sale must go to charity.
For ResourceSpace users, this means they will never have to worry about being migrated onto a DAM system they didn't want in the first place. What's more, it means all of our employees are literally invested into the success of the organisation, helping to drive product innovation and fantastic customer service.
The fact that ResourceSpace is open source is important too. Why? Because if you decide you're unhappy with Montala for whatever reason, you're free to keep using ResourceSpace and have it supported either internally or by a third-party.
There are few other DAM solutions that are open source, while this simply isn't possible with proprietary software.
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