EDS Moves Into Digital Asset Management

Computer services company EDS is muscling in on the burgeoning market for digital asset management with a suite of new consulting services for media and entertainment companies.

The Solutions Consulting division of the Plano, Texas, company has unveiled a new range of Digital Asset Management consulting services, which it said could help clients produce a return on investment as high as 10 to one in as little as six to 12 months from implementation.

The company is also making its pitch during the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, where digital media management issues are expected to dominate during the week-long gathering of broadcasters.

EDS’s new direction in offering high-end consulting and technical expertise to media and entertainment customers arrives as media companies of all kinds such as advertising and entertainment, are struggling with the process of creating, managing and distributing digital content across a world of proliferating media devices.

It also rolls out after a turbulent few months for EDS, where problematic contracts, a regulatory probe over how and why it had to lower its guidance, and its stock slide have weighed on analysts since last fall. On March 20th CEO Richard Brown resigned.

He was replaced by Michael Jordan, the former chairman and CEO of CBS. Industry watchers said his prior experience as a consultant with McKinsey & Company could start to show in EDS’s approach to the market.

By rolling out a suite of services within its consulting division, EDS is sending a signal to its rivals, such as IBM and HP, that it intends to snatch a piece of a digital asset management market that they too are chasing, one that EDS estimates at between $8 billion and $9 billion annually.

IBM recently rolled out a new digital video content platform, which touts easily-configured storage area networks where broadcasters can temporarily park their video before it is broadcast or transmitted.

EDS said its Digital Asset Management solution offers content-rich media and entertainment companies a means to effectively manage the increasing value of their digital assets and improve operational efficiencies across the enterprise.

It is pitching a fast implantation cycle to clients as part of its promise to produce key returns for customers, both in cost savings and in return on investment.

Michael Harris, the head of the global media & entertainment industry group, said the goal is to help large and mid-sized content companies compete successfully in an increasingly complex and resource-constrained market.

To that end, he continued, EDS has developed a “solution set” from existing EDS capabilities and technologies to help media and entertainment industry clients reduce digital storage and transport costs, improve operational efficiencies, streamline collaboration efforts, and improve speed to market for new and repackaged offerings.

The digital media consulting services are the first of new consulting services for a number of vertical industries, a person familiar with the company said, including manufacturing, transportation, financial services, consumer goods, retail and communications.