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EDS tailors asset management for media

The IT services giant goes up against the likes of HP and IBM with a package of hardware, software and services geared toward media and entertainment companies.

Electronic Data Systems says it's built a better mousetrap to keep track of Mickey Mouse images and other digital assets.

Thursday, the Plano, Texas-based computer services company launched a digital asset management product geared toward the media and entertainment industries.

The product, which combines hardware and software from a variety of partners with EDS consulting services, allows customers to store, retrieve and implement digital content such as audio files, video files, PDF documents and static images. EDS also offers outsourcing services; clients can store their files on EDS's computers and access them remotely.

EDS says its digital asset management product can save customers as much as 10 times their investment in as little as six to 12 months from implementation.

"This solution will reduce digital storage and transport costs, improve operational efficiencies, streamline collaboration efforts, and improve speed to market for a client's new and repackaged offerings," said Michael Harris, global media and entertainment industry leader for EDS's Solutions Consulting wing.

EDS cited market research firm Forrester as saying a typical midsize company owns 20,000 to 50,000 digital images and assets crucial to their business that carry a replacement value of about $20 million, but that 70 percent of content winds up being re-created.

Computing giants Hewlett-Packard and IBM also have digital asset management products geared for the media and entertainment industry.

EDS, HP and IBM stand out from smaller niche players because they can provide technology, consulting services and the ability to outsource digital asset management, IDC analyst Ellen Julian said. The media and entertainment industry "needs all of those capabilities in order to get the most value out of their digital assets."

EDS's technology partners in its digital assets management product include content-management software company Documentum, application infrastructure software company BEA Systems and storage technology provider EMC.

Services EDS will provide with its offering include computer architecture advice, systems integration work and help with getting employees used to new technology, EDS spokesman Travis Jacobsen said. "It's very common for people to not be trained on how to use the company's assets," he said. "We're not just going to put the technology into your organization."

The company said pricing for the package will vary by customers' needs and size.