Last week, Phase One announced it had acquired Expression Media, a Microsoft digital asset management application used to catalog and organise images, videos and music files. Now, in an interview with BJP Henrik O. Håkonsson, president and CEO of Phase One, says photographers and Capture One users could see benefits sooner than they think.
"We've used the Expression Media software for many years, both when it was not owned and owned by Microsoft," he says. "We could see that Microsoft was not so eager to expand in this particular field. We felt that if we took over, we could improve Expression Media and make it a super efficient tool."
However, Håkonsson tells BJP, Phase One has to be careful of what happens to Expression Media.
"There are two groups of customers for this software. You have the customers who want to pick and choose. They might be using Capture One along side a management platform developed by another company. They want to choose what they like. The other group of customer want oneworkflow software. They want to be able to do both editing and management tasks in the same software, both for stills and videos." And, Håkonsson says, Phase One has to cater to both groups.
As with the development of Capture One, Phase One will survey photographers about their wishes and needs. "Photographers will decide what components of Expression Media and Capture One we will put together. But, it's important to add that we don't want to lock people in one particular software. We develop the best tools we can, but if customers want to put it together with something else, they can."
Already, says Håkonsson, photographers can expect better asset management capabilities in the next version of Capture One. But, he adds, customers shouldn't be burden with things they don't need. "We will put some components together, but we won't cluter down one software or the other. We'll take the best of both applications. But we will carefully evaluate to see if it makes sense to build an integrated product. It's a fair assumption to say that we will, but it will depend on the dialogue we're having with photographers."
But, he says, the possible improvements that will come with the purchase of Expression Media could come quicker than anyone think. "One benefit of being smaller is that we can move faster with updates and upgrades," says Håkonsson. "We talk regularly with photographers and get instant feedback. This results in a faster release cycle."
Phase One has also moved to reassure existing Expression Media users, saying that support will not be discontinued. Under the terms of the agreement and "to ensure a smooth transition for Expression Media customers, Microsoft will continue to provide support to retail customers for 90 days. Phase One will begin offering support for the Expression Media product after the 90-day transition period."
Speaking to BJP, Håkonsson says that Phase One has pledged to continue providing support to all users of the software. However, "it would be unfair for me to say that we'll put more emphasis on films and music. We're an imaging company, so, of course, we will put more emphasis on still imagery. But our experience will bring new benefits for all users. The tagging capabilities of Expression Media could be improved, for example."
For more information, visit www.phaseone.com/expressionmedia2.
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