• Do you have media assets housed in different isolated systems all over the place?
  • Are you planning to use those media assets more than once?
  • Are your media assets a mix of different file types, images, 3D renderings, video, documents and more?
  • Are you wanting to enrich those assets with additional information?
  • Do different groups across the organization create and manage media assets?

If the answer to these questions is YES, then you need a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution. A good DAM system can save a company money by making it easier to find assets, reduce duplicate work, and unlock the potential and reach of existing assets.

In today’s digital world there is an exponential demand for content, especially rich media assets such as images and video. These assets are no longer just the purview of the marketing organizations either – their use is spreading across the organization internally, and externally by helping to deliver a richer and more personalized customer experience.

A Digital Asset Management solution is a way to store, share, and organize your growing library of digital media assets from a centralized hub as a way to maximize the benefits you receive from those assets.

The basic functionality of any DAM solution should include:

  • Creation
  • Indexing
  • Workflow
  • Version Control
  • Access Control

But what sort of DAM tool should you be considering, software or system, and what are the differences?

DAM Software

The dictionary definition of software is a set of instructions or programs instructing a computer to do specific tasks i.e it is a generic term used to describe computer programs. We tend to think of software solutions as fitting an application to meet a certain functional need, i.e. a way to create documents, do calculations, or build presentations etc. The same with DAM software which is designed to do the basic functions listed above around the storage of media assets. When considered as a separate software application a DAM solution is usually designed for use in a discrete functional space such as managing marketing assets or images for a website as an integrated part of a web content management system (CMS).

Software applications can also be thought of as being out-of-the-box (OOTB) solutions. These types of DAM solutions are designed to provide the almost immediate usability and functionality of a newly purchased product. They are designed for the most common use cases and are often restricted to what the software designers and developers believe you need, meaning that you often have to adjust existing processes to meet the restrictions of the application.

DAM System

The dictionary definition of a system is a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network. From a DAM perspective, that generally means that as well as providing the basic functionality you would expect the solution is integrated as part of a larger system where it interacts with other applications. This allows the media assets to be automatically called where needed, or information to be pulled from other applications to enrich the media assets themselves.

Some DAM systems actually operate as a platform - a foundation for building solutions and systems. Platforms allow multiple products, applications, or integrated approaches to be built within the same technical framework. This allows for faster and wider-ranging integration of processes and applications across an organization. Today it’s important to think of a platform approach not as just a technical solution but as a business framework.

A DAM platform, such as the Nuxeo Platform, is ideally suited to enterprises that have complex asset storage and multifaceted workflows that cross-functional boundaries; as well as the need to connect the assets with data drawn from a variety of business systems throughout the operational lifecycle.

To learn more read the 2019 Gartner Market Guide for DAM or this article by Theresa Regli.