5 ways DAMs go beyond file storage services

Don't Drive yourself crazy, Box yourself in, or Drop the ball when it comes to managing your images and videos

Digital Transformation

Sometimes when we ask people if they use a digital asset management (DAM) system, we get the response "Yes, we do, we use Google Drive." (Or SharePoint. Or Dropbox. Or your online file repository of choice.)

Perfectly understandable. Both DAMs and those file storage services give you somewhere to park your files. They both allow for sharing and collaboration. Yes, perfectly understandable - and mistaken.

The likes of Google Drive, SharePoint, and Dropbox are fine for what they were designed to do: store and share small collections of documents across small teams. But for efficient collaboration and sophisticated file management at scale, with minimum friction and maximum ROI, only a true DAM like Adobe Experience Manager Assets is up to the job. Let's touch on just a few of the reasons why.

1. Searchable metadata: DAMs give your stuff nowhere to hide

We've all dealt with it. That folder of 182 product shots. That promo video in eight different cuts and four different aspect ratios. Those six different personalized banner ads in three different languages. And you need that one version. Right now.

The rudimentary search and browse functions of file storage platforms make it inevitable that you'll waste a lot of time just looking for that one asset. Oh, and you'll have to cram all that version info into the file names, if you capture it at all.

AEM Assets, on the other hand, supports robust metadata for searching, with customizable fields you can add for your specific search or metadata needs. Looking to target your banner variations by audience segment? Need to search your images by photographer and location? Want to categorize your videos by general vibe? Whatever tags you can imagine, AEM can handle.

And with searchability comes scalability. Managing a million assets is no longer a million times harder than managing one asset.

2. Automated collaboration: DAMs take the "ew" out of asset reviews

Two stakeholders only use Slack. Another one only pays attention to her email. The designers communicate on some hip new platform you've never heard of. And somehow they've all got to weigh in on the latest batch of images.

Cue the missed feedback, the missed deadlines, the missed opportunities. Honestly, the crazy thing is that it ever goes right.

With AEM Assets, on the other hand, the review flow can be activated as soon as digital assets are saved. The relevant people are all notified. They can approve the new files or request changes. Their notes are all collected in one place.  

Robust version controls eliminate confusion over whether you're reviewing the latest iteration. And asset history lets you go back and retrace your steps, for those inevitable moments when a key stakeholder says "Forget what I said last time. I liked it better before."

And hey, if you really want to exponentially multiply your options for customizing your review cycle, try integrating AEM Assets with Workfront. More on that in a minute.

3. Risk management: DAMs stay on the safe side

Nothing is without risks. And that goes tenfold for anything you're putting out on the Internet. From using creative you don't have the rights to, to running an ad for an offer that has expired, one mistake can hit you right in the bottom line - not to mention your brand reputation.

Those mistakes are all too easy to make when you're doing everything manually. Even the best of us can't get everything 100% right, 100% of the time.

A good DAM has the answer: asset expiration dates. Just set the asset to expire at the same time as your usage license for the asset, or the offer in the ad. It's so simple but so powerful. You'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Preset tags allow you to apply tags without having to manually type in anything, reducing critical typos that happen to even the best of us.

DAMs also give you much finer-grained security controls than the typical online file host, with far more specificity over fields, levels, and roles. You can keep sensitive info on a need-to-know basis without slowing down collaboration.

A man with short hair and glasses works at his desk in an office. He has two monitors and is looking at one intently. In the background, some of his co-workers are sitting at a table talking.

4. Seamless integration: DAMs play well with others

Imagine one big frictionless work universe, where projects are briefed, assigned, created, reviewed, approved, shared, published, measured, analyzed, iterated on, reported on, and archived in one place. No silos. No crossed wires. No manually moving files around.

Hard to picture from the messy reality you work in every day? Well, don't worry, because you don't need to imagine it. That world is possible, today. Adobe products are built to work together, from Workfront to Experience Manager to the whole Creative Suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere.  

But that world is not possible if your images and videos are just parked in an online file storage system. Adobe Experience Manager Assets is the crucial DAM that maximises the potential and efficiency of an integrated end-to-end workflow.

Like we told you earlier, integrating with Workfront, especially, is the crucial step toward eliminating a lot of the manual handling and menial work in your current workflow. Unless your staff likes menial work. (Trust us, they don't.)

5. Infinite customization: DAMs are putty in the right hands 

Your people didn't come off of a shelf. So your ideal tech solutions won't, either. AEM Assets offers virtually unlimited opportunities for customization. There's almost no application, plugin, or integration that can't be built by a savvy team with deep Adobe knowledge and experience.

That's us. We're WNDYR. Our Adobe-certified experts have helped all kinds of organizations adopt and adapt Adobe Workfront and Experience Manager to fit their particular needs, goals, and people. And WNDYR's human-first approach to technology and change management means this is one digital transformation that your organization will really embrace. Reach out anytime. We'd love to show you more. 

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