Are you still undecided about what kind of solution you need for managing your digital assets? Whenever companies are evaluating their needs for a DAM system, the MS SharePoint seems to be a viable solution. Well, they are not wrong. SharePoint is a great piece of software and most organizations already have the Office suite as part of their tech stack.
Well, we’re biased here, but while offering document storage and management, SharePoint is not a replacement for a full-fledged DAM. In this blog post we explore the differences between the two and help you understand what is the best solution for your team.
SharePoint vs. Digital Asset Management…what’s the difference?
Both tools serve a very similar purpose and the differences between their main descriptions are marginal – at least at first glance. As Microsoft described it on their website: “Organizations use Microsoft SharePoint to create websites. You can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device.”
Well, alright. What about DAM? Our very own definition is: “Digital asset management is a process of managing, organizing, and distributing digital assets from a central content location or a hub.”
Same, same, but different? While both systems enable teams to share and up/download files and improve team efficiency in general, it’s worth it to dig a bit deeper.
Organizing your team vs connecting with the outside world
As Microsoft points out in their product description “SharePoint. Your mobile, intelligent Intranet”, this tool is mainly used for internal purposes like documentation and knowledge sharing or management. So, very similar to its competitors from Confluence or Notion.
DAM, on the other hand, is your content bridge between the inside and outside world. Sharing assets with external stakeholders, like agencies, freelancers or retail partners, is one of the key disciplines for a modern DAM system. Most DAM solutions are also closely integrated with other marketing software like website CMS, e-commerce tools, PIM systems and social media platforms.
Is SharePoint a digital asset management system?
Obviously, SharePoint has a few characteristics of a DAM but is intended to be used to create websites and to manage general information, mostly in text format and for internal usage.
SharePoint is specifically designed to create team sites where you can collaborate and engage with your team members. These SharePoint sites can be used as newsfeeds, internal planning or for documentation purposes. SharePoint also lets you upload and share digital files with your team, serving as a light version of a DAM.
So, what’s the advantage of a real DAM?
A Digital Asset Management system is primarily intended to organize, manage and share your organization’s digital assets. It supports in finding the right file in a chaotic world of content – even when you’re not sure what you are looking for. One example is the usage of meta data that tags (in many cases automatically) every asset with some attributes – maybe the colour of a car, the brand and model, production date and specific features. It becomes very easy to find every photo of Tesla Cybertruck with an open loading area, for example. (note: Tesla is not our client – yet)
How SharePoint and Digital Asset Management Work Together
Powerful alone, better together. To get the most out of both products, we at CELUM created an integration for the CELUM ContentHub to connect both worlds. By extending the capabilities of Sharepoint, we’re offering an easy way to scale your business processes with our DAM system.
The biggest benefit for users? Your organization can use CELUM ContentHub as their central repository for all assets, including shared files from your external agencies, photographers and field staff while allowing your in-house teams to work with those files on their SharePoint Sites.
SharePoint absolutely has a place in your stack: if you need a simple and, in most cases, already existing piece of software with limited features, SharePoint is a good fit. But remember that you will be limited when it comes to working with a lot of large files.
The benefits of a DAM solution are vast and support hundreds of use cases. To focus on the most important ones:
- Easy access and sharing of millions of files in any format;
- Customized workflows and integrations into your favourite marketing tools;
- Digital rights management;
- CDN support and seamless access even for external partners (via portals or direct access)
All the points above are additional cherries on the DAM cake. If you like to use both, there are many ways to connect those two systems and make them work smoothly together.