How do you make the most of DAM and cloud storage for your team?
DAM and Cloud Storage
Many organisations use the cloud to store their important business files. Digital Asset Management systems are often seen as advanced cloud storage, but is this true? Today we will take a closer look at the relationship, differences and similarities between Digital Asset Management systems and cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Sharepoint, OneDrive or Dropbox.
It is important to mention that both are ideally used alongside each other. The intention of this blog is therefore not to convince you to abandon your familiar Dropbox setup, but rather to show how a DAM solution is the perfect complement to a classic cloud storage environment.
LIMITATIONS OF CLOUD STORAGE
Before we take a closer look at the relationship between cloud storage and DAM, it is of course important to clarify why and when companies should look for a complementary data management solution in the first place.
Every company today has a shared cloud storage such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Sharepoint or Dropbox. The reason, of course, is that services like OneDrive make it easy to make files available to everyone in the organisation from anywhere. If everyone uses cloud storage, then in theory all critical files are easily found by everyone in the organisation.
In theory, because as we explained in our previous blog, the traditional folder structure is far from ideal for organising large amounts of shared files. A folder structure can only be organised in one way, a way that usually makes perfect sense to the creator, but can be an absolute nightmare for new employees who have to find their way through the folder maze.
So structuring your files and making them searchable is a first - and important - argument in favour of a DAM solution, but it does not stop there (or this blog would not have existed).
So what limitations are there? Well, the following scenarios will probably sound familiar to you:
In addition to our common folders, everyone has personal work folders where employees keep their frequently used files. It is sometimes a challenge to find the most recent version of a file
Our Google Drive contains many duplicate and updated versions of files. Files are often re-uploaded ad-hoc to easily share the latest version with colleagues.
THE DAM SOLUTION
The purpose of a DAM platform is precisely to remedy this kind of problem. In essence, a DAM platform wants to facilitate the long-term storage and use of data. As mentioned before, metadata is an important part of this, but a DAM platform is full of interesting features that should increase the usability of a data source. We list some of them:
- A crucial first feature here is duplicate detection. After all, an important part of Digital Asset Management is that each file is stored uniquely. This avoids unnecessary waste of storage space, but also ensures that everyone within an organisation works with exactly the same file, so that confusion can be avoided.
- But how do you deal with the common need to create derivative versions of a given file? What do you do if you need a file in a different format? Or what if you want to create a cropped version of an image or a clip from a video? In a cloud storage system, you are required to download the file, find a converter and then store the derivative separately.
- Our platform allows you to perform conversions and all kinds of basic operations such as cropping directly in the platform. This not only avoids the cumbersome process of downloading, editing and reuploading, but also ensures that every derivative can be automatically and easily traced back to its source file.
- Finally, the last link is 'Unlocking'. After all, you also want to allow external applications to make use of the advantages of a DAM system. Thanks to our API, it is a piece of cake to make your files findable, searchable and downloadable externally as well. Integration between a DAM and a CMS is also convenient for the user (besides the general public). This way, as a user, you can directly select assets from your DAM and publish them on your site.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
The added value of a DAM solution is hopefully clear by now, but how do you combine it with your trusted cloud storage environment? And above all: what is the best solution for your team?
In reality, cloud services such as Google Drive, Onedrive, Dropbox or Sharepoint are used in combination with a DAM system. When a new publication needs to be created, the starting point is a new document, which is often stored in a shared folder in Google Drive, Sharepoint, Onedrive or Dropbox. This way, different people can collaborate on one document.
Files from the DAM can then be consulted directly from the working environment (Word, Powerpoint, Adobe, etc.) via a plug-in. The DAM then contains, for example, the approved versions of the images that may be used across all documents. So you never have to ask your colleagues again whether you are using the correct version. When the document is finished, it can then be stored in the DAM system for reuse.
In summary, cloud services such as Google Drive, Onedrive, Sharepoint and Dropbox are ideal for short-term, intensive collaborations, where multiple people iterate and make adjustments to the same file. Once the content is final, a DAM system is the ideal solution for long-term reuse of that file for the same or other purposes.
HOW CAN ZETICON HELP MY ORGANISATION?
Every organisation has unique needs and complexities, which is why Zeticon always starts with an onboarding workshop, combining our expertise with the domain knowledge of the customer to come to an optimal solution.
Our DAM solution is designed to deal with the traditional complexities of a DAM system. We have developed our platform through intensive collaboration with our customers, and based on their feedback we have placed special emphasis on the process driven nature of the platform. Setting up flows for uploading, editing, storing and accessing files is easier than ever and, thanks to developed plug-ins, we can integrate directly with external applications such as Adobe Photoshop.
Does your organisation also need a robust solution for storing and making data available in the cloud? Contact us, and we will help you make the right decision for your team.