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Digital asset management platforms vs. SharePoint

What are the differences between a DAM platform and Microsoft SharePoint?

Can you do digital asset management in a platform like SharePoint? Not really, and here’s why:

A DAM platform has key characteristics that distinguish it from other content platforms like Microsoft SharePoint. Here are the top three differences between DAM and SharePoint:

  1. DAM has built-in business-specific metadata and taxonomy, SharePoint does not.
    DAM is a visual-first library of your content that has metadata associated with every asset, and not just any metadata like what you’ll find in products like SharePoint, Google Drive, or Dropbox, but custom/bespoke metadata that’s unique to your business.
  2. DAM doesn’t make you fight file permissions like other tools, SharePoint enjoys it.
    A message that Amanda needs access to the file comes across in your inbox, but you already shared the DAM file with Amanda. Welcome to SharePoint file sharing.
  3. You can’t create new word processor docs, presentations, etc in DAM typically, and you can’t with SharePoint either—that’s Microsoft 365.
    A DAM is a repository for content, not necessarily a place to create works-in-progress messaging and campaign strategy docs. While some DAM tools have content creation capabilities, it’s not what you’re going to get with a tool like Microsoft Office/365 or Google Drive/docs.

Content organization: The importance of selecting the appropriate tool for managing digital assets and increasing collaboration

Despite popular belief, good content organization and information governance isn’t a tool you can buy for your company. No matter what content organization tool you end up using, you’ll need good file-naming conventions, great metadata, and someone at your company (or multiple people) who are good at record-keeping.

For the best content governance, you need both a platform that enables you to create new documents, presentations, spreadsheets (i.e. Microsoft Office or Google Drive), and a place to organize them when they are in their final form that makes them easily accessible to appropriate stakeholders (i.e. A DAM platform like Bynder).

SharePoint DAM: Can you use SharePoint as a DAM?

SharePoint digital asset management. You’ve probably heard someone on your IT team tell you, “Why don’t we just use SharePoint?” when the topic of DAM is broached. SharePoint is not, and has never been, and will never be… a digital asset management platform as it lacks several key features of DAM platforms. SharePoint is still okay as a company intranet and for use in making department-specific pages, which host information and links to relevant documents, but it’s not great when it comes to digital asset previewing, permissions, sharing, and so on.

DAM is a tool for companies that want to invest in the longevity of their content library and make sure their records remain accessible over time for institutional memory, inspiration for future campaigns, and other business purposes.

What are the main differences between SharePoint and DAM platforms?

SharePoint is a catch-all that’s baked in with Microsoft 365 packages typically, but is also available stand-alone. DAM platforms are for a specific purpose — businesses that want a reusable, well-organized library of their content to protect company IP (intellectual property) and make internal collaboration easier while integrating with other systems that need content.

SharePoint DAM is kind of a misnomer, as it doesn’t do a lot of the things a DAM platform can do through advanced filters and metadata for quick and precise search.

Which is best for your business: SharePoint or a DAM platform?

To wrap it up, SharePoint as a DAM fails on many levels, the main one is making you grant access to the same file to the same person more than once, but it’s good at other things!

If you want to know which is best for your business, the truth is, well, it could be both.

SharePoint as a DAM and an actual DAM platform aren’t really the same thing. Just because you have SharePoint, doesn’t mean it’s fit for purpose as a DAM.

It shines for company intranet pages but fizzles when it comes to productivity and content accessibility. Many companies use both SharePoint and a DAM platform like Bynder through a DAM SharePoint integration, utilizing the intranet pages as places to display information and links to content or even embed content directly from their Bynder DAM platform.