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Digital Asset Management

Digital Asset Management, referred to as DAM, is an increasingly important tool for organizations that are serious about protecting and growing their brands, controlling the costs of creating and distributing their digital media content, and maximizing the return from their digital assets.

Digital Asset Management helps organizations organize rich media assets such as pictures, images, video, and audio for storage, retrieval and distribution. Beyond just an asset repository, DAM provides support for key workflows such as approval loops and virtual collaboration that add value to their media assets. And when assets are final, a DAM system’s distribution capabilities can deploy the right file(s) for the right task – all on a global basis.

Print & Publishing, Broadcast, Media & Entertainment, Marketing & Advertising, Education and Public Sector are some of the industries that benefit from digital asset management. Using DAM enables organizations to address their most pressing rich media challenges such as managing video, repurposing presentation slide decks, and re-deploying assets for use on the web and for marketing collateral of all types.

Types of Digital Asset Management

Types of Digital Asset Management

The Benefits of DAM

Organizations deploying specialized DAM solutions typically realize the following benefits:

  • Cost savings — Organizations gain immediate ROI by eliminating redundant asset creation efforts; quickly retrieving, editing and redistributing assets; redeploying resources to other mission-critical projects.
  • Generation of new revenue streams — Organizations can often derive new revenue by converting and repurposing existing and under-utilized media content across a variety of new channels. Using DAM, an organization can “unlock” the value of its media and use it in a variety of new ways that either directly generate new revenue (e.g. licensing) or avoid re-creation costs when a critical asset cannot be located in usable form.
  • Brand and messaging continuity — Consistent use of approved brand assets across an organization and trusted partners is the foundation of a maintaining solid visual brand identity, A DAM system provides a “single point of truth” for organizations intent on building strong brands with consistent visuals across multiple mediums and geographies.
  • Digital Media Management and Distribution — At the heart of any DAM system is the reliable storage and retrieval of an organization’s digital media, including images, video and audio. Advanced DAM systems provide a distributed architecture and multi-site asset storage, as well as the ability to provide multiple repositories for self-synchronization of both assets and their associated metadata. This means professionals can quickly and easily find and create what they need and distribute the approved final content to their intended audience with the click of a few buttons.
  • Global Web-Based Access — Organizations can distribute digital masters and other types of licensed assets via secure web access. Advanced DAM systems also provide asset ordering and fulfillment modules that can integrate with existing e-commerce and transaction servers. Not only can organizations quickly access their files from any web interface, they can create new revenue streams and ‘sell’ their assets via virtual storefronts.

Difference between DAM and ECM

According to Gartner, ECM is an “umbrella term” representing a vision and framework for integrating a broad range of content management technologies and content formats.

Because digital assets such as audio and video are considered to be unstructured information, industry experts consider DAM to be a component of ECM, which has a broader scope that focuses primarily on document management. Another differentiator is that Digital Asset Management solutions typically provide deep integration with creative authoring applications such as Adobe Creative Suite and/or Quark. ECM solutions excel at managing organizational “knowledge”— while DAM is king when it comes to managing the creation, editing, publishing and distribution workflows around rich media assets.

DAM and ECM share many important similarities, and this may lend to the confusion about their best application. Both solutions offer workflows for managing files, and each provide audit histories and version control. They both use metadata for indexing, quick searching and retrieval. However, while the preceding functions may appear similar, it is important to note that DAM specializes in managing rich media assets such as video, audio, and photographs, while ECM is more suited to manage office files such as text and Excel documents, email, and scanned images such as faxes.

This whitepaper: “Differentiating DAM from ECM – What Do You Really Need” explores some of the key technology differentiators, including how and when best to apply each one.

Hosted DAM

Hosted DAM Making Enterprise-Class Digital Asset Management Affordable
Hosted DAM is a convenient and cost-effective alternative for organizations that require a fully functional digital asset management solution without the requirement to host and manage their own system. This provides a low cost, and convenient alternative to the traditional model of installed DAM systems. Some features that a good hosted DAM should have are:

  • Web-based management of digital assets in a wide variety of formats and types (including support for metadata)
  • Secure, state-of-the-art data center
  • User authentication and rights management
  • Full integration with creative authoring & digital editing suites
  • Complete project management, workflow support, and version control

In the informative webinar of “Hosted DAM – Making Enterprise-Class DAM Affordable“, we explore how small, medium and larger Fortune–sized organizations are leveraging North Plains’ powerful, hosted Telescope OnDemand DAM solution.


Click here to read more about TelescopeTM, North Plains’ modular and award-winning digital asset management platform.