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15 essential features of an advanced DAM system

Bring order to the chaos of digital asset management with a modern DAM solution fitted with these essential features.

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The proliferation of rich content types and new marketing touchpoints is driving demand for a scalable yet efficient way to store, manage and share a plethora of digital assets. For marketers aiming to capitalize on their content more effectively, digital asset management (DAM) software is a great way to regain control and visibility over company assets.

Whether you’re a global enterprise or a homegrown startup, content is key to delivering successful product and marketing campaigns. DAM places digital assets at the heart of an organization’s digital supply chain, connecting content across the organization and becoming a single source of truth to foster collaboration, brand consistency and workflow efficiency.

What are the core features a leading DAM system should have?

A next-generation DAM system goes beyond securing and storing digital assets — it redefines how teams engage with digital content throughout the creative content lifecycle, building more agile, responsive processes for increased market share and ROI.

Here are 15 features to look out for while choosing a DAM solution:

1. A centralized asset library

Gone are the days of spending hours searching different servers to locate assets scattered across the enterprise. DAM systems consolidate all digital assets in a centralized repository, allowing users to seamlessly manage and access rich media files from a single, cloud-based platform.

Having an organized asset library not only prevents content duplication, but also helps teams extract further value from their existing content by repurposing it for other projects and even regional adaptations. DAM ensures your brand messaging is communicated consistently and accurately across all marketing campaigns to bolster customer trust and loyalty.

2. Advanced search and filters

Navigate vast digital repositories easily with DAM’s AI-driven federated search capabilities. Advanced functions like keyword tagging, asset taxonomy and attribute filtering make finding the right assets a quick and efficient experience, mitigating process bottlenecks and keeping workflows moving smoothly.

3. Simplified downloads and format conversion

Leading DAM systems are designed to accommodate a wide range of large digital assets at scale, including images, videos, documents, 3D models and even design files in their native formats. Users can also easily convert digital assets into their desired formats to support diverse business requirements, all without affecting output quality and file compatibility. Bulk upload and download should also be supported through multiple methods.

This robust functionality is paramount for effectively managing a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, as it optimizes assets for greater accessibility across different devices and platforms.

4. Version control and history tracking

Creatives understand how multiple file versions can quickly become a disorganized nightmare without standardized versioning controls in place.

DAM takes the guesswork out of identifying which file to use with a versioning system, allowing users to effortlessly track and manage all asset iterations from a central platform. Having a detailed audit trail of a file’s entire version history helps teams collaborating throughout the enterprise be on the same page by aligning on the changes and understanding why and how the file has evolved.

Leveraging version control also ensures your teams are working with the most updated version of an asset for cohesive branding in all marketing collaterals.

5. Sharing and collaboration tools

Whether your organization has adopted remote, hybrid or fully on-site working models, deploying a DAM platform empowers your team to deliver its best by enhancing cross-functional collaboration and communication.

With features like online galleries, real-time file editing and lightboxes, DAM makes it easy for stakeholders to view and retrieve files when and as needed for improved productivity and workflow efficiencies. To further support asynchronous working environments, some DAM platforms even have mobile-optimized interfaces or applications to allow users to seamlessly manage files while on the go.

6. Secure asset storage and access controls

Not only does DAM house your most business-critical digital assets, but it also keeps them secure with robust security measures, including file encryption and granular access controls.

Implementing role-based permissions allows platform administrations to assign different access levels for both internal and external stakeholders, preventing unauthorized access or the misuse of proprietary assets.

7. Metadata management with AI

Incorporating metadata is critical to an effective content management strategy, but manually updating metadata fields is a cumbersome, time-consuming process. Modern DAM platforms like Hyland’s Nuxeo Platform for DAM leverage AI-powered smart tagging and automated metadata management to input metadata, which enhances content searchability and compliance.

As metadata contextualizes your assets and details information on how they are utilized and shared, it provides a better understanding of the content and how it can be harnessed to bring products to market faster and better.

> Explore further | Reduce image hide-and-seek with AI

8. Asset analytics

With thousands, if not millions, of assets stored in a single DAM system, it can be challenging to discern which assets are performing well (or are being utilized at all).

With a modern DAM, users can track and report individual asset performance in real time with configurable data dashboards. This grants a clearer picture of what resonates and what doesn’t for their brand or customers. These data-driven insights can also be used to identify trends to guide future content production and drive hyper-personalized customer experiences.

9. Prebuilt workflows and integrations

Most DAM systems provide an out-of-box experience that includes configurable, prebuilt data models and workflows like creative reviews to accelerate adoption without disrupting existing operations.

Nuxeo Platform for DAM takes it a step further by providing customizable object models that can be tailored to various business needs, spurring more responsive creative content lifecycles and expediting time to market. For example, it can streamline traditional photoshoot processes, building faster, more cost-effective ways to manage studio sessions and image libraries.

97% of large enterprises have reduced asset creation costs by 10% or more with DAM

— IDC Infobrief, Proving the Value of Digital Asset Management

10. Asset rights management

A next-generation DAM solution helps organizations avoid any legal liabilities by ensuring that published content is used in compliance with licensing or copyright limitations. This is especially critical in industries like healthcare, where older data may no longer be of significant clinical relevance for safe and effective patient care.

11. Customizable, intuitive interface

DAM systems should have sophisticated toolkits, but simple, user-friendly interfaces.

Having an intuitive, customizable interface allows users to tailor their dashboards to align with business objectives, facilitating a frictionless user experience and better work productivity.

12. Cloud-native infrastructure

Cloud-native DAM systems like Nuxeo Platform’s place software performance and scalability at the forefront, offering dynamic scaling and a modern infrastructure that can manage billions of assets with optimal performance.

Deploying DAM in the cloud also protects and secures your data in the event of any server outages, ensuring rapid business continuity and recovery.

13. Low-code solution development

For users looking for the flexibility and freedom to evolve their tech stack as their business needs expand, low-code DAM platforms are an ideal solution.

Nuxeo Platform’s low-code, open source approach empowers even nontechnical employees to build and deploy new custom applications without relying on IT’s expertise. By removing the need for expensive custom coding, it reduces the total cost of ownership while remaining extensible for future platform development.

14. Business-specific AI capabilities

Modern DAM systems should incorporate AI to enhance their existing capabilities, such as automating metadata tagging or improving asset searchability.

Nuxeo Platform for DAM employs machine learning to train its AI models to recognize patterns, enrich content and even predict user behavior, improving the accuracy and relevance of search results.

15. Integrations with various applications

Modern DAM solutions like Nuxeo Platform drive greater operational efficiencies by seamlessly integrating with core business applications, be it legacy systems or back-end software. Users can also connect Nuxeo to creative software like Adobe Creative Studio to retrieve and work with assets directly in the preferred design application.

Aside from streamlining workflows, unifying content on a DAM system enables digital assets to flow smoothly in upstream and downstream processes, resulting in faster production times and consistent brand messaging from prototyping to delivery.

> Read more | What is digital asset management (DAM)?

Three co-workers in a modern office setting discuss analyst coverage of Hyland.

Hyland’s Nuxeo Platform named a leader in 2023 Omdia Universe: Digital Asset Management report

Nuxeo Platform’s market-leading capabilities and strong performance in the DAM space are recognized and recommended by leading industry analysts.

A better way to manage digital assets at scale

Regardless if you’re a marketer producing high-performance campaigns or an apparel company looking to capitalize on emerging trends, DAM is an indispensable tool for any organization working with digital assets. No matter how complex your enterprise needs are, leading DAM solutions like Nuxeo Platform enable modernization at scale with its robust functionalities.

Don’t let disparate assets and gaps in your content lifecycle bring operations to a standstill. Build more efficient workflows, make strategic business decisions and deliver personalized customer experiences with Hyland today.

Discover Nuxeo Platform for DAM

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