In today’s fast-paced digital world, managing your company’s assets has become more important than ever. Whether you’re a large architecture firm or a brand-new e-commerce startup, you need a system that can help you store, organize, and share your digital assets with ease. This is where digital asset management (DAM) platforms come into play. In this article, we’ll compare two popular, yet very different DAM platforms, Canto and Openasset, and help you decide which one is right for your business. Contents hide 1 OpenAsset 2 Canto 3 OpenAsset vs. Canto: Capabilities 4 OpenAsset: Best DAM for AEC Firms 5 Canto: Best DAM for Small-Medium Businesses, eCommerce 6 What else can a DAM do for my firm? OpenAsset OpenAsset is a digital asset management platform that is specifically designed for architecture and construction firms. It provides features that are tailored to the needs of these industries like project-based asset organization and a search engine that understands industry-specific terminology. Users can manage their digital assets with features like metadata management, version control, asset approval workflows, and more. One of the key benefits of OpenAsset is its ability to integrate with other industry-specific tools such as Autodesk Revit, Unanet CRM by Cosential, and Procore to name a few. Canto Canto is a cloud-based digital asset management platform that helps organizations manage their digital assets. It provides a centralized hub for organizing, storing, and sharing digital assets, making it easier for teams to find and use them. Canto offers a range of features like facial recognition, version control, and asset collaboration workflows. One of the main benefits of Canto is its simple interface design, which allows users to easily search and filter through their digital assets. It also provides a variety of integrations with other creative-minded tools like Drupal and Hootsuite, making it straightforward to manage assets across different channels. OpenAsset vs. Canto: Capabilities Your DAM acts as a central repository for all your digital assets and provides easy access to them for your team and other stakeholders. Each team will have slightly different needs and organizational structures for storing important files and creative assets. When determining which DAM is right for you and your team, be sure to verify that the DAM and its features support your current workflows, seamlessly. Storage Like many DAM platforms, both OpenAsset and Canto utilize AWS cloud storage to maintain users’ online digital assets. Cloud storage helps businesses as they scale the size and depth of their repository and also makes collaboration and edits happen in real time. Especially for those in the AEC industry, cloud storage is vital to a seamless digital rights management process. OpenAsset OpenAsset provides a safe and secure way to store digital assets in a cloud-based repository, making branded and non-branded images and assets easily accessible wherever your team needs them. When combined with mobile and bulk upload functionality, this feature is especially useful for firms that utilize project photos in their proposals, resumes, and marketing materials. Useful Features: Cloud-based repository Bulk upload Supports all file formats Duplicate file notification Upload approval Organization-wide access available Canto Canto also offers a cloud-based platform for teams to create, find, and use digital content. Canto users can store the original asset in the DAM and make updates on the go through the mobile iOS app. These features are most valuable to publishing or eCommerce businesses that leverage video, albums, and graphics for their marketing or website work. Useful Features: Cloud-based repository Bulk upload Supports all file formats “Media delivery cloud” Canto iOS app Import/Export Adding content to your DAM should be lightweight and easy for every team member to do. And when it’s time to collect your assets or move them to a new place, the exporting process should also be straightforward. Here’s what each DAM offers for uploading, sorting, and downloading items. OpenAsset OpenAsset enables users to organize their digital assets by project, including all relevant metadata needed to search and find the files they need. This functionality also enables users to store and organize their assets in the best way for their business needs. Useful Features: Customizable taxonomy Project keywords Batch editing File access and ranking system Custom metadata Metadata extraction User permissions Digital rights management Canto Canto does not offer project-based organization, but it does offer “smart albums”, which provide a tiered organizational structure that groups files regardless of the file type, size, or category. Users can sort files by type (images, videos, audio, documents, and presentations) to access, edit, and share a specific asset at any time. Useful Features: Ability to share to other storage sites like Dropbox File grouping Approval status Version control Digital rights management Search When searching for specific images or files within your DAM, being able to easily find relevant content is vital. By grouping files by specific topics or keywords, teams can more readily find exactly what they need, when they need it. However, not all DAM solutions offer AI-powered search functionality, so it’s important to be aware of what keywords and search functionality means within a given platform. OpenAsset OpenAsset’s intuitive search function leverages the power of artificial intelligence to find relevant files and even helps users discover additional, related assets that they may have overlooked. Useful Features: Search by file keywords and metadata Search by project keywords and metadata Access control Permission groups File preview Artificial intelligence Canto Canto’s default, global search function includes filters to help you find files by searching through asset content type, statuses, metadata, and even facial recognition to help you find files anywhere within the DAM. Useful Features: Filter search Advanced files Facial recognition Access For your team to work efficiently across departments, they need to be able to share digital assets quickly. Often, especially in the AEC industry, sifting through ZIP files, email transfers, and unsecured file transfer tools is a huge time waster. To combat frustration and lost hours, your team needs a system for determining access and permission levels for file sharing. OpenAsset With OpenAsset, it’s simple to securely share your images and digital assets with only those that need to see them, when they need them. OpenAsset users are also able to control distributed assets with features like download monitoring and external access control, which provides peace of mind for organizations of any size. Useful Features: Album creation Drag-and-drop Downloads with metadata Download link monitoring Secure file sharing Access control Canto Users with access to Canto can find exactly what they need and share files as a part of their daily workflow. They can also insert files into other, connected tools supported by Canto integrations, but are typically low-resolution, which is important to be aware of before downloading or sharing externally. Useful Features: Drag-and-drop Secure file-sharing portals Access control Three permission levels Integrations For long-term success, it is important to make sure that your DAM is connected to the partners and tools that your team uses most. The more integrations and capabilities, the easier it is to create efficient workflows, reduce duplication, and enable users to spend less time on manual processes. OpenAsset With numerous useful integrations for marketing and AEC professionals, OpenAsset provides users with multiple tools, including project-based ERP & CRM, construction project management, and document creation platforms. Useful Integrations: Procore AEC 360 Deltek Vision Deltek Vantagepoint Affinity Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel Unanet/ Cosential CRM Templafy InDesign Canto Canto offers numerous integrations – primarily designed for marketers, brand managers, and design teams that need to work together on digital assets. Useful Integrations: Adobe Figma Drupal Monday Hootsuite Pinterest Twitter Vimeo Collaboration Whether you’re communicating with an internal department or sharing assets with an external agency, being able to partner on projects is essential for any business. DAM platforms can accelerate content creation, end-to-end while making sure reviews and approvals are visible to everyone in the process. OpenAsset OpenAsset’s branded templates, employee resume module, and intuitive drag-and-drop features make it easy to create large volumes of marketing materials and proposal documents. OpenAsset also provides users with a project portfolio feature that makes it easy to showcase your work and streamline the proposal creation process. Useful Features: Branded templates Employee resume module Custom image specifications Drag-and-drop Image linking Canto Canto offers collaborative tools like applications, integrations, and workflows that make it easy to create manage and distribute content across social media and marketing channels. Useful Features: Approval status Version control Watermarks Commenting OpenAsset: Best DAM for AEC Firms Choosing the right digital asset management platform can have a significant impact on your organization’s productivity and efficiency. Canto and OpenAsset are both excellent choices with similar features and functionality, however, they differ in their target audience, search capabilities, integrations, and templates. When making your decision, it’s important to consider your organization’s specific needs and choose a platform that aligns with them. Ultimately, investing in a digital asset management platform can help your organization to improve collaboration, better organize your assets, and enhance brand assets. As a project-based DAM, OpenAsset is the preferred option for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms that need to structure their digital asset management by project, property, or person(s) involved. Additionally, OpenAsset offers the employee module, which enables proposal managers to quickly update resumes and better showcases the skill of their team when creating proposals and answering RFPs; a common practice at AEC firms. Canto: Best DAM for Small-Medium Businesses, eCommerce When compared to OpenAsset, Canto is the better option for the marketing departments and video production teams, primarily in the retail or eCommerce space. With a variety of tools to help distributors and outside collaborators share assets, Canto makes it easy for companies in the selling space to improve their creative asset sharing and multi-media content editing. Canto’s tools are particularly useful to consumer, technology, media, manufacturing, and hospitality brands looking to create and share branded assets across their marketing channels and websites. What else can a DAM do for my firm? The AEC marketing professionals who trust OpenAsset to organize their files and images often ask “What else can a DAM do for my firm?” This guide on digital asset management explores how marketing professionals use our DAM and the tools we integrate with to simplify their workflows.