Do you need a digital asset management (DAM) solution for your AEC firm? With so many DAM software options available, selecting the most suitable one can feel overwhelming. That’s why, as leaders in the DAM space, we’ve crafted this comprehensive buyer’s guide and buyer’s checklist to help you navigate the complexities of DAM software selection.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through what you need to look for when comparing DAM software solutions. We’ll take a look at key features, such as functionality, performance, compatibility, cost, and more. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of what to look for and how to make an informed decision based on your needs.
How to Compare Digital Asset Management Software
Navigating the DAM software market as a first-time buyer can be a difficult task. With many solutions available, each with its own set of features, it’s easy to feel lost. Exploring common features will help you manage the buying process.
Your DAM serves as a central repository for all your digital assets, making it easy for your team and stakeholders to access them. It’s important to make sure that the DAM you choose fits well with your existing workflows because each business has different needs and structures for managing files and assets. When comparing DAM software, verify that the platform and its features fully support your current workflow and meet your requirements.
When searching for the right DAM system, ensure it offers the necessary features to meet your needs. Paying for unnecessary features is not only a waste of resources but can also complicate the user experience. Therefore, understanding how your team needs to use the DAM will make selecting the right one easier.
An effective DAM tool should provide robust file management capabilities, including features like:
- Marketing collateral creation
- Asset categorizing
- Searching functionality
- AI-enabled search
- Workflow management
Additionally, some systems offer metadata options, allowing businesses to describe and identify files with relevant information.
Integration with your favorite tools is another important factor to consider when searching for a DAM. Your DAM software should seamlessly integrate with other systems used by your organization. Integrations simplify how you manage digital assets across your programs and make it easier to create a process that saves your team time.
Ease of Use
The ease of use of the DAM system should also be taken into account. An intuitive interface is helpful for user adoption and productivity as it provides easy navigation and efficient asset management without needing lots of training. Besides, spending hours trying to figure out how to use the software can become counterproductive and frustrating.
Choosing DAM software that is user-friendly allows you to navigate and use the system effortlessly. It streamlines asset management operations by giving users easy access to features like:
- Effortless navigation
- Seamless browsing
The ease of use provided by such a system streamlines workflows reduces frustration, and minimizes the learning curve, ultimately facilitating smoother adaptation and integration into existing workflows.
Performance is another important factor. It directly impacts the satisfaction of end users, administrators, and consumers. This means that the solution should be thoughtfully designed with performance criteria in mind from the start, considering factors such as speed, responsiveness, scalability, and efficiency.
Although many elements impact performance, some key factors that affect performance include:
- Enough storage
- A high-speed network for efficient file transfers and ensuring a seamless end-to-end user experience
- Ensuring there is enough capacity, keeping in mind the number of users, image and video transformations, and the volume of searches
- The proper resources and bandwidth to accurately measure performance metrics and assess the system’s capabilities
- Tuning the various applications involved in the system’s architecture to achieve optimal performance and address potential bottlenecks
- Installing appropriate tools to help identify and resolve bottlenecks
By selecting the right solution, you can effectively address your DAM requirements and design it in a way that achieves your desired level of performance.
Some DAM platforms are optimized for specific hardware or software types. When choosing a DAM tool, it’s important to evaluate its compatibility with your existing hardware, software, and devices. This may include:
- Web servers
- CRM software
- CMS software
- CPM platforms
Failing to do so could result in costly upgrades or limitations in accessing important files.
Moreover, some DAM solutions also offer aec-specific integrations with other systems that help you get the most out of the software. Therefore, thoroughly checking system compatibility is necessary before making a purchase decision to ensure the tool truly works in a way that’s aligned to how your team functions.
Getting in touch with a DAM expert can be helpful to verify that the system you are considering can seamlessly integrate with your current infrastructure. This will help ensure that the software you choose aligns with your needs.
How is the DAM provider supporting you before, during, and after onboarding? As you conduct your search for potential DAM vendors that meet your functional requirements, an important factor to look at is customer support. You’ll want a provider that offers high-quality customer support that is responsive when you need assistance. Their ability to promptly address software-related issues will help you avoid unexpected roadblocks.
A reputable DAM provider should offer a range of services, including implementation, consulting, training, and ongoing support. Their Customer Success Team is responsible for assisting you with the software and setting up initial configurations. Prioritizing a vendor with a robust support system ensures a smooth onboarding process and ongoing help as you maximize the value of the DAM software.
Safeguarding private information and brand materials from unauthorized access is very important when looking for a DAM system. Considering the value of your digital assets, it is a must to store them in a secure and protected DAM system.
When selecting a DAM solution, choose products that offer robust security features. This may include:
- User authentication
- File encryption
- Digital rights
- Malware protection
Additionally, DAM features with security as a top focus should include:
- Modern encryption methods
- Multiple security levels for files and user accounts
- Different access levels
- Secure cloud backups
- Antivirus protection
Access control features are essential if you prefer to have greater control over security. You and other authorized users should have the ability to determine the visibility of assets—whether they are public, private, or accessible through invitation-only access.
By leveraging these smart security features, DAM software helps organizations maintain strict access control and protect sensitive information.
Every company has unique requirements, making it unlikely for any DAM platform to be configured for your business out of the box. Therefore, choose a DAM system that offers easy customization options to tailor it to your business. The ability to customize your DAM system ensures that it aligns with your operations, making it easy to use.
Some customizable elements to look out for include:
- Customizable data fields
- Custom downloads
- Customizable taxonomy
- Custom metadata storage
Customizable templates let users make edits to the text, individual contact information, layout, images, and more, even if they have very little design experience. Additionally, the ability to customize assets lets you optimize searchability within your DAM tool. This entails customizable tags, naming, and metadata to ensure assets are easily discoverable and effectively organized within the system.
Lastly, customizable integrations through an API allow your DAM system to seamlessly communicate with other systems. By using integrations that fit your requirements, you can create a connected digital ecosystem that brings together your various tools, analytics, and users in a single platform.
Customizing important elements in your DAM platform, like keywords and fields, based on your company’s needs, improves asset accessibility and usage across different applications. By adapting these elements to your processes, users can easily find and use assets, leading to smoother workflows and increased productivity.
The pricing of DAM software can vary significantly, ranging from under $350 to over $250,000 per year. However, the actual DAM cost depends on several factors, such as:
- The number of users
- Storage capacity
- Advanced features
- Implementation fees
- Customization options
- Services provided
- The system’s hosting method (cloud-based or on-premise)
The functional differences among these factors can result in a wide range of pricing options that might come as a surprise.
In recent years, there has been an upward trend in pricing due to the growing recognition of the value DAM software brings to businesses. This increased demand may continue to drive overall prices higher. However, specific price quotes can be influenced by various factors unique to each software provider.
Therefore, when exploring pricing options, it is important to examine these factors carefully and evaluate the features and services included in each package to determine the best fit for your organization’s needs and budget.
Find more information on DAM software costs by getting a quote to find the most accurate price for your company.
Get in Touch
Selecting the right DAM software may pose a challenge, but the effort invested is worthwhile. A top DAM tool has the potential to not only enhance productivity but also drive growth to new heights. DAM solutions with advanced capabilities, such as the high-quality features OpenAsset offers, can revolutionize creative work, making it easier, more efficient, and ultimately more effective.
OpenAsset, the industry-leading DAM designed specifically for AEC and real estate professionals, combines all the necessary features and functionalities of a DAM within a single platform. To gain valuable insights and expert guidance tailored to your team’s requirements, review our DAM Buyer’s Guide Checklist and then reach out to our asset management experts to schedule a demo. Experience for yourself how a DAM tool can elevate your creative workflow and unlock new possibilities.