Choosing the right digital asset management (DAM) software is essential for your business, and it’s important to find a platform that aligns with your team’s specific requirements. In this comparison blog, we’ll explore two highly rated DAM solutions: SharePoint and OpenAsset. As leaders in the DAM space, we’re experts in meeting your DAM software needs, which is why we want to help you find the best DAM tool for your business. By the end of this blog, you will have the information you need to make an informed decision about the DAM solution that best suits your AEC organization, whether it’s SharePoint, OpenAsset, or a hybrid option utilizing both. Contents hide 1 OpenAsset 2 SharePoint 3 OpenAsset vs. SharePoint: Capabilities 4 OpenAsset: Best DAM for AEC Firms 5 SharePoint: Best DAM for File Management 6 Combine, Don’t Compete: OpenAsset and SharePoint 7 What else can a DAM do for my firm? OpenAsset OpenAsset is the only DAM platform specifically designed for the built world. This cloud-based solution empowers Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) and real estate firms by providing them with project-oriented functionalities that are essential for producing high-quality Request for Proposal (RFP) responses. Equipped with a comprehensive set of image and file management tools, OpenAsset allows users to quickly search, store, share, and deliver the most up-to-date images and associated data. By leveraging OpenAsset, businesses in the AEC and real estate sectors can streamline their digital asset management processes on a unified platform. Key features of OpenAsset include: A project-centric structure AI-powered search capabilities The ability to create marketing collateral Efficient asset categorization Seamless asset sharing Workflow management An employee module that facilitates the creation and storage of resumes and employee data Furthermore, OpenAsset enables the synchronization of employee assets between HR or ERP systems and the OpenAsset platform. SharePoint Microsoft SharePoint is a comprehensive knowledge and content management system (CMS) that encompasses powerful collaboration tools. This versatile solution offers a wide range of CMS features, including document and digital asset management, case and contract management, as well as reporting and analytics capabilities. One of SharePoint’s key features is its ability to generate pages and subpages that can be collectively utilized by multiple teams within an organization. The primary page, known as the SharePoint Site (SPS), serves as a collaborative space where users can share, access, and collaborate on digital assets and information. It functions as a centralized dashboard for teams, enabling seamless communication and efficient access to resources. SharePoint is particularly suitable for use cases involving geographically dispersed teams that require collaboration, information sharing, communication, and project and task tracking. However, SharePoint may not be ideal for managing large volumes of media files, such as photos or videos. OpenAsset vs. SharePoint: Capabilities DAM systems are a centralized hub where all your digital assets are stored, ensuring convenient access for your team and other stakeholders. As each team may have distinct requirements and organizational structures for storing critical files and creative assets, ensuring that the DAM you select aligns with your current workflows and seamlessly supports them is crucial. Therefore, when evaluating DAM options, verifying that the system and its features are compatible with your specific workflows and seamlessly integrate into your existing processes is essential. Find out how OpenAsset and SharePoint compare in important capabilities. Storage Similar to other DAM platforms, both OpenAsset and SharePoint use cloud storage to manage users’ digital assets. Cloud storage has become an essential requirement for virtually all brands. Opting for a software solution with cloud storage enables you to conveniently access your content from any location across the globe. Moreover, it offers the added advantages of reliable backup and enhanced security measures, ensuring the protection of your valuable data. OpenAsset OpenAsset offers a secure and reliable cloud-based repository for storing digital assets, ensuring the accessibility of branded and non-branded images and assets whenever and wherever your team requires them. This feature becomes particularly valuable for firms that incorporate project photos into their proposals, resumes, and marketing materials. By leveraging the mobile and bulk upload functionality OpenAsset provides, these firms can streamline their workflows and efficiently manage their visual assets. SharePoint SharePoint is also based on the cloud. This means universal accessibility, allowing you to access the content effortlessly using any web browser, regardless of your location or time. It’s a great option when it comes to storing and managing documents. The convenience is further amplified when accessing the cloud-based solution from mobile devices. By leveraging the power of the cloud, your storage capacity scales with your needs, eliminating concerns about data loss or damage that could occur with physical servers. With the transition to the cloud, the dependency on physical infrastructure is eliminated, providing a robust safeguard for your valuable information. Search The ability to quickly and easily search for the assets you need is what makes any DAM system highly useful. Efficient searching enables access to your images and videos with minimal effort. With the ability to search based on image content or custom fields associated with customers, the process becomes even faster. By locating your assets quickly, you can expedite the distribution process, ensuring they are promptly shared with the intended recipients. This will ultimately save your organization time and money. Consider the amount of time you currently spend searching for assets. By investing in a robust DAM solution, you can expect to see a greater return on investment (ROI). OpenAsset OpenAsset takes a different approach to search than SharePoint. OpenAsset’s distinctive search function harnesses the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), enabling it to not only locate the correct files but also assist users in finding other relevant assets that may have been missed or overlooked. OpenAsset allows users to effortlessly create selections and albums of images based on specific search criteria. A major advantage is that these images can be directly utilized in applications such as InDesign and PowerPoint, eliminating the need to download the files beforehand. Moreover, OpenAsset implements a standardized keyword taxonomy and adopts a project-based structure, OpenAsset ensures that your assets remain easily searchable and accessible throughout their lifecycle. This approach promotes long-term organization and facilitates seamless retrieval of your valuable assets. By using an agreed keyword taxonomy and a project-based structure, OpenAsset ensures that your assets remain searchable and accessible over time. SharePoint SharePoint users have access to fully searchable document libraries. However, SharePoint is not designed to search for images quickly. Creating custom tags and fields unique to your organization helps when searching for an asset. However, creating your own metadata and custom fields in SharePoint requires significant configuration. SharePoint’s configuration flexibility can sometimes result in overly complex systems that make it harder rather than easier to find your high-quality images. While not SharePoint’s most thrilling aspect, its search functionality is undeniably valuable. Particularly in a portal with numerous users and extensive content, locating specific information can sometimes be challenging, especially within large sites. However, SharePoint’s search engine is dynamic, continuously adapting and adjusting search results ranking based on user interactions. This dynamic nature guarantees that users consistently receive the most relevant and meaningful search results. Access Access management is a vital feature of any DAM. This feature should allow you to easily set roles, assign users, and organize them into teams, ensuring efficient and secure data access. To ensure smooth collaboration across departments, your team must be able to quickly share digital assets. This is particularly important in industries like AEC, where traditional methods of sharing files, such as ZIP files, email transfers, and insecure file transfer tools, can be time-consuming and inefficient. To overcome the frustration and loss of valuable time, your team needs to have a system in place that enables seamless determination of access and permission levels for secure file sharing. OpenAsset OpenAsset simplifies the secure sharing of your images and digital assets exclusively with the intended recipients, precisely when they require access. Users benefit from comprehensive control over distributed assets through features such as download monitoring and external access control. These functionalities offer peace of mind to organizations of any scale, ensuring that their valuable assets are protected and accessed only by authorized individuals. SharePoint SharePoint strongly emphasizes ensuring the security of all digital asset management activities within its file systems. Permission settings in SharePoint ensure that only those allowed access to files can create, edit and share. Through SharePoint, managers and leaders can exert control over access to sensitive information, granting permissions only to specific teams or individual team members as necessary. This specific level of permission control can be applied to individual documents or extended to cover entire sites, offering businesses the flexibility to manage access at various levels. Integration A DAM provides users with the capability to distribute their assets seamlessly across various applications through integration. In contrast, SharePoint offers a centralized location that grants access solely to those included in the system. With a wide range of integrations and capabilities, it becomes significantly easier to establish efficient workflows, minimize duplication, and enable users to dedicate less time to manual processes. OpenAsset OpenAsset offers an array of valuable integrations tailored for marketing and AEC professionals. Users can leverage various tools, such as project-based ERP & CRM systems, construction project management platforms, and document creation platforms, to enhance their workflows and optimize their productivity. SharePoint While a DAM enables users to distribute their assets across various applications through seamless integration, SharePoint provides a centralized location with restricted access limited to system participants. For this reason, most SharePoint integrations include a multi-step process, and there’s no direct integration with the AEC tools your firm needs, such as InDesign. SharePoint is a reliable option if you require seamless integration with your existing Microsoft Office tools. Collaboration To establish an efficient and creative workflow, your team needs to have seamless collaboration and communication with both internal departments and external agencies. A well-utilized DAM can expedite the content creation process from beginning to end, ensuring that reviews and approvals are clear and straightforward for all stakeholders involved. OpenAsset OpenAsset simplifies the creation of extensive marketing materials and proposal documents with its branded templates, employee resume module, and user-friendly drag-and-drop functionality. Additionally, OpenAsset offers a project portfolio feature that facilitates the seamless presentation of your work and streamlines the proposal creation process. SharePoint SharePoint, as a file-sharing platform, distinguishes itself through its collaboration features tailored for teams. Specifically built to support teamwork, SharePoint offers a suite of collaborative functionalities, including project management, messaging, and shared document storage. With the ability to generate pages and subpages intended for collaborative use by multiple teams within an organization, SharePoint is an excellent solution for project-based teams seeking real-time task updates, seamless communication, and simultaneous collaboration. OpenAsset: Best DAM for AEC Firms OpenAsset stands out as the best DAM solution for AEC professionals due to its tailored features and comprehensive support. While SharePoint offers a broad range of functionalities beyond DAM, OpenAsset focuses on providing a dedicated solution for managing AEC-related digital assets. SharePoint follows a flat structure, lacking the intricate layers involved in AEC projects. However, OpenAsset understands the unique needs of the AEC industry. OpenAsset provides expert guidance and offers multiple AEC-specific integrations that SharePoint overlooks. Unlike SharePoint, which primarily caters to IT teams, our platform is purpose-built for AEC professionals. Moreover, OpenAsset offers a robust taxonomy specifically designed with you and your team in mind. We collaborate closely with you to ensure the taxonomy aligns perfectly with your workflows. We also provide best practices to help you get the most value from the tool, ensuring you can fully leverage OpenAsset’s capabilities. OpenAsset’s functionality makes it easier for AEC marketers to find and share the project photos they need to create marketing materials and on-brand content. Additionally, OpenAsset comes with a useful employee module, which enables proposal managers to quickly update resumes and better showcase their team’s skills when creating proposals and answering RFPs. SharePoint: Best DAM for File Management Compared to OpenAsset, SharePoint is the best solution for project-based teams that prioritize real-time task updates, seamless communication, and collaborative work. However, when it comes to managing extensive collections of company media, SharePoint may not be the ideal choice. It is primarily designed for document sharing rather than catering to the specific needs of design teams or creative asset management. That said, SharePoint serves as a “light” version of DAM software. While SharePoint proves to be a valuable system for file management, its effectiveness as a platform for visual content management in marketing collateral or bid documents is relatively limited. This is where a digital asset management system, like OpenAsset, comes in. If your team requires a broader range of features to effectively support and leverage your media assets, opting for OpenAsset would be a more suitable solution. OpenAsset offers robust functionalities tailored to efficiently handle and organize significant volumes of media, catering specifically to the requirements of design teams and creative asset management. Combine, Don’t Compete: OpenAsset and SharePoint What if I already use SharePoint? Should I still use a separate DAM tool? Yes, depending on the specific needs and priorities of your business, you should still use a separate DAM tool, like OpenAsset. While SharePoint is a great tool on its own, it’s even better when combined with a separate DAM. SharePoint and DAM systems ultimately serve different functions within an organization. Where SharePoint is intended for distributing files and information, a DAM system is a tool to help you find, use and share digital assets. Many of our satisfied clients have developed systems where SharePoint and OpenAsset can be used side-by-side for different purposes. To facilitate this, we have developed integrations that enable you to access OpenAsset via your SharePoint system. With a DAM and SharePoint integration, you can access custom templates, use the drag-and-drop functionality, store documents in OpenAsset, and centralize your marketing materials. This simplifies workflows, increases productivity, and secures company assets. While you may be able to use SharePoint as a DAM system, it’s important to note that its primary focus is on file management rather than catering to the specific needs of visual content workflows. It may suffice for basic usage but lacks advanced features and dedicated workflows tailored to visual content management. What else can a DAM do for my firm? Now that you have gained the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision, you can take the next steps for your company. Our team assists in implementing OpenAsset seamlessly across your organization, ensuring a successful launch. If you’re transitioning from another DAM or SharePoint, our dedicated support team will assist you throughout the process. We work closely with you to gather the necessary information in spreadsheets, ensuring seamless migration to OpenAsset. In SharePoint, you can associate a spreadsheet with each file, so we leverage this feature to capture the data you’ve provided. Our team then attaches this information in bulk, replicating your existing structure in SharePoint, ensuring a smooth transition to OpenAsset. For more information, read our guide on digital asset management, which covers the way marketing professionals use our DAM to streamline work and avoid clutter. This guide answers the question “What else can a DAM do for my firm?,” often asked by AEC marketing professionals who trust OpenAsset to organize their files and images. If you are considering developing a SharePoint integration with OpenAsset, get in touch to find out how we can support you. If you are an existing OpenAsset customer, contact your Customer Success Manager for recommendations on best practices.