We get a lot of questions when talking to customers in the initial prospecting faze. A popular one is: ‘How is SharePoint different from digital asset management (DAM)?’ Here’s where the confusion comes from: SharePoint can store, organize and share digital assets and has some basic DAM functionality like storing documents in its library. So, do I need a DAM if my organization is already using SharePoint? Yes, you do ­– SharePoint can’t substitute a DAM – but they can complement each other.

There are many benefits to a DAM that SharePoint doesn’t have. Coupled with the full potential of a DAM system, SharePoint is transformed into a better, more compatible system. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between SharePoint and DAM and look at how an integration brings even more functionality.

What Is SharePoint?

SharePoint, according to Microsoft, is a program for used by organizations to create websites. “You can use it as a secure place to store, organize, share and access information from almost any device. All you need is a web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox.”

What Is Digital Asset Management?

Digital asset management (DAM) systems enable you to store digital assets and assign metadata to your library of images, videos, presentations, logos, documents and other brand assets for better searchability. There are many other features to a digital asset management system like prevention of copyright infringement and quick distribution of content. There are many more, check out our Getting Started With DAM e-book for more information about digital asset management.

What’s the Difference?

SharePoint is utilized for much narrower use cases; specifically, it’s primary use is to create websites and manage information. Digital asset management is far broader and can be used in any place where the managing and sharing of digital assets is necessary.

Here’s what both DAM and SharePoint are systems do effectively:

  • Sharing and linking assets
  • Versioning
  • Administrative capabilities with user-type definitions
  • Uploading and downloading files

Here’s what DAM can do effectively but SharePoint needs configuration or is limited in:

  • Creating workflows
  • Creating metadata
  • Ingesting multiple file types
  • Performing actions on asset batches
  • Creating unique ID codes for digital assets
  • Making advanced search capability
  • Generating a taxonomy based off of metadata

Workflows for SharePoint and Digital Asset Management

How Does SharePoint Work

SharePoint creates pages and subpages that can be used by teams. The SharePoint Site or SPS is the place where you and your team can collaborate as well as share and access information. We’ve created a diagram (see below) that shows you how your users could use the SPS and shows interdepartmental collaboration.

digital asset management sharepoint

As the diagram illustrates, each team accesses their SPS and can pull from the company SharePoint Site. It’s also possible for the teams to access the other teams’ SPS. The SharePoint, when used this way, acts as a much lighter version of DAM.

How Digital Asset Management Works

Digital asset management systems work differently and streamline the process by providing one central location for the assets. Below is a diagram that illustrates this.

digital asset management sharepoint

As you can see, a digital asset management system – like Cumulus – keeps all assets in one central collaborative place, simplifying workflows and optimizing brand consistency. Assets uploaded into Cumulus have metadata added and are categorized accordingly.

How SharePoint and Cumulus Work Together in Our Integration

We offer an integration of Cumulus and SharePoint and with it you can enjoy the benefits of both SharePoint and digital asset management. These systems work in tandem to streamline your team workflows and performance. Our diagram below shows this.

digital asset management sharepointAs you can see, the integration allows teams to use Cumulus as a central location for their assets while enabling them to use the SPS simultaneously. There are no duplicates, metadata remains close to the assets – and you’ll always share the most up-to-date version of the asset with your team. It’s the best of both worlds.

Final Takeaways

Now that you know the difference between digital asset management (DAM) and SharePoint, and how an integration enhances SharePoint, you should be equipped to enhance your SPS and DAM workflows.

When Do You Need SharePoint Without a DAM Integration?

Well, if you need a system to collaborate on smaller projects with limited functionality then SharePoint should be suitable. This is suitable for teams that don’t use large files or maybe work on few projects.

When Do You Need a DAM Without SharePoint?

If you need more functionality like quick and easy sharing, central storage for large assets, streamlined workflows, digital rights management and fast distribution then you need a digital asset management system. The real question is, then, do you need SharePoint still? Well, if you don’t want to work within the SPS anymore and want to create a different workflow then you can use a DAM without SharePoint. Keep reading if you want to use SharePoint with your DAM.

When Would You Need a SharePoint Integration With a DAM?

If you want to keep your SharePoint workflows and work within the SPS for your project, but want to have a more powerful central location for your assets, then a DAM and SharePoint integration is a good fit. Check out the Cumulus DAM and SharePoint integration for more information.