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Sharepoint is popular amongst teams that use Microsoft products because it integrates with the entire Microsoft Office suite and OneDrive. It functions as a document management and collaboration software that lets you house your organization’s files in one hub, create portals (a.k.a. Intranets) to organize relevant information for different end-users, and communicate with teammates on digital projects. It’s recommended mostly for groups that just want to share information and collaborate internally.
But reviews of Sharepoint will tell you that the platform has its cons. For example, it isn’t very easy to use — it requires a bit of technical skill, so a lot of organizations create a dedicated Sharepoint team to manage the software. Many reviewers also say that disorganization can become a problem as you acquire more digital files, leading to difficulties finding content.
Many teams grow out of Sharepoint when they 1) acquire so many assets that they can no longer manage them all in a basic cloud storage platform, 2) begin working with external collaborators and need to share (and monitor sharing) with those groups, or 3) when they no longer have the resources to maintain the software and need something that’s more user-friendly.
We recommend digital asset management (DAM) software in these cases because it expands upon the functionalities of Sharepoint but has more advanced features to:
In this post, we’ll talk more about upgrading from Sharepoint to digital asset management software and how our DAM, Brandfolder, can be tailored to support your teams where Sharepoint falls short. At the end, we’ll review three other digital asset management tools so you can learn about other highly-rated solutions and compare.
Brandfolder is consistently rated one of the best digital asset management software on review sites like Capterra and G2 because it’s super customizable and easy to use. Get in touch with our team to discuss what you’re looking for in a Sharepoint alternative and receive a free demo of Brandfolder.
Many teams put off switching from Sharepoint for longer than they should because of concerns about 1) moving all of their assets to a new platform, and 2) getting their teams switched to a new tool. When you have hundreds of digital files to organize and dozens of users to train, the idea of switching software — especially to something more advanced like digital asset management software — can feel unfeasible (even for small businesses).
But making the switch to digital asset management software is worth the effort because DAMs give you so many more tools to strategically use your brand collateral, improve your teams’ workflows, and aid in productivity. And the transition isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Here are some tips to get you started:
After you’ve found the right DAM solution, tailored it to your needs, and prepared for the migration process, you’re ready to start moving assets over and getting your users trained on the software.
Brandfolder receives excellent customer reviews and is rated one of the best DAM software for a few reasons:
Let’s talk about some of Brandfolder’s digital asset management tools and how they help you better manage your brand collateral and all of the teams that use it.
First, Brandfolder’s setup makes it easy to store assets in a clear and logical format. You can organize assets in Brandfolders, Collections, and Brand Portals.
- Brandfolders let you group assets by brand. If you only manage assets for one brand, you’ll only need one Brandfolder. But if you work for an agency or manage assets for multiple brands, you can make separate Brandfolders for each brand. - Collections live within Brandfolders and let you organize groups of related assets. You can structure Collections in a way that makes sense for your end-users, but we commonly see brands create Collections for different product lines or collateral types (e.g., brand logos, marketing materials, templates, etc.). - Brand Portals function a lot like Sharepoint’s Intranet solution because they let you organize groups of relevant assets for different user groups. For example, you can create brand portals for distributors, external collaborators, and other partners so they’re only accessing the assets and information they need for their roles.
Then, Brandfolder provides features to give you better control over your asset library and maintain organization.
To prevent unapproved assets or clutter from making its way into your DAM, you can decide who can contribute to your asset library with user permissions, and require all new assets to receive a review before they’re available for other users to access.
Our DAM’s proprietary artificial intelligence, Brand Intelligence, also comes into play during upload to prevent accidental duplicate assets. Any time a user uploads an asset into Brandfolder, our AI scans through your entire asset library to make sure the file you’re uploading doesn’t match any of the existing files in your DAM. If Brand Intelligence detects a duplicate, it’ll prompt the user to cancel the upload or merge the dupe with the existing asset.
You can also use expirations to prevent users from accessing outdated content. Expirations are pretty simple: You set a date for an asset to expire, and Brandfolder automatically expires the asset on the designated date. Expired assets will still live in your DAM, but downloading is disabled for expired assets, and they’re displayed with a banner to let other users know they’re no longer approved for use.
All of these features work in tandem to keep your asset library current and eliminate issues with version control. Learn more about how digital asset management improves version control in our other post.
Searching assets is easy in Brandfolder no matter how you have your assets organized, thanks to Brand Intelligence. Our search functionality isn’t limited to exact search terms: Instead, it searches by theme and analyzes the content of your assets, including colors, products, people, background objects, to find all of the content in your library that’s related to your search term.
Even more convenient? It analyzes your entire asset library in one fell swoop so you don’t have to go digging around in folders to find files.
As we discussed earlier, a big difference between Sharepoint and digital asset management software is that DAMs simplify file sharing for both internal and external groups. So let’s explain how that works in Brandfolder.
To share digital assets with other teammates in Brandfolder, you can add them to the asset or group of assets you want to share with user permissions (as mentioned above). User permissions are convenient because they let you share assets and control exactly how end-users can interact with your digital content with just a few clicks.
Sharing assets with external stakeholders is just as easy. You start by selecting the asset(s) you want to share, then you generate a custom share link. Our share links work across email platforms like Gmail, messaging apps like Slack, workspace collaboration tools like Trello, and more.
We give you a lot of control over these share links, too; for example, with Brandfolder’s share links, you can:
Plus, we offer unlimited free guest seats, so you can share assets with whoever you need, as often as you need, without restrictions or extra fees. (This is especially beneficial for large companies that need enterprise digital asset management software to support increasing external collaboration.)
Another issue with basic file storage drives is that they don’t supply any tools to actually use assets once you have them in your hands. As a result, creatives still get bogged down with requests to edit assets or review repurposed collateral to make sure it looks OK and is on-brand.
To help teams work more independently and improve speed to market for creative campaigns, we built Brandfolder with a templating feature, an on-the-fly conversion functionality, and a custom crop tool to help teams personalize and optimize assets for their individual projects (without bugging the design team for an extra review). We’ll explain how these work.
- Brandfolder templating: This feature lets creatives push approved templates from InDesign to your DAM, and then control how end users can fill in the customizable fields in Brandfolder. This lets teams quickly repurpose collateral for different use cases without going off-brand. For example, you can use this feature to upload marketing collateral templates for your teams to reuse for different target audiences and geographic locations.
- Convert & resize functionality: This feature lets you modify an asset’s file format and resolution during download, without creating a duplicate in Brandfolder, so you can optimize assets for different mediums in your DAM instead of using an extra conversion tool.
- Preset & custom crop tool: This feature provides preset crops for popular channels, like eCommerce websites and social networking sites, so you can easily crop assets upon export. You can also save custom crops if you frequently publish or print assets on platforms we don’t have presets for.
On top of these features, Brandguide lets you store brand guidelines in your DAM and share them with all of the teams that use your brand collateral. That way, everybody has detailed instructions on how to use brand collateral (and designers don’t have to spend time fielding these questions). This helps prevent asset misuse and improves brand consistency.
When your creative team does want to edit or update an asset, we provide workflow tools at the asset level to make the process as seamless as possible. It looks like this:
Note: If you use Brandfolder’s built-in CDN to publish assets online, asset updates are also reflected every place the asset is embedded across the web; this makes brand management easier and prevents asset swaps from slipping through the cracks. More on this below.
Brandfolder stores a detailed version history for all of your assets, so you can view the asset’s entire version history and see notes about how the asset has changed since import. You can also read about versioning in Sharepoint vs. versioning in Brandfolder in our other guide.
In addition to helping you manage your existing assets, Brandfolder also has a built-in project management tool, Workspace, so you can oversee new digital projects in your DAM system.
The Workspace collaboration platform provides core project and task management features: It lets you create projects, break projects up into smaller tasks, assign tasks to team members, update and check on task status, and comment back and forth with teammates in one dashboard.
All of the features in Workspace are user-friendly so anybody can jump in and get involved. Workspace also integrates with other project management systems, like SmartSheet, if you want to reinforce Workspace with extra collaborative capabilities.
Our DAM also gives you tools to gauge the performance of your brand assets. With Brandfolder Insights, you can see a lot about an asset right at the asset level, such as where it’s embedded on the web, how users have interacted with it, and its asset score:
But our DAM’s reporting functionality also lets you track various metrics and customize time periods so you can gather the data you need to understand how your assets are performing and pinpoint new creative opportunities. This data is also important for speaking to the success of prior campaigns and getting buy-in for new projects.
We even display a live event feed within Brandfolder Insights so you can see what your users are doing in your DAM in real-time.
You can export or share any of these reports directly from Brandfolder, as well.
Brandfolder is a versatile solution that can accommodate teams across various industries because of its options for customization. We provide dozens of out of the box integrations with popular software types, such as:
Brandfolder is also built with an open-source API so we can build out custom integrations to connect your DAM with all of the software your teams use for their projects.
Plus, as we briefly mentioned earlier, Brandfolder is built with a content delivery network (CDN) system so you can use Brandfolder as a single source of truth and power your online content directly from your DAM. This is helpful for teams that manage an eCommerce website and frequently have to update the website with new content. We also wrote a post with more details on digital asset management for publishing you can read here.
Of course, our team is available to help connect Brandfolder with your existing tech stack so you can be sure everything is set up correctly from the start.
Digital asset management software is a great next step for teams moving away from cloud storage drives because it provides more efficient ways to store, share, and use brand collateral. Get started with a free consultation to walk through Brandfolder’s platform and see how our DAM can support your business.
Even though Brandfolder is voted the #1 DAM software by user reviews, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention 2 and 3 on G2’s list: Canto and Bynder. Canto is a popular DAM for small businesses. Bynder works as a more universal solution, but it’s mostly appealing to bigger enterprises.
We also threw Nuxeo onto this list because they’re one of the few open-source DAMs. Although open-source DAMs aren’t very popular because you have to build them out yourself, some enterprise brands that have an internal IT team like these solutions because their IT team can make extra configurations to the software and create a true “tailor-made” DAM.
Let’s talk about these digital asset management alternatives.
Canto is appealing to small businesses because of its ease of use. It looks and feels like Apple’s iPhoto application, so teams that are familiar with Apple products or have experience with Mac computers can typically get started using Canto with little to no onboarding time. Keeping that in mind, it’s not a surprise that Canto isn’t super robust: It provides core DAM features to store, search, and share assets, but it lacks extras — teams that want more advanced DAM functionality outgrow Canto and move into something more sophisticated.
Read More: Canto Software vs. Brandfolder: Compare Two Top-Rated DAMs
Bynder works for businesses big and small and organizations across all industries because it’s (like Brandfolder) a highly customizable DAM with user-friendly features. However, the reason why it’s mostly appealing to bigger businesses is that 1) Bynder can be expensive, and 2) Bynder’s set-up requires a lot of work on the user side and small organizations don’t have the resources to put toward adoption. Those cons aside, Bynder receives pretty good user reviews, so if you can afford Bynder’s product, it may be a good option.
When shopping for open-source DAM software, Nuxeo is a good choice because their available digital asset management features are pretty robust, and they make it easy to build out the software and create connections with all of your tools. That said, it’s still complex software and only recommended for businesses with dedicated IT teams that can tackle this setup. In addition to digital asset management, Nuxeo also offers built-in content management, document management, and claims management features, so it’s a suitable option for enterprise users who want these additional tools.
Now that we’ve covered all things digital asset management software, let’s circle back to Sharepoint alternatives for teams that haven’t grown out of Sharepoint and want to learn about other document storage and workspace collaboration platforms.
These solutions are more basic, and some are free to use, but remember that you will eventually experience many of the same problems with these as you do with Sharepoint (i.e., disorganization, challenges sharing, asset misusage, etc.).
If you want something even more basic than these three solutions, you may want to consider Google Drive or Dropbox.
You can also read more about these solutions in our cloud storage drives for business guide.
Taking the leap to a digital asset management system from a cloud storage solution or software like Sharepoint doesn’t have to be a challenge if you find a DAM that:
Our customer experience team is dedicated to helping each of our customers get set up for success. We talk to you about what you need in a DAM and offer tiered onboarding and support packages, so you can choose exactly how you want our team to help and we’ll get to work making sure that your Brandfolder is tailored to your business. (It’s the reason we have a 98% client renewal rate.)
Get started with a free demo of Brandfolder to see how your teams can benefit from switching to digital asset management software.
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