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Top 5 digital asset management platforms to consider in 2021

DAM systems are essential for marketing teams and businesses that use many photos and videos in customer-facing applications, including social media and websites.

Managing digital assets can be a challenge for many businesses, but digital asset management platforms may be the answer to that problem.

A DAM platform is essential for managing visual, immersive and interactive digital experiences. It provides the foundation to source, organize and deliver many types of rich media on demand -- something that run-of-the-mill content management systems have difficulty doing.

There are a number of digital asset management platforms on the market that businesses can choose from. Here are five vendors -- highlighted in the "Forrester Wave: Digital Asset Management for Customer Experience" report -- that illustrate the range of capabilities available to both small and large organizations.

Adobe Experience Manager Assets

One of the leading DAM systems on the market is Adobe Experience Cloud, according to the Forrester Wave report. It is an integrated suite of services for producing digital experiences. Marketing groups -- responsible for creating B2C experiences on website, email, advertising campaigns, e-commerce ventures and social media platforms -- within large organizations are the target audience for this system. Adobe Experience Manager Assets (AEM Assets) -- the DAM platform within Experience Cloud -- provides the repository of record to store and deliver edited and approved images, videos and other types of rich media assets.

Creative teams can rely on their own work-in-progress repositories -- including Adobe Creative Cloud -- to manage creative workflows, editorial reviews and design approvals for producing individual assets. Then, as the repository of record for approved content, AEM Assets provides the services to manage the downstream delivery processes.

AEM Assets includes flexible capabilities to launch the appropriate finders and viewers for different types of rich media. It can automatically deliver photos and videos to multiple devices, dynamically accommodating various screen sizes, display resolutions and network bandwidths. The DAM platform provides the security to control access, manages digital rights and tracks asset use for commercial purposes. AEM Assets relies on Adobe Sensei for image recognition to automatically tag assets by the various items and attributes they contain.

Adobe tightly integrates AEM Assets with related products within its portfolio, including AEM Sites for web content management and Marketo Engage for e-commerce. Marketers and other nontechnical users can continue to use these line-of-business tools while also easily searching through a repository of approved assets, finding the ones they want and directly updating the digital experiences they are creating.


Bynder is a cloud-native DAM platform. As a SaaS provider offering subscription-based services, the company targets creative and marketing teams in advertising agencies, small marketing groups and large enterprises. Bynder helps these teams collaborate in the cloud, quickly produce rich media that captures brand messages and deliver digital assets that engage customers.

Bynder focuses on the end-to-end digital asset lifecycle -- the ways in which creative teams source, manage, distribute and analyze creative content. It features a cloud-based repository for accessing various types of digital assets -- including photos, images, videos and 3D printing files -- and automatically tag assets using AI and machine learning algorithms. Bynder also includes extensive workflow capabilities, enabling creative teams to coordinate design activities. Such workflows include exchanging works-in-progress for review and approval, then storing the approved assets within the repository.

This digital asset management platform provides cloud-based tools for developing branded assets, ensuring consistency of brand elements and reducing routine creative tasks from hours to minutes. Bynder also supports both print and digital templates. Marketers can easily update the text or images within preapproved templates. Of course, graphic designers must first design the templates and identify what image and text blocks are editable.

In July 2020, Bynder launched its Video Design Studio. Similar to editing rich media within templates, marketers can modify predefined elements within a branded video and produce multiple versions of the clip for different market segments and delivery channels.

Finally, Bynder includes capabilities to automate digital campaigns using templates. Marketers can create business rules or define multivariate testing criteria to dynamically change elements within templates. Marketers might tailor the text-based greeting accompanying a photo in a marketing campaign based on a business rule that distinguishes between repeat customers and prospects.

Nuxeo Platform

The Nuxeo Platform is an enterprise digital asset management system that manages the flow of product-related assets -- such as images, schematics, data sheets and 3D renderings of physical objects -- through digital supply chains. Enterprise customers -- particularly those in consumer-packaged goods, retail and media/entertainment industries -- can use the platform to digitize key parts of their product design processes. For instance, designers and marketers can design the packaging and develop marketing collateral for new products without waiting for manufacturing to make prototypes of physical goods.

The Nuxeo Platform stores digital assets in a scalable enterprise repository, running on premises or in the cloud. It supports flexible metadata management capabilities, enabling easy access to and speedy search through large asset collections that businesses categorize using multiple corporate taxonomies.

The Nuxeo Platform also enables low-code capabilities for rapid application development, and enterprise customers can tailor process flows around work-related tasks. For example, this would enable creative teams, marketers and subject matter experts to work together to produce product labels. These digital capabilities help to accelerate time-to-market for new products.

Nuxeo Insights, which are AI capabilities embedded within the Nuxeo Platform, can train machine learning algorithms to recognize specific elements and attributes within their own products. This is particularly useful when automatically tagging product-specific assets with relevant metadata, auto-classifying images and automating processes. Currently, data scientists or product specialists must set up the training sets and continuously monitor the results to ensure the machine learning environment works correctly. Coming soon, Nuxeo will enhance Insights to enable nontechnical workers to develop machine learning models on their own.

OpenText Media Management

The target audience for OpenText Media Management (OTMM) is creative, marketing and line-of-business teams within large organizations -- including media/entertainment, advertising and branding, consumer packaged goods and government. Archivists and museum curators also rely on OTMM to digitize paintings, historical photos and other valuable artifacts for preservation and digital distribution.

OTMM is an extensible and flexible enterprise-scale platform that businesses can either deploy on premises or in the cloud. This system manages the works-in-progress files that creative teams develop. And it features integrated workflow capabilities to coordinate ingesting, editing, reviewing and approving rich media assets.

Editors and producers can manually tag assets as they upload and/or review them within the repository. OTMM also supports automated indexing and video transcoding, enabled by image and video recognition capabilities that use AI and machine learning services. OTMM includes a rich media framework and APIs for integrating with a range of AI and machine learning services from established software vendors and promising startups.

Furthermore, OTMM is the repository of record for businesses to manage approved digital assets that are ready to distribute to marketing and business teams across an extended enterprise. Team members can browse through collections organized by familiar criteria, search for what they want and download what they need -- all within the context of doing their work.

As the repository of record, OTMM provides enterprise-wide security to manage access rights and permissions. Team members can only discover and download the assets they are entitled to access. Moreover, OTMM tracks how assets are used; it can integrate with Digital rights management services to monetize rights-protected assets and streamline commercial transactions.

Sitecore Digital Asset Management

Sitecore Digital Asset Management provides marketing teams with the ability to access and manage the rich media they need to coordinate campaigns across multiple digital channels, including email, web, social media, mobile and in-store kiosks. This platform is designed to integrate with Sitecore CMS, the company's core web content management platform.

Businesses can store digital assets within Sitecore DAM using predefined categories. Business users can then manually tag content or the DAM system can automatically tag it using AI. Marketers can continuously curate these categories to refine collections, share them with other team members and track usage rights through digital rights management capabilities. Sitecore DAM can use categories already defined within Sitecore CMS. This makes it easier for users already familiar with Sitecore CMS to manage digital assets and organize marketing campaigns without additional training.

Sitecore DAM is an integral part of Sitecore Content Hub, the company's overall digital marketing platform. Marketing teams can maintain a complete view of their content landscape and rely on the Hub to plan, schedule and organize creative operations -- such as photoshoots and video recordings of live events. Photo editors and video producers can upload assets to the Content Hub, manage the works-in-progress revisions, and support review and approval workflows. Creative operations managers can rely on the Hub to manage schedules and track costs. Digital marketers can then search through collections of approved assets -- maintained within a repository-of-record -- when using Sitecore CMS to update content on websites or launch omnichannel marketing campaigns.

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