Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.
 

Best Digital Asset Management Software for 2017

Best Digital Asset Management Software for 2017
By

We reviewed the top four digital asset management applications to recommend the best software for your company. Read our recommendations here.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockManaging digital assets, or your business's documents, images, videos and other items, becomes increasingly complicated as your company grows. The bigger you get, the more critical it is to easily store, organize, retrieve, annotate and share digital files. The best digital asset management (DAM) applications support your marketing and branding operations and improve workflow.

Our sister site Top Ten Reviews, recently reviewed the best Digital Asset Management systems. We reviewed their test results with an eye toward the specific features IT professionals need to know to select an application worth your company's time and money. Below are the questions we asked when seeking out the best DAM software applications:

  • What is the target market and customer base for this software? What size and type of business is it suited for?
  • What is the onboarding process and does it include migrations and file setup assistance?
  • Is training available for admins and end users?
  • What are the available integrations with other business solutions (including custom integrations and hardware requirements)?
  • What are the available platforms (including hybrid options)?
  • Does it offer security and backup management, including client-facing files and access control?
  • What are the terms of the contract (e.g., subscription duration and volume limitations)?

Best DAM Software for 2017

Canto

Benefits: Highly configurable; Multiple platforms; Wide range of integrations; Easily saves to Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure; Advanced implementation support; Migration assistance

Limitations: As an advanced DAM solution, smaller business may find it difficult to learn. New users should take advantage of Canto's training opportunities.

Canto, which supports more than 2,500 customers in more than 20 industries, offers two DAM products to cover a range of users needs from small businesses to enterprise-level organizations: Flight and Cumululus. Flight is a cloud-based product that is easy and quick to implement. Cumulus is available in any platform and includes advanced permission management and integration abilities. Flight is available in a month-to-month subscription, and Cumulus is offered on an annual basis. Perpetual Cumulus software licenses with maintenance and support plans are also available.

Canto is often used to organize large libraries of images, audio and video files. It is one of the few DAM solutions available on multiple platforms.

Canto can manage access and permissions for your various digital assets. Public access of password-protected folders is available for outward-facing folders for items such as media kits, press literature or client files. Mobile tools allow users to comment, edit, approve and upload/download content. It can be used for editing on the fly, workflow management, social media integration, blog support, video code embedding and more.

Canto, like most DAM software, offers quote-based pricing based on the number of users and assets, the features needed, storage requirements and more.

To support new purchasers of the software, Canto provides onboarding and migration assistance. Canto Flight is a SaaS solution, which is simple to implement, and it can be up and running within a day. Canto technicians can help you build file structures, assist with keywords and tags, and train staff on how to use the online portals.

Canto Cumulus is a more complex enterprise solution that includes long-term consulting and advanced professional services. In-house consultants and certified partners can help you build a customized version of Cumulus.

A range of training options is available, including onsite training. Canto offers webinars, online training, group training, and admin and IT training. It also hosts an annual educational summit.

Canto offers APIs for custom integrations and a variety of prebuilt integrations. Out-of-the-box Canto products work with WordPress, InDesign, Slack, MailChimp, social media, Sitecore, Magento, WorkFront, Adobe Creative Cloud, inMotionNow, Salesforce, a variety of ERP systems and more. It is designed to work with your content management system (CMS) platforms as well as your content delivery networks (CDN). Cumulus is more advanced than Flight and offers more integrations.

Flight relies on Amazon Web Services for most of its security. Then, of course, you can configure how your media is shared. Cumulus' security is more complex. Online versions are hosted by Amazon, but in house, you are responsible for your own security and configuring access controls.

For more information, check out Top Ten Reviews evaluation of Canto here.

Bottom Line: Canto is a solid choice for IT professionals seeking enterprise-level DAM software with advanced features and customization options.

IntelligenceBank

Benefits: Brand management and protection features; Custom forms and workflows; Custom branding; Bulk keyword tagging; Data migration and setup assistance, APIs and connectors for integrations; Customizable architecture and security

Limitations: The basic tier does not include workflows, approvals or collaboration features. For advanced features, you'll need Brand Hubs, a version of the software that offers digital management workflow and brand guidelines.

IntelligenceBank provides digital asset management, board portals, governance risk and compliance, and knowledge management platforms, supporting customers in more than 55 countries. IntelligenceBank offers two digital asset management products: DAM and Brand Hubs. DAM is only $9 per user per month billed annually. Brand Hubs includes more advanced features and is $19 per month per user billed annually. Each has a five userminimum. The annual cost for the DAM product is $540 for DAM and $1,140 for Brand Hubs. Additional storage and professional services are also available, for a cost. 
While IntelligenceBank supports all types of businesses, it's specifically designed to help marketing groups manage and protect their brands. These teams may be part of a larger organization. It also supports a large portfolio of customers in the travel, health care and financial services industries. Customers are divided between small, medium and enterprise-size businesses.

IntelligenceBank offers two levels of onboarding. The first level can often be managed by the customer, which includes software branding, bulk uploading and creating file structures. Larger implementations may need the Kick Start package, which includes custom branding, data migration, bulk keyword tagging, FTP or hard drive uploads, folder and permissions setup, workflow setup, admin and end user training, customer URL establishment, active directory integration and single sign-on setup.

If you have a lot of data or are migrating from another system, tapping IntelligenceBank's professional integration services is highly recommended. Acquiring assistance can relieve a lot of the stress involved with such a transition. Also, training is available in person.

To help you integrate this system with other business services, it includes a robust API, a series of connectors and out-of-the-box integrations. Built-in integrations include Sitecore CMS, Adobe Creative Suite, Leonardo's Vscape, SharePoint 2010 and Influence Health. While most customers choose the online version of IntelligenceBank, you can also host it within a private cloud.

IntelligenceBank strives to keep stored data and data transfer sessions secure. Each user session includes a unique key, and secure message sessions are available. Access tools are available for admins to configure security protocols. Admins can create password requirements, filter and block IPs, customize login attempt restrictions and more. Failed login reports are also available.

U.S. and European customers are hosted and backed up in U.S. data centers. Clients in Australia and Asia are hosted and backed up to Australian data centers. Secure hosting is provided by AWS. Data is incrementally backed up daily to separate servers via a secure connection. Numerous other security protocols are reportedly used.

Bottom Line: For small-to-medium businesses, or individual marketing departments within an enterprise looking for brand management control, IntelligenceBank may be for you.

Webdam

Benefits: Supports numerous file types; Provides highly configurable access permissions; Works with other business systems, including Adobe Create Suite; Custom lightboxes supported

Limitations: An entirely cloud-based product; on-premises and hybrid versions are not available.

Webdam supports more than 40,000 worldwide users and is available in 10 languages. Customers include Starbucks, Vodafone, Salesforce and Subway as well as universities and nonprofits. Pricing is per quote and is based on the configuration needed, the number of users, plus storage and service options.

This DAM software company provides self-serve implementation, training materials as well as professional services. Professional services include assistance with system integration and data migration. New customers are assigned a dedicated project manager for the initial implementation and set up. Once the system has been installed, Webdam's customer service team takes over to help with the launch and onboarding. According to Webdam, most customers are fully implemented within six weeks.

Monthly training is provided for admins and users. Admin training offers help with managing user permissions, reporting, integrations, metadata, file structures and more. User training helps end users learn how to use features. Users can also visit their online customer portal and learn on their own. Webdam offers articles and training videos.

Webdam offers extensive APIs and pre-built integrations. It works with Adobe Creative Cloud services, Shutterstock and Getty Images, and popular storage services such as SharePoint, Box and Dropbox. For project management, it works with Workfront and Percolate. It integrates with WordPress, Drupal, SiteCore and Wistia. It's compatible with social media and the security protocols SSO, SAML and LDAP.

Users will pleased that this DAM software supports Adobe file types, video and audio files, EPS, Microsoft Offices files and raw images. It can perform in-document searches for PDFs, Word docs, PowerPoint presentations and more. Previews are available for most common camera types, such as Canon, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus and Sony.

Webdam is a SaaS solution. If you need on-premises software, you may want to consider an alternative solution. Like many online services, Webdam employs protocols to protect your data safe online. It uses Amazon Web Services for hosting. It includes intrusion detection, data encryption, single sign-on support, georedundant backup and user permission controls.

Admins can manage user and document permissions, such as who can download, upload or view files. It can also restrict transfers via thumb drives, FTP sites, email, etc. Access from mobile phones can also be secured while simultaneously allowing workers to access Webdam from anywhere. Users can view images and add comments from their mobile device. Reports are available for tracking document activities.

For more information about this digital asset manager, read the full review here.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a cloud-based DAM solution, which is highly compatible with file formats, other business systems and security practices, Webdam might suit your needs.

Widen

Benefits: Extensive migration and implementation support; Onsite training, Unlimited integrations possible; Supports complex user permissions

Limitations: Widen is a SaaS digital asset management solution. It does not offer other platform choices.

Widen supports 312,000 users, mostly marketing teams in mid-market to enterprise-level businesses in many industries – consumer goods, higher education, health care, software, travel, advertising, automotive and more.

Widen representatives will help you evaluate the suitability of its product through the company's DAM Decision Guide, DAM Decision Toolkit and a personal-based scenario builder. Representatives will then determine your needs and estimate costs in regards to data migration, implementation and onboarding. Prices vary based on the number of users, storage requirements, optional features and other professional services.

Admin and user training is available. For most large companies, the onboarding and implementation process takes between two and four months.
Widen can import data from any system, and speedier migrations can be assisted using Amazon Snowball or an external HDD. As you and your team begin working with this digital asset manager, Widen representatives will help you sort and rename files and eliminate unwanted data.

Training usually involves four sessions: two for admins and two for the software's users. Typically these sessions are online, but they can be in person. Training sessions are modeled on "train the trainer" format so your team members can, in turn, teach other staff. This DAM software company also has WidenUniversity.com for self-guided training. Workshops are taught throughout the year in Madison, Wisconsin.

Widen provides REST APIs and integration consulting. It can also connect you with third-party developers to create custom integrations. It provides connectors for Sitecore, WordPress, Drupal, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Cloud, Workfront, Box, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Zapier. Customers can easily create integrations for other business systems such as CRM software, web content managers, project management software, social media sites and automated marketing systems.

Admins can control the security of assets and communications by regulating the systems, roles and user permissions. Widen uses Amazon Web Services for hosting. This DAM system supports complex security configuration protocols. Admins can control user profiles, asset groups, workflows, contributor permissions, metadata editing, structural controls, feature switches and more. It works with single sign-on services, including Google OpenID, simple one-way portal logins and custom SSOs.

Widen's contract terms differ from those of other DAM software developers. It offers a 30-day opt out period. During this time, if you are dissatisfied with the software, you can get out of your contract. By contrast, contract terms from other DAM software developers may lock you in for one year.

Data transfers with Widen are unlimited, and storage is charged at a variable rate. Advanced payment discounts are available. Additional services, including professional services, cost extra.

For more information, check out the review from sister site Top Ten Reviews.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for exceptional, advanced implementation services and highly customizable DAM software, Widen is a fitting choice.

Other DAM Software

In addition to the applications reviewed in depth above, here are a few more options to consider:
Adam
Adobe Experience Manager
Brandworkz
Filecamp
Futuramo DAM
MediaValet
NetX
North Plains Telescope
Picturepark
Phraseanet
Elvis