Picturepark, a Swiss vendor of browser-based DAM software, is now providing a digital asset management layer for Microsoft SharePoint. The layer, known as SharePoint Connector for Picturepark, allows SharePoint users to leverage approval workflow, security, and asset processing functions from Picturepark without leaving SharePoint.

Live Portal Enables SharePoint Connection

SharePoint Connector for Picturepark works by providing a SharePoint Web Part, serving as a live portal for SharePoint users to find and obtain access to digital assets stored in Picturepark. In addition, SharePoint users can directly import Picturepark assets via the portal, which supports all types of SharePoint digital content. A Picturepark DAM account is not required.

Picturepark Seeks Connections

The internet era is all about connections, as evidenced by the soaring popularity of social media networks. DAM software providers are also all about connections, to other digital content systems rather than friends or professional contacts, as evidenced by recent Picturepark-related activity.

Last month, Picturepark released a connector to the popular Dropbox file sharing solution. As with the SharePoint Connector, Dropbox users do not need Picturepark accounts to take advantage of Picturepark functionality.

And Picturepark is not always the one initiating connections. In March 2012, digital publishing software provider Woodwing released Connector for Picturepark, which allows Woodwing Enterprise users to retrieve Picturepark assets from within the Woodwing environment.

Making DAM Convenient

Digital Asset Management News notes that many DAM software vendors have specifically been targeting SharePoint connections as of late, as SharePoint “consolidates its position as ECM platform of choice amongst corporate IT managers.” Certainly anytime Microsoft offers a tool in a specific area it is likely to become popular and worth connecting to, but a look at some recent activity of DAM providers besides Picturepark shows a broader interest in allowing users to perform more specialized digital asset management tasks without having to leave their enterprise content management system of choice.

Last week, media workflow/marketing solutions provider ADAM Software partnered with collaboration platform vendor ConceptShare to embed ConceptShare’s creative review and approval functionality into its Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform. This functionality enables users to place visual cues, written comments, and highlights, shapes and other markups directly into print, web and video content.

And many of the DAM vendors listed in the Q2 Forrester Wave Digital Asset Management for Customer Experience report, including ADAM Software as well as Adobe, MediaBeacon, and EMC, actively supplement the functionality and convenience of their solutions through partnerships with other providers. Forrester credits this move toward DAM integration as part of DAM vendors broadening their focus to overall customer experience management (CXM).

This is certainly a valid observation, but I think there is also a simpler goal being pursued here: making things as easy for the user as possible. Rather than force users to have to switch between different applications or build their own ad hoc interfaces, DAM vendors are providing them with embedded integration functionality for many other popular content management systems. Ease of use should definitely help the still-emerging DAM market expand, opening even more possibilities for vendors to widen their horizons.