DAM for Dummies Part 1

Here at the Flight office in Downtown San Francisco, we live and breathe Digital Asset Management (DAM). Canto, our parent company, established the DAM industry over 25 years ago.

Our daily conversations are filled with jargon-laden DAM terms like assets, metadata, keywords, tags, file versioning, portals, Digital Rights Management, etc.

Even though we’re DAM experts, we still try to keep in mind that Digital Asset Management is a relatively niche offering in the world of file storage. There is still a long way to go before DAM becomes commonplace in everyones workflow.

Our goal in our DAM for Dummies series is to really layout first what DAM is, and then go into how it can benefit your overall workflow and the way your team collaborates.

So… What is a DAM?

DAM is a system that allows you and your team to upload one or many assets and then share those files to as many or few people as needed.

The ‘M’ in DAM is really the part we’re talking about here. We need to Manage our assets because they’re out of control!


Our computers, thumb drives, cloud drives, phones, tablets, etc. are bursting with all sorts of files. Unaccounted assets usually get put into some obscure folder and then emailed to coworkers. Those colleagues then download those files, make duplicate copies, and rename them to something like ‘file.version15.jpg’. The previous 14 versions are uploaded to a shared cloud storage account or, even worse, emailed to more people. Welcome to digital chaos!

Now the files that were just on your computer are now buried in a chaotic email chain, and different versions are all over everyone else’s computers. Not to mention those 15 different versions in the cloud storage. There’s really no way to know which version is the best to use, or if a specific version is approved for production.

Digital Serenity

If you had DAM in place, you wouldn’t have to worry about emailing those files to your coworkers, resulting in that digital chaos and differing versions spread across multiple locations. You could have just uploaded those assets to a DAM system (like Flight).

A DAM system will tame your digital chaos.

Once assets are uploaded to a DAM system, they’re stored in just one place. When an asset is updated with a new version, it’ll replace the old one. But don’t worry, that asset will still retain its all of its different versions in its version history. Versioning allows for just one approved asset for a team to work with, but with a file history! One file with multiple past versions!

Having one central hub to upload, find and download files has pretty much solved digital chaos… but wait – there’s more!


Stay tuned for Part 2 of this DAM for Dummies Series: Who needs a DAM?

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