Why the Widen Digital Asset Management integration with Dropbox is kind of a big deal

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We recently released upgrades to Widen Media Collective DAM software for all our customers. One of the biggest enhancements we made in this latest version, 6.4, is a Dropbox integration. Users now have a new, easy way to transfer files into your digital asset management system, and all through a platform they’re probably already familiar with.

I don’t think I’m overstating the significance when I say that this is kind of a big deal.

Deanna Ballew, our manager of development and infrastructure, summed it up pretty well in our press release about the update:

“This integration allows files to be synced to user’s desktops and other devices with an application they are already familiar with. Our users already use Dropbox, so this integration makes it easy for files to be added to and downloaded from the central DAM system. The user wait time is eliminated since Dropbox does everything behind the scenes and notifies the users when the files are available.”

You can read the rest of the press release here.

Here's 6 more reasons as to why this is a big deal:

1. Drag-and-drop uploading to DAM from desktop
2. Distribution of files to different groups across geographies instantly
3. Allowing non-users to upload to DAM
4. Syncing files across multiple computers and mobile devices
5. Offline viewing of digital assets 
6. Mobile uploading

For those of you who want to get a deeper understanding of how this works and what the benefits are, we welcome you to check out our recorded webinar - 6 easy ways to make the most of Widen's new Dropbox integration.

Widen Digital Asset Management integration with Dropbox

In case you’re not familiar, Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage and access to that cloud storage across by multiple users and from various devices. It’s popular with consumers as well as many businesses that haven’t quite graduated to full-fledged digital asset management. 

So... here are just some of the reasons that the integration of Dropbox into Widen Media Collective workflows is such an important development:

Upload right from your computer’s OS

While other cloud storage systems require that you work through their interfaces to go through the upload process, Dropbox instead synchronizes your cloud storage with a dedicated folder on your hard drive. That is, so long as you’re connected to the Internet, Dropbox will pull anything you place into that designated folder into your cloud storage.

As far as user learning curves go, this is about as easy as it gets. 

Rather than asking Widen’s developers trying to add these features into the Collective, we took Dropbox’s API and used it to bring the two systems together. Anybody who can drag and drop a file into a local folder can upload files using Dropbox. Harnessing that power to simplify the process of sending assets into your digital asset management system opens up all kinds of possibilities in administration and user engagement.

Even more governance and access management options

Even before this integration, I was an avid Dropbox user. As a musician, I play in a number of different groups: Phat Phunktion, which is my band and is kind of a big deal in Japan; Steely Dane, a Steely Dan tribute band (we live in Dane county … See what they did there?); and I play with a New Orleans-style piano player named Johnny Chimes. Also a great name.

I have sheet music, audio and video that I need to share with each of those groups. Each of them gets a folder in Dropbox, which allows members of each group (and maybe other relevant users) to access only those items relevant to their group. You might not be sharing files with band members, but it’s not hard to see how the benefits translate into the business world. Maybe you have sales groups that are divided by geography. Maybe you’re sharing files with sales, marketing and a development people. Whatever the case, this Dropbox integration gives new strength to the already powerful roles and permissions functions in Widen Media Collective.

A new way to play DAM gatekeeper

There are all sort of situations in which this would be handy, but the most obvious might be those in which you’re working with outside groups for short periods of time. Say you’re collaborating with a photography studio for a finite period. It’s likely that their only interaction with your DAM system would be to submit assets to you through that system. Why not cut out the time of training and use Dropbox as a means for the upload process. Chances are they’re familiar, so it’s just a matter of making sure the right people have folders set up to sync with your asset library.

Mobile devices are good to go

Dropbox’s mobile app is insanely simple to use. Through your mobile devices, you have access to all the stuff you can get to on a desktop computer. Again, when it comes to the process of getting files from a hard drive to your DAM system and back — whether it’s your power users or short-term partners — you couldn’t ask for a better experience than Dropbox. And we’ve put that ease of use to work for your Widen Media Collective system.

What about when you can’t access the cloud? 

The cloud is great. We’re not shy about talking up cloud storage. But there are circumstances in which you might want to ensure that certain assets are stored on your team members machines. Say you’ve got a traveling salesman or a project manager who’s got to make use of assets away from the office. In all likelihood, they’ll be wanting to save the assets they need to their hard drives rather than counting on the Internet connection wherever they go.

Dropbox makes it easy to ensure not only that team members have offline access to critical files, but also that those files are at least as up-to-date as the user’s most recent Internet connection (since Dropbox folders sync automatically).

Shoot and upload

Our mobile devices aren’t just tools for consuming media. Often, they’re the tools we use to create it. A lot of our DAM software users talk about the ways that they’ve used Media Collective to gather and manage photos, video and other assets created on mobile devices. With our new Dropbox integration, getting all that into Media Collective is  whole lot easier. Your users can quickly capture photos or videos and add to Dropbox folders.

There’s a whole lot more to say about the Dropbox integration. If you’re interested in learning more about what this could mean to you and how your marketing team works, check out our recorded webinar or get in touch with our DAM experts to talk about it.

Topics: Product Updates, Marketing

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