It’s easy to get excited about software functionality when specifying and reviewing DAM software platforms. But how far are you considering the less-visible non-functional requirements when reviewing a DAM vendor?
Without a solid structure that can scale to meet requirements, a DAM system just won’t deliver the profound differences that we know digital asset management can make. Simple as that.
And yet it is surprising how many Request For Proposal (RFP) submissions concentrate heavily on function but display little or no curiosity about the fundamental structure of the platform a DAM vendor is offering, and its related hosting arrangements.
Of course, functionality is of enormous importance and interest, but if the client doesn’t ask the right structural questions, this lack of more far-reaching specification at the outset can result in serious problems over time.
If you are talking to a DAM vendor already, or your procurement team are writing a digital asset management RFP, here are the top five non-functional requirements you need to include to make sure you shortlist the vendors who can provide a fit-for-purpose platform that will truly work for you in the long term:
1. Does the User Interface (UI) use the vendor’s own Application Programming Interface (API) for all actions?
An API enables one piece of software to plug into another, so features and files can be accessed directly. If the API is separate from your digital asset management system, odds-on it’s a design afterthought. And that means it’s likely to hit the buffers when you try to integrate your DAM with third party systems – an ever more important requirement these days.
While integration may not seem a priority right now, sooner or later you’ll want to link with your web content management system, your e-commerce platform or marketing automation system. If the vendor’s API is deployed for all interactions, you can be sure that full functionality will be accessible by any third party system. A separate API, however, is highly likely to be thin on functionality, thus harder and more costly to integrate.
2. Is the API accessible through a modern web-standard?
Make sure your DAM vendor’s API adheres to standard best practice in the design and development of web applications. If the software you want to integrate with your DAM system is not built using the same technologies, you’ve got problems. Compatibility is essential if your DAM system is to be accessible by other cloud-based systems such as your CMS, email marketing platform or marketing automation software.