One of the biggest trends over the last two years in technology has been a mass adoption of cloud-based solutions for business. In the cloud, customers consume tech solutions via monthly subscriptions and are able to blur hard lines between platforms by bringing multiple solutions together to solve business problems. What’s happening is that customers are able to create customized solutions that meet their specific needs without having to invest a lot in software development.
SharePoint has been a key component of the transformation to the cloud for many businesses. A document management system for collaborative documents, SharePoint works well when file sizes are 2GB or less. In cases where files exceed that size, SharePoint has historically fallen short.
The solution is to integrate SharePoint with a digital asset management system that stores, organizes, assigns metadata, searches and allows rich media viewing of large files. Two illustrative examples come from situations in which a business needs to incorporate and use AutoCAD files quickly inside SharePoint in mining and retail.
One of the biggest challenges for many mining businesses is connecting field workers, who live and work in very remote locations, to the content they need. Microsoft SharePoint is a critical solution for many organizations because it allows access to Excel, Word, and PowerPoint for managing workflow with the creation and distribution of various forms and safety management materials. But where SharePoint functionality declines is with spatial data, exploration data, and maps the mines themselves, which are created, stored, viewed and edited with AutoCAD. SharePoint was not built to be compatible with AutoCAD and a collaborative experience is not possible.
For example, if someone at the mine is injured, various people are often flown in to access the situation and make a plan for moving forward. Typically, there is a long drive between the airport and the actual mine site. SharePoint is a frontend that connects to other systems these people can access while they are in transit, such as the scheduling system for determining who was on shift. The next critical step here, however, is making not just SharePoint files available, but also AutoCAD files so that the experts can use down time travelling to assess equipment specs and other details of the incident stored in rich media formats. This is possible by connecting SharePoint to a digital asset management solution that is integrated with AutoCAD. With this connection, SharePoint and the digital asset management tool become the glue that holds the workflow together.
In retail organizations, the pain is around viewing store layouts and schematics for merchandising and planning while executives walk around brick-and-mortar outlets. SharePoint connects people while they are in their offices collaborating on various store design activities, but in the store, they need access to up-to-date rich media files that showcase facility drawings and store layouts. With a digital asset management tool, store planners can walk through the store, look at an iPad to see rich media schematics and start planning right there on site instead of having to take notes and begin the real work back in an office.
SharePoint easily allows for the management of Excel, Word and PDF documents but needs an additional tool for a collaborative experience with rich media files. Integrating your SharePoint system with a digital asset management solution enables teams to store, view and share files, such as material and layout schematics or facility drawings.
If you’d like to listen to more about how digital asset management can enhance rich media access, viewing, sharing and organization, check out our webinar with MediaValet:
Making the Most of SharePoint and How a DAM Can Help
About the Author:
Sean Culbert is Long View’s Microsoft OneCloud Business Development Manager