DAM vs Box: Benefits of Choosing a Digital Asset Management System

June 29, 2021

We are far from the days of using thumb drives or floppy disks to download, transport, and share your files. Today, cloud storage allows anyone to access their files – of any size – from anywhere.

So, all a company needs is a simple content management system, such as the popular Box tool, right? Yes – If all you need to do is save files and share your files. Most businesses need much more. 

Most teams work in distributed environments. They manage complex content and need to control access to digital assets securely. 

With these needs in mind, it’s time to consider other options. Here’s how to decide between DAM vs Box as a content storage solution.

 What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

A digital asset management system is a tool that helps teams store, organize, and create permissions around their digital assets so people can easily find and share what they need, when they need it. 

A DAM allows users to manage, preview, understand, and control access to a wide range of different content assets. It also allows teams to access their assets from anywhere, and share or send large files or derivatives of those files. 

What is the Box Content Management System?

Content management systems – such as Box – are what is known as “cloud storage”. They are virtual drives to which users can save content, share content, or access content from different devices. It allows users to create folders and share large files.

What’s Difference Between DAM and Box?

On the surface, content asset management systems and digital asset management systems can look the same. The reality is, both are different tools. 

A storage system such as Box is often enough for teams with very limited need to store and organize content. 

A DAM system, on the other hand, helps organizations get a handle on and work with their digital assets. That leads to more efficiency, systematization, scalability, and security – all things businesses need beyond simple content storage. 


Both a DAM platform and a content management solution such as Box provide a place to store assets such as graphics, videos, and documents. 

In addition, both tools:

  • Allow teams to store important items in the cloud to access files from anywhere. That's an important factor in today’s hybrid work environment. 
  • Help teams organize content in folders, collaborate and share. 
  • Have workflow integrations. 

However, that is where the similarities between DAM and Box largely end. 

When organizations need to truly manage and work with their content, rather than simply store it, simple content management tools such as Box simply do not do enough. 

Let’s take a look at the differences between Box and DAM more closely.


A content management solution such as Box is like the toolshed in your yard – you can keep things in it and that’s about it. 

A digital asset management system, such as NetX, is like a fully-built house – with heating, plumbing, and electricity. Not to mention, different rooms for different purposes. It's a way to manage content robustly. 

Are all your files in the right formats for your teams to use them, or are employees wasting time converting files, such as from Photoshop to JPEGs? 

How often are files accessed, and what files go with what others? 

Simply putting down a credit card for instant storage access is great. But looking at your asset management practices can lead to major efficiencies.

Here are a few ways DAM is different from Box:

  • Support from the DAM Team - When you sign up for NetX, you get an onboarding team. They get you to think about all the things you should think about, but probably haven't. For instance, who really needs access to what files? 
  • Thumbnails for More File Types: Content management systems can’t create thumbnails for all file types, such as InDesign or Illustrator. A digital asset management system offers thumbnails for far more types. This leads to faster, more intuitive searching.
  • Specialized Text Fields and Metadata: NetX has multiple types of metadata fields which can help filter search results or create permissions for different team members. Content management systems typically only allow users to label files with a single, simple free-form text field. This makes actually managing the content, rather than just storing it, more challenging. Having more metadata options means greater flexibility. DAMs such as NetX provide bulk metadata editing tools. Users can edit the metadata for several similar files at once. They can even edit metadata in a CSV with the grid editor.
  • Create Relationships Between Images or Multiple File Types: Let’s say you’re a marketing agency, and you need to ensure that every time a photo is used, it’s clearly linked to its model release forms, for example. With content management, it’s a cumbersome process, if it can be done at all. With DAM, this vital linking is a few clicks.
  • Transcode File Types on the Fly - The web team needs low-resolution JPEGs. Your customers want high-resolution TIFFs. And your managener just requested a PDF - all of the same file. Will you work late, converting files? Not with NetX. No need to store several versions of an asset. NetX can create commonly used formats on the fly for images, audio or video files.
  • Integration with Popular Tools: NetX integrates with Adobe Creative Suite and other popular tools. This ensures that teams manage digital assets from the moment they’re created.

These are just a few of the advantages that digital asset management systems offer over limited content management tools. In the end, the real advantage is hours of administrative time saved, freeing teams to focus on meaningful work. 

Why Choose DAM Over Box?

You need a high-resolution photo of your office, three interior shots, and your logo as a PSD file. How long will it take you to find them, then share them with the right people? Time yourself - was that a fun exercise? 

If you’re like most people, it may have been an exercise in frustration. Were you rummaging through your content management system, looking at files with names like “Taken by Fred on Jan 30” or “For Sue,” or, everyone’s favorite “DSC12345”?  

Yes? Then you need a DAM, not Box.

The Best DAM Solution

If you’re excited by the prospect of optimizing your content management with a DAM, you may be wondering if NetX is the right provider. 

We aim to be the best DAM company to work with. If you are struggling to share, or protect or find your digital assets, we will work with you to design an asset management strategy. We take the time to configure the tool to work for you. 

We'll keep working to ensure that your team is no longer using outdated or wrong-sized logos, spending too much time looking for files, or having no control over who can see what images. We are not just another tool. Instead, we are your partner in managing and making the most of your digital assets. 

Set up a free consultation to learn more about NetX!

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