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Sitecore Content Hub™: Beyond DAM — Part Two

An Expert Explains How You Can Achieve ROI Through Operational Efficiencies, Integrations & Connectors

Chandra Sekaran

Solution Architect, EPAM
Blog

In part one of this two-part interview series, we explored the benefits of content consolidation and the importance of creating a single source of truth for your assets. We also discussed how Sitecore Content Hub (Content Hub) can enhance the delivery of multibrand, multisite and multilingual digital experiences for enterprise organizations. In part two of this interview series, we talk about how Content Hub compares to traditional digital asset management (DAM) solutions, improves operational efficiencies and integrates with external systems.

Makenzie Barket

How does Sitecore Content Hub compare to other DAM solutions in the marketplace?

Chandra Sekaran

Traditional DAM systems were solely created for asset management. Marketers would create content somewhere else and then upload it to the DAM system. The DAM was a place where you manage the digital assets, not where you create or deliver them. But a DAM only being an asset management tool creates a lot of problems and inefficiencies. With a traditional DAM system, teams can only manage files, but they need more functionality than that to help them create and deliver content efficiently. For example, they require notifications and alerts to know when to work on content as soon as it comes in. Traditional DAMs also require a user to manually upload content to the DAM system when it is ready, which slows down content creation.

There is also a higher risk of brand inconsistency for large or complex organizations because, often times, different teams use and manage their own tools and processes. There is not one standard workflow that teams can follow.

But things are shifting. Businesses today expect a DAM system to deliver personalized content at scale to the right people, at the right time, on the right channel and to the right device. Since people use different systems and mechanisms to access the content, you want to ensure that you are delivering the right content across different channels.

Additionally, it is imperative that you manage the content from start to finish as quickly and as accurately as possible. Marketers are asked to come up with and create more content to drive their business forward, and they want to see revenue as fast as possible. So, integrating with other solutions like Content Marketing Platform, Marketing Resource Management or Product Catalog Management becomes essential. DAM solutions must interact with these systems to efficiently manage the end-to-end content lifecycle. Content Hub’s big advantage is that it has all these features embedded in one platform, enabling teams to manage the entire content lifecycle from start to finish.

MB

Great. Can you think of any other differentiators?

CS

Having different content management features work with each other to deliver personalized content at scale is becoming more and more vital, especially during COVID. With this pandemic, businesses are trying to reach more customers digitally. Therefore, having a consistent online presence and ensuring you're delivering the same experience across different channels is key to winning business and retaining it.

MB

How can Content Hub improve operational efficiencies within marketing departments?

CS

Content Hub helps marketing teams take charge of the content lifecycle. It can also accelerate time-to-market. It helps marketing teams increase productivity and agility with a seamless process that spans from content planning and production through publication. And with all of your assets in one place, you eliminate duplicate efforts, which helps you repurpose and reuse assets and content.

Marketers want the DAM system to notify them when something is ready to work on. For example, if you have an article that will require several approvals, you don't want users to have to be logged into Content Hub to see if the content is ready for them to review. You need the system to notify users when the content is ready for them to approve. The same thing applies to assets and products that have their own workflows. Companies find it difficult to manually manage assets. In those situations, an asset is created, someone downloads the asset and they email it to a different user to work on. The next user will approve it and email the asset to another person. This method of asset management leads to version control issues, lost files and delays because all of these tasks are taking place in emails or other tools, not the place where content is created and managed.

MB

Is there anything you can share about Content Hub’s ability to integrate with other platforms and tools?

CS

Yes, absolutely. Integration is a key aspect of Content Hub. Product content does not solely live in one system. It lives in its own product inventory management (PIM) system, where the master data is stored. Your Content Hub’s Product Content Management (PCM) augments the data so you can deliver it to the downstream systems and users can leverage the augmented data.

What is the use of creating and managing content if we cannot deliver it to the right channel? To deliver content, you need to build integrations. If you want to deliver content to different systems, like Sitecore Experience Platform™ (XP), SharePoint and social media channels, you need to create integrations.

Content Hub is ideal if you need to consume content from one system and augment it with data from another and then push that combined content out to its intended channel. Content Hub is an API-first SaaS platform, which means any content that resides within Content Hub can be retrieved through APIs. You can also upload and manage assets with APIs. So, you could essentially not log in to Content Hub, and you can still manage all of the assets completely via APIs. That is the power of APIs that Content Hub provides.

On top of that, you can extend data models by adding new metadata fields and taxonomies. When a business needs to change, they want to augment the metadata associated with their assets and content. Content Hub has an extensible data model that you can access via REST APIs as well. It also provides a web-client software development kit (SDK) and JavaScript SDK for those who want to leverage content in their front-end applications or for users that are familiar with programming.

MB

What connectors are available?

CS

Content Hub has several prebuilt connectors, like the Sitecore DAM Connector, which you can use with Sitecore XP to reference assets straight out of Content Hub. Another is the Sitecore Content Marketing Platform (CMP) Connector that enables you to publish your CMP content along with metadata properties and taxonomies to Sitecore XP and display it on different web pages. The YouTube Connector allows any video created in YouTube to be pulled into Content Hub easily.

There is also a Drupal Connector and a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connector that enables you to reference assets in Content Hub right in your email marketing campaigns in Salesforce. And there is also a WordPress Connector, which is more of a plugin that you can leverage to build your own connector, but it does provide the necessary connector framework for you.

In addition, Sitecore Content Hub 4.0 introduced a game-changing new solution called Experience Edge. This exciting feature enables organizations to manage content created for multiple audiences and devices in a completely headless fashion. Experience Edge comes with a content delivery network (CDN) that allows for caching and faster delivery to any audience in the world. It's going to be an added license on top of Content Hub. Experience Edge is perfect for brands that don't want to build any sort of middle layer.

To learn more about EPAM’s expertise in Sitecore Content Hub or to view a demo, visit: www.epam.com/sitecore-content-hub.

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