A lot of freelancers and firms are starting to feel limited by the features of cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox that offer ‘one-size-fits-all’ file management solutions.
Even a freelancer starting to build their client list can feel cramped by the lack of custom branding and white label features in these consumer cloud solutions. When you’re advising your clients about the importance of brand consistency, it helps to practice what you preach.
Google Drive and Dropbox can get noisy fast when it comes to collaboration. Let’s say your first client is a business with two partners and they’re commenting and emailing suggestions on your new logo design — and they live in different time zones! It’s not uncommon these days. Or, you’re freelancing for an agency, working on a pdf brochure for example, and receiving comments from the agency and the client in separate threads.
Reviewing comments like this in a Google Doc or over email can quickly start to feel like your twitter feed during the World Cup! Keeping track of comments across different files and platforms is downright frustrating and leads to delays that make it difficult to meet your client’s vision and meet your deadline.
“Do you have a Dropbox account?”
Looking at the other cloud services, “Do you have a Dropbox account?” seems to be the modern mantra in the freelance community. While a lot of people have a Dropbox account, some people don’t, and starting to work with a new design client shouldn’t require installing software on their computer.
With a host of other concerns, guiding your client through the process of downloading and installing a cloud app should be last on your list. Some clients simply won’t install software on their computer, or they might be prevented from doing so by their corporate IT department. At which point, you’re back to clicking ‘Send’ on an email with the file attached.
Let’s be clear, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, all the consumer cloud services are amazing. However, when it comes to file management, especially digital asset management, these services don’t offer enough advantages to outweigh the disadvantages. When you add up the pluses and minuses, they aren’t significantly better than the tried and true method of simply emailing files back and forth, especially when you want to maintain consistency for your brand. Google Drive and Dropbox promise to be ‘one-size-fits-all’, however when it comes to file and digital asset management, they feel more like ‘one-size-fits-none’.
Ok, so using Google Drive and Dropbox are starting to feel a bit like squeezing into that suit you wore at your friend’s wedding 2 years ago. However, when you start to explore enterprise digital asset management solutions, the annual costs for managing files on one of these platforms can exceed what you pay Adobe for the software to create the files in the first place!
It’s great to be able to collaborate and have more granular access and version control, but it doesn’t make sense if the benefits can’t justify the cost. Once again, you’re back to clicking ‘Send’, because it’s simply more cost effective to take the time to manage files locally and send versions and comments over email.
A lot freelancers and firms are caught in this no-man’s land between consumer cloud services and enterprise digital asset management platforms. The cloud file sharing services aren’t tailored for digital asset management and the enterprise DAM’s are too expensive.
What’s needed to establish a neutral territory in this no-man’s land isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ cloud platform, or the heavy artillery of enterprise digital management. Firms and freelancers simply need an affordable file sharing solution that’s designed for digital asset management and creative workflow.
At Filecamp, we’re a little nuts, for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to stride out into that no-man’s land between the cloud services and enterprise DAM with our heads held high. We took our share of hits climbing out of the trenches, but we’re glad to say we’ve established a neutral territory where you can freely and affordably manage your digital assets. So, put down your white flag, you don’t have to admit defeat and return to your inbox for trading files and you don’t have to resurrect FTP from the dead to manage your creative workflow and your clients.
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