Below is a list of key questions to include in any Requests for Proposal (RFP) you submit to DAM system integration vendors. 

Business requirements

Solution summary—Provide a brief summary of the proposed solution, i.e., what are the components and are the responsibilities of each component. How will the solution enable us to meet our business objectives?

User access—Is there a limit to the total number of user licenses? Are users given automatic access or are they approved on a case-by-case basis? Does the system support external (extranet) access for both registered users and external vendors and consultants? Please describe how this works.

File format support—What digital asset formats does your solution support, including image, video, audio, and document formats? Is there a maximum file size? How are assets ingested and stored (i.e., file format, color space, etc.).

Versioning—Describe the file versioning capabilities of your system.

Metadata and search—Describe how your solution employs metadata standards such as XMP, EXIF and IPTC. Does metadata reside in the actual asset file so that it travels with the file, even if the file is removed from the repository? How is metadata added to both single assets and groups of assets? Finally, describe search methods and capabilities.

Notifications—How are notifications performed in your system? Do you support email and RSS for notifications?

Asset review and approval—Can assets be reviewed, approved, rejected, and annotated in your system? Describe the review and approval capabilities.

Workflow automation—Is there a workflow automation engine built in to the system? How does it work?

Repurposing and conversion—Can the system repurpose assets into different formats, and does it offer file conversion capabilities with process control? Please describe these capabilities in detail.

Reports—What types of reports will we be able to generate from the system, and can reports be emailed and also output to Access, Excel, and/or other applications from within the system? Is reporting available at the asset level?

Solution implementation and training—Describe your plan/process for successfully implementing the solution to support our requirements, including how you’ll ensure that our employees have a thorough understanding of how to use the system? Please provide a high- level task plan and timeline.

Maintenance and support— Please describe your maintenance and support programs, including whether you provide a warranty, how change requests are accommodated, email vs. phone support, response times, your escalation process, and whether you use third-party vendors for support and/or maintenance.

Configuration & system requirements

SaaS or On-Premise—Do you offer an installed (On-Premise) or hosted (SaaS/cloud) or open source solution? How will our users access the DAM (e.g., through a website, application installed on a PC, etc.)?

OS and browser support—Which operating systems and browsers does your system support, and is there complete feature parity across operating systems and browsers?

Hardware and servers—What hardware is required/used on the backend? What database and web servers are required on the backend?

Integration with existing infrastructure—How will you support integration with our existing technology systems (e.g., SAP, Sharepoint, Adobe creative software, and [insert relevant systems here])?

Customization—Can your solution be customized and, if so, how? Please describe the process and skills needed to customize the interface, features, and other components.

Systems integrator / partner background and qualifications

Experience—Describe your company’s qualifications and experience with DAM implementations, including the number of years you’ve been providing this service, the number of installations you’ve done, the size of your largest installation, and a list of recent clients we can contact for references.

Methodology—Describe your methodology when working with clients like us. How will you go about understanding our current workflows and needs, designing a solution to meet those needs, and deploying the solution so that we’ll get maximum benefit from our investment?

Vision—What is your company’s vision for the DAM space over the next five years? How are you responding to new drivers in DAM such as the growth of social media and dependency of mobile devices?

Competitive position—Why should we choose your company over the competition?

Backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning

Disaster recovery planning—How will you ensure the security of our digital assets in the event of a system failure or another catastrophic event?

Archiving—Describe the archiving capabilities and workflow, both in terms of software features and hardware setup.

Archive search—Are archived assets (and their metadata) still searchable in the DAM interface?

Archive integration—Does your system support integration with other archive systems?

IT security and administration

Access privileges—Does your system allow us to structure our user base with a variety of privileges to restrict/grant access to file formats, delivery methods, groups of assets, and administrative functionality? If so, please explain how this is done.

Administrator functions—What types of responsibilities do system administrators have? Please describe the administrative functionality.

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