How to leverage digital asset management in Microsoft

When it comes to the so-called digital assets, images, logos, designs or collaterals come to mind. Digital assets seem to be generated almost exclusively in the domain of the creatives and are usually only used there.

Boost sales, legal, finance and HR efficiency with easy files access in your Microsoft 365 environment

This means that digital asset management is something for creative people, designers and marketing teams. Other departments in the company including sales, legal, finance and HR do not have to worry about it.

But is that really true? To answer this question we should first clarify, what does "digital asset" mean, and what a digital asset actually is.

Well, digital assets are all the files that you have spent your time and know-how on to develop – or directly spent money on for royalties and licenses for example. But that is only one part of the value of these files.

Digital assets are key to smooth processes

Their real value shows up when you urgently need a file and don't have access to it. Maybe it just lives on the computer of a colleague who is not there at the moment. Or you simply can't find it anymore, due to poor naming conventions.

We've all experienced the pressure and frustration that can arise when that happens. Just as important is that trust in the company can suffer and its image can be damaged. This is not just an internal efficiency issue but can also be detrimental to the company brand externally.

From the less emotional point of view of business organization and business management: If a file that is currently needed is not available, processes are slowed down or even come to a standstill. In these cases, employees have to deal with unproductive work for instance for searching for the file or to recreate it – and both cost money, thus, they have an impact on the financials and the bottom line.

How dramatic is the problem? A study by Asana found that, on balance, employees in companies spend up to 60 percent of their time on non-productive "work for work". According to our clients, an average of one hour per employee is wasted each day researching for files.

To ensure that these valuable files are not lost and are always accessible to authorized persons, these digital assets must be managed efficiently. A variety of special applications for digital asset management, or DAM for short, are available for this purpose.

The relevance of this software division is also reflected in the development of this market. The analysts at MarketsandMarkets forecast global growth from USD 4.7 billion in 2023 to USD 8.7 billion in 2028. It is interesting that they attach particular importance to the HR sector.

Sales, HR, finance and legal teams are creative too

Doing their daily jobs and bringing in their skills and expertise, sales, HR, finance and legal teams also generate a large amount of files – according to the definition above, these files are digital assets. The teams create and use a wide range of different content types, here are just some examples:


Sales presentations, pricing sheets, FAQs, training materials, tutorials, white papers, case studies and testimonials


Job advertisements, employee handbooks, training materials for onboarding new employees, internal communication materials including newsletters or magazines and any kind of forms


Budgets and forecast documents, audit reports, investor relation content including reports and presentations, internal management reports and compliance documents


Compliance documentation, intellectual property filings, training materials to educate teams on topics like ethics and compliance, corporate governance documents

Departments usually work closely together to create this content. The HR department cooperates with marketing to create ads and with the legal department when it comes to compliance issues, for example. Sales traditionally works closely with marketing. And for financial reporting, finance, legal and marketing work together and cooperate with external partners.

Microsoft 365 is the backbone of almost any organization

Creatives work with the design oriented applications of the Adobe Creative Cloud – Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere, and many others.

Sales, HR, finance and legal teams usually employ the most common software – first and foremost the applications provided by Microsoft 365 including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and Sharepoint.

The content created with these applications is of utmost importance for the smooth running of business processes in all companies.

Having said this, efficient digital asset management is crucial for users of Microsoft 365 applications. On the one hand, to create their documents they need access to content provided by other departments. On the other hand, they need a DAM to securely manage the content they create and make it available to others.

The benefits of DAM for Microsoft 365 users

With a DAM system, Microsoft 365 users can enjoy a wide range of benefits, including

  • Significant time and cost savings
  • Enhanced accessibility
  • Improved collaboration with other departments and external parties
  • Safe version control and rights management
  • Support brand building

However, it is crucial that a DAM solution enables access to content created in a wide variety of applications and file formats. And of course, it should be easy and transparent to use. This was exactly our maxim when developing our CI HUB Connector.

Our goal was to create a solution that easily connects all the different applications so that content can be used within the entire software environment in a controlled manner. CI HUB Connector bridges the gap between Microsoft 365 and Adobe´s creative applications, solutions for digital asset management, product information management, brand management as well as work and customer experience management.

In addition it provides access to Adobe Asset Manager, Google Drive and Dropbox. And that is by no means the end of the story as the range of supported applications continues to increase. The latest addition is the support for the new Adobe Express, enabling even non-pro creatives to explore their design capabilities.

As a result, CI HUB Connector creates a (virtually) centralized digital asset management system enabling the consolidation of data from various sources into a unified platform – currently more than 60 applications and systems. This makes it easier to access and share information across different departments.

CI HUB Connector in the Microsoft 365 world – easy to install, easy to use

CI HUB Connector can be easily embedded into your existing IT landscape – no need to customize anything. Once installed, CI HUB Connector provides a panel within Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and SharePoint enabling users to access the various sources of files and repositories with just a few clicks.

Among other features they can:

  • Search for files by filenames, keywords, formats, metadata and more
  • Preview the search results as list, tiles or in a detailed view
  • Filter the search results
  • Make sure they use the correct version of any file
  • Drag-and-drop the files from the panel into the file in their Microsoft 365 application
  • Convert the original file on the fly into the formats and resolutions they need
  • Create new versions of their documents while editing
  • Grant colleagues controlled access to their Microsoft 365 documents
  • Save their files to SharePoint or their connected cloud storage, DAM or PIM systems

The Windows version of Microsoft PowerPoint in particular is used intensively in companies to create convincing presentations. We have responded by developing CI HUB Connector Pro for PowerPoint, which provides users with even more comprehensive support. Find out more in this video.

Interested to learn more? Check our website for comprehensive information about how you can integrate CI HUB Connector into your Microsoft 365 environment. But why not immediately start to enjoy seamless and efficient asset management, that everyone can access and control? Take your productivity to the next level – try CI HUB Connector for free.

Article by
Stefan Horst

As an external communications consultant and content expert for tech companies, Stefan Horst has been active in the world of marketing, publishing and print for several decades. He has worked for Adobe, Agfa, Philips, Extensis and WoodWing, among others. Currently, in addition to CI HUB, he works for Zaikio, Impressed and others.