EFSS is the abbreviated term for enterprise file synchronization and sharing. This is a service that offers large businesses and enterprises a secure way to transfer files both internally and externally.

Sharing files between colleagues and out to external parties is part and parcel of modern business, yet all too often employees rely on consumer-grade tools to transfer sensitive company information. Understandably, many organizations need a safe and secure way to transfer sensitive corporate files, which is exactly what EFSS software aims to address.

What file types can EFSS software transfer?

This all depends on the EFSS provider that you choose. But to be truly classed as an EFSS solution, the software should be able to transfer the typical file types that are used by large businesses. So anything from .xls files used in accounting to bulky design files (such as .psd) used by the designers. Any quality EFSS solution should be able to manage these files with ease.

Not only that, but modern enterprises use a variety of different devices to create, edit, and store files. Likewise, EFSS should be readily adaptable and compatible with a range of devices, i.e. tablets, phones and laptops.

What’s the difference between EFSS and digital asset management?

In the early days of both EFSS and digital asset management, they were pretty much two distinct areas of software serving different needs. As the name suggests, EFSS was primarily focused on sharing and syncing digital files. Digital asset management was more geared towards the management and storage of media files.

Yet over time, EFSS and DAM have started to overlap when it comes to features and functionality. Many of today’s EFSS solutions have the ability to store, organize, and even edit digital files. Similarly, digital asset management systems, such as Bynder, almost always have secure internal and external file-transferring capabilities.

While there are many overlaps, both solutions still differ in some ways. The largest difference—or at least the perceived difference from a customer’s perspective—is the type of organization that both softwares serve.

The proof is in the name: "enterprise file sync-and-share" can be a bit of a restrictive term, as customers presume that the solution is only intended for enterprise-sized organizations. While this may not actually be the case, the name may turn off SMBs and mid-market companies due to the associations related to the term, namely ‘enterprise-sized’ costs.

Likewise, the “EFSS” name may give potential customers the wrong idea about how much functionality is offered by the software. Although EFSS solutions have expanded their capabilities beyond simple file-transfers, this may not always be clear to the consumer, as discussed in a recent study of the EFSS industry.

On the other hand, DAM technology has evolved to become a lot more versatile in what it offers organizations, and the type of audience it appeals to. Many DAMs offer tailored solutions that adapts to the needs of each customer. And this includes enterprises. On the other end of the spectrum, free DAM solutions are becoming more commonplace to market the product to smaller teams.

Demand for EFSS and DAM

Google Trends provides a handy overview on the popularity of both EFSS and DAM over time. Search interest for DAM seems to have steadily increased, whereas interest in EFSS has remained largely the same.

efss-trends-1

As pointed out above, this could be the result of EFSS having a more limited market appeal due to its associations with “enterprise” and “file-sharing” categorizations that put off smaller-sized organizations. It’ll be interesting to see whether the DAM industry’s growing appeal for smaller teams with their ‘DAM Lite’ products will boost its overall market appeal over time, and whether that will be at the expense of the EFSS industry.

See the differences between EFSS and DAM for yourself

If you’d like to see exactly what a DAM has to offer your team, we’d be happy to give you a demo with one of our DAM experts. 

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