Conflicting Analyst Views on the PIM Market

As reported in the previous post here on this blog Forrester published their Product Information Management (PIM) 2021 Q2 Wave last week.

Practically simultaneously Ventana Research published their 2021 Vendor and Product Assessment for Product Information Management (PIM).

The two vendor rankings are here:

The methodology and lingo differ a bit, however the ranking is, as with all these kinds of analyst rankings, based on that the vendors are assessed more positive the closer they are to the top right corner.

The two analyst firms are in more or less agreement about some vendors while some vendors are assessed quite different. These are in particular:

  • Informatica, who is assessed much more negative by Forrester than by Ventana. It is a part of the story that Informatica for a long time has declined to participate in Forrester’s PIM assessments.
  • Akeneo, who is a new vendor among the major players, and has a better debut at Ventana than at Forrester.
  • Stibo Systems, who has been a leader at Forrester for some years but has moved down to a modest position at Ventana in the latest ranking.

Looking at assessing the vendors against the others is close to me as part of the Select Your Solution service on The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List. Here the assessment is based on the actual context, scope and requirements for you as a potential buyer (or someone who is helping a potential buyer). When doing that it is natural that a given vendor can be closest to the top right corner in some cases and not in other cases.

That analysts in a generic ranking reaches a different result only underpins that solution selection is not easy and requires a substantial knowledge about the available solutions, where they come from and where they are heading.

If you need help navigating in this jungle, ping me here:

Forrester PIM Wave Q2 2021

The Forrester Wave™ Product Information Management Q2 2021 is out.

In here, Forrester has identified the in their eyes 10 most significant solutions — Akeneo, Contentserv, IBM, Informatica, inRiver, Riversand, Salsify, Stibo Systems, Syndigo, and Winshuttle — and researched, analyzed, and scored them.

The previous PIM wave from 2018 was examined here on the blog in the post There is no PIM quadrant, but there is a PIM wave.

Here is the new one and the old one:

So, what is status quo and what has changed?

Status Quo

Stibo Systems is still close to the right top corner and thereby cementing their role as a leader in PIM.

Informatica still has a dysfunctional relationship with Forrester and has not participated in this report either. This has not helped with their positioning in the ranking.

IBM is still in the lower rankings.

Changed

Salsify has moved up and grown.

Riversand has moved up and grown a bit – and has been accompanied by Syndigo who by the way just bought them today.

Enterworks, now as part of Winshuttle, has moved down – but grown.

Contentserv has moved down and shrunk. So has inRiver.

Akeneo has entered the PIM wave.

SAP and Agility Multichannel (now part of Magnitude) has been dropped from this report.

Missing

Compared to Gartner, who only has a Master Data Management (MDM) Quadrant, Via Medici is a major MDM/PIM player missing in this report.

Get Your Free Bespoke MDM / PIM / DQM Solution List

Many analyst market reports in the Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM) space have a generic ranking of the vendors.

The trouble with generic ranking is that one size does not fit all.

On the sister site to this blog, The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List, there is no generic ranking. Instead there is a service where you can provide your organization’s context, scope and requirements and within 2 to 48 hours get Your Solution List.

The selection model includes these elements:

  • Your context in terms of geographical reach and industry sector.
  • Your scope in terms of data domains to be covered and organizational scale stretching from specific business units over enterprise-wide to business ecosystem wide (interenterprise).
  • Your specific requirements covering the main capabilities that differentiate the vendors on market.
  • Vendor capabilities.
  • A model that combines those facts into a rectangle where you can choose to:
    • Go ahead with a Proof of Concept with the best fit vendor
    • Make an RFP with the best fit vendors in a shortlist
    • Examine a longlist of best fit vendors and other alternatives like combining more than one solution.
The vendors included are both the major players on the market as well as emerging solutions with innovative offerings.

You can get your free solution list here.

10 Kinds of Product Information Needed Within Customization and Personalization

When working with Product Information Management (PIM) I usually divide the different kinds of information to be managed into some levels and groups as elaborated in the post 5 Product Data Levels to Consider.

The 10 groups of data in this 5-level scheme are all relevant for personalization of product data in the following way:

  1. A (prospective) customer may have some preferred brands which are recognized either by collection of preferences or identified through previous behaviour.
  2. The shopping context may dictate that some product codes like GTIN/UPC/EAN and industry specific product codes are relevant as part of the product presentation or if these codes will only be noise.
  3. The shopping context may guide the use of variant product descriptions as touched in the post What’s in a Product Name?
  4. The shopping context may guide the use of various product image styles.
  5. The shopping context may guide the range of product features (attributes) to be presented typically either on a primary product presentation screen and on a detailed specification screen.
  6. The shopping context and occasion may decide the additional product description assets (as certificates, line drawings, installation guides and more) to be presented.
  7. The shopping occasion may decide the product story to be told.
  8. The shopping occasion may decide the supplementary products as accessories and spare parts to be presented along with the product in focus.
  9. The shopping occasion may decide the complementary products as x-sell and up-sell candidates to be presented along with the product in focus.
  10. The shopping occasion may decide the advanced digital assets as brochures and videos to be presented.   

The data collection track that can enable customization and personalization of product information is examined in the post The Roles of MDM in The Data Supply Chain.

Analyst MDM / PIM / DQM Solution Reports Update March 2021

Analyst firms occasionally publish market reports with a generic solution overview for Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM).

Here is an overview of the latest major reports:

MDM PIM DQM solutions analyst firms

3 ways to learn more:

  • You can check out many of the included solutions on The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List.
  • You can get a free ranking that also include the rising stars on the solution market and is based on your context, scope and requirements here.
  • You can book a free short online meeting with me for further discussion on your business case as part of my engagement at the consultancy firm Astrocytia here.

4 Supplier Product Data Onboarding Scenarios

When working with Product Information Management (PIM) and Product Master Data Management (Product MDM) one of the most important and challenging areas is how you effectively onboard product master data / product information for products that you do not produce inhouse.

There are 4 main scenarios for that:

  • Onboarding product data for resell products
  • Onboarding product data for raw materials and packaging
  • Onboarding product data for parts used in MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operation)
  • Onboarding product data for indirect products

Onboarding product data for resell products

This scenario is the main scenario for distributors/wholesalers, retailers and other merchants. However, most manufactures also have a range of products that are not produced inhouse but are essential supplements when selling own produced products.

The process involves getting the most complete set of product information available from the supplier in order to fit the optimal set of product information needed to support a buying decision by the end customer. With the increase of online sales, the buying decision today is often self-serviced. This has dramatically increased the demand for product information throughput.

Onboarding product data for raw materials and packaging

This scenario exists at manufacturers of products. Here the objective is to get product information needed to do quality assurance and in organic production apply the right blend in order to produce a consistent finished product.

Also, the increasing demand for measures of sustainability is driving the urge for information on the provenance of the finished product and the packaging including the origin of the ingredients and circumstances of the production of these components.  

Onboarding product data for parts used in MRO

Product data for parts used in Maintenance, Repair and Operation is a main scenario at manufacturers related to running the production facilities. However, most organizations have facility management around logistic facilities, offices, and other constructions where products for MRO are needed.

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) these products are becoming more and more intelligent and are operated in an automatic way. For that, product information is needed in an until now unseen degree.

Onboarding product data for indirect products

Every organization needs products and services as furniture, office supplies, travel services and much more. The need for onboarding product data for these purchases is still minimal compared to the above-mentioned scenarios. However, a foreseeable increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in procurement operations will ignite the requirement for product data onboarding for this scenario too in the coming years.

The Need for Collaborative Product Data Syndication

The sharp rise of the need product data onboarding calls for increased collaboration between suppliers and Business-to-Business (B2B) customers. It is here worth noticing, that many organizations have both roles in one or the other scenario. The discipline that is most effectively applied to solve the challenges is Product Data Syndication. This is further explained in the post Inbound and Outbound Product Data Syndication.

Select Your MDM / PIM / DQM Solution Yearly Report

I am running a service where organizations on the look for a Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and/or Data Quality Management (DQM) solution can get a list of the best fit solutions for their context, scope and requirements. The service is explained in more details in the post Get Your Free Bespoke MDM / PIM / DQM Solution Ranking.

Requests

2020 was a busy year for this service. There were 176 requests for a list. About half of them came, as far as I can tell, from end user organizations and the other half came from consultancies who are helping end user organizations with finding the right tool vendor. Requests came from all continents (except Antarctica) with North America and Europe as the big chunks. There were requests from most industries thus representing a huge span in context.

Also, there where requests from a variety in organization sizes which has given insights beyond what the prominent analyst firms obtain.

It has been a pleasure also to receive feedback from requesters which has helped calibrating the selection model and verifying the insights derived from the context, scope and requirements given.

Results

The variety in context, scope and requirements resulted in having 8 different vendor logos in top-right position and 25 different logos in all included in the 7 to 9 sized best fit extended longlists in the dispatched Your Solution Lists during 2020.

Call-To-Action

If you are on the look for a solution, you can use the service here.

If you are a vendor in the MDM / PIM / DQM space, you can register your solution here.

For more information, reach out to me here:

MDM / PIM / DQM Case Studies

The Disruptive List of MDM / PIM / DQM Solutions is growing both in terms of the solutions presented and the content provided on the list.

The latest piece of content is the Case Study List.

This is a list of case studies from innovative solution providers. The aim is to give inspiration for organizations having the quest to implement or upgrade their Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and/or Data Quality Management (DQM) capability.

The list is divided into industries, so you can have an overview of case studies from organizations comparable to your organization.

Check out the list here.

Analyst MDM / PIM / DQM Solution Reports Update August 2020

Analyst firms occasionally publish market reports with a generic solution overview for Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Data Quality Management (DQM).

Here is an overview of the latest major reports:

Analyst MDM PIM DQM reports

3 ways to learn more: 

  • You can check out many of the included solutions on The Disruptive MDM / PIM / DQM List.
  • You can get a free ranking that also include the rising stars on the solution market and is based on your context, scope and requirements here.
  • You can book a free short online meeting with me for further discussion on your business case as part of my engagement at the consultancy firm Astrocytia here.