Solutions for Handling Product Master Data and Digital Assets

There are three kinds of solutions for handling product master data and related digital assets:

  • Master Data Management (MDM) solutions that are either focussed on product master data or being a multi-domain MDM solution covering the product domain as well as the party domain, the location domain, the asset domain and more.
  • Product Information Management (PIM) solutions.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions.

According to Gartner Analyst Simon Walker a short distinction is:

  • MDM of product master data solutions help manage structured product data for enterprise operational and analytical use cases
  • PIM solutions help extend structured product data through the addition of rich product content for sales and marketing use cases
  • DAM solutions help users create and manage digital multimedia files for enterprise, sales and marketing use cases

The below figure shows what kind of data that is typically included in respectively an MDM solution, a PIM solution and/or a DAM solution.

MDM PIM DAM

This is further elaborated in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together.

The solution vendors have varying offerings going from being best-of-breed in one of the three categories to offering a OneStopShopping solution for all disciplines.

If you are to compile a list of suitable and forward-looking solutions for MDM, PIM and/or DAM for your required mix, you can start looking at The Disruptive List of MDM/PIM/DAM solutions.

Who is on The Disruptive MDM / PIM List?

The Disruptive Master Data Management Solutions List is a sister site to this blog. This site is aimed to be a list of available:

  • Master Data Management (MDM) solutions
  • Customer Data Integration (CDI) solutions
  • Product Information Management (PIM) solutions
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions.

You can use this site as an alternative to the likes of Gartner, Forrester, MDM Institute and others when selecting a MDM / CDI / PIM / DAM solution, not at least because this site will include both larger and smaller disruptive MDM solutions.

Vendors can register their solutions here and the crowd, being processional users, can review the solutions.

So far these solutions have been listed:

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Reltio provides all the benefits of cloud like simplicity, scale, and security. On top of that, Reltio breaks down data silos by providing a unified data set with personalized views of data across departments like sales, marketing and compliance. Learn more about Reltio Cloud here.

thumbnailRiversand is an innovative global pioneer in information management. The powerful MDM, PIM and DAM solution help enterprises to transform their raw data into an engine of growth by making data usable, useful and meaningful. Learn more about Riversand here.

Semarchy IconSemarchy xDM is a platform that enables Intelligent MDM and Collaborative Data Governance. It leverages smart algorithms, an agile design, and scales to meet enterprise complexity with solid ROI. Learn more about Semarchy xDM here.

Contentserv thumbContentserv offers a real-time Product Experience Platform being recognized and recommended by international analysts as one of the top worldwide innovators and strong performers in the PIM & MDM space. Learn more about Contentserv here.

ewEnterWorks, which recently was joint with Winshuttle is a multi-domain master data solution for acquiring, managing and transforming a company’s multi-domain master data into persuasive and personalized content for marketing, sales, digital commerce and new market opportunities. Learn about Enterworks here.

SyncForce-plus-icon

SyncForce helps international consumer & professional packaged goods manufacturers realize Epic Availability. With SyncForce, your product portfolio is digitally available with a click of a button, in every shape and form, both internal and external. Learn about SyncForce here.

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Dynamicweb PIM brings you fewer applications, integrations and systems. It is fast and inexpensive to implement and maintain, because it is part of an all-in-one platform for omni-channel commerce. Learn more about Dynamicweb PIM here.

Agility thumbAgility® empowers marketers to acquire, enrich and deliver accurate and timely product content through every touchpoint, channel and region along with the analytical support required to maximize effectiveness in the market. Learn more about Agility here.

Magnitude thumbMagnitude Software’s Master Data Management solution offers enterprises the core capabilities to model multiple data entities, harmonize the data sources and manage governance processes for reference data and master data. Learn more about Magnitude MDM here.

AllsightAllSight, which is now a part of Informatica, is using state-of-the-art AI-driven technology in an MDM and Customer 360 solution. AllSight matches and links all customer data and provides multiple views of the customer for different users.

Smallest

Product Data Lake, which is affiliated to this blog, is a cloud service for sharing product master data in the business ecosystems of manufacturers, distributors, merchants, marketplaces and large end users of product information. Learn more about Product Data Lake here.

Disruptive MDM M and A

 

Governing Product Information

The title of this blog post is also the title of a presentation I will do at the 2019 Data Governance and Information Quality Conference in San Diego, US in June.

There is a little difference between how we can exercise data governance and information quality management when we are handling data about products versus handling the most common data domain being party data (customer, vendor/supplier, employee and other roles).

Multi-Domain MDM and Data Quality DimensionsThis topic was touched here on the blog in the post called Data Quality for the Product Domain vs the Party Domain.

The conference session will go through these topics:

  • Product master data vs. product information
  • How Master Data Management (MDM), Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) stick together
  • The roles of 1st party data, 2nd party data and 3rd party data in MDM, PIM and DAM
  • Business ecosystem wide product data management
  • Cross company data governance and information quality alignment

You can have a look at the full agenda for the DGIQ 2019 Conference here.

dgiq 2019

Seven Flavors of MDM

Master Data Management (MDM) can take many forms. An exciting side of being involved in MDM implementations is that every implementation is a little bit different which also makes room for a lot of different technology options. There is no best MDM solution out there. There are a lot of options where some will be the best fit for a given MDM implementation.

The available solutions also change over the years – typically by spreading to cover more land in the MDM space.

In the following I will shortly introduce the basic stuff with seven flavours of MDM. A given MDM implementation will typically be focused on one of these flavours with some elements of the other flavors and a given piece of technology will have an origin in one of these flavours and in more or less degree encompass some more flavors.

7 flavours

The traditional MDM platform

A traditional MDM solution is a hub for master data aiming at delivering a single source of truth (or trust) for master data within a given organization either enterprise wide or within a portion of an enterprise. The first MDM solutions were aimed at Customer Data Integration (CDI), because having multiple and inconsistent data stores for customer data with varying data quality is a well-known pain point almost everywhere. Besides that, similar pain points exist around vendor data and other party roles, product data, assets, locations and other master data domains and dedicated solutions for that are available.

Product Information Management (PIM)

Special breed of solutions for Product Information Management aimed at having consistent product specifications across the enterprise to be published in multiple sales channels have been around for years and we have seen a continuously integration of the market for such solutions into the traditional MDM space as many of these solutions have morphed into being a kind of MDM solution.

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Not at least in relation to PIM we have a distinct discipline around handling digital assets as text documents, audio files, video and other rich media data that are different from the structured and granular data we can manage in data models in common database technologies. A post on this blog examines How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together.

Big Data Integration

The rise of big data is having a considerable influence on how MDM solutions will look like in the future. You may handle big data directly inside MDM og link to big data outside MDM as told in the post about The Intersection of MDM and Big Data.

Application Data Management (ADM)

Another area where you have to decide where master data stops and handling other data starts is when it comes to transactional data and other forms data handled in dedicated applications as ERP, CRM, PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and plenty of other industry specific applications. This conundrum was touched in a recent post called MDM vs ADM.

Multi-Domain MDM

Many MDM implementations focus on a single master data domain as customer, vendor or product or you see MDM programs that have a multi-domain vision, overall project management but quite separate tracks for each domain. We have though seen many technology vendors preparing for the multi-domain future either by:

  • Being born in the multi-domain age as for example Semarchy
  • Acquiring the stuff as for example Informatica and IBM
  • Extend from PIM as for example Riversand and Stibo Systems

MDM in the cloud

MDM follows the source applications up into the cloud. New MDM solutions naturally come as a cloud solution. The traditional vendors introduce cloud alternatives to or based on their proven on-promise solutions. There is only one direction here: More and more cloud MDM – also as customer as business partner engagement will take place in the cloud.

Ecosystem wide MDM

Doing MDM enterprise wide is hard enough. But it does not stop there. Increasingly every organization will be an integrated part of a business ecosystem where collaboration with business partners will be a part of digitalization and thus we will have a need for working on the same foundation around master data as reported in the post Ecosystem Wide MDM.

Welcome Riversand on The Disruptive MDM List

I am delighted to welcome Riversand as the next disruptive MDM / PIM / DAM solution on The Disruptive Master Data Management Solutions list.

As a European MDM and PIM (Product Information Management) practitioner I have followed Riversand’s growing presence on the European scene both through being on the customer side in solution selection activities, on conferences and on the social media community and I have watched that MDM / PIM peers as Mark Thorpe and Ben Rund have joined the company.

Riversand is in a very exciting development with a recent funding that is used to accelerate Riversand’s global expansion and for further investment in its disruptive MDM platform. See how Riversand presents themselves on The Disruptive MDM List here.

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7 Considerations to Choose Digital Asset Management Right

Today’s guest blog post from Rajneesh Kumar is about Digital Asset Management (DAM) and 7 key factors to consider when choosing an in-house solution for that discipline. 

DAM_Blog_Resize

Digital assets are an enduring force of great value. They are the fuel of the new economy as organizations strive to be increasingly digitally driven. The way ocean of digital assets is rising, it is essential more than ever to optimally manage every type of digital content.

Organizations today put so much effort to deliver responsive, personalized and engaging experiences. Digital content has a very important role to play here. And, digital asset management (DAM) solutions are becoming a strategic priority for organizations to manage rising volume of content, streamline and automate processes for efficiency and quality.

Digital asset management supports solutions (web content management, eCommerce, and campaign management) by managing omnichannel brand and rich media content across all channels.

It also helps store, access, distribute, repurpose, and monetize digital content.  In fact, a good DAM contributes directly to the bottom line.

Organizations recognize this fact. And they are looking to transform their digital asset management solutions to improve marketing and sales performance for higher ROI.

But, it depends on how big their assets are, how distributed they are and how much integration they need to do.

Organizations must make an informed decision before choosing any DAM solution. They must choose a solution that fits well with their structure. And, it must also enable them to adopt the solution quickly with business benefits.

Here are 7 key factors to consider when choosing a DAM platform:

Implementation- Digital asset management plays a critical role to improve brand consistency across campaigns and channels. It serves many roles inside and outside of an organization. Thus, it must support greater automation in managing global or local versions of assets, various renditions of assets across channels, and integration with key systems of engagement.

Integration- A digital asset management solution should integrate well with the existing infrastructure of the organization. It should be easy for creative workflow and approval, collaboration, and version control. Your DAM solution must also allow you to take advantage of deep integration with campaign management, marketing automation, and marketing technology platforms to boost marketing agility.

Management- It should offer the deeper capability to efficiently manage a diverse set of content at reduced cost and lesser hassle.  Because, DAM is a creative innovation lab for your marketing and sales team. It must reduce time spent searching for assets, streamline approval processes, make it easy to collaborate better with external stakeholders, and provide better visibility of current status.

Infrastructure- DAM should be compatible with existing as well as modern infrastructure (like cloud and mobility) so that unnecessary cost can be avoided in the long-run. A next-generation DAM system must take advantage of the cloud and mobility to make access and sharing easier among all teams wherever and whenever they require.

Security- It must provide robust security, metadata, and workflow capabilities — along with the scalability to support or add n-numbers of assets.

Rich media capability- Today, rich media is created in bulk. The DAM solution should provide strong support for audio, video, and images (with the format conversion capability as well as previews and editing capabilities on images and rich media) to support today’s responsive, cross-channel digital experiences.

Adoption- The DAM platform must be easily adopted by both internal and external teams (using role-based accessibility) so that business value can be realized as soon as possible. It must empower teams for better asset reuse, avoid duplication of effort and rework, and reduce the number of digital assets that are created but never used.

The bottom line is: It is not about what digital asset management platform you choose. But it is more about how a DAM solution enables you to create value around your entire asset cycle— improving collaboration, strengthening brands, accelerating campaigns, and increasing the ROI. Plus, delivering amazing customer experiences that you always strive for.

As digital marketer and growth hacker, Rajneesh Kumar is currently marketing manager at Pimcore Global Services (PGS), an award-winning consolidated open source platform for product information management (PIM), web content management (CMS), digital asset management (DAM) and e-commerce.

Product Data Management is Like an Ironman

cofToday we have an Ironman passing through the streets of Copenhagen (and my breakfast). Kudos to the women and men who first have been on a swim lane of 3.86 km (2.4 miles), now is cycling 180.25 km (112 miles) and then will run a full Marathon of 42.2 km (26.22 miles).

Thinking about it doing product data management is a bit like an Ironman too. Overall it is a daunting task. And we have three disciplines to cover:

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) is an activity where many organizations start. It is about handling product images in various sizes and versions along the way, as well as, depending on the product category, installation guides, line drawings, data sheets and other documents. Also videos with that and other content is becoming popular.
  • Product Information Management (PIM) is about maintaining hundreds (sometimes thousands) of different attributes describing a product. Some of these attributes are common for most products (like height, weight and colour) and some are very specific for a given product category.
  • Master Data Management (MDM) is a Marathon in itself. Here you link the above product data with product data in the overall system landscape including ERP, SCM (Supply Chain Management) and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). Product data also forms the product domain that must be aligned with the location domain, asset domain, party domain and perhaps other domains in your MDM world.

How these disciplines stick together within your organization and your digital ecosystem was further examined in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together.

Master Data, Product Information, Digital Assets and Digital Ecosystems

When it comes to mastering product data there are these three kinds of data and supporting managing disciplines and solutions:

  • Master data and the supporting Master Data Management (MDM) discipline and a choice of MDM solutions for the technology part
  • Product information and the supporting Product Information Management (PIM) discipline and a choice of PIM solutions for the technology part
  • Digital assets and the supporting Digital Asset Management (DAM) discipline and a choice of DAM solutions for the technology part

What these disciplines are and how the available solutions relate was examined in the post How MDM, PIM and DAM Sticks Together. This post includes a model for that proposed by Simon Walker of Gartner (the analyst firm).

The right mix for your company depends on your business model and you will also have the choice of using a best of breed technology solution for your focus, that being MDM, PIM or DAM, as well as there are choices for a same branded solution, and in some cases also actually integrated solution, that supports MDM, PIM and DAM.

When selecting a (product) data management platform today you also must consider how this platform supports taking part in digital ecosystems, here meaning how you share product data with your trading partners in business ecosystems.

For the digital platform part supporting interacting with master data, product information and digital assets with your trading partners, who might have another focus than you, the solution is Product Data Lake.

MDM PIM DAM PDL

How MDM, PIM and DAM Stick Together

When working with product data I usually put the data into this five level model:

Five levels

The model is explained in the post Five Product Data Levels.

A recent post by Simon Walker of Gartner, the analyst firm, outlined the possible system landscape. The post is called Creating the 360-Degree view of Product.

MCM-v1.0-284x300

Simon defines these three kind of platforms for managing a 360 degree product data view:

  • MDM of product master data solutions help manage structured product data for enterprise operational and analytical use cases
  • PIM solutions help extend structured product data through the addition of rich product content for sales and marketing use cases
  • DAM solutions help users create and manage digital multimedia files for enterprise, sales and marketing use cases

These two models fit quite well together:

MDM PIM DAM.png

And oh, when it comes to creating a business ecosystem digital platform for exchanging product data with trading partners, the best model looks like this:

MDM PIM DAM PDL

Learn more about Product Data Lake here.

PIM, Product MDM and Multi-Domain MDM

Over on the Informatica Perspectives blog Monica McDonnell of Informatica seems to be determined to separate Product Information Management (PIM) and Product Master Data Management (Product MDM) as we now have the second attempt in the post PIM is not Product MDM Part 2.

I can easily see the reason for this quest for Informatica, as Informatica will very much like to position the Heiler acquisition as an Informatica Multi-Domain MDM aware PIM solution as mentioned in the post MDM Aware MDM Solutions.

There will always be pros and cons for having capabilities delivered in smaller best of breed packages opposed to in larger integrated packages. On the MDM market the vendors pitch their offerings according to how they got there. SAP is using Hybris as an eCommerce focused PIM add-on to SAP. On the other hand Stibo Systems and Riversand have been adding MDM to PIM and now adds Multi-Domain to MDM as reported in the post The second part of the Multi-Domain MDM Magic Quadrant is out.

In the PIM / Product MDM realm we have several other considerations on how to address different disciplines with technology support. An important capability within PIM is Digital Asset Management (DAM) as described in the post Digital Assets and Product MDM. DAM can be a separate application or part of PIM / Product MDM. Technology support for Data Governance could also come separately as reported in the post Data governance tools: The new snake oil?

QuadrantNow, back to PIM versus Product MDM. I’m not sure it is wise to divorce these two. It seems to be a kind of back looking exercise. I would like to marry them as part of looking forward in a multi-domain MDM world. To catch up on Monica’s arguments PIM has been much about the sell-side of things. I think we should be better at integrating the buy-side and the sell-side of Product MDM / PIM as examined in the post An Alternative Multi-Domain MDM Quadrant.

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