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Informatica PIM 7.1 Briefing

Ben Rund Briefs the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank on Informatica PIM 7.1

In early September, Ben Rund from Informatica was kind enough to give the Hub Designs MDM Think Tank a briefing on Informatica PIM 7.1, the latest release of the company’s Product MDM solution. Ben is a Senior Director of Product Marketing for PIM & Procurement.

The session was an update on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of Informatica’s acquisition of Heiler, and covered the features and functionality in the latest PIM release.

Business Update

Informatica was able to retain all but one of the key players from Heiler through the acquisition process with only CEO and founder Rolf Heiler retiring as expected. Due to both staff retention at Heiler and related acquisitions along with new hiring, Informatica now claims to have the largest development team in the MDM industry, with 200+ resources in locations like Stuttgart, Toronto, Bangalore, and St. Petersburg.

The MDM and PIM business unit contributed 25% of Informatica’s first quarter revenue in 2014, with 250+ PIM customers and a total of 800+ MDM customers. The company has built a global sales force, and has a network of system integrators and boutique partners in place. Informatica is investing heavily in product management and sales initiatives.

The company has rolled solutions like Address Doctor (now part of Informatica Data Quality) and Strike Iron (a cloud-based data quality and data enrichment solution) into its MDM/PIM team, under the names of “Information Quality Solutions”.

What’s Changed

Informatica is working on impact selling to large enterprises. Prior to the acquisition, Heiler targeted mostly midsize companies. Customers beyond Heiler’s traditional geographic base, as well as large enterprises absolutely believe in Informatica’s ability to deliver. And customer wins have been helping the company invest in new capabilities for the platform.

The company has been helping large manufacturers, retailers and distributors and consumer packaged goods companies transform themselves to be more customer-centric.

Informatica PIM is supporting “the informed purchase journey” – where customers are using more information sources than ever, such as Google, a company’s web site, other web sites and mobile apps.

Four New Features in PIM 7.1

(1) Informatica PIM 7.1 now has built-in data quality dashboards, presenting an aggregated view of the quality of product information. These dashboards allow business users to track the status of their product information, as well as their own tasks and team tasks.

(2) Informatica has also integrated a powerful process automation product it acquired, Active Endpoints. In our opinion, product information management is one of the use cases that benefits most from increasing collaboration. Business process management – especially the workflow aspect of it – helps increase the velocity of changes to data, while still providing for careful oversight of who is making what changes. The key will be control workflows which work across Informatica applications and beyond (like ERP, when a new product was created).

(3) PIM 7.1 now supports different editable previews of product information for difference channels. So users can edit product data in the context of an output channel such as the web, a smartphone / tablet app, a print catalog, etc. PIM 7.1 now supports 4 of the top 5 e-commerce platforms (IBM WebSphere Commerce, Oracle ATG, Demandware, INtershop).

Informatica Product Data Management

(4) Informatica PIM 7.1 now has a built-in connector for GS1’s Global Data Synchronization Network. This provides an easy mapping of item attributes to and from GS1 GDSN standards, and is a big win for manufacturers, distributors and retailers. GS1 is an international non-profit association, dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility of supply and demand chains.

Informatica GDSN Connector Overview

Informatica PIM Release 7.1 has been shipping since July 2014. The Forrester Wave positions Informatica PIM as a Leader, and the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Master Data Management of Product Data Solutions positions the Informatica solution as “Visionary”.

The company’s next Informatica World will be held in May 2015 in Las Vegas, and there is a World Tour 2014 which still has a few dates in 2014.

Summary

Informatica has done a good job in the year or so since it acquired Heiler by retaining key people and integrating the Heiler technology into the other information management solutions it provides.

Like any other product information management situation, it’s a good idea to:

  • have all of your business and IT people on the same page through some up-front education,
  • perform a current state assessment so you know where you’re starting from,
  • develop a strategic roadmap that lays out your vision for the next few years,
  • select the right solution through an objective selection process, and
  • develop a compelling business case and socialize it with your company’s senior leadership.

And don’t forget that creating a robust information governance function in your company is a critical success factor for your product information management and MDM efforts.

Image credits: all graphics provided by Informatica.

About The Author

Dan Power is the publisher of Hub Designs Magazine, and the Founder & President of Hub Designs, a global consulting firm focused on strategy development, solution delivery and thought leadership for master data management (MDM) and information governance. If you need help with any of the things mentioned in this article, please reach out to us at http://hubdesigns.com/contact.

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