Focusing Solely on PIM is Short Sighted Thinking – If Your Customer is at Your Heart

Focusing Solely on PIM is Short Sighted

Who remembers the closing scene in the James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan?

Elektra: I could have given you the world, James.
Bond: The world is not enough.
How does James Bond fit into the world of data?

Focusing Solely on product information is short sighted thinking, if your customer is at your heart. Have you read my blog: The New Age of Relationships? If you haven’t, I highly encourage you to do so 🙂

I am happy and proud that many in the data management space, in retail, CPG and in manufacturing know me for my engagement in Product Information Management (PIM) and omnichannel customer experience.

This September, Informatica introduced our latest product information management application: Informatica MDM – Product 360. The latest application for product information management installments leverages the full power and capabilities of Informatica’s Intelligent Data platform. MDM – Product 360 delivers a unified user experience, embedded data quality engine, embedded  Business Process Management, unified search and metadata. It is built on Informatica’s market-leading MDM architecture, inheriting all of its capabilities and strengths. This enables Informatica customers to start smart and grow fast, making it easy to adapt to both market changes and the competitive landscape. Product 360 is one of Informatica’s master data fueled apps, together with Supplier 360 and more to come, it allows our customers to leverage the full power of Multidomain MDM and ready to use, out of the box business applications (And there are more at like Rev for data preparation online, or Secure@Source for data security).

Is PIM Dead?

Our strategy is to strengthen the leading position of our multidomain MDM solution for consolidate any and all master data domains and leverage the potential of relationship insights between this data. Informatica wants to provide the best flexibility to our customers to adapt to future needs. In addition to this Informatica offers trusted master data fueled applications for dedicated use cases, industries and roles. One might also call them MDM-ready apps.

One important use case is the collaboration for new product introduction across all channels. This fall a new paradigm in the digital workplace is being established (read the blog here). Product information management (PIM) remains a core discipline beneath the Master Data Management umbrella.

As a consequence, we decided to embrace the changing market trends, and worked closely with leading industry analysts to help us on our path to evolving the name of our application.

Formerly known as Informatica PIM, the new name is “Informatica MDM – Product 360”. It empowers our customers with the flexibility to start small and grow fast, as the needs and requirements demand it.

Considering the acquisition of product data, the enrichment of product data and the omnichannel distribution of product data as an independent process is too short-sighted.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not implying PIM is no longer necessary. An industry analyst told me in a one-on-one discussion that (s)he is even seeing a renaissance of the importance the PIM-use case in 2015. Speeding up product introduction will always key in a fast changing world, and PIM apps play a key role in it. Digital organization now need to see the big picture and the be prepared for the next evolution, leveraging the power to data.

Today small companies and late moving markets for MDM adoption continue to issue RFPs for PIM. This is what I have previously experienced 6 years ago in Europe and North America.

Why is this?

The scope of responsibilities for the VP of supply chain, VP of Ecommerce and VP of marketing are very different. One cares about supplier performance, one focuses on online conversion, and one is passionate about understanding the customer. So everyone has a specific set of priorities with regards to the data they care most about. Will they all invest in different disconnected apps that only solve their individual problems?

Will CDOs change this?

Yes, yes and yes. Chief data officers, chief digital officers, Chief Customer Officers or Modern CIOs have already executed on leveraging the potential of relationships between data. I recently listened to Sutter Health, who implemented 5 master data domains in 9 months. They driver was the need for knowledge about the relationships between clinical trials, patients, medications and more to better improve patient care. My view of the chief data or digital officer is that they see the value of relationships – by that, I mean the data relationships. A modern CDO will help the business leaders in supply chain, marketing, sales and other functions by providing solutions that make their job more efficient or realize growth objectives. This said, the CDO will drive the development of an information architecture which is flexible for change and leverages the connectivity of data.

A Gartner study cited that by 2016 customer experience will be the number one differentiator for any company. Great product information for decision-making is just one piece of the complex puzzle. What about the 360 view of your customer providing visibility to all of her points of interaction, including household, social and business relations? What about oprtimizing the sourcing of raw materials or the efficient onboarding of suppliers (360 View of Suppliers) to ensure the ability to deliver in the high season? At which location (warehouse or store) is the product available to ship from to best fulfill an order?


In the prior PIM-centric world, it was all about having the right product at the right time for the right customer. While this remains an admirable goal, in today’s digital workplace  one also needs to ensure employees get the right data at the right time exactly when they need it. Let your people do the right things for your customer, for your shareholders and for each other.

Another version of the ending scene

One could say: I could have given you the new-to-world PIM.
Chief Data Officer Bond: PIM is great, but not enough. My marekting and supply chain need to speed up product introductions, but I really want to offer the right product to the right customer profile.

So when do I need MDM and when do it need MDM fueld apps?

Business leaders who understand the value of information need a flexible multidomain MDM foundation for consolidation, delivery &  identify relationships across all data domains and sources to gain a 360 view of all business critical data. It is the foundation to start mall and grow fast to adopt to frequently changing business needs. The new future proven MDM solutions also offer Master Data  Fueled Apps. These are purpose built apps for specific industries, roles & use cases. They are designed to allow companies to strategically and securely manage, enrich and collaborate on the master data needed for a particular business process, such as supplier onboarding, customer onboarding or product introduction. They come with a tailord user interface, business logic and workflows, all inheriting the user experience and architecture from the MDM platform. Informatica offers MDM – Product 360 and MDM – Supplier 360 to address two key business areas.

Thoughts? Happy to discuss @benrund and @infaMDM


  • asha aanand


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