The 2015 Value Index for Product Information Management finds that the companies that deliver the highest value, as determined using a rigorous research-based methodology, are Stibo Systems, Informatica, Agility Multichannel, Riversand, Enterworks, SAP, WebOn and Oracle. All qualify as Hot vendors, the highest category. The Value Index places ADAM Software and IBM as Warm vendors.
This Value Index is designed to help organizations manage the number and diversity of products and services they offer to customers and partners. As competition intensifies, they increasingly need to address limitations in the ways they manage and distribute product information, including how related attributes and content that describes the products is managed. Using this Value Index, business and IT organizations - especially those in product and operations roles - will be able to evaluate PIM software and examine software vendors' offerings in the context of their own business and technology requirements.
Ventana Research's Value Indexes are the product of more than two decades of experience in and knowledge of the market and of in-depth analyses of technology suppliers' products and the buying support those suppliers offer. The Value Index for Product Information Management is based on a comprehensive examination of vendors' products and their ability to support the full span of processes and methodologies used in product information management. It examines vendors' products in seven evaluation categories - five that evaluate the products' ability to support the evolving business processes associated with product information management and two that address the customer assurance categories of vendor validation and total cost of ownership/return on investment. It offers a guide to making informed investments, which can maximize an organization's ability to use these tools to gain insights to support business decision-making and help to gain competitive advantage.
Ventana Research defines product information management as the information, applications and other technology used to effectively support product-related processes across the customer, commerce and supply chain. To accomplish this, PIM software must support multiple business roles - from product managers and marketers to operations and manufacturing teams and to suppliers and those in the supply chain - and the effective management of information about products. The goal of PIM is to establish a reliable single source of product information that can be shared across channels. This can be challenging, as more than one-quarter of organizations have more than 10 sources of product information that they must integrate and manage efficiently.
"Product information management is not the same as master data management (MDM), although the two sometimes are confused. This misunderstanding can distract businesses from focusing on what they need in a PIM application.," said Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer of Ventana Research. "This value index research provides the level of detail required to assess existing product information management software and processes using a balanced set of real world-based evaluation criteria. Unlike other analyst firms' futuristic ratings that look minimally at the products' and technologies' fit for business and processes, we are able to quickly provide no-nonsense guidance that is immediately applicable to an organization's real needs."
Each Value Index is the result of a detailed evaluation of the suitability-to-task of each offering's capabilities as well as the product's usability, manageability, reliability and adaptability. These aspects of the evaluation are designed to mirror how organizations conduct RFIs and RFPs; they are unique to the Value Index report and are not found in any depth in other analyst firms' ratings, which often include only limited, if any, evaluation of actual products. Unlike the Ventana Research Value Index, those reports are based on customer lists and revenue of the vendors being evaluated. In contrast, this independently produced, research-based Value Index will help organizations confidently assess software and also develop the proper RFI/RFP to support a well-designed and efficient selection process.
As part of its evaluation, the Value Index also assesses the effectiveness of each vendor's support for the buying process and customer assurance. It gauges the value offered by a vendor and its products and presents the results in a clear and accessible graphic representation of a thermometer and in a precise numerical index. Technology vendors earning the highest Hot and Warm vendor classifications are those that Ventana Research has concluded are most or more able to deliver value to buyers based on a thorough evaluation and audit - that is, based on research and verifiable facts. The Value Index is not just a selection of "cool" products; rather than evaluating a vendor primarily on its vision or market execution, the Index provides specific numerical ratings, both overall and for each of the seven components of the Value Index, for technology buyers to consider. Organizations can use the Value Index as a guide to assess existing technology providers and determine if their provider best meets their needs today and in the future.
"Unlike many IT analyst firms that rank vendors from an MDM or IT-only perspective, Ventana Research has designed the Value Index to provide a balanced perspective of vendors and products that is rooted in an understanding of business drivers and needs," Smith noted. "It moves beyond just a feature review and vision of products or surveying vendors' customers, which are only a small part of what should be done in assessing the market of vendors and products. This limited approach by other analyst firms increases the risk of selecting and using the wrong technology for business by influencing IT with limited information and research."
The benefits of using dedicated PIM technology can be significant. Benchmark research by Ventana Research finds that more than 40 percent of organizations say it can help eliminate data errors, improve cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and improve the customer experience through consistent product information.
This new Value Index is a fully independent, research-based undertaking. It is neither sponsored nor influenced by technology vendors and is conducted solely in pursuit of Ventana Research's mission to provide value to business and IT through benchmark assessments, workshops and advisory services. Ventana Research's goal is to help guide organizations to optimal efficiency in their use of technology investments for business and IT. To learn more and receive a complimentary executive summary of the 2015 Value Index for Product Information Management, please visit http://www.ventanaresearch.com/PIMValueIndex/ .
About Ventana Research
Ventana Research is the most authoritative and respected benchmark business technology research and advisory services firm. We provide insight and expert guidance on mainstream and disruptive technologies through a unique set of research-based offerings including benchmark research and technology evaluation assessments, education workshops and our research and advisory services, Ventana On-Demand. Our unparalleled understanding of the role of technology in optimizing business processes and performance and our best practices guidance are rooted in our rigorous research-based benchmarking of people, processes, information and technology across business and IT functions in every industry. This benchmark research plus our market coverage and in-depth knowledge of hundreds of technology providers means we can deliver education and expertise to our clients to increase the value they derive from technology investments while reducing time, cost and risk.
Ventana Research provides the most comprehensive analyst and research coverage in the industry; business and IT professionals worldwide are members of our community and benefit from Ventana Research's insights, as do highly regarded media and association partners around the globe. Our views and analyses are distributed daily through blogs and social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. To learn how Ventana Research advances the maturity of organizations' use of information and technology through benchmark research, education and advisory services, visit www.ventanaresearch.com.
Media: Copies of the Value Index report and analyst interviews are available upon request.
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