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        Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

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        IBM Named an Innovative Vendor in the 2021 PIM Value Index

        We are happy to share some insights about IBM Product Master drawn from our latest Value Index research, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.

        VR_VI_PIM_Logo (9)We published the Ventana Research Value Index: Product Information Management, the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts. To assess functionality, one of the components of Capability, we applied the Ventana Research Value Index methodology and blueprint, which links the personas and processes for PIM to an organization’s requirements.

        In all of our Value Indexes, we utilize a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal and vendor selection process for PIM software. We evaluated IBM and 15 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability) and two related to the vendor (Vendor Validation and Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our expertise and research.

        IBM has been in the data management market for some time, and its evolution to PIM and master data management came through acquisitions. Through its product, IBM Product Master, the vendor is bringing renewed focus to the PIM software category. It was categorized as an Innovative Vendor and ranked eighth overall in the Value Index. IBM performed its best in Capability.

        IBM’s reenergized efforts in PIM are from its continuous and longer standing investment to utilize its history and knowledge in mastering data with customers and product data.IBM addresses the broader set of needs for catalogs and the content and digital assets required for enterprise-use cases. It will need to shift further to maximize its focus on product experiences and the requirements to simulate and visualize products in their usage.

        Ventana_Research_Value_Index_PIM_Vendor_Chart_2021_IBMIBM could improve its availability and communications in its customer experience, and in the TCO/ROI details it provides to potential and existing customers. Its product would improve in Usability if it strengthened its overall approach to broader sets of personas and the competencies and skills of everyone participating in the PIM processes.

        This assessment was based on IBM’s product information management applications available at end of December of 2020 — IBM Product Master Version 12.0, Fix Pack 2. Since the release of the Value Index, Fix Pack 3 in June added further support for IBM WebSphere, simple mail transfer protocol, security assertion markup language 2.0 and enhancements to security and usability.

        The role of PIM for every organization is to ensure the most accurate and engaging product information that supports the customer, enterprise and product lifecycle requirements. Providing effective product information is the foundation to providing an engaging digital experience that meets the needs of marketing, commerce and the digital shelf. Organizations should make PIM and product experiences a priority for continuous process improvement, and perform an assessment of existing process and technological approaches, adopt best practices and ensure the effectiveness of product information being utilized for revenue, operations and supply chain processes.

        This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of product information management software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.


        Mark Smith


        Mark Smith
        Partner, Head of Software Research

        Mark Smith is the Partner, Head of Software Research at ISG and Ventana Research leading the global market agenda as a subject matter expert in digital business and enterprise software. Mark is a digital technology enthusiast using market research and insights to educate and inspire enterprises, software and service providers.


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