I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Product Information Management 2021 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to product information management software vendors supporting the spectrum of business intelligence. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the Product Experience ﹘ Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability ﹘ and two related to the Customer Experience ﹘ Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation.
This research-based index evaluates the full business and information technology value of product information management software offerings. I encourage you to learn more about our Value Index and its effectiveness as a vendor selection and request for information/request for proposal tool.
This Value Index report evaluates the following vendors that offer products to address key elements of PIM as we define it: Akeneo, Bluestone PIM, Contentserv Group AG, IBM Corporation, Informatica LLC, Innovit Inc., inRiver AB, Magnitude Software Inc., Oracle Corporation, Perfion ApS, Pimcore GmbH, Riversand Technologies Inc., Salsify Inc., Stibo Systems, Viamedici Software GmbH and Winshuttle LLC.We assessed all vendors with the same request for information and conducted a thorough review of all documentation, release notes, videos and information that represents the vendor and products for PIM. In addition, we utilized all information from briefings, conferences and any other event that we have been invited to, including live events or replays. This report includes products generally available as of April 30, 2021.
Unlike many IT analyst firms that rank vendors from an IT-only perspective, or consider the future state or vision over what is available in the products today, 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. This approach not only reduces cost and time but also minimizes the risk of making a decision that is bad for the business. Using the Value Index will enable your organization to maximize PIM to achieve the levels of organizational efficiency and effectiveness needed to create engaging digital experiences that meet the needs of buyers, consumers, customers and partners.
We urge organizations to do a thorough job of evaluating PIM offerings in this Value Index as both the results of our in-depth analysis of these vendors and as an evaluation methodology. The Value Index can be used to evaluate existing suppliers, plus provides evaluation criteria for new projects. Using it can shorten the cycle time for an RFP.
The 2021 Value Index for Product Information Management finds Informatica first on the list, followed by Akeneo and Pimcore.
Companies that rated in the top three of any category ﹘ including the product and customer experience dimensions ﹘ earn the designation Value Index Leader. The Value Index leaders in Product Experience are:
Leaders in Customer Experience are:
Value Index Leaders across any of the seven categories are:
- Akeneo, which has achieved this rating in six of the seven categories.
- Informatica, in five categories.
- Pimcore, in four categories.
- Magnitude, in three categories.
- Salsify, in two categories.
- Riversand, in one category.
The overall Value Index performance chart provides a visual representation of how vendors rate across product and customer experience. Vendors with products scoring higher in a weighted rating of the five Product Experience categories place farther to the right. The combination of ratings for the two Customer Experience categories determines the placement on the vertical axis. As a result, vendors that place closer to the upper right are “exemplary” and rated higher than those closer to the lower left and identified as vendors of “merit.” Vendors that excelled at customer experience over product experience have an “assurance” rating, and those excelling instead in product experience have an “innovative” rating.
There is a high degree of commonality in how organizations handle product information management. There are many idiosyncrasies and differences that can make one vendor’s offering a better fit than another. After more than a decade of technological advances, all the products we evaluated are feature-rich, but not all the capabilities they offer are equally valuable to users. Moreover, the existence of too many capabilities may be a negative factor for an organization if it introduces unnecessary complexity. Nonetheless, an organization may decide that a larger number of options is a plus, especially if some of them match its established practices or better support a new initiative that is driving the purchase of new software.
Features, functions and vendor assessments are not the only deciding factors. For example, an organization may face budget constraints such that the TCO evaluation can tip the scale to one vendor or another. This is where the Value Index methodology and appropriate weighting can be applied to determine the best fit of vendors and products to an organization’s specific needs.
Our firm has made every effort to encompass in this Value Index the overall Product and Customer Experience from our product information management blueprint, which we believe reflects what a well-crafted RFP should contain. Even so, there may be additional areas that affect which vendor and products best fit an organization’s particular requirements. Therefore, while this research is complete as it stands, utilizing it in your own organizational context is critical to ensure that products deliver the highest level of support for your projects.
You can find more details on our site as well as in the Value Index Market Report.