How Does PIM Stack Up to PCM Syndication Tools?

By Kerry Young on May 18, 2017

Product Information Management (PIM) is one of the core capabilities businesses look for in their search for advanced omnichannel commerce tools. Yet there’s much confusion around what separates an enterprise PIM solution with Product Content Management (PCM) and Syndication tools. There’s a myth floating around that PIM software isn’t able to adapt to today’s ecommerce environment in the same way PCM can. Cue the proverbial record scratch. It’s time to take a look at PIM vs. PCM, and clarify what truly separates the two.

Enterprise PIM Platform vs. Ecommerce PCM Syndication Tools

Ecommerce tools that offer PCM primarily focus on data enrichment and syndication. Enrichment refers to the ability to add or edit product descriptions, images, data taxonomies, etc. Syndication tools then help push the data out to a select group of external channels, partners or customers.

An enterprise PIM system accomplishes these same goals, however PIM goes further. In addition to Enrichment and Syndication, PIM enables Data Aggregation to collect and combine data from multiple sources, formatting it to create a centralized view of product information. Furthermore, PIM ensures Data Quality by normalizing and synchronizing your data.

In other words, PIM provides a “golden record” of your product data and content. This clean, rich content can then drive higher sales and competitive strengths across digital and physical channels.

To clarify even further, let’s look at what analyst firm Forrester says in its report on PIM solutions. According to Forrester, PCM and Syndication tools land in a completely separate category from PIM solutions. In The Forrester Wave™: Product Information Management Solutions, the analyst firm explains that:

“These mostly cloud-based tools, which include offerings from vendors like Salsify, primarily facilitate managing and exchanging product content among brands, distributors, and retailers.” Because they are not enterprise-grade data management platforms, eBusinesses will require that these PCM systems “sit on top of or connect to their existing data management infrastructure.”

To sum it up, PCM/Syndication are connectivity tools that solve a problem that lies at the end of the mile in the full PIM journey. They do not address the crucial process of ensuring “golden” data.

Choosing between PCM and PIM

There are many solutions that position PCM similarly to PIM. Yet despite their commonalities, there are vast differences between the two. Analysts and experts agree: Companies must take caution when considering a long-term solution to address today’s ultra-competitive omnichannel environment.

Part of the decision may lie in what your organization already has in place. And, what your goals are in terms of data quality, consistency, and seamless product content across digital and physical business channels.

The bottom line? Organizations – including eBusinesses – should evaluate true enterprise-grade data management platforms that offer the same benefits of PCM and Syndication tools, but also include the advanced features your enterprise requires to compete with content and data quality.

The EnterWorks PIM Solution

Now that we’ve covered the difference between PIM and PCM/Syndication, you may be wondering where EnterWorks lands in the mix.

EnterWorks Enable™ PIM/MDM solution provides the single view that enterprises need to acquire, manage and syndicate all their product information.

Integrated tools – including Publishing and Adobe InDesign, Workflow Engine, Vendor Portal and Digital Asset Management – have elevated Enable as an analyst-ranked, customer-acclaimed solution. We’ve captured the attention of firms including Gartner® and Forrester®, who recognize our advanced functionality and report some of the highest customer satisfaction and loyalty scores in the industry.

Enable offers unparalleled innovation, such as cloud deployment. Customers report the fastest go-live times and lowest total cost of ownership in the industry.

As you evaluate your options, be sure to talk to us about how EnterWorks can begin your PIM journey in just 30 days.

About the author

Kerry Young

Kerry Young joined EnterWorks in 2006 when Ennovative, Inc., the multi-channel publishing software company he co-founded, was acquired by EnterWorks. He directs EnterWorks’ operations and leads EnterWorks’ professional services and consulting organization, ensuring effective customer implementations and ongoing success. Mr. Young brings more than 25 years of technology and business management experience to EnterWorks, having served as CTO for a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company, and earlier as VP, Information Technology for Marshall Industries, a $1.7 billion industrial electronics distributor. He previously managed information systems for a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mr. Young holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.B.A. from California State University Fullerton.

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