The Surprising History of PIM and MDM Software

By Kerry Young on Jun 2, 2017

Today, Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) solutions offer the single view of content that’s essential for companies like manufacturers and retailers to master their data and create personalized commerce experiences. Yet, a look back at history reveals a surprisingly cool side of PIM. We’re talking James Bond, cool.  Here’s a look at where it all began.

The Pangaea Effect

The EnterWorks PIM/MDM platform has a rich history with a fascinating evolution. It actually began with the original role of serving classified government intelligence agencies.

In 1998, EnterWorks launched as a Virtual Data Base platform known as “Pangaea.” The platform applied the “Pangaea” hypothesis of the globe – the idea of a singular supercontinent – to a central and singular view of global and unstructured data.

At the time of EnterWorks’ founding, our mission was to bring together physical and digital intelligence assets and information from a variety of national level command, control, communications and intelligence sources.

In fact, EnterWorks’ technology actually set an industry standard for innovation.

Our platform is included as a case study in the Innovation Collection of the Smithsonian. The recognition applauds its capability to integrate and manage distributed information over disparate content sources into a single view.

Breakthrough Technology

Government agencies at that time needed a solution for tying multiple systems and sources to one unified view and model for reports. Back then it took weeks if not months to generate needed reports. However, through Pangaea (aka the EnterWorks platform), a same day turnaround was suddenly possible.

This Virtual Data Base model technology enabled secure, unified and role-based views of heterogeneous intelligence. The MDM and portal technologies provided the intelligence community with simultaneous access as well as a single virtual database that unified disparate and heterogeneous repositories.

As a result, EnterWorks achieved a singular breakthrough in compiling data on emerging global trends and threats. The platform’s “mass storage prototype” (MSP) implementation leveraged an intuitive web interface that was ahead of its time. Customers included IBM/Tivoli, Boeing, the Defense Department, as well as certain intelligence community entities.

The PIM/MDM Platform Evolves

In the early 2000s, EnterWorks branched out from the public sector and engaged consumer, manufacturing, and banking firms. Our platform provided the critical means to supply unified product information and data management. The solution’s ability to centralize product information (such as dimensions, color, size, price, and materials) was well-aligned with the growth of ecommerce, as well as increasing customization of products. What emerged was a technology that could serve complex, global and regional companies in consumer goods, food, medical, technology, office products, equipment, fashion and services.

The Future is Bright

The history of EnterWorks and the PIM/MDM platform is intriguing. What started out as a critical data repository for intelligence agencies now applies its unique virtual views of content to store information, such as: nutrition, safety regulations, styling details, or variants for configurable manufactured items. Instead of intelligence analysts, we now enable the work of merchants, marketers, ecommerce users, logisticians, dealers and stores, among others.

And though the history of the Pangaea platform is pretty fascinating, the places EnterWorks is taking PIM and MDM software solutions today is even more exciting. Particularly for the brands, wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and restaurants experiencing digital transformation.

Talk to us about where your business is headed, and how EnterWorks PIM and MDM can help.

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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