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Technology 02.07.20 BLOG 

Akeneo PIM Summit 2018: Two Themes You Should Know About

By Nicholas Panagopoulos, Vice President of Global Strategic Alliances

Akeneo PIM Summit

Akeneo PIM Summit 2018: Two Themes You Should Know About

Akeneo didn’t let the rain and clouds in Paris get in the way of their user summit this January. Instead, light shined through on Product Information Management (PIM) and the lessons customers have learned on how to successfully deploy one. Translations.com and StrikeTru announced our partnership and the availability of Akeneo2GlobalLink just before the event. We also presented about mistakes to avoid when taking your content global. But we weren’t the only ones with a story to tell. Throughout the two-day summit, PIM experts discussed two common themes: Building Consensus and Putting Governance in a Box.

1. BUILDING CONSENSUS

This concept is easier said than done. On the first day of the event, speakers from Fossil, Hanger Clinic, Hermès, and POLO Motorrad discussed the idea of “building consensus” during a panel moderated by Akeneo’s CMO, Angela Culver. In the world of PIM, product data infiltrates many areas of a business. In order for your PIM deployment to be successful, you must involve stakeholders from each of these areas. There should be a clear leader who is vested in the project’s success and capable of aligning the team. Implementing a translation management system (TMS) is very similar. Translations touch nearly every unit of a global enterprise. It is important to ensure that the most significant stakeholders are involved from the forefront and are given a voice. Many of our clients sideline local market stakeholders and bring them in at the end of an initiative. Having not been involved until that point, the stakeholders have a plethora of opinions, few of which are positive. This can derail the entire program. Whether you are implementing a PIM or a TMS, you can ensure success if you involve those who are impacted by the project and select a leader who is capable championing the initiative.

2. PUTTING GOVERNANCE IN A BOX

Governance is not just another buzzword, but it is in the spotlight right now. Why? Here’s an old catchphrase to answer that: “garbage in, garbage out.” When you implement a new system—a PIM, CMS, e-commerce platform, TMS, etc. — you only get the results you expect from these systems when your data or content is correct and consistent. Data and content governance is a broad topic. Ultimately, what it means is that the creation and storage of content or data follows a standardized, controlled, and monitored process. The content must be clean, consistent, and adhere to the rules defined for your business. If the content is written consistently and stored following the defined process, the content or data is more easily used as a clean input to get the output you are seeking. The problem the speakers kept referring to was that they ran into issues with there not being clean and consistent data in their databases and spreadsheets before implementing the PIM. Unfortunately, the teams implementing the PIM don’t realize just how inconsistent their governance has been until they are in the process of trying to move their product data into the new PIM. When they realize how big the problem is, there is often a lot of time and money spent on fixing the issue, which can completely derail a PIM deployment. If you acknowledge that your data governance has been broken and that you need a new model to deploy with your new PIM, you can plan ahead for data governance and limit its impact on your project. It is also possible to use good governance as a differentiator for your business. Governance was something Jabra discussed in their session, “How Jabra Levels-up its Product Data Quality to Unify its Global Messaging.” In fact, all of the experts who spoke at the Akeneo PIM Summit mentioned that this was a hidden cost that caused a great deal of pain. If your data isn’t clean and consistent, you’ll have a hard time taking advantage of all of the latest tech trends, like machine learning, mass personalization, and artificial intelligence. Similarly, it will be difficult to optimize translation workflows and control costs of launching multilingual content. Like a PIM, a TMS (i.e. GlobalLink) saves you time and money when you have clean content and a clearly defined governance for how that content is authored, translated, reviewed, and approved. By incorporating the idea of governance early in your conversation with stakeholders, you can develop a plan that won’t mean kissing your go-live dates goodbye.

CONCLUSION

Whether you are implementing a PIM or a translation management system like GlobalLink, you must identify a champion, engage the most important stakeholders, and define a process for governance. There were a bevy of other themes discussed by the speakers at the Akeneo PIM Summit, but these two were weaved into nearly every presentation. If the experts are calling these points out, they must be important. Don’t try to hide from these issues, plan for them and conquer them. To learn more about Translations.com’s integration into Akeneo, please email akeneo@translations.com.

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