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Technology 02.09.18 BLOG 

Akeneo PIM Summit 2018 – 2 Themes You Must Know About

By Nicholas Panagopoulos, Vice President of Global Strategic Alliances

Akeneo PIM Summit

Akeneo PIM Summit 2018 – 2 Themes You Must 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 on Product Information Management (PIM) and lessons on how to successfully deploy it.

Just before the event, Translations.com announced our partnership with StrikeTru and the release of Akeneo2GlobalLink. At the summit, we presented on mistakes to avoid when taking your content global, but we weren’t the only ones with a story to tell. Throughout the event, PIM experts discussed two common themes: Build Consensus and Put Governance in a Box.

BUILD 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. You must involve stakeholders from each of these areas in order for your PIM deployment to be successful. 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, as translations concern nearly every unit of a global enterprise. It’s important to involve the most significant parties  from the forefront and give them a voice in the process to ensure efficient TMS implementation. Waiting until the end of an initiative to involve relevant stakeholders can result in an influx of opinions—often negative—and 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.

PUT GOVERNANCE IN A BOX

Governance is in the spotlight right now. Why? Because “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 when your data or content is correct and consistent.

Ultimately, governance is the creation and storage of content or data that follows a standardized, controlled, and monitored process. Your data must be clean, consistent, and adhere to the rules defined for your business so that it’s more easily used as an input to get the desired output.

Nearly every speaker at the Akeneo PIM Summit referred to the issue of not having consistent data in their spreadsheets and databases before implementing a PIM. The PIM implementation teams often don’t realize their inconsistent governance until they’re trying to move the data into the new PIM. Then, a lot of time and money is spent fixing the problem, which can completely overturn a successful PIM deployment.

If you acknowledge that your data governance is faulty and that you need an updated model to deploy with your new PIM, you can plan ahead and limit the impact of governance on your project. Additionally, high-quality governance practices can be a differentiator for your business.

If your data isn’t clean and consistent, you forego the advantages of machine learning, mass personalization, and artificial intelligence. Similarly, having consistent translations in your databases will optimize your translation workflows and reduce the cost of launching multilingual content, as it’ll be more easily incorporated into a translation management system like GlobalLink. Like a PIM, a TMS saves you time and money when you have a clearly defined governance process regarding how translations are authored, translated, reviewed, and approved.

By incorporating 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.


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