On-Demand Webinar: Create Growth Through Quality Product Data

Learn more about the introduction of a PIM system and the preparation of product data for a targeted customer approach.

Here's what you'll learn in the webinar

In times of constantly changing customer demands on frontends and channels, an excellent Product Information Management (PIM) is crucial for your company's success and optimizes processes within the entire value chain. With a well-structured PIM system, the end customer can be provided with an excellent product experience and thus an excellent shopping experience. In our webinar, Guido and Markus, together with Max, the expert from PIM vendor Akeneo, share insights on how a PIM project is ideally deployed and how you manage to generate added value for your company and your customers. Our PIM experts share insights and best practices from their many years of professional experience.

The live webinar will answer these questions and more:

  • Who is Akeneo and how is a PIM system implemented?

  • How long does a PIM project usually take and what should be considered?

  • Why do companies need high-quality product information?

Learn more about the partnership with Akeneo here.

Watch online now (German only)

The Speakers

As a Senior Consultant, Markus supports our customers in the design and implementation of optimal processes in international PIM/MDM projects.
Markus Kettler
Senior Consultant, diva-e
Guido Juchert has been working in B2B and B2C Commerce for eight years, always with a focus on strategic and conceptual projects. Through his many years of experience in a well-known digitalization hub, he understands the challenges of B2B companies, how to successfully merge tech with sales, make data-driven decisions, achieve cost optimization potential and drive the necessary cultural change in the company. At diva-e, Guido supports our customers in technology selection for PIM/MDM, Shop Solutions, CMS and other systems.
Guido Juchert
Senior Sales Manager bei diva-e
Maximilian Hasenkamp has been responsible for new customer business in the Akeneo DACH region for over two years and advises companies that want to successfully guide their product data through digitization. He always has the customer experience of brands and retailers in B2B as well as B2C, as the most important USP, in mind.
Maximilian Hasenkamp
Sales Consultant bei Akeneo

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Transcript for the webinar: Create growth through high-quality product data

Introduction & Welcome

Angela Meyer: Welcome to our diva-e webinar: Create growth through high-quality product data. Today, our experts Guido Juchert, Markus Kettler and Max Hasenkamp from Akeneo will tell you more about implementing a PIM system and preparing product data for a targeted customer approach. My name is Angela Meyer and I am part of the diva-e marketing team and your moderator today. Markus, would you like to start by introducing yourself?

Markus Kettler: You're welcome, thank you Angela. My name is Markus Kettler and I'm with you today as a PIM Consultant. And I manage customer projects from diva-e's side when it comes to integrating a PIM and providing consulting services.

Angela Meyer: Guido?

Guido Juchert: A warm welcome from my side as well. My name is Guido Juchert. I'm from the diva-e office in Berlin. I'm Senior Sales Manager, but I'm also Partner Manager for our PIM and MAM solutions, so I'm responsible for the convergence between our customers, our partners, and our delivery to create the perfect system there.

Angela Meyer: Lastly from Max.

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Hello everyone, my name is Max Hasenkamp. I've been a sales consultant at Akeneo since 2018. And in my position, I advise and mentor companies on how a PIM can best help them digitize. Am also the contact person for all questions in the PIM evaluation process and oversee all projects from the commercial side as well.

Angela Meyer: Perfect. Now we also start directly with the presentation. And I'll hand over the broadcasting rights to Guido.

Guido Juchert: Yes, one second, my screen transfer.

Angela Meyer: Always an exciting moment, but this looks very good.

Guido Juchert: Very nice.

Angela Meyer: Then, Markus, you may start with the first part.

Introduction: Use of a PIM system

Markus Kettler: Yes, thank you. As the title of today's webinar has already revealed, it's all about the use of a PIM system and how this very use can create a decisive competitive advantage for you. There are actually two parts to this. On the one hand, we have process optimization, which means that process costs are minimized. And this does not only and not exclusively concern product data maintenance. On the other hand, we then have an opportunity to increase sales potential and achieve a better conversion rate through the use of a PIM system. We have divided the webinar today into three sections. In the first section, we will talk about the concept of PIM systems, advantages and also how such an integration works. In the second section, we will then give an insight into practical experiences that we have gathered with customers and the whole thing then but also with the support of Maximilian Hasenkamp, because he explains there again the view from Akeneo side quasi again. In the third part we have time for questions and a Q&A session.

How the customer cycle has changed in recent years

To get a good introduction to the topic, we can switch to the next slide. That's right, we're going to take a look at the customer lifecycle and how it has changed over the last few years. Years ago, or a few years ago, it was simply still the case that, as you can see quite clearly on the left, in the traditional customer cycle, not life cycle, the customer chose a product. He actually informed himself via the few channels. That is, he found an article, picked out a retailer, maybe looked again to see what the retailer was like, did a little research in that direction. Then, if the assortment fit, perhaps the price was renegotiated and finally the product was purchased. If this entire retail process, this business, went quite well, then the customer remembered that and actually stuck with it the next time, because he didn't have so many incentives to deviate from it.

But in the course of digitization, as you can see quite well on the right, this whole divorce process has become much more complex. It doesn't matter whether we're now talking about B2B or B2C, a customer who now not only informs himself via the channels he's familiar with, i.e. doesn't just go to a retail store, doesn't just have one or two print catalogs to choose from and maybe the online store of his regular retailer, but you're actually able to browse through different channels at any time of day and also at any time of night in any location.

That means I'm interested in an item and then I don't just look in the retail store or catalog, but I'm out and about on marketplaces like Amazon, everyone knows that, then I read blog posts about a product, maybe I look at reviews from other buyers who already have the item in use. Going a bit further, I look for appropriate tutorials that explain the product on YouTube or Vimeo. And if you go one step further, then maybe even a voice search is already in use, that is, so voice search from Alexa and Co, where I then simply have access to much more channels simply. So, if you look at the B2B side then maybe again, automation has already taken hold, that is, reordering of office articles or other ten-part articles, happen automatically. This means that the product data is forwarded from the manufacturer to the retailer and then directly to the customer in the CRP.

In summary, this means that I, as a customer, have almost unlimited possibilities for obtaining information. This gives a competitive advantage to those retailers who present their products on all channels in exactly the way the target group needs or, to put it another way, simply expects.

Changed requirements for product data

Conversely, this means that one is confronted with completely new requirements for product data. Product data must be maintained much more comprehensively. This means that a product text, which is perhaps very well formulated, is no longer sufficient because we are simply on the move in many more channels. From the ERP, I might have an article number, descriptions, and a price. None of this is sufficient because, for example, if you are on the move in the marketplaces, different description data is required from all marketplaces. And the better the products are maintained for the respective channel, the fewer questions the users have, they find the product and decide to buy it if they find everything they are looking for. When you look at this complex data maintenance, we at diva-e simply reach a point in a large number of projects where we recommend that the customer introduce a PIM system. We can jump to the next slide, please. We then recommend introducing a PIM system.

A PIM system as a solution for complex product data

And yes, what does PIM mean? PIM, as most here probably know, stands for Product Information Management. And PIM simply gives the ability to manage, edit and distribute product data in a complete and at the same time channel-specific way. This PIM process is actually always divided into three steps. You can see that quite well here, first, second, third.

The process in the PIM system

First, that's where the data comes in. That is, we collect the product information from all sources. Second, the data is enriched. That's all that happens in PIM. And third, the processed data is distributed. In the first step, as a retailer, you receive data of various types and qualities from various suppliers. That is, I get an Excel file from one, the other demands an XML file and product images, videos are perhaps still on any third-party systems and should be available there somehow. Titles and descriptions may come directly from the ERP system. And through this use of a PIM system, all data is collected in a structured manner in one place and merged into a comprehensive data model, where everything is simply available in a standardized form. And in this second step, the data is not only collected, but then enriched, processed, and prepared for all channels. This usually happens in coordinated workflows. This means that I may have a manager who first creates the basic information about the product. Then we have various other departments and employees who are involved. That means that then comes the content marketing department, which creates the SEO texts. And then we may have external employees or translation agencies who then take care of translating the texts and preparing them for the international market.

Exactly, when I'm assigned a task like that, I'm responsible for completing it. Once my one task has been completed, I can simply tell them that my task is finished. And then the product moves up the chain of responsibility to the next person, who then processes the data and so on. When everyone has completed their work, there is another approval process at the end, where in most cases the product manager simply checks again that everything is in order, all translations have been maintained, and everything is checked off. And then it can always be released for the appropriate channels. And this is the third part, here on the far right of the slide. Where we output all the information that we have in the PIM in such a way that each channel has exactly the information that it needs and exactly in the structure that it needs. So much for the PIM and this workflow. At this point we have prepared a small audience question. And I would like to give it back to you, Angela.

Poll: Do you use a PIM system and if so, are you satisfied with it?

Angela Meyer: Gladly, exactly. And that is we have prepared a question for you. And we would like to know if you are using a PIM system and if yes, if you are satisfied or not. I'll give you a few moments and then Guido will go into the results. (13 sec. ) That looks exciting. I'll now end the survey and transfer the results now. Guido, what do you say?

Guido Juchert: Yes, it's really interesting to see that there are different areas involved. People who are already satisfied with their system, others who are still looking for it. And that's why we are of course pleased when the content for people who are perhaps already satisfied with their system, but still want to ask more specific questions, then you can ask them and we will be happy to answer them for you in the Q&A process.

Angela Meyer: Exactly. And we'll move on to your part.

The advantages of a PIM

Guido Juchert: Thank you, exactly. I have now put on here again the advantages of a PIM. But here I would start again before. When does a customer buy? A customer only buys when all the questions he has asked himself are actually answered in the process, in the buying process. What we then see quite often is that with many of our customers or companies that we advise, the main information is all in the ERP system. And an ERP system is not made to generate a good product experience or customer experience, but it has very limited possibilities to record the description of the attributes in there. Meaning, there is limited space for images, for descriptions, for graphics. And all of that is what really adds so much value to a PIM, because it enriches the data and it then manages to generate, to show a good customer experience for the user, across all channels away. Whether that's the online store or let's say another digital channel, we create the opportunity with this to just have a unified approach and answer all the questions. And when these questions are answered, then we also create a higher conversion rate, so the customer buys more. We have a lower bounce rate and create added value there. What's also great, of course, is that there are fewer returns. Because the customer doesn't buy a pig in a poke, but he knows exactly what he's buying at the point and thus fewer are returned.

Then we come to the higher reach and why is that a big advantage of the PIM. Anyone who has ever manually uploaded 500 or 1000 products knows how complex that is, knows what the Excel structures look like. Knows how difficult that actually is when you're doing that, I'll say, no help actually in that sense. And with a PIM you manage to pull once all product data as smoothly as possible. And then also to have at the push of a button to any platform, to connect to any possibility to do it very quickly. In the same way, if you have dealer structures, which also have new product inquiries for you from time to time, which you of course also have to forward, you can implement the whole thing super fast. You only have to map the whole thing, because the most important thing, all the information is there. And thus we generate a very fast higher range there. If you cost, also already as mentioned by Markus, it is of course here about the process.

Lieschen Müller, who has otherwise always had the product maintenance, writes 1000 e-mails with her boss so that something is then released. At the same time, she has the translation office on the line. It's an incredible lack of transparency, because Excel and other ways of storing data make the approval process non-transparent, and even the boss doesn't know where we are or when the new products will be uploaded. And here, with the greater transparency, with the reduced process costs that you then simply also have, we quickly create a great added value and generate here, I say, a good value not only for the users, but also for the people who of course maintain the system and have thus of course also created a relief here for you.

We already have an optimized product data interface. Markus has already discussed this. But I would like to give you another example. If, for example, a DIY store has 100 different blue colors, then this is stored in the ERP as blue colors. But we manage to create a structure with a PIM, so that a light blue, a dark blue, a matte, a glossy, of course then help to better prepare the whole thing for the front end, to better provide it here, in order to be able to find the exact shade of blue for the customer.

The general process of a PIM project

Now we come to the general process of a PIM project. PIM is complex, but it's not complicated. What we've really learned with all the experience is that you really have to approach it in a very structured way in a certain order. It's not like a lot of e-commerce projects that we have that you really like to live agile. Here it's really important, we learned, to proceed with a certain project plan, with structuring the different workshops. First of all, starting with the scoping workshop, where we first explore the general and business requirements. What is planned for the future? What is the growth of KPIs? What kind of, for example, new marketplaces? Where else do they want to go? Are there also changes, perhaps in other markets? Here to understand the business in general, before we then dive into the deeper workshops on the topic of architecture, requirements, for example, of course also first look at what is already there, where does the data come from, what are there all kinds of things.

And here we would always like to point out that it is also essential to talk to all stakeholders. That is, right up to Lieschen Müller, who does the product maintenance. It is extremely important to exchange ideas with everyone here, to get everyone around the table in order to really understand the processes as they are at present, how we will design them in the future, and which translation agencies will also be involved. Simply to really get everyone on board so that we can later build a successful PIM.

And if we then want to analyze the general catalog structures, the data sources as far as possible, then have connected the media things or have passed them, have distributed the roles and rights, or have understood how they exist and then also defined how we have them in the implementation, then we come last of all, of course, to the interfaces that have to be defined, have then passed the data flow at this point. And when we have collected all this information, really penetrated these requirements, it then goes into its implementation. Here it is quite clear that everything we have learned will be implemented. And we always like to go into a test phase early on, do training sessions with the key users, i.e. the people who will later fill the system, do training sessions, because you generate a lot of knowledge from the people. You can then see changes with this wow effect or this happiness in the key users and not just in the customers, who can buy better with it. And when we've implemented the whole thing and gone live, then we usually always go into a Hyper Care phase.

This means that we continue to support the customer for quite a while, taking care of any further changes, but at the same time also planning what might happen in the future, for example, some kind of hot topic, but nowadays of course translation things that happen automatically. That's also something that we always see with our customers.

PIM and Akeneo: Questions and answers from the field

Great, then at this point I'm looking forward to Max now. We've invited Max today to give us a deeper practical insight into questions that we're repeatedly asked by customers, either on the subject of Akeneo or on the subject of PIM. And we're going to discuss them with him now. (5 sec.) So, as a first question I would ask Max,

Who is Akeneo and what makes Akeneo special?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Thank you, Guido. So Akeneo is pure software vendor and provides technology for companies that have problems with their product data. This technology is called PIM, as it was just introduced by you. Now it would also be a bit surprising here if we were doing something else. And about Akeneo, we've been around since 2013, we have our roots in the North, so in France, so Brittany, I'm sitting here right now myself in Düsseldorf, have a branch office for the D-A-CH region near here. But we are now also distributed worldwide, including in Paris, in Dansk, in Sydney, Boston, Amsterdam and can therefore also help companies, customers worldwide. The integration of the Akeneo PIM is done through a partner network of over 130 Solution Partners worldwide. And of course I'm all the more pleased to have been invited here to one of our best partners, diva-e, thank you again at this point. To return briefly to the question of what sets us apart, Akeneo is an open source PIM. This means that it can be customized to meet the requirements of any company. And Akeneo is dedicated to customer value. That means we want to enable the user to offer the customer a unique shopping experience through an optimal, through a great product experience.

Guido Juchert: Then we come to the second question now:

What feature does Akeneo bring out-of-the-box and how can I optimize that in my daily maintenance process?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Well, in general, Akeneo brings all the functions that you need for a product experience management strategy. The PIM serves as a tool for the business. And part of this tool is, on the one hand, the flexible data model. This means that attributes can be added quickly and on the fly, for example. In other words, you can expand the data model on the fly and quickly adapt it to market requirements and customer needs. It doesn't matter if it's an SME or a global player, because Akeneo and the software itself grows with the company. And through this created single source of truth, where all product data is located, you have the possibility to internationalize and to penetrate new markets. Please once on the next slide, great, thank you. A couple of features, so Akeneo has over eight features.

The features of Akeneo

Would I just go into three of them. So features that help with internationalization, for example, is granular role and rights management. This means that you can give the user access for the user or for the department-relevant content in the PIM. In this way, individual departments can be onboarded step by step, but also entire foreign branches, and each branch can be given access only to the area for which it is responsible in the branch.

Another feature are for example entities. With entities you can manage a very large amount of information. It acts like a kind of mini MDM. There is information that you put into these entities and these are then linked to the product via an attribute. For example, this can be information about colors, machine components, batteries, international sizes. A size, what size is that in the USA, for example? The degree of hardness according to Rockville, so also complex table data. And by simply linking the data to the product in question, you can easily map that very complexity and manage it highly efficiently.

And one last feature I want to talk about is our Rules Engine. Rules Engine allows the user to completely automate manual steps. It works a bit like an if-then function in Excel, but much, much more comprehensive, much, much more powerful. And as a result, you can achieve a very, very high degree of automation and thus also a faster time-to-market. It is important, of course, that the PIM has the appropriate scalability. I have prepared a few examples for this. Can you please jump to the next slide? Great, thank you.

Examples from practice

On the one hand, we have SLV. SLV is a medium-sized luminaire and light manufacturer, come from a print only approach, have become the digitalization pioneer in their industry within just one year, and were also able to bring the PIM live within three months. And SLV currently has up to 500, 600 products a year that are newly added, so of course they are all maintained in the PIM. And SLV now sells in over 38 countries in 31 different languages. And to map all this in Excel is virtually impossible. Another example is Rexel. You may be familiar with Rexel. It is a giant company from France, also active worldwide. And Rexel sells electrical installation material and electrical components. And all these technical specifications of these many, many products can be highly complex and simply require an incredible level of detail. And with the PIM, they can now map all of this complexity and in some cases have over 2000 attributes that are on the product. And also due to these time savings and productivity gains, Rexel can simply manage many, many more products and have managed to increase the number of products tenfold within ten months. This means that we can better serve completely new customer segments and, of course, offer our customers a completely different service. The last example I brought with me is Midland Scientific. Midland Scientific comes from Texas in the USA and they are distributors of laboratory products. And they were able to enrich 200 products a week before the PIM. And now through Akeneo it's 2000, so the rate has increased tenfold here as well. And this has also freed up capacity to expand the catalog, for example. And meanwhile Midland Scientific trades over 400,000 products with the Akeneo PIM.

Guido Juchert: Great. Then we come to the third question now, Max.

Why does a company need high-quality product information?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: I'm often asked this question, I must say. First of all, I'd like to talk about the impact of faulty product data on the purchase decision or simply on the person who is dealing with the product. For example, we have a screenshot here that I saw on Sunday. I was doing a little bit of online shopping, who hasn't done that, Black Friday, Black Week. And that's when I came across this example. And that is, for one thing, the product description is missing here and it's HTML text on the homepage. And of course, if I'm missing information to decide for myself whether the product suits me and I'm also satisfied afterwards, I simply can't include that in my evaluation and thus I simply lose sales. Yes, it may not be so tragic for one person, but if there are 10, 100, 1000 interested parties who simply have incorrect data and cannot be used for evaluation, this has a major impact on sales. Please go one slide further.

Another example of poor product experience is when, for example, as here, the picture is different from the name of the product. The one picture you see are dryers that are loaded from the front. But the name of the product says that they are loaded from the top. First of all, I don't know as a decision maker, what is correct now. And the likelihood is that if I order it anyway, I'm very likely to return the product. And especially with dryers and such large products, there is of course a shipping company behind it with several men who deliver the product. Handling the whole thing as a return is simply associated with high costs. And of course, the rating in the store suffers as a result, which is probably the worst evil, so to speak, because many, many decisions are made afterwards. And so a bad product experience simply has an enormous influence on costs, on returns and also on the ratings in the store. Then normally one slide further, exactly.

And then here's another example. This is about dog food. In the text it says that the dog food is for puppies. And on the right side of the table it says that the dog food is for adult dogs. If I now give a dog or even child or whoever the wrong food and any long-term damage results from it, dealers of course also run the risk of being legally prosecuted for it there. I have a dog at home myself. I don't want him to get the wrong food just because of wrong information. And so bad product experience can also have a real rattail effect and can also lead to legal consequences. Exactly, and that's why we need the optimal, the best product experience. Because the customer sees the product online. They have a certain expectation. And we have to meet these expectations individually, in a way that suits the customer.

But since the customer can't touch the product, we have to bridge the gap between expectations and the product by providing the customer with information. In other words, when we sell products, we have to provide product information. And the better and more consistent this information is, the more the customer is willing to buy from us and stay with us. And customers want to be wooed. Customers want to have a great experience. And they also want the time they have invested in the store to be worthwhile. And so, in the competition for customers, companies are forced to deliver unique product experiences, across all touchpoints. Yes, it doesn't matter which medium the customer uses to contact me, through which I want to contact the customer. The customer information needs to be embedded appropriately in the respective front end. Just as I need different data for the marketplace than for the digital display board, from print catalog and and.

And customer information then also has a direct impact on a company's KPIs. On the one hand, as Guido has already said, the conversion rate is increased because the customer finds exactly the products he is looking for. On the other hand, you have or can achieve a higher shopping cart value because you can always give the customer the right cross-sell, up-sell and accessory products at the right time. And that in turn generates more sales, of course. And the right product also reduces returns and costs, and in general the PIM, from which all the data comes, makes it possible to collaborate with each other and thus create synergies, because you don't always have to, let's say, touch the individual attributes, the individual information about the products individually, because you can also use data, let's say, again and again and also enrich it automatically. And also in this way, you can also achieve much, much faster time-to-market. Please one slide further.

So, now it's not only customers that benefit from the better data, but also the company itself. For example, in B2B, if I give the best data and the correct data to my dealers, the dealer can reuse that to give that to their customers, who in turn benefit from it being correct and the experience being great. I also therefore have direct influence on what happens at the very end of the process. At the same time, of course, this also reduces the volume of e-mails and calls. This means that customer service is also relieved of having to deal with fewer queries, and of course customer service always has access to the most up-to-date data. They don't have to spend a lot of time looking or wondering whether the data is correct or whether what is being output is correct. The same applies to sales. Sales can access the PIM while on the road, but can also deliver the best product experience immediately at the customer's site. It is also important that the tool, the PIM brings the given usability with it.

And there we get very, very nice feedback, good feedback from our customers. Namely, we get told here that it is really fun to work with Akeneo and that it is also thus automatically and gladly used. For example, from us SLV can onboard new employees extremely quickly and the whole thing within just 1.5 hours. And we simply represent the mindset that only if the user and all those who have to work with the PIM, only if they have fun dealing with the product data, then the product experience and the customer experience that comes around in the end will be right.

Guido Juchert: That's great, Max. Thank you very much for your insights here. We're going to hand it over to Angela for the second survey and we'll start that now.

Survey: Which KPIs would you like to improve?

Angela Meyer: Exactly. We would like to know which KPIs you would like to improve. Max has presented some of them now, Guido. And we have a choice of productivity, internal process costs, conversion rate, returns or sales. Feel free to vote here for your favorites. And then Guido will go into the results again. There's a lot going on here now. Voting is going on.

Guido Juchert: Well, I think we always have such internal favorites that the customer always asks for, and I'm curious to see whether that also corresponds to the questions we always get.

Angela Meyer: So, here are the results. What do you have to say about it?

Guido Juchert: Of course, the classic turnover is always one of the highest. And that is of course one of the first things that is always asked about. Internal process costs, too, of course, because the bottom line is close to the bottom line. It is also good that the employees find other ways. So we know very well, we have just often found in the questions there and is of course also nice to see that the webinar also fits and we can show you what solution here at the point Akeneo and we can also address these issues very well.

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Great.

Angela Meyer: Yes, then we continue here at the point with the last question.

Guido Juchert: Exactly, then we now come to the last question for you, Max, before we start into the Q&A round.

Where is the trend going with product data?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Yes, that's also a very interesting question. And this is exactly what we, that is Akeneo, started a survey at the beginning of the year, which I would like to refer to here. We surveyed 1,600 professionals worldwide on the subject of products, i.e. on the subject of PIM, why people invest in a PIM and what they expect from product information. And one trend that emerged was quite clear, namely that a PIM is used to improve the customer experience. So a full 97 percent said that's the main factor why they want to use a PIM. And so customer shopping experience is clearly one of the key trends. Then please once on the second slide, great, thank you. Exactly, the customer experience, which means that companies would have to ask themselves the question, how can I or through which channels can I best reach my customers? Be it also a virtual reality, vocal assistant, the screen in the car, an app. And how can I convey a consistent brand identity across every touchpint? And that brings me to the next trend.

Namely, these are the brand values. Customers are now paying more and more attention to issues such as sustainability, fair trade, information on raw materials, ingredients, social compatibility, carbon footprint, and so on. They are paying much more attention to this now than they did before Corona. And companies simply have to ask themselves how they can communicate the values they represent and stand for to their customers in a way that is easy to understand. For example, where do I use a text, where an icon, where an asset, and then to manage these accordingly and to adapt the information to the front end accordingly, you need a PIM in the background. And it is only after these brand values that the specialists, executives have said, so to speak, that it is only then that efficiency matters and localized information per region et cetera. To summarize this here again briefly, once the Customer Experience is a trend and the Brand Values.

Guido Juchert: Great, thanks for that Max. Then we'll move on to our Q&A round. Angela, have we received any questions yet? Anything for us yet?


Angela Meyer: Yes, some questions came in during your presentation. I would now take up the first questions here. But of course you are welcome to ask more questions here. One participant would like to know for which operating systems the Akeneo system is available.

For which operating system is the Akeneo system available?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Well, Akeneo runs on Linux. Now when it comes to the operating system am-.

Angela Meyer: Exactly, iOS or yes.

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Exactly. But Akeneo itself is also hosted in the cloud. That means that we take over the entire IT infrastructure, bear all the hosting costs and so on. And then the customer would only get access to the cloud and to the PIM. And then it doesn't matter where he is and he can log on to it from anywhere and access it regardless of which operating system he uses.

Angela Meyer: Perfect. Then I'll never take up the next question here. Which personnel are needed for the implementation of a PIM system?

Which personnel is needed for the introduction of a PIM system?

Markus Kettler: I think I can answer that question very well. So, I understand that first of all, the question of whether you need to hire staff specifically for a PIM integration as well, yes. In our experience, this is generally not the case that we need special new personnel for this. It's best when you go into a PIM integration, when you go into the conception phase, that you-. So it's good for us to have a contact person who puts on his hat, so to speak, as a PIM representative in the company and to channel the questions from the company side, but also from our side to the customer. Exactly, and as far as the actual conception of the PIM is concerned, it is of course the case, as my colleague Guido mentioned earlier, that various employees are involved in the work on the PIM. Everyone who has anything to do with product data should also have the opportunity to articulate their needs in this way. But there again it is important that there is someone who manages everything a bit on the company side. I hope that went in the right direction.

Angela Meyer: I think so. Then thank you, Markus. And I'll take the next question here.

Which store system solutions can be offered?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: I'm happy to take that question. So generally, Akeneo is a best of breed provider, we do purely PIM. So we live on partnerships and high connectivity. And so, for example, we have various partnerships like to e-commerce solutions such as a Magento, Spryker, Salesforce, Shopware and still others. And offer appropriate connectors to these technologies as well. In addition, Akeneo offers an open rest API interface that is documented online, where the customer can always help himself and read how it works and how other systems can be connected. And a high level of connectivity also contributes to faster integration.

Angela Meyer: Perfect, thank you Max for the answer. So and here one more participant would like to know if Akeneo can also be used in international projects.

Can Akeneo also be used in international projects?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Yes, it definitely can. It's a basic functionality, if you will. For one thing, Akeneo's user interface is simply available in a wide variety of languages. And for another, Akeneo itself has 210 language-country combinations in the standard, which enable the user to take all local and cultural specifications into account when enriching the data. For example, many customers first use the PIM for Germany, for the German language area, i.e. for the D-A-CH region, and then roll out the PIM company-wide or worldwide. And this is exactly where the granular role rights management, which I just mentioned as an example, supports you, enabling the user to have dedicated access to the content that is relevant to him, where you can then also granularly onboard all other future users who are then looking for this.

Angela Meyer: This question should also be answered now. And now another participant would like to know which variants can be mapped.

Which variants can be mapped?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Well, first of all, you can map variants, definitely. That is not a problem. I understand the question in such a way that I simply give a few examples. For example, we have customers in the furniture industry who have extremely complex variants in the fashion sector. There, where Akeneo has its origins, variants are a must-have. Which shoes are available in which sizes and in which colors? So you can also maintain variants that are dependent on each other, because, for example, not every size is available in every color. That's something you have a lot of, especially in the fashion sector. Then, for example, we have at our customer Liqui Moly - they map containers and additives with variants and entities, for example - a book laboratory technology, the counterpart in Switzerland to Midland Scientific, so to speak, which maps the most complex functional combinations. So they also have these laboratory accessories. And it is extremely important to know which part fits which laboratory equipment. And these are just a few examples of the variants that are available. And I am sure that Akeneo can simply map many cases out-of-the-box here.

Angela Meyer: I think so too. So, now another question came in, whether Akeneo is also worthwhile for small businesses, if you plan to grow, whether you also have examples for it.

Is Akeneo worthwhile for small businesses?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Definitely, so we generally represent the mindset, PIM for all, that is, PIM for all. We want to enable companies, no matter what size, to be able to manage product data well. On the one hand, we have a free Community Edition that you can simply download and start using immediately. Of course, this is a limited version of the Enterprise Edition, which, for example, does not have role rights management, rules management or entities. So it doesn't have the features that I just talked about. And that is indeed the case, that some customers start with that. And when you see that you are growing or that you would like to use the PIM with a different range of functions, then the customers come to us and jump from the Community Edition to the Enterprise Edition. Of course, it also depends on what requirements you have yourself. While there are of course many who want to start directly with the Enterprise because they simply need this range of functions.

Angela Meyer: Thank you, Max. Okay and now the participant thanks you as well. And now the question, maybe the best question, what makes Akeneo different?

What makes Akeneo different?

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Different from who, for example? That's a good question. So we, Akeneo, we always follow the vision of our customers and we continue to develop the PIM based on the feedback that we get. And so we want to make sure that we always provide software that helps the business and is always state of the art. So, yes, we've always done it that way and we'll always do it that way. So we just want to make sure that we're always aligned with the needs of the market and the needs of the customers. We're also one of the fastest developing and most user-friendly PIMs in the world. And that's why I think it's fair to say that we're at this point, precisely because we care about the success and satisfaction of our customers and we live our partnerships, both with customers, who we ourselves also see as fans, but also with our technology partners, we maintain a very close and truly cooperative exchange.

Angela Meyer: Which we can only confirm as a partner, of course. We would then answer all further questions in the follow-up. And here also the references and/or still the contact contacts of Guido and of the Max. You can also contact both of them directly, or connect in LinkedIn. They will be happy to discuss the topic of product data in more detail with you. And if you would like to read up a bit more on the subject of product data management, you are also welcome to download our free Blueprint. There you will find more information about sustainable product data handling through PIM systems. One last note about our other webinars. We look forward to your participation. Please also take a look at our diva-e newsroom. We will continue with our webinars next year. And at this point, a big thank you to Guido, Markus and also to Max from Akeneo for your time and for your many years of experience with PIM systems. See you next time.

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Thank you.

Guido Juchert: Thank you as well.

Markus Kettler: Thank you also.

Angela Meyer: Bye.

Maximilian Hasenkamp: Bye.

Guido Juchert: Ciao.

Markus Kettler: Bye.