July 18, 2019

An interview with Jens Thiemann, Head of the Product Information Management business line, OpusCapita

by OpusCapita, Product Information Management (PIM)

Last week we had the opportunity to sit down with Jens Thiemann and discuss his thinking around Product Information Management, his business line and what he believes the future holds.

Jens Thiemann

Jens, let’s start with an easy two-part question: What are your key milestones in the quarter and why do they matter?

This quarter we have two important goals. The first relates to our key industry verticals: automotive and electronics. The OpusCapita Product Information Management solution works very well for organizations from any industry where large volumes of master data (for products) must be organized and shared via ecommerce platforms. But over the years, we’ve found that the automotive and electrical parts companies have truly huge numbers of items and complex relations within the data itself and a requirement for maintaining and providing product data to their customers. For these most demanding customer groups we find they push us to innovate and one of our goals this quarter is to demonstrate that we are a good partner, able to react and co-develop solutions. For example, we are just now introducing the ‘classification cockpit’. This gives the possibility to have a top down view on product data quality. You can drill down, you can see where the issues are and rather than be overwhelmed by all the data, you can go straight to the highlighted issue. 

This is an exciting innovation for our customers but we also do basic things like work to optimize performance. I suppose when you are importing or exporting a catalog of 100,000 items, a performance boost of 10x is pretty cool. 

The second goal relates to APIs and the easy ability to connect both publicly and privately. Right now we have published our public API, which is used by all our customers and partners, allowing them to export the data and build interfaces to other apps and channels. This is obviously is the key to a successful PIM (being able to feed other systems and channels). Like ecommerce shops as the most obvious examples. But it’s not just online, we can also support print partners. The easy and seamless integration is one of the main USPs for OpusCapita PIM (providing high value to our customers), we want to continue to develop and improve them. Basically, our second goal is connected directly to one of the key capabilities of the software - the ability to push provide structured catalog data to key customers and channels. Just like consumers want the buying to be easy, we want the selling to be easy too.

So Jens, tell me more about what this will mean for the end customer.

Well, it means a lot in fact. Boosting performance by a factor of 10 is pretty similar to going from a dial-up modem to broadband and obviously, no one is complaining. The new cockpit makes troubleshooting large datasets easier - again, great for the heavy users but just as much important for anyone dealing with product data. We also do lots more for ALL of our customers in other verticals. We work to support specific formats like ETIM, TecDoc, etc. We are constantly working to make the UI/UX more ergonomic, an example of where customers see benefits might be in compatibility handling or variant handling with WYSIWYG editing. We are pretty happy that in the past few months we’ve connected nearly 100 customers with individual BMEcat exports. Yes, I know this might sound not too exciting but even a standard format such as BMEcat needs many different adaptions and this is exactly where the easy configuration and integration comes in. We work closely with our key customers and they aren’t shy about telling us what would make their lives easier.

What are you particularly proud of?

Although I love the fact we have a great product and have been able to develop some really valuable capabilities for our customers, I’m also very proud of the way we, as an organization, have taken our product to market. We’ve seen perfect synergies between our marketing and sales efforts in some great events and webinars - many of which featured our partners and customers.

Let’s talk about the future - what do you see?

We are looking forward to some really interesting events (DMEXCO) but mostly, we will continue our work on developing OpusCapita PIM in close cooperation with our customers to make sure we continue to make their (product) life even easier. Enhancing things like our dashboard and bulk operations are important. We want basic use cases like harmonization of product data from different sources to become a simpler task. We want to go even further and want to deal with product variants and value list items. 

We are going to continue to build a solution that makes it as easy as possible to have top quality product data in all your channels. But how do we help our customers get there? It’s the classic PIM story. PIM is master data for products. It’s fundamentally important to have one central place in your whole organization where all product info is available (and from which it is exported to others). You can then rely on this central hub and from there, maintain and feed all your marketing channels. This boosts your sales and speeds up your go-to-market. These days price is not always the most important element in a buying decision. Consumers do a lot of research, even professional buyers. Would you buy a product that you see somewhere which has wrong or confusing product info? I wouldn’t. At the end of the day, our solutions can help you sell by making it easier to place in the right channels AND by helping you to represent it with great data (and pictures of course). 

Product information is the basis of everything. At OpusCapita we want to digitalize global trade and people trade products first - later they exchange financial stuff but first, they need to find the product. Data is the key. Manage your product master data and you can automate, scale and sell. 

OpusCapita Product Information Management is a cloud-based solution. We are growing faster than others in the market and as a SaaS solution, we are more modern than many of our competitors. We expect in the next year to strengthen our position as an important PIM SaaS vendor. 

Thanks Jens, that seems like a good place to end it. 

My pleasure, thank you.