IBM and Heiler Software Form an International Partnership

August 5, 2009

  • IBM cooperates with Heiler Software throughout Europe in the central Product Data Management and Product Communication sector
  • Heiler Product Manager expands IBM WebSphere Commerce with Enterprise Product Information Management (PIM)
  • Joint international partner network for consultancy and implementation

Stuttgart, August 5th 2009 – Today’s dealers are expected to offer an increasingly extensive range of online products. Customers expect individual and detailed product information in the e-commerce sector. To meet this demand, Heiler Product Manager shall form the central data management platform for IBM WebSphere Commerce with immediate effect. Consequently, IBM’s standard software for international online trading has direct access to Heiler’s Product Information Management (PIM) solutions – including all media assets and article descriptions.

The Heiler Product Manager is a standard solution for the management and communication of product data from one single central and controllable data source. Wholesale distributors, mail order businesses and manufacturers can increase marketing productivity and sales figures by applying the central Product Information Management (PIM) solution. For the third time in succession, Gartner has just named Heiler one of the top 10 worldwide leading providers of Master Data Management (MDM) and PIM.
“E-commerce can only be a success with perfect product information. In this way, cross-selling potential can actually be used. The seamless linking of one of the leading PIM systems – according to analysts – with our WebSphere Commerce Suite is, therefore, an important step towards offering our e-business customers real benefits”, says Henrik Scheel, IBM’s Business Unit Director.

“Simultaneous distribution via various channels is becoming increasingly important – regardless of whether your enterprise focuses on B2C or B2B policies. Dealers or manufacturers who do not possess a central and highly automated product information management system will not be able to cope with this challenge in the future”, says Frank Schmidt, chairman of Heiler Software. “The IBM e-commerce solution and our PIM Suite complement each other perfectly. Instead of managing product data in various systems such as ERP, Online Shop, PLM or a media database, the Heiler Product Manager provides a central platform for this purpose. It can cater to B2B and B2C shops, even those offering a customized product range”, according to Schmidt.

IBM and Heiler’s joint solution supports so-called “long tail” trading. Niche product margins are considerably higher than those of the so-called fast-moving consumer goods. The purpose of long tail trading is, therefore, to present these niche products and extensive, additional product ranges in particular on the shop platform.

Enterprises are often faced with the problem that the relevant data has to be obtained from the supplier and then processed before products can be presented in the shop. That is why product ranges are often limited, because the product data cannot be efficiently managed. IBM and Heiler’s joint solution ensures that dealers are able to establish and manage extremely extensive product ranges.

In this way the dealer can benefit from one continuous process: Suppliers are able to provide their range of products electronically. This data is first verified and stored centrally, then it is structured and processed for shop presentation.

“With Product Information Management we are able to utilize the long tail approach for the first time ever in the trade sector”, says Henrik Scheel. “The joint solution quickly gained a positive response and several customers opted for IBM and Heiler’s joint solution before the official partnership was even announced. This proves that we put together the right package.”

Product information from the Heiler Product Manager can be directly transferred to the WebSphere Commerce Suite via a standard interface, which in turn assumes responsibility for the online presentation and selling process. The presentation and positioning of a product in the web shop can be examined and optimized during the data hosting process. IBM is in charge of a firmly established, global network of consultancy and implementation partners. In the future, this partner network will be able to offer customers and users alike not only a shop, but also PIM solutions from a single source.