French company Akeneo recently released the newest version of its open-source product information management software. Version 4.0 of Akeneo PIM adds new features to boost productivity in catalog building and organization.
"Akeneo PIM 4.0 delivers additional performance improvements for API and CSV/XLSX import and exports," John Evans, product marketing director at Akeneo, said about the product information management (PIM) software. "Customers will benefit from faster imports and exports for a quicker time to market and better scalability for expanding product catalogs."
Some new features in version 4.0 of the PIM software include:
- Digital asset manager: A centralized hub in which users can organize digital assets.
- Data quality insights feature: Users can assess product data accuracy and quality. This includes flagging misspelled words and items formatted incorrectly.
- Attribute mapping: Machine learning and AI automatically suggest product attributes for catalogs.
- New connection module: API-based integration to help users establish third-party connectors from a single panel.
Since its launch in 2013, the open source PIM software has had a strong presence in European countries, but it hasn't quite broken through in the United States. With the switch to online shopping, researchers see this as a strong market change for companies like Akeneo looking to grow.
"It's kind of a big deal because it came out as the leader. They're a relatively new company and are growing fast," said Jordan Jewell, a research manager at IDC. "This market has kind of changed a lot recently. If you think of e-commerce and where it has gone, it kind of explains where [Akeneo's] gone."
Jewell said the feature that sticks out most is the attribute mapping, which relies on AI and machine learning through Franklin Insights, Akeneo's product data intelligence assistant.
"I think that is one area where it was a good investment for them to work on, but they were behind," Jewell said. "I think they are starting to get ahead in this area. There is a lot of skepticism from end vendors in this area."
However, in a December 2019 PIM software assessment report by Jewell and Melissa Webster, a former program vice president at IDC, it was reported that Akeneo still has challenges with product road mapping, syndication and focus on manufacturing.
"Akeneo historically focused on retail but has begun to place more emphasis on manufacturing. Akeneo's manufacturing customers said they would like to see support for international data standards such as GS1, BME, and ETIM," the report stated.
The price for Akeneo's PIM software varies. For the community version, it is free for users; for enterprise uses, the cost varies based on number of users and distribution channels.