Celebrating a Year of Strategic Partnership between Thoughtspark and Pivotree

Celebrating a Year of Strategic Partnership between Thoughtspark and Pivotree

We are delighted to celebrate a year of strategic partnership between Thoughtspark and Pivotree. Pivotree was among the first partners to seamlessly embrace ThoughtSpark’s enablement strategy, laying the foundation for a strong alliance. Over the past year, our collaboration has thrived, resulting in multiple successful customer engagements.

As we embarked on a journey together, Pivotree focused on growing their Syndigo practice and expanding market reach, while ThoughtSpark seamlessly stepped in as their Syndigo enablement arm, spanning strategy, solutions and implementation. Together, we successfully delivered value to our customers, all of them in record time. Pivotree’s deep domain expertise complemented by ThoughtSpark’s Syndigo proficiency formed the core of our collaboration.

“ThoughtSpark has been a key driver of success in our Syndigo practice.” said Jonathan Currie, Director of MDM at Pivotree, “Their partnership has enabled our Syndigo practice to grow at a record pace while increasing the depth of knowledge we can offer our customers.”

Thoughtspark and Pivotree have also come together to create go-to-market strategies for expanding the Syndigo market within North America. During a recent visit by Jonathan Currie and his team to Thoughtspark’s Houston office, we finalized a concrete plan of action to meet the objective for each of the strategic tracks. This year looks very promising for our partnership, and we are sure to create a greater impact on Syndigo’s customers as well as businesses getting ready to embark on their PIM-MDM journey.

“Having wrapped up a successful year of Partnership with Pivotree, we are not just focused on executing projects now but also on creating and growing Syndigo’s market as well.”, stated Amit Rai, President, ThoughtSpark.

About Pivotree:

Pivotree, a leader in frictionless commerce, strategizes, designs, builds, and manages digital Commerce, Data Management, and Supply Chain solutions for over 200 major retailers and branded manufacturers globally. With a portfolio of digital products as well as managed and professional services, Pivotree provides businesses of all sizes with true end-to-end solutions. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with offices and customers in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, Pivotree is widely recognized as a high-growth company and industry leader. For more information, visit www.pivotree.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

About ThoughtSpark:

ThoughtSpark stands as the pioneering Enabler in the Syndigo ecosystem. With long-standing experience and product expertise, ThoughtSpark is dedicated to driving innovation and delivering value-added solutions to its partners and clients. Driven by its passion to see the ecosystem flourish, ThoughtSpark’s endeavor centers around empowering Syndigo’s System Integrators (SIs) across the globe. As Enablers, ThoughtSpark helps the SIs sell more, implement better and scale faster through their specialized offerings. With over 80 Syndigo experts spread across the globe, Thoughtspark partners with System Integrators in the ecosystem, enabling them to establish and grow their Syndigo practice.

Navigating Implementation Challenges: Key Learnings, Takeaways and Solutions

By Samarth Mehta, GM, India & Head of MDM Solutions, ThoughtSpark

Hello everyone,

I was recently a part of an esteemed panel at the Syndigo Partner Kick Off 2024 in Chicago, where we delved into achieving success with Syndigo at customers. During the discussion, some very interesting questions were raised that I believe are important for all of us to address. Here’s my take on those questions.

What are the factors contributing to Success and Future Business Opportunities?
There are quite a lot of factors involved in winning a deal, but one of the fundamental keys is gaining the trust and confidence of the customer. To achieve this, three key areas that a System Integrator (SI) should focus on are Industry expertise, Domain knowledge (MDM), and Product expertise.

To do these, I think the entire sales process needs to be Consultative, ensuring that you’re talking about the Problems and the Solutions for the customer rather than filling them with MDM fluff goes a long way. It’s important to talk about their industry and vertical, provide relevant examples and talk about how the business would benefit from the overall solution.

Additionally, demonstrating expertise in the product plays a significant role. Leveraging customer data, understanding their unique needs, and customizing a product demo accordingly helps a lot.

Finally, a very basic but crucial thing, being responsive and providing clear, timely communication throughout the sales process, is very important. Syndigo has templates for Scoping & Estimations that can highly standardize proposal building. I believe it is important to respond on time, with clarity & providing the right context.

Why Syndigo? How did Syndigo solve your customer’s business issues?
Flexibility & Rapid Time-to-Value: Syndigo’s standout strength, according to me, is the flexibility & the rapid time-to-value of the Solution which allows businesses to derive tangible benefits without long implementation periods.

Out of the box solutions: With PIM Standard and Professional, Syndigo offers a range of out-of-the-box solutions. These solutions come with various industry-specific capabilities built-in, making them ideal accelerators for large enterprises while also seamlessly fitting smaller enterprises in their current operational state.

Business Rule & Workflow Engine: The powerful Business Rules & Workflow engines help enterprises in configuring process & rules. This capability ensures that businesses can align the system with their unique operational workflows and requirements.

App Development: Enterprises often face unique challenges that require additional UIs or configurations to be built on top of the product. Syndigo’s App Development framework empowers businesses to build end-to-end customer solutions, addressing these specific needs.

In conclusion, Syndigo stands out due to its flexibility, out-of-the-box solutions, robust business rule & workflow engines, and comprehensive app development framework.

How do you handle scenarios when a customer has a requirement or use case that does not confirm or align with the known best practices or patterns?

It is important to understand the customer’s mindset. The customer or their IT team may come from a background of custom software and therefore they believe in certain specific implementation methods.

When the use-cases do not align, the following are my suggestions:

  • Propose Alternative Solutions: Explain objectively how a different solution can address the problem.
  • Educate the Customer: Present the pros and cons of the solution to help the customer make an informed decision. I often use the Harvey Ball comparison for clarity.
  • Include the Syndigo Team: Keeping the Syndigo team informed about the use case and proposed solutions is essential for alignment and collaboration.

What challenges did you face during your implementation journey and how did you help overcome them?

Below is the list of challenges in the order in which I think they are:

Scoping the Project:
I’ve been involved in numerous implementations over the last decade, and I believe many major initiatives succeed or fail before the project even begins. One of the biggest risks lies in the gap between the customer expectations and the defined scope outlined in the Statement of Work (SoW). The best approach is to ensure that project objectives, milestones, and deliverables are clearly defined and communicated right from the project kickoff.

Customer Readiness:
I’ve observed that customers often underestimate the level of commitment required from their end to execute an implementation project successfully. Involvement from both the Business and the IT teams is crucial right from the very start. Sometimes, business stakeholders already have a packed schedule, leading to less productive workshops and communication gaps. I believe it’s the System Integrator’s responsibility to set the right expectations regarding time, deliverables, and other requirements.

Initial Load & Integrations:
This is an area where I commonly see challenges among most customers. As one of my favorite talk show hosts used to say, “How Hard Can It Be?”—right before a disaster strikes. This is exactly the approach I’ve seen IT teams take when loading data into the system and building integrations between different systems. My recommendation is always to engage in serious conversations about these topics early on. The only way to mitigate the risk is to start addressing these challenges as soon as possible.

These are my thoughts on the questions we had discussed during the panel discussion at the KickOff, and I’m glad we had the chance to tackle some of the key challenges and opportunities in the current MDM landscape.

Samarth Mehta

Samarth Mehta is the General Manager for India and Head of MDM Solutions at ThoughtSpark. Backed by a long-standing Syndigo experience, Product has always been his primary focus and he has been implementing Syndigo projects since 2014. Samarth thoroughly enjoys solving customer problems, constantly sharing and expanding on product expertise and delivering impeccable product demos!

About ThoughtSpark

ThoughtSpark is your go-to enabler in the Syndigo ecosystem, committed to enabling partner-centric sales and go to market strategies, in addition to implementation services. ThoughtSpark walks hand in hand, sharing insights, knowledge, and expertise to fuel its partner’s journey. Our ultimate mission is to enable the growth and unparalleled success of System Integrators across the Syndigo ecosystem.

Syndigo PIM & MDM Product Roundup 2023

By Amit Rai, President, ThoughtSpark

January was abuzz with 2023 round-ups, with some very interesting takes on product highlights, business updates. I’m aware I’m a bit late, but let’s attribute it to all the kick-offs I had to attend last month. It has gotten so crazy that we’ve decided to attempt the 2025 kick-offs in December 2024, aiming to hit the ground running next year. Excuses aside, here I am, with my take on what the year meant for the Syndigo PIM / MDM platform.  

In a nutshell, 2023 was another foundational year in the journey of this product. Innovation is at the heart of Syndigo’s strategy, and in more ways than you can imagine, they used the last year to set themselves up for a groundbreaking 2024. Thematically, the main areas of Product investments that I’m gonna cover today are PXM, MDM, AI, and UX. There are too many acronyms. Let’s expand on each and gain deeper insights into these areas. 

First, PXM. There are different schools of thought across the industry. One claims that PIM has now expanded to include Syndication, experiences, and Digital Shelf Analytics while the other calls this combination, PXM. Regardless of what acronym you prefer using, Syndigo, with the breadth of its product portfolio, is there to solve these use cases and be a leading PXM (I am from the second school of thought) player. Not many can claim to offer the entire breadth of solutions and even Syndigo would fall short, if they did not make the experience zing. Hence, the great focus on seamless integration of the offerings to present a one-stop answer to PXM – Syndigo. 

Second, MDM. Syndigo has long played in the MDM space. They’ve been leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. It is one of the few products that does justice to both PIM and MDM. However, with PIM and Syndication being the front-runners, it appears that MDM had taken a back seat in the preceding year. In the latter half of 2023, however, MDM resurfaced as a key focus area. The strategy was to further strengthen the B2B customer master capabilities and at the same time, create a good B2C foundation. B2C customer solution is a key strategic area for 2024 as well, as stated by Simon, the CEO at Syndigo as well as Nikhil, the SVP of Product at Syndigo. As more and more businesses look to create unique Product and Customer experiences, Syndigo is ready to lead the market. In the coming months, they are set to complete their B2C master offering and merge their already industry-leading Digital Shelf Shopper Analytics with B2C to provide a truly unique offering to their customers. 

Third, AI Was there anyone who didn’t get caught up in the buzz and engagement with AI last year? At ThoughtSpark, we use Clickup for task management, Freshsales for CRM, Pitch for presentations, among others. I promise you, there is an AI module in each of these. I also promise you, nobody in my organisation utilises the AI modules in these solutions. I do though. But just to have fun with what it does. Not because any of it impacts my day-to-day work. But Syndigo started leveraging AI a while ago. They already have ML based matching for a couple of years now. However, 2023 was a year they pivoted to strategically leveraging AI. The theme was to foundationally build the solutions with AI at its core to give maximum value to end users – either by simplifying what they do or by automating and solving critical business problems for them – like OpenAI based content generation, Image analytics, Sentiment analysis, Content Moderation, to name a fe. There is now a dedicated AI product & engineering team focused on innovating around AI in this space. Can’t wait to see the robust AI roadmap for 2024 become a reality soon. 

Lastly, the UX. User experience was at the core of every story, every feature, every use case. There was a huge focus on ease of use, simplicity as well as self-serviceability. The user interfaces have become very persona-driven and intuitive based on how each user in their specific role interacts with the solution. Unlike a lot of other light weight solutions that claim simplicity, Syndigo has the ability to solve from very simple use cases to the most complex business scenarios across industry verticals. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said that an MDM system cannot have simple UIs and definitely cannot be self-serviceable. However, Syndigo has made huge strides in this area. User experience is now very contextual, irrespective of the complexity.  
And simplicity remains a continued focus for 2024 as well, as is evident with the announcement of the launch of a lighter version of PIM. I believe, with a light easy PIM complementing their industry leading Syndication and Digital Experience solutions, Syndigo will position itself in a league of its own. Bye Bye Salsifys and Akeneos of the world. 
I recently attended the 2024 Syndigo Partner Kick-off event, where the leadership reiterated the strategic focus areas for 2024 – Continuing to lead the PXM market, Leveraging AI as enabler, enhancing customer domain for better consumer experience and focus on usability and UX. Clearly, 2023 was a building base to their long-term strategy and it is exciting to see them continue to double down on the areas they placed their bets on, months ago. These moves will shape up the industry in the coming years, and it is gonna be an interesting space to keep an eye on. Watch Out! 

Amit Rai

Amit Rai is the President at ThoughtSpark. With strong ideas on everything Data, AI and Tech, Amit loves to experiment, analyze, research and learn, thought-leading everyday. With nearly 15 years of experience in the Syndigo ecosystem, it was apt for Amit to do the 2023 Syndigo round-up.

About ThoughtSpark

ThoughtSpark is your go-to enabler in the Syndigo ecosystem, committed to enabling partner-centric sales and go to market strategies, in addition to implementation services. ThoughtSpark walks hand in hand, sharing insights, knowledge, and expertise to fuel its partner’s journey. Our ultimate mission is to enable the growth and unparalleled success of System Integrators across the Syndigo ecosystem.

Syndigo Wrapped 2023

The year 2023 marked a significant focus on partnerships in the Syndigo ecosystem. Syndigo started the year strong with two successful Partner Kick-Offs in Europe and North America, setting the right tone for 2023. These events facilitated insightful exchanges between Syndigo executives and partners.

The introduction of the Partner Advisory Board emerged as a crucial catalyst for ongoing innovation, serving as a vital feedback channel to Syndigo Product leadership. The first in-person meeting of the board at Syndigo Partner Connect in Chicago marked a significant milestone. Additionally, Syndigo launched the Partner Portal for lead management and established the Partner Support Desk to directly address partners’ queries. Skill enhancement took center stage through tailored product and sales training. In conjunction with other initiatives, Syndigo extended monthly consulting for partners, emphasizing collaborative growth. These nuanced yet transformative changes bear testament to Syndigo’s commitment to shaping the future of Master Data Management.

In the technical sphere, 2023 was a chapter of constant innovation, evolution and strategic advancements at Syndigo. Syndigo devoted itself to refining user experiences, particularly within the user interface (UI). Acknowledging the pivotal role the search functionality plays in a user’s journey, Syndigo made enhancements to the search experience by introducing various operators. The introduction of the Dynamic Authorization model was also a key highlight. This feature empowered users with exceptional control over permissions, dynamically aligning access permissions with specific business use cases.

Another noteworthy feature is the ability to generate sequence numbers within the application using business rule keywords. This serves as a unique identifier generator, making data organization more straightforward within the MDM framework. The introduction of the download and upload UI configuration files feature democratized what was once exclusive to developers, with access extended to anyone who needs to manage UI configurations independently.

In the realm of transparent data management, Syndigo gave a real boost to the System Monitoring Throughput Report. This insightful tool empowers MDM practitioners to track the average and peak throughput of their tenant, enabling data-driven decision-making and efficient data management practices.

These enhancements have contributed to a more dynamic and user-centric experience within Syndigo’s platform. They are a testament to Syndigo’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological evolution. The initiatives undertaken on the Partner front underscore Syndigo’s holistic approach, acknowledging that growth and success are best achieved through collaborative efforts. We look forward to continuing our journey of growth and enablement with Syndigo, in 2024.