Oracle Debuts Product Information Management Data Hub

Enterprise data management solution intended to enable customers to create single product repository

Enterprise data management solution intended to enable customers to create single product repository

Redwood Shores, CA — May 25, 2005 — Enterprise solution provider Oracle has debuted its Product Information Management Data Hub (PIM Data Hub), an enterprise data management solution intended to enable customers to centralize all product information from heterogeneous systems, creating a single product repository that can be leveraged across functional departments.

New government and industry regulations such as Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), as well as retailer mandates around the use of UCCnet and Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) standards, are forcing companies to centralize management of all product information.

The PIM Data Hub, a component of Oracle's recently announced Fusion Middleware brand, was designed to help customers eliminate product data fragmentation, a problem that often results when companies rely on nonintegrated legacy and best-of-breed applications, participate in a merger or acquisition or extend their business globally, according to the solution provider.

Oracle said that PIM Data Hub can be used across all industries, regardless of existing enterprise application environments, including best-of-breed, in-house or legacy. The PIM Data Hub joins Oracle's Product Data Synchronization for GDSN and UCCnet Services, offering what Oracle describes as a comprehensive product information management solution.

Product Data Synchronization for GDSN and UCCnet Services are intended to enable companies to securely deliver product information to UCCnet and via the GDSN, and then to syndicate that data to trading partners. It provides preconfigured GDSN and UCCnet attributes, EAN.UCC validations and a messaging solution to help customers ensure that they share only accurate data with their trading partners.

Handling Structured and Unstructured Data

Companies can use the capabilities of Oracle PIM Data Hub, together with Oracle's PIM Data Librarian and Application Server 10g, to consolidate, manage and synchronize product information with other source systems and trading partners. This solution offers extensible attributes, workflow driven change management and granular role-based security. The data stored within the hub can be both unstructured data, like sales and marketing collateral, or structured data, such as item attribute specifications or bills of materials (BOMs) for engineering and manufacturing.

According to Oracle, customers may use the PIM Data Hub to help manage business processes around such activities as the following:

  • Managing sell-side and buy-side product catalogs: Customers can store finished goods product information such as product characteristics, sales and marketing information, collateral, datasheets, images, as well as organize products into user-defined catalogs for quick retrieval and secure access with keyword-based or parametric search.

  • Centralizing product masters: Customers can consolidate their product and components into the Product Information Management Hub to serve as an item master for all their systems. The solution also allows customers to manage product specifications, product documents and product configurations in a central system. Customers can manage new item definition and request process, control product data quality with validations and standardization and streamline product changes request and orders with workflow driven approvals and reviews.

  • Integrating BOM management: Customers may consolidate and manage BOMs from multiple engineering systems, sales configurations, global manufacturing plants and service organizations; and the solution provides a single view of BOMs for each product or item.
"Technology like Oracle PIM Data Hub is fundamental to a demand-driven supply network (DDSN) strategy," said Lora Cecere, research director at AMR Research. "Oracle got the data hub concept right by starting with the Customer Data Hub and has refined it with the introduction of the Oracle PIM Data Hub. However, this is just a starting point. The effective use of the product data for better decisions is the next step."

Additional Articles of Interest

For more information on the supply chain impact of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations, see these articles.

For a look at how Canadian company McCain Foods is overcoming data synchronization challenges in its supply and demand chain, see the article "Building a 'Trusted Source'" in the April/May 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.