Last month, inRiver North America hosted our first ever Virtual PIMpoint. Our goal was to provide value for our customers and partners, through sharing insightful keynotes and customer case studies, and by highlighting the latest innovation in product information management—Product Marketing Cloud.
Intial feedback included the following comments: ”Great sessions!” ”Informative and concise...covered a wide array of topics from many viewpoints.”
We are so delighted that more than 150 of our customers and partners registered to join us, together with individuals simply wanting to learn more about PIM or micro-moments. As mentioned in our earlier blog, we featured world-class keynote speakers, such as brand strategist Pixie Sartang, trends expert Daniel Levine, and the legendary fashion brand builder Johan Lindeberg.
Johan Boström, inRiver’s Co-founder and Evangelist discussed disintermediation—a phenomenon that was further acknowledged by many presenters at last week’s IRCE tradeshow in Chicago. Niclas Mollin, inRiver’s President & CEO and Jimmy Ekbäck, EVP Products & Services at inRiver highlighted all the great things that are going on at inRiver to grow customer success, while David Sultan, Director of Sales Engineering did a “deep dive” into key features of inRiver Product Marketing Cloud.
We know there has been a lot going on this Spring, so if you were unable to attend, you are in luck. Take a few minutes during the Summertime (when the livin’ is easy) to watch the session replays. Just register on http://virtualpimpoint.inriver.com/en/ and sit back and relax in the comfort of your own home or office.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver Inc
“THAT WAS SUPERCOOOOOL!”
This was just one reaction to the keynote presentations that were featured at PIMpoint Summit 2017.
We had more than 600 partners, customers, and employees attend PIMpoint Summit 2017, which took place April 6 & 7 in Copenhagen. Despite that large crowd, I had a unique opportunity to talk with inRiver’s Executive Vice President, Products & Services, Jimmy Ekbäck to gain his perspective on the event, which was the largest in inRiver history.
“I always believed that this is where we would end up, because that belief is what brought us here,” Jimmy told me. “But, when you take this journey, there are so many moments that could have taken us down different routes and different roads. So, from that perspective, we are fortunate to be here. But I still believe that we are going to go much further. That belief is part of the whole inRiver DNA.”
Addressing the challenges of digital commerce is part of the inRiver DNA and that of our community of partners. “Micro-moments,” the newest buzz phrase in the world of digital marketing, was the theme of this year’s PIMpoint Summit. If you are frequent reader of these pages, you likely know that the term “micro-moments” was coined by Google to describe the intent-driven moments of decision-making that occur throughout the customer journey.
The notion of micro-moments was touched on in a number of the sessions and keynote presentations throughout PIMpoint. Several customers, including CDON.com, Bygma, and TOPS Products discussed their real-world strategies to address complex issues associated with micro-moments and digital commerce.
One popular keynote speaker, House of Harvey Co-founder Pixie Sartang, provided a step-by-step methodology for how to maintain brand visibility and messaging appropriateness as you communicate to your customers across channels. Daniel Levine, Executive Director of the Avant-Guide Institute, took us on a journey into the future, where we explored what trends are going to transform both the business world and our home lives.
We were also honored to present 17 partner and customer awards to 15 recipients—two customers and 13 partners—who have demonstrated innovation and success in their product information management deployments with inRiver PIM. The fun-filled awards dinner not only featured the presentation of these coveted awards, but also a contemporary choir who performed numbers ranging from Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” to inRiver Product Marketing Cloud-inspired covers.
Last, but certainly not least, was the much-anticipated announcement of inRiver Product Marketing Cloud, the latest iteration in our product roadmap. We are proud to introduce the first true multi-tenant Product Information Management (PIM) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution on the market today. During PIMpoint, inRiver unveiled how B2B and B2C companies can deploy inRiver Product Marketing Cloud to take advantage of the latest in PIM innovation to provide a superior customer experience across all touchpoints through engaging and consistent product stories.
Check back with me soon! I will have more from my conversation with Jimmy and the numerous partners and customers we interviewed at PIMpoint Summit 2017 on these pages in coming weeks.
In the meantime, save your online “seat” at North America Virtual PIMpoint 2017 that will be held on May 25, 2017 in our virtual conference venue. At this virtual event, you will get the best of PIMpoint Summit 2017, as well as new content from North American partners and customers, who will share insights to help you take full advantage of micro-moments.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver Inc
In many cities, you can nowadays rent a bike in a very convenient way. You simply pay a subscription fee, and you can pick up a bike at one of many stations, ride where you want to go, and return it to another convenient location.
One of my colleagues recently moved to Chicago and got a $99 per year subscription for unlimited bike rides instead of buying a new or used one. Why? For him, it was straightforward and convenient as he did not have to spend a lot of money on a bike, get it serviced, or risk getting it stolen. If it starts raining, he can leave the bike at the nearest station and get on a bus. This is an excellent example of the Everything-as-a-Service economy.
Most industries are going through a shift of revenue streams from traditional one-time sales to products being provided “as a service” and paid via subscriptions. It is not only happening to digital products like Netflix and Spotify, but also in industries where you can subscribe to physical products, such as razor blades, forklifts, jet engines, and cars.
The software industry is rapidly moving towards SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), which is transforming the way software is delivered, managed, used, and purchased. Gartner defines SaaS as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers." In short, SaaS is a leased software maintained by the software vendor.
SaaS: A perfect match for marketing and sales
The most well-known enterprise SaaS application is probably Salesforce.com, the leading CRM that boasts millions of users and more than 100,000 customers. Salesforce showed the world the benefits of the SaaS model, and the trend so far has been that applications that support the sales and marketing processes have been the first ones to reap the benefits of the cloud.
One reason is that fast-moving sales and marketing operations have much to gain from the flexibility and the configurability of SaaS. SaaS cuts the time-to-value, allows for rapid prototyping, and adds new functionality and configuration updates without cumbersome and expensive upgrade projects. Another benefit is that the continuous incremental updates make it easier for the software vendor to innovate and quickly make the corresponding business value available to all their customers so that they can stay in front of the pack.
The benefits of the subscription economy
It is hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison between SaaS and on-premises. Some companies only compare the maintenance fee (typically 20-22% per year based on the up-front license cost) with the SaaS subscription fee. Others forget to consider the total cost of ownership of their on-premises investment, including upfront licensing fees, hardware, network, backup, test and development systems, and the staff that has to manage it all. Regardless, a large up-front investment in software, hardware, and implementation makes it harder to switch if the selected solution is not satisfactory or if a better alternative comes around.
The SaaS subscription model is not always cheaper than on on-premises with perpetual licenses, but it provides predictable costs, even as you scale. Because the SaaS vendor is responsible for upgrades, uptime, and security, your organization can focus instead on the business aspects and get the most out of the software. Due to frequent and incremental updates, you can enjoy new modern features without going through costly and time-consuming upgrade projects with testing and training. Companies that use microservices-based cloud applications can more quickly and cost-effectively take advantage of other cloud services, like AI and machine-learning tools, that would otherwise be accessible only for companies with massive financial resources.
SaaS is the future of enterprise software
SaaS is going to replace the on-premises software in its entirety over time. If you are investing in new solutions, it only makes sense to consider SaaS an option, especially if speed, flexibility, predictable cost, and keeping the solution updated is important to you. In the highly competitive, fast-moving world of marketing and sales, it should be.
Johan Boström, Co-founder and Evangelist, inRiver