Most companies know that in order for them to succeed in this era, they must become publishers. Few understand what it takes. One of the components that might help them, is using a centralised approach to how they communicate everything related to their brands. One cloud-based system that covers a very broad range of brand management requirements — if not all of them — is SyncForce.
SyncForce is a Dutch company that developed the SyncForce cloud platform. The platform enables manufacturers (mostly) to manage all their product development and the information created and generated to place and promote products in the market. The system offers them a single, central online source for all brand-related rules and guidelines, product information, marketing materials and media. The central availability of all information and resources relating to a brand ensures consistent cross-channel brand implementation.
The SyncForce platform manages all information, i.e. not only the data coming from ERP systems such as SAP or Baan, but also the outgoing content such as marketing collateral being generated, product photographs, videos, etc. It pushes the information into any Content Management System that knows XML from within its PIM (Product Information Management) module, enables instant digital publishing to iPads and other tablets as well as print through XML.
The holistic approach promoted by SyncForce prevents data silos that can occur when you're using a DAM system for brand management. Such systems are often very difficult to integrate (or not integrated at all) with ERP systems on the one side and (database as well as multimedia) publishing systems on the other. Those that are, are usually quite expensive, require a good deal of development and configuration and are nowhere to be found in the cloud.
SyncForce, on the other hand, is attractively priced, runs in the cloud only (with fortnightly updates), and requires no development at all. After setting up the system for your organisation and implementing the required features, the user gets a centralised, unified control over the to creation of brands, implementing them and activating them.
SyncForce also maintains four data pools. A data pool is the common point in the communication between trading partners. It provides synchronisation of their data. The information stored in a typical data pool's master data contains for example: product description, dimensions, packaging levels, product category, company address, minimum order volume, etc. The system even manages legal standards-driven food labelling.
Mark Kleiter, a well-known Dutch ICT consultant who is active across Europe, told me he has never seen a comparable platform with such an all-encompassing approach.