Simplify product information management and publishing in the channel with the new CloudBlue Connect v24

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Configurating a product’s information is hard. Capturing all the product’s variation information is painful. Managing the entire operation of such vast and diverse information is almost unthinkable.

Faced with this daunting challenge, companies are racing to find tools and processes that allow them to centralize and manage the ever-complex product information in digital commerce and provide them with a single, clear, and accurate view of that product information. With the latest release of CloudBlue Connect, we are proud to announce the Product Information Management (PIM) capability, along with other features and improvements to our platform.

We know our customers are looking to operate more efficiently and these new features and improvements offer greater configurability and extend the capabilities of our platform to assist our partners when working within the Connect network and managing their channel operations.

We’re going to highlight a few major feature implementation and improvements below, and you can see a full release of the changes in the V24 Release Notes. Also, be sure to tune into our Connect V24 Overview Webinar on December 10th at 7AM Pacific time to learn more about this release.

A centralized platform to manage data on all product information within the channel

Products and services sold today are getting increasingly complex. These offerings come in variations that are sold with certain configurations or specifications that target a specific vertical, horizontal, and/or audience. The number of permutations and version possibilities of the product become increasingly difficult to manage without specialized tools and software. CloudBlue Connect has always provided vendors with the ability to input product information to send over to their channel distributors. However, as the number and complexity of these products grow and the information needed from distributors become more complicated and stringent, we have decided to supercharge our product information capabilities in the platform.

With our new Product Information Management capability, distributors and vendors alike will see added capability in the portal. From a distributor’s point of view, users will now be able to configure and capture different product information from their vendors as it relates to the product or service being sold. Distributor portal users can manage and configure PIM objects such as attributes, groups, variants, classes, categories, and languages. Across these six dimensions, distributors are sure to be able to capture all aspects of the product or services, in a standardized manner in line with the business requirements to sell in their marketplace.

From a vendor’s perspective, users may notice some changes in their product module. Within the module, if the distributor partner has set up their product information management inputs, vendors will see a separate tab that will allow them to configure the product information exactly how their distributor needs it. This cuts down on the back and forth on missing or invalid information and provides a streamlined, standardized manner to managing such complex products and service in the channel. The vendors will see a separate tab for each distributor that they are working with that has set up such PIM capability.

As you can probably already imagine, this is a monumental feature and milestone for CloudBlue Connect that will help all our partners and the platform in being the centralized location for managing these great but complex channel products – whether it’s hardware, software or services and much more.
Read more about our PIM functionality here.

Private catalog curation and syndication for our partners

As the Connect platform and our partner channel operation grow, our customers will increasingly require a more flexible platform that can handle more complex channel scenarios. Distributors have trended towards curating their own private catalog and their desire to syndicate a select range of products for specific resellers – due to strategic operations regarding geography, audience, or other factors. With the introduction of our Private Catalog capability, distributors will be able to create Product Groups which is a specifically controlled feature that will allow highlight specific products for their specific resellers based on certain agreements attached to the product group.

This feature will allow distributors to curate the exact product catalog with specific marketplaces enabled for resellers to either work with the partner directly or syndicate through that distributor. As channel operations and distribution become a bigger investment for both vendors and distributors, respectively, our new private catalog feature with product groups will be an instrumental feature that will allow our partners to meet their channel goals by extending our platform features and configurability.

Custom email templates!

In our last release of Connect, we enabled the ability to configure the emails that are sent out from our platform by account and with the latest release of Connect, we are extending those capabilities so that our partners can customize the email templates they send from their Connect account to match the content and branding to their company’s guidelines and specifications.

These new email rules and settings allow the account users to customize different aspects of the email templates within the account – from the conditions which the email is sent, the subject line, message body, and other various aspect of the communication. This is extremely helpful for our partners that want to either include additional message content or information in a specific email template, customize the various conditions in which that email is sent, and any additional users that might want to be notified in these emails. By allowing our users to customize these aspects of email notifications, they’re able to generate the exact message when they need it to the exact audience that will need to be notified – a huge boost for communication and productivity.

With all these new and updated features available in the latest version of Connect, we are very excited to see our customers leverage these extensive capabilities to help streamline their channel operations. Whether it is configuring and centralizing the new PIM functionalities, curating private catalogs, or customizing their email notifications – our partners are sure to increase their channel presence, boost productivity, and achieve their channel goals and objectives.

For full details of the changes within this release, please go to our CloudBlue Connect V24 Release Notes.

Stay tuned for more helpful information for this release in the coming weeks – including our CloudBlue Connect V24 Overview Webinar on December 10th at 7am Pacific and more product-focused blog posts.

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