Open Data Initiative to empower a new generation of customer experiences

Johannesburg, 11 Oct 2018
Read time 3min 40sec
Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe (left), Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft (center), and Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP (right), introduced the Open Data Initiative at the Microsoft Ignite conference.
Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe (left), Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft (center), and Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP (right), introduced the Open Data Initiative at the Microsoft Ignite conference.

A groundbreaking partnership between Adobe, Microsoft and SAP, has birthed a new vision for renewable data and intelligent applications.

Data is a company's most valuable asset. However, organisations still struggle to attain a complete view of their customer interactions and operations, because of the inability to connect information trapped in internal silos.

Furthermore, with important customer information residing in external silos with intermediary services and third-party providers, this also limits an organisation's ability to create the right connections, garner intelligence and ultimately extract more value from its own data in real time to better serve customers.

With organisations utilising software and services from Adobe, Microsoft and SAP to run product development, operations, finances, marketing, sales, human resources and more, the next logical step was to join forces to empower their mutual customers with the Open Data Initiative.

Guiding principles

The Open Data Initiative is a common approach and set of resources for customers based on three guiding principles:

Every organisation owns and maintains complete, direct control of all their data.

Customers can enable AI-driven business processes to derive insights and intelligence from unified behavioural and operational data.

A broad partner ecosystem should be able to easily leverage an open and extensible data model to extend the solution.

Based on these principles, the core focus of the Open Data Initiative is to eliminate data silos and enable a single view of the customer, helping companies to better govern their data and support privacy and security initiatives.

With the ability to better connect data across an organisation, companies can more easily use AI and advanced analytics for real-time insights, "hydrate" business applications with critical data to make them more effective and deliver a new category of AI-powered services for customers.

Reimagining customer experience

"Adobe, Microsoft and SAP are partnering to reimagine the customer experience management category," said Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe. "Together we will give enterprises the ability to harness and action massive volumes of customer data to deliver personalised, real-time customer experiences at scale."

"Together with Adobe and SAP we are taking a first, critical step to helping companies achieve a level of customer and business understanding that has never before been possible," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. "Organisations everywhere have a massive opportunity to build AI-powered digital feedback loops for predictive power, automated workflows and, ultimately, improved business outcomes."

"Microsoft, Adobe and SAP understand the customer experience is no longer a sales management conversation," added Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. "CEOs are breaking down the silos of the status quo so they can get all people inside their companies focused on serving people outside their companies. With the Open Data Initiative, we will help businesses run with a true single view of the customer."

Enhancing interoperability

To deliver on the Open Data Initiative, the three partners are enhancing interoperability and data exchange between their applications and platforms - Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Experience Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP C/4HANA and S/4HANA - through a common data model.

The data model will provide for the use of a common data lake service on Microsoft Azure. This unified data store will allow customers their choice of development tools and applications to build and deploy services.

With the Open Data Initiative, organisations will be able to:

* Unlock and harmonise siloed data to create new value
* Bi-directionally move transactional, operational, customer or IOT data to and from the common data lake based on their preference or needs
* Create data-powered digital feedback loops for greater business impact, while also helping to enable their security and privacy compliance initiatives
* Build and adopt intelligent applications that natively understand data, relationships and metadata spanning multiple services from Adobe, SAP, Microsoft and their partners
* Technology leaders at top retail and consumer products companies, such as The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and Walmart, have expressed support and excitement about the Open Data Initiative.

See also