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Why Reltio is All-in on Salesforce Customer 360, and the Adobe, Microsoft, SAP Open Data Initiative

Manish Sood, CEO & Founder, Reltio

Last week we saw some exciting announcements on the subject of Customer 360 and customer engagement. First Adobe, Microsoft, SAP and announced a new partnership: the Open Data Initiative, the intention to create a single data model for consumer data that is then portable between platforms. Then Salesforce announced Customer 360 at Dreamforce 18, to help brands identify who their customers are and how they previously interacted with them. The single customer 360 ID will enable companies to access customer information through Salesforce’s various applications including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Commerce Cloud.

The announcement is great news for the industry, and I’m excited to share today that Reltio will be supporting both initiatives. This means that our customers, who are already in production using Reltio Cloud for Customer 360, as well as any future customers and partners, will be able to use Reltio to take full advantage as both initiatives evolve while benefiting from significant additional capabilities.

Standardizing on a common data model, and having a single Customer 360 ID is important, but such efforts have historically been limiting. Common IDs and tight coupling of apps can solve some immediate problems, could provide a quick fix for small organizations but in the long run, can create new islands of data that can create challenges for larger enterprises. Reltio will help both initiatives by continuously unifying and organizing all data within their respective models while making it universally accessible for collaboration and consumption across the enterprise. Our philosophy has always been that standalone customer profile data reconciliation is insufficient without the benefit of understanding relationships across more than just the customer domain. Unlocking the value in relationships across multiple domains such as customers, households, stores, locations, products, parts, suppliers is essential to a true Customer 360, and Reltio delivers this at an enterprise scale.

The Open Data Initiative announcement mentions a data model with over 50 different open source schemas stored in a data lake. These schemas require companies to stitch together the relationships across attributes, schemas, and profiles. Reltio helps this effort through logical metadata that combines all 50+ schemas into one unified canonical model and view of the customer data while ensuring continuous data quality that prevents a traditional data lake from turning into a data swamp.

We started Reltio on the idea that customer data will always be distributed across dozens of application sources with different formats; that companies will keep on adding new sources; that understanding relationships across all data types, not just customer profiles are important; that agility is key, and that future-proofing from changes in technology investments is critical. It’s the reason why we adopted a multi-cloud, multi-model data storage architecture, rather than an arguably easier approach of committing to a single NoSQL, RDBMS, or a graph database. For over seven years, we’ve been delivering on the promise of the complete customer 360-view, through a foundation of trusted, reliable data, powered by open, next-generation modern Master Data management (MDM). We’ve delivered this by not just creating a better MDM in the cloud, but creating a true 360-view that includes master data, relationships across all data entities and correlating omnichannel interactions, transactions. But we didn’t stop there. We architected a platform that brings together analytical insight and operational execution using advanced analytics and machine learning to continuously correlate insight, action, and outcomes in a closed-loop, to extract the maximum business value out of data.

Our customers – which include eight of the 10 largest life science companies, two of the top 10 cosmetics companies in the world, a global hotel and hospitality group, a U.S.-based healthcare insurer, one of the largest U.S.-based pet retailers, one of the largest mortgage providers – rely on Reltio for their digital transformation and customer engagement initiatives. From globally harmonizing customer 360-views across 140+ countries to bring together customer data from hundreds of millions of organizations, to real-time personalization, marketing segmentation of millions of consumers, Reltio continues to deliver on the promise of Customer 360.

Speed, performance, and scalability are key. Over 4.3 billion mission critical master profiles, representing well over 1 Petabyte of storage under management in Reltio Cloud, is being accessed by business teams globally to the tune of over 85 million real-time API calls per day. As these numbers are growing by the second, our multi-cloud platform supported on both AWS and GCP provides the elastic and scalable horsepower to meet demanding workloads, and the aggressive growth objectives of global enterprises. They look to their “Reltioed” data as the trusted source for their analytics and machine learning (ML) initiatives, compliance requirements such as GDPR, and next-generation customer engagement and experiences.

Reltio partners, including Salesforce, Mulesoft, IQVIA, AWS, GCP, Accenture, Cognizant, Wipro, ZS Associates, and Dun & Bradstreet, have all been part of successful Reltio for Customer 360 deployments, which bring together data across applications and sources in multiple Salesforce, Adobe, Microsoft, and SAP environments.

These are exciting times for enterprises looking to transform themselves and leapfrog the competition. But it’s not easy, with a shifting landscape of technology choices, continuously evolving regulations such as GDPR, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), and the need to operate at scale most cost-effectively. To companies considering how the Salesforce and Open Data Initiative announcements might impact their plans, please reach out to us to learn more about our support of both initiatives, and how we can get you on a path to future-proofed Customer 360 in a matter of weeks. To our current customers who have placed their faith, and most importantly their critical customer data assets into Reltio, I’d like to say thank you, and assure you that the best is yet to come.

Why Master Data Management and Machine Learning Go Hand in Hand

Ramon Chen, Chief Product Officer, Reltio

Reltio’s inclusion in the The Forrester Wave™: Machine Learning Data Catalogs Q2 2018, by Michele Goetz with Gene Leganza, Elizabeth Hoberman, and Kara Hartig, Forrester Research, June 2018, sparked (pun intended) several questions. Such as why was Reltio included, how did we receive such strong marks, and why were we the only Master Data Management (MDM) vendor in the Wave?

The simple answer is that the Wave’s qualification criteria includes several key areas in which Reltio is naturally strong. As the only Master Data Management platform recognized in the Wave we believe our core MDM capabilities contributed to our strong showing. In fact, Reltio had already been included, together with 23 other excellent companies, in Forrester’s Now Tech: Machine Learning Data Catalogs, Q1 2018 report preceding the Wave.

That report outlined key 3 characteristics of Machine Learning Data Catalogs (MLDC):

1. Interpret, define, classify, link, and optimize the use of disparate data sources

Reltio is used by companies globally to define logical business schemas, capture and discover relationships through the Reltio Self-Learning Graph, suggest ongoing improvements, and to organize and bring siloed data together across the enterprise to meet their business objectives. This continuous reliable data foundation feeds better operational execution, predictive analytics, and sets them up to evolve towards a self-learning enterprise.

2. Reconcile policies across data use

Reltio Cloud’s built-in data security and privacy, regulatory, life-cycle, and data quality policies coexist to adapt data for multiple uses through a powerful audit trail, and role based access to data. This is critical in the face of evolving compliance measures such as GDPR. Flexibility and agility to ensure that you can track not just where the data originated, but how it’s being used and the outcomes it generates, is a critical component of any forward looking ML strategy.  

3. Democratize data to the edge of business

Reltio is particularly well suited to meet this requirement through frontline business user facing data-driven applications and workflow and collaboration capabilities that come OOTB with Reltio Cloud. It allows teams to submit comments, suggestions, filter and easily segment information through a UI that’s as easy to use as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Data science teams are then able to use Reltio IQ, with Apache Spark to run their algorithms without the pain associated with cleaning and onboarding data in separate environments. This is increasingly important as enterprises deploy machine learning systems, with data scientists requiring relevant, curated data sources to train algorithms to improve results.

As this video illustrates, the true value comes from being able to synchronize ML-algorithm derived IQ scores back into master profiles as aggregate attributes. Making them available for segmentation by marketing, sales, and even data stewards and compliance teams. Teams can then continuously reconcile results to recommendations in a closed loop to self-learn and improve outcomes.

We are tremendously proud and honored to have been included in the MLDC Wave as it reflects our core belief that machine learning cannot be used in isolation from the overall data organization and management needs of the business.

Whatever your desired outcome, MDM forms the backbone of high quality, reliable data which allows ML to thrive.

ML in turn provides unique capabilities to improve and increase the efficiency of data quality, and enterprise data organization operations. Like the graphic I selected for this post, they go hand in hand, and are interconnected across all points of the data continuum and life cycle.

How CDOs & CIOs are Driving Digital Transformation

Ajay Khanna, VP of Marketing, Reltio

I recently got an opportunity to present at MITCDOIQ Symposium in Cambridge, MA. Here is the outline of my presentation where I discussed how today’s CIOs and CDOs are driving digital transformation across their enterprises. It discusses the key drivers for digital transformation and how Modern Data Management is helping them with their initiatives. You can now download my slides from the event from this page.

Today’s business landscape more dynamic than ever. New revenue models, stringent regulations and high customer expectations are forcing organizations to evolve or face being overrun by more nimble competitors.

CDOs and CIOs of established business are looking to digital transformation as a key initiative. But what exactly does digital transformation entail? At its core, any digital transformation requires clean and consistent data, reconciled across systems and channels. An enterprise-wide data management foundation that ensures real-time access to reliable data of all types at scale and is non-negotiable. Data access must be democratized across all groups and divisions so that teams can get a 360-degree view of customers, products, organizations and more.

However, it’s not just about disconnected siloed analytics. It’s about the next generation of operational data-driven applications that allow frontline business users to gain relevant insight and intelligent recommended actions so they can achieve their goals. This session explores how some of the largest companies in the world are transforming themselves using the same modern data management technology used by Internet giants such as Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google.

The presentation covers the following topics:

  • Changes in business environment and need for agility

  • Digital transformation drivers

  • Digital transformation examples

  • Data-driven digital transformation with Modern Data Management

Please fill out the form below to download the presentation slides:

Is it About the Groceries or the Data? How Whole Foods Tried to Avoid Being Amazoned

Ramon Chen, Chief Product Officer, Reltio

Amazon announced that it is acquiring Whole Foods for $13.7B.  There are several theories going around about the move, from direct competition with Walmart, to an interesting theory by Blockchain Expert Richie Etwaru, who ties in Amazon’s designs on becoming a pharmacy with the deal, and whether they might go after a healthcare payer next. Some even are speculating that Nordstrom is next on the Amazon shopping list.

As the Chief Product Officer at Reltio, my focus is on the data, and helping companies avoid being “Amazoned” (Informal definition: Brick and mortar stores under threat from online competitors). Rewind 1.5 years ago, an article by Phil Wainewright of Diginomica caught my attention. “Whole Foods Market teams with Infor to transform retail.” Credit Whole Foods executive vice president and CIO Jason Buechel with his vision to be more data-driven, and to create one source of the truth.

Based on what we know about customer behavior, attitudes we know about that store and region, we want to make decisions on everything from assortment planning to space allocation, pricing, promotion. A lot of that has got to do with insights from the platform and having better analytics to make decisions.

 

Whole Foods and Infor’s partnership was supposed to result in a next generation, cloud-based retail management system to transform its core operations. Infor, which hosts the software on Amazon Web Services (AWS), intended to make the capability available other retailers in the industry.

In the article, Buechel also told author Phil Wainewright of Diginomica that Whole Foods has carefully weighed the pros and cons of that cloud infrastructure being operated by Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is part of a company with which it competes in the online grocery market.

We’re OK with this decision, for two reasons. One, the ‘chinese wall’ — the commercial commitment that Amazon does not have access to the data or any of the things that are really being processed within AWS within this solution. We’ve had specific direct conversations with Amazon involving our legal teams and really understanding that limitation.”

If Amazon were ever to breach those commitments I think it would be devastating to their business — and a quite profitable business for them as well.

There’s also the huge consideration that this is the largest, best and most cost-effective platform in this space. Another partner would not yield as good a result. It is not just cloud hosting, it is a platform, a toolset, that allows speed-to-market that are not offered by other providers.

Kudos to Phil Wainewright for this article, because it called out what all Retailers are thinking today. The only way to avoid being “Amazoned” is to run on the very platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS), that can allow me to compete with Amazon.

Retailing executives are asking themselves am I okay with that? What are my alternatives? Clearly Whole Foods CIO Jason Buechel knew it was a risk worth taking. He may not have foreseen that Amazon would acquire Whole Foods, but he definitely knew that doing nothing was not acceptable.

Other data experts saw this coming as well. Bill Schmarzo, CTO, Dell EMC Services (aka “Dean of Big Data”) posted an amazingly relevant digital transformation blog post, with a Grocery chain case study less than a week ago!

As for the question, did Amazon buy Whole Foods for the groceries or the data? Clearly this is an amazing twofer. They get a physical presence that can help their delivery and Amazon Fresh efforts, but they also get the significant dataset of customers who buy groceries from Whole Foods. They now have the information to bring together a complete single view of the customer, from brick and mortar shopping to online purchases. 

In the end, the data-driven takeaway to all retailers is not just evolve or be Amazoned, but do it fast because no company can afford to spend years working on digital transformation, when their very survival depends on better customer experience, better marketing, better omnichannel engagement, personalization and more.

At Reltio, we’ve honed our Modern Data Management Platform as a Service (PaaS) to give companies the agility they need to not just survive, but thrive. Incidentally, Ajay Khanna, Reltio’s VP of Marketing will be presenting on this exact topic at the MITCDOIQ Symposium in Cambridge, MA on July 13th. We hope to see you there.