Microsoft, SAP, and Adobe provided a hint of color to their previously announced Open Data Initiative (ODI). That color includes rough timing on its availability and increased focus bolstered by a newly formed advisory council.
The ODI program was initially announced at Microsoft’s Ignite event last September. It was developed as a way to provide a blueprint for the sharing of data between the companies’ respective applications and platforms. The main goal of the initiative is to lower barriers between customer experience management silos.
Specific to the vendors involved, it targets interoperability and data exchange between Microsoft’s Dynamics 365, SAP’s C/4HANA and S/4HANA platforms, and Adobe’s Experience Cloud. The data model uses a common data lake service running on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, though the latest update indicates support for “a customer-chosen data lake.”
In practice, the initiative supports the movement of transactional, operational, customer, or IoT data between the data lake and a customer’s operations. This provides an organization with a single view of its customers and allows it to more easily enact privacy and security initiatives for that data.
“The data that is available in every company is super rich. Clearly there is a big data opportunity. Except there is this small data challenge. That is that all of this data is trapped in silos,” explained Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in describing the initiative at the Microsoft Ignite event. “The real challenge is to be able to bring all of this data together so the company is in control.”
The initiative allows organizations to own and maintain control of the data resources. They can also use artificial intelligence (AI)-driven business processes to glean insight and intelligence from the data. The open concept also invites an ecosystem approach that allows other vendors to tap into and add to the data model.
Unilever was offered up as a company using the platform. It’s using ODI to eliminate silos of data and to tie inventory and plastics data into Adobe data in an effort to reduce its plastic packaging and encourage consumer recycling.
The new ODI details also include a quasi-commitment to deliver the platform in “the coming months.”
The trio also formed a Partner Advisory Council that will include more than a dozen companies focused on using the ODI platform to help their own customers. Advisory members include Accenture, Amadeus, Capgemini, Change Healthcare, Cognizant, EY, Finastra, Genesys, Hootsuite, Inmobi, Sprinklr, and WPP.