New Adobe Cloud Platform: Purpose-built for the Experience Business
Greetings from Las Vegas at Adobe Summit! Las Vegas is a city that delights and sometimes overwhelms our senses with experiences. Hospitality, one of the industries here, is at the forefront of the Experience Business. They are focused on the guest journey – all the way from planning a trip to booking, through the arrival and guest check-in experience, on-property entertainment, and post-visit re-engagement. This relies on a good understanding of their guests through who they are, their preferences, their rewards status, and their favorite venue.
For the resort to deliver the right experience to their guest at every part of the journey, they need to capture, analyze, and take action on what we call experience data. This experience data includes all the behavioral data from the web, mobile devices, and IoT, as well as data from systems of record like Point-of-Sale and CRM systems.
At today’s Adobe Summit, we’re announcing the next generation of Adobe Cloud Platform, the industry’s first and only way to work with an enterprise’s vast array of experience data in real-time. This involves bringing together all behavioral data into one place and building services on top to understand the customer and to deliver the right experiences, which we call the Experience System of Record.
Let’s click into the building blocks of Adobe Cloud Platform and how it can accelerate the delivery of experience applications.
Adobe Cloud Platform
Adobe Cloud Platform is based on “shared architecture,” bringing all experience data from systems of engagement together to provide a single version of the truth. Compute and business logic for Adobe solutions are co-located with all requisite data, thereby avoiding data movement and multiple copies of the data. Adobe Cloud Platform, your experience system of record, also helps you centralize your data and content into a single unified profile, which allows you to create a streamlined, unified system to deliver amazing experiences.
We deliver Adobe Cloud Platform as a completely standard, multi-tenant, big data stack as a service on the cloud. All capabilities are developed as micro-services exposed through APIs, which enable interoperability with other enterprise data lakes. It is specialized for powering personalized experiences in real-time.
Now let’s look at the core tenets of Adobe Cloud Platform.
Data is at the core of Adobe Cloud Platform. All the data that is collected through the Adobe solutions, including Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Advertising Cloud applications, flows into Adobe Cloud Platform. This data is curated and organized into Experience Data Models (XDM).
Experience Data Models
XDM provides open, standardized, extensible schemas to represent all experience data, thereby enabling immediate semantic understanding of cross-channel data and fostering an ecosystem of pre-built insights and services.
XDM is a formal standard, published in JSON Schema, enabling data interoperability in Adobe Cloud Platform. When your data conforms to XDM, Adobe’s solutions can pick it up right away.
Developers and data scientists can also bring their unique and private data into Adobe Cloud Platform through a rich set of connectors. This data is cleansed, prepped, and transformed into XDMs. This can be done using a rich ecosystem of data integration tools like Informatica, SnapLogic, TMMData, Unifi Software or build data processing pipelines using Apache Spark.
Data in today’s world is subject to government regulations, contractual restrictions, and your internal policies that limit what use can be made of it, and those come with potential penalties or adverse consequences for your non-compliance. The business value you can derive from your data is very much controlled by your ability to know what data you have and where it came from, to catalog and categorize it, and to manage the myriad regulatory, contractual, and policy limitations on its use.
Adobe Cloud Platform was built with these considerations in mind; that is why it provides a robust, powerful data governance framework that you can use to manage compliance with regulations such as GDPR, restrictions, and policies controlling the use of your data. With Adobe Cloud Platform, you can better catalog and categorize your data and respond to data usage requirements. Adobe Cloud Platform’s open, extensible architecture will enable you to incorporate it and its data governance into your own integrations, building on top of Adobe Cloud Platform.
This enables you to leverage the right data to deliver the experiences while meeting all compliance requirements.
Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI ) and machine learning for predictions and insights to help businesses personalize customer experiences has become table stakes. As important as it is, getting from data to insights can come at a high cost. It typically requires skilled data scientists who conduct intensive and time-consuming data exploration, coupled with engineering to develop machine-learning models. The process is lengthy, the technology is complex, and skilled data scientists are hard to find.
To take away the heavy lifting, Adobe’s XDM provides curated data on the entire customer experience (CRM, digital marketing, support, etc.) through APIs. In addition, Adobe Cloud Platform comes with a framework for authoring, managing, and consuming pre-built and custom-developed intelligent services. Those services in turn enable real-time engagement with consumers based on an ever-evolving Experience System of Record.
Data scientists of all skill levels will achieve insights faster and deliver more effective digital experiences.
In order to provide the best experience for a customer an enterprise needs easy access to complete information about them. This holistic view of customer information is provided in Adobe Cloud Platform as a unified profile, what we call the Experience Cloud Profile.
What data does this profile have? It can ingest data from various enterprise repositories including first-party data as well any third-party data. This data may consist of CRM data, e-commerce transactions, offline transactions, loyalty program data, behavioral data from mobile, web or emails, and social interaction data.
How do we stitch this data? Each data source has its own notion of identity of a customer for each record. These identities need to be matched against each other. For first-party data, this process has various names such as de-duplication, data merger, or survivorship. In case of online behavioral data records the identities are often anonymous cookies and require cookie-matching techniques. Mobile and IoT have their own notion of identities such as device IDs. Identity resolution needs to use deterministic as well probabilistic algorithms for matching. The interconnect of all these identities can be modeled as an identity graph.
How do we optimize access to this data? A well-crafted data, storage and access model that serves needs of both analytical and operational workloads is key.
What is the most common workload? Segmentation of customers into audience groups leveraging all the rich data in both batch and real-time.
Real-time activation on the edge
The Experience System of Record facilitates experience-related actions to be completed at the right time on the right channel. Fast access to this data is necessary for real-time activation use cases, such as web personalization, advertising, or mobile marketing. Also, this real-time activation occurs in a large and geographically distributed network of decision-making nodes that Adobe calls the Edge. The Edge Activation use cases require only a subset of the Experience Cloud Profile for decisioning. Acquiring this data is achieved by creating one or more projections of this data combined with new computed attributes like propensity score.
Thinking differently about data
Enterprises need to think differently about experience data.
Developers building out the next generation of consumer experiences need a semantic platform with curated data, APIs and machine learning services on top designed explicitly for that purpose. For such a platform, experience isn’t an afterthought dredged up from the bowels of yesterday’s CRM. Adobe Cloud Platform is that platform, making data, content, and insights available to experience-delivery systems to act upon in real-time, yielding compelling experiences in the relevant moment.