Microsoft, Adobe and SAP launch Open Data Initiative

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 27 September 2018
Microsoft, Adobe and SAP launch Open Data Initiative

Adobe, Microsoft and SAP have launched the Open Data Initiative. Together, the three longstanding partners aim to empower a new generation of customer experiences by enabling companies to derive more value from their data.

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 artificial intelligence (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.

“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,” said 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.”

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.

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.

“This initiative from Adobe, Microsoft and SAP is an important and strategic development for the Coca-Cola System,” said Barry Simpson, chief information officer at the Coca-Cola Company. “Our digital growth plans centred around our customers are fuelled by these platforms and open standards. A more unified approach to the management and control of our data strengthens our ability to support our growth agenda and our ability to satisfy security, privacy and GDPR-compliance requirements. The industry needs to follow these leaders.”

“Every day, 2.5 billion people use a Unilever product in over 190 countries around the world,” said Jane Moran, CIO, Unilever. “The Open Data Initiative from Adobe, Microsoft and SAP is an important undertaking that will help us reimagine customer experience management by bringing together data across our entire organisation to build more direct, meaningful relationships with consumers in real time.”

“We’re excited about the Open Data Initiative and the value it will unlock for Walmart,” said Clay Johnson, executive vice president and enterprise chief information officer, Walmart. “With greater ability to connect and harness the power of our data, we can enhance the associate experience and create entirely new ways to serve our customers online and in our stores.”

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