Microsoft, SAP, Adobe To Back Common Data Model

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Ignite 2018: The proposed standardised model could make it easier to carry out large-scale analytics on customer data drawn from different sources

Microsoft, SAP and Adobe on Monday announced a partnership aimed at creating a common model for customer data, in order to make it easier for companies to move such information across different platforms.

The companies said their partnership, called the Open Data Initiative, could make it easier for companies to draw together customer data from different sources in order to feed it into the large systems that enterprise are increasingly using to carry out data analytics.

The firms announced the deal at Microsoft’s Ignite developer conference in Orlando, Florida.

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‘Open’ data standard

“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,” the companies said in a joint statement.

The initiative is a challenge to Salesforce, which operates a popular cloud-based business platform for customer relationship management (CRM). SAP is a significant Salesforce competitor.

The firms said they would support the proposed common model across their platforms, Adobe’s Experience Cloud and Experience Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP C/4HANA and S/4HANA.

Regulatory challenge

The model is intended to deal with CRM information, but also purchase behaviour and other customer data, the companies said.

There is currently no standard way of structuring such information, making it more difficult for data from different sources to be pooled and analysed together.

New data protection legislation in Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), could boost the use of data generated by direct marketers of the kind served by SAP and Salesforce, since it places restrictions on data gathered by the online advertising industry.

Under the GDPR, online ad data can only be used and processed with the user’s informed consent.

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