By Anastasia Zamyshlyaeva, Chief Architect, Co-Founder at Reltio
Imagine you are on an international business trip and spot a popular fast-food restaurant that has a global presence. Striding inside in a hurry, you swipe your loyalty card and are ready to order.
The sandwich artist cheerfully asks if you want to go for your favorite—toasted turkey and cheddar sandwich on wheat bread with extra pickles—or if you want to try a tuna sandwich this time. With the access to your profile in the restaurant’s point-of-sale (POS) system, the sandwich artist is well aware of your usual preferences, and that you have occasionally chosen the tuna sandwich before.
Top companies put in great efforts to delight customers like this at every stage in the customer journey. By leveraging technology to deliver highly-personalized experiences, digitally savvy companies are leading the way in building rich customer relationship profiles.
The key challenge for organizations struggling to keep up in this fast-paced world is the lack of reliable customer information from the vast amounts of data stored in different systems. Customer information includes data provided by individuals, transactional data from multiple customer touch points, third-party data, and derived data from analytics.
Building a true Customer 360 requires gaining a comprehensive view of customer behavior and preferences by aggregating data from all of these sources, and more.
With a single source of truth, a true Customer 360 delivers complete a real-time customer view to all parts of the organization—sales, marketing, service, support, etc.
This consistent and contextual insight can help enterprises delight customers with personalized experience and timely offers through each touch point in the customer journey.
With Customer 360, enterprises can achieve:
- Granular segmentation.
- Real-time personalization.
- Omnichannel customer engagement.
- Faster regulatory compliance.
In this post, I will discuss Customer 360 challenges with traditional databases, and how a different approach of multi-model architecture can help. I will also share how Reltio Cloud delivers true Customer 360 for rich customer relationship profiles, and how they can be leveraged for building great customer experiences.
Reltio is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner with the AWS Life Sciences Competency. The Reltio Cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) blends data from various sources to create a true 360 view of a company’s customer base.
Customer 360 Challenges with Traditional Databases
The concept of Customer 360 has been around for some time, but not in the truest sense.
Applications built on rigid relational data models are not suited to be a single source of truth of customer data across all enterprise applications. They are not capable of capturing complex and dynamic real-world relationships, such as graph-powered applications like LinkedIn and Facebook.
The other category of databases, NoSQL or non-relational, includes graph, columnar, key-value, and document, among others. These databases are more suitable for managing large distributed datasets and supporting modern application development.
In practice, enterprises face two key challenges:
- Manage data with a huge volume, variety, and velocity.
- Perform multiple types of operations on that data.
Relational databases can support the volume, but not relationships essential for true Customer 360. Columnar databases are fast but do not manage relationships well. Graph databases are perfect for uncovering and handling relationships but lack the horizontal scalability to meet enterprise requirements.
Different types of operations need different types of data storage, and no single technology can work out to be the best. This realization has sparked the idea of a multi-model architecture for a single application that supports the right storage for the right data and offers the flexibility to run different workflows on the same data.
Multi-Model Architecture for True Customer 360
Multi-model databases support a mix of data models and use cases, with a single backend storage. These databases realistically handle the varying data storage needs with different data storage technologies—in other words, polyglot persistence—without compromising performance.
Multi-model architecture allows you to run different queries on different storage types; master data in the document type for search queries or reference data in the relational database. The high-volume transactional data can be in flat files, which also ties up with the master data.
Multi-model architecture helps you to get the maximum business value from your data assets, generating insights and actionable recommendations through data-driven applications.
Minimizing the backend complexity and components to be maintained, multi-model cloud storage can provide a single reliable version of truth available to all users at all times.
Reltio Cloud is built on a multi-model architecture data foundation. It’s a single place where you can bring different types of data together—entities, relationships, graphs, interactions, transactions, reference data, as well as social and third-party data. Basically, everything under one virtual data roof.
Free from the limitations of relational data modeling, Reltio Cloud captures and automatically models a variety of structured and unstructured master, reference, transaction, and activity data, without any volume restrictions.
Figure 1 – Delivering speed to value with Reltio and AWS.
The Reltio graph delivers powerful customer insights, including identity resolution, householding, quick segmentation based on any attribute, roll-up of dynamic hierarchical information, finding key influencers, and understanding customer preferences.
AWS for Agility and Security
Reltio Cloud leverages a wide variety of AWS technologies and services to innovate at scale and expand into new markets at speed.
The AWS SaaS Factory helped optimize Reltio Cloud for cost-efficiency and resiliency. Full support from AWS technical services provides effortless scaling up and down with thousands of virtual machines to move any type and any volume of data into Reltio Cloud.
Reltio Cloud takes advantage of multiple AWS solutions, including:
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for running database and search indexes.
- AWS Lambda for micro-batching when saving changes from Reltio Cloud to Amazon S3 for analytical storage.
- Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring several services.
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for analytical storage, backups, and customer’s image storage, among others.
- Amazon DynamoDB as a backend storage for UI to persist user preferences and parameters for UI graph visualization.
The security model of AWS and its compliance to stringent security standards of diverse verticals assures a safe global infrastructure with high availability.
Building Great Customer Experiences with Rich Customer Relationship Profiles
Innovative global companies leading in this experience economy use Reltio Cloud to create rich customer profiles that deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Reltio Cloud continuously unlocks the value of data relationships across people, products, locations, devices, and other newly-added datasets in an increasingly complex digital and regulatory landscape.
Say you’re on a business trip and you check in to a country club where you plan to spend a night, but this is not your home club. The receptionist surprises you by upgrading your stay and giving you a great deal at a local award-winning restaurant. He also offers to secure discounted tickets for VIP seating to an upcoming concert near your home club as a great way to celebrate your wedding anniversary next month.
The country club operator can deliver this type of exciting experience because they have access to your fresh, rich, and actionable member profile, fueled by Reltio. This data is then taken through analytics to get insights that empower the receptionist with the next best offers and actions aligned with your profile, relationships, and preferences.
Reltio empowers the club operator to personalize the offering for every club member, while adhering to privacy and preferences to deliver memorable experiences and retain their high-net-worth members.
A true Customer 360 provides a real-time, complete view of your customers’ behaviors and preferences using aggregated data from all of your data sources. This is the starting point for designing great customer experiences in today’s experience economy.
Traditional databases are not suitable to build a single source of truth of customer data across all enterprise applications. Capturing complex and dynamic real-world relationships needs a new approach to leveraging different data storage types. A multi-model architecture efficiently manages the varying data storage needs to deliver a true Customer 360.
Using multi-model architecture, Reltio Cloud delivers a single source of truth for customer data, utilizing multiple AWS services for security and agility. Mastering customer data in Reltio Cloud allows you to build rich customer profiles by continuously unlocking the value of data relationships across people, products, locations, and devices.
You can leverage the rich customer profiles built with Reltio Cloud to design and deliver great personalized experiences across all touch-points, from a country club receptionist offering VIP tickets to a concert you may like, to a sandwich artist that knows you just might try the tuna sandwich this time around.
To learn more about Customer 36o and Reltio Cloud, check out these whitepapers:
- Customer Data Management in B2C: What We Learned from World’s Largest Retail & Consumer Brands
- The Golden Path to B2B Customer 360: What We Learned from Serving World’s Largest B2B Enterprises
The content and opinions in this blog are those of the third party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.
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Reltio is an AWS Competency Partner. The Reltio Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) blends data across all domains and formats from any internal, third party, and social media sources to create a true Customer 360.
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