The days of siloed CRM are dead, said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. The sale is where it all begins, not where it ends.

Lynn Haber

September 24, 2018

4 Min Read
Open Data Initiative unveiled at Microsoft Ignite 2018

(Pictured above: CEO star power was on display at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Sept. 24. Left to right: Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and SAP’s Bill McDermott.)

MICROSOFT IGNITE — Three key industry leaders gathered on stage Monday at Microsoft Ignite to discuss the new Open Data Initiative that will eliminate data silos and drive customer engagement.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft; Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP; and Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe – vendors reps who have been working together for decades and share common customers – came together to talk about liberating the customer data that’s trapped in silos both within the organization and outside of it.

“The real challenge is to bring all of this data together so that companies are in control,” Nadella explained to attendees. “So what we’re excited about is Adobe, SAP and Microsoft coming together to unleash a new era of the Open Data Initiative, to unlock the true potential of all customer data for every brand out there.”

The CEOs talked about the richness of customer data and what is already happening between their products — taking transactional informational from SAP, behavioral data from Adobe and combining it with Microsoft Azure Data Lake and AI, for example.

“All we’re doing is giving a name to what is already happening,” said Nadella. “Can we do more things? Can we make it more streamlined? Can we make sure that GDPR compliance tools are all there to make sure GDPR is that much easier? Can we do more engineering? Absolutely. But I would say, get started today and you can count on us three to continuously empower you to control your customer data.”


Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella

To deliver on the Open Data Initiative, the three technology partners are enhancing interoperability and data exchange among 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, Microsoft said.

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, declared that the days of siloed CRM are dead.

“The idea of a CRM system that can’t do everything from a single view of the consumer that’s mobile, social and ever on the move, that expects you to protect their privacy, that expects you to make a real-time offer with great predictive analytics around their prior history, their behavioral likes, and the most types of products they’re inclined to buy based on great rich deep insight — we’re in a whole new ballgame here,” he said. “The sale is where it all begins. but not where it ends.”

Noting that commodity CRM is a dime a dozen, McDermott referenced what he, Nadella and Narayen are talking about as reinventing business models. That means offering solutions that are extensible, as lean as possible and cooperate with each other.

“We’re going to do whatever is right for [the business customer]. It’s their data; it’s not our data — and data are exploding in these enterprises,” he said.

Companies worldwide use software and services from Adobe, Microsoft and SAP to run product development, operations, finances, marketing, sales, human resources and more. The Open Data Initiative is based on three guiding principles:

  • Every organization owns and maintains complete, direct control of all their data.

  • Customers can enable AI-driven business processes to derive insights and intelligence from unified behavioral and operational data.

  • A broad partner ecosystem should be able to easily leverage an open and extensible data model to extend the solution.

“A set standard data model will provide more opportunities for partners in the channel,” said Tony Coppa, vice president of product strategy at AvePoint, a four-time Microsoft Partner of the Year and Microsoft Global ISV partner. “The channel ecosystem is moving at a rapid pace and this removes challenges from managing different data sets across platforms. Partners in the channel that can take this framework and use it to help their customers improve the control and security they have over their data will thrive.”

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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