Microsoft announces expansion of  Open Data Initiative with Adobe and SAP

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appeared at the Adobe Insight event to highlight the extended initiative, which also saw a demo of how Unilever uses ODI to help reduce their plastic packaging.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (L) and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen onstage at Adobe Summit

LAS VEGAS – Last fall, Adobe, Microsoft and SAP announced the Open Data Initiative [ODI], which the three companies jointly developed to provide a platform that provides a single, comprehensive view of data,  infuses real-time intelligence back into their applications and services. On Wednesday at Adobe Summit here, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced an expansion of the initiative. A demo was then conduced around Unilever’s use of ODI to use AI-driven insights that will help reduce their plastic packaging and encourage consumer recycling.

“Data is the most valuable asset that organizations have,” said Nadella. “It’s why initiatives like ODI will help companies unleash its values.”

The premise behind ODI is that the enhancement of the interoperability of the platforms of the partners involved through the use of a common data model, with the data stored in a data lake chosen by the customer. The unified data lake will allow customers to create new connections across previously siloed data, with the customer’s source of development tools and applications.

“My definition of an AI-first company is that you have to take all the data you have and make the customer interaction better,” Nadella said. “The greatest asset that everyone in this room has is data. Except it’s locked up in silos. Our partnership is about unlocking that data.”

The new news part of the announcement was that io improve that process, the three companies plan to deliver in the coming months a new approach for publishing, enriching and ingesting initial data feeds from Adobe Experience Platform, activated through Adobe Experience Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Office 365 and SAP C/4HANA, into a customer’s data lake.

“It’s so nice to see the data not being locked up,” Nadella said. “This will use data from the customer experience through to supply chain data – seeing it all from end to end.”

Ben Tepfer, Technical Evangelist for the Microsoft Partnership at Adobe, then conducted a demo showing how joint customer Unilever is using ODI to make all of their packaging reusable, compostable or recyclable. ODI’s role here is to tie inventory and plastics data into Adobe data to eliminate what had been separate siloes of data.  Bringing together these disparate customer, product and resource data and using AI-driven insights on them helps reduce plastic packaging and encourages consumer recycling.

“ODI really begins to light up in the customer journey,” Tepfer said. “This is the power of ODI bringing together data in an actionable way that allows us to deliver these customer experiences.”

In addition, to accelerate development of the ODI initiative, Adobe, Microsoft and SAP will also convene a Partner Advisory Council consisting of over a dozen companies including Accenture, Amadeus, Capgemini, Change Healthcare, Cognizant, EY, Finastra, Genesys, Hootsuite, InMobi, Sprinklr and WPP.