Open Data Initiative - possible implications?

I just found this announcement from Microsoft, Adobe and SAP:…

“In today’s world, data is a company’s most valuable asset. However, many businesses struggle to attain a complete view of their customer interactions and operations, because they are unable to connect information trapped in internal silos. At the same time, important customer information also resides in external silos with intermediary services and third-party providers, limiting a company’s ability to create the right connections, garner intelligence and ultimately extract more value from its own data in real time to better serve customers…

Based on these principles, 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 organization, companies can more easily use 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…

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.“

Does this have any implications on the companies discussed here?

Since NTNX was down so much in the last weeks I’m speculating they might be impacted, or maybe that the market thinks they are impacted? Making Data more accessible and usable from different sources (internal and external silos - is that another word for private and public cloud?) sounds a bit like what NTNX is trying to do (“virtualize various clouds - private, public, edge - into one seamless cloud enabling enterprises to choose the right cloud for the right application“ - I got this from their latest S-3 filing).

Since I read „SAP HANA“, wasn’t there also one of our companies (I’m thinking ZS) that got HANA-approved recently (which is supposed to be very rare). So maybe this initiative would be a positive there?

I would love to read some opinions from more knowledgable people. I certainly have no clue, how this could impact some of our holdings.



Really good question. Also does this “common data lake” impact anyone else, such as MDB? To me, this seems like the established big dogs are seeing threats and opportunities and making their moves. Worth looking more into.

The biggest threat to this, of course, is likely to Salesforce. But I still have no idea how this is going to impact others. Nor do I have any idea how “open” this new initiative really is. This announcement appears to be rather low on details and high on hype.…

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This sounds a lot like standardization of MDM (master data management) which was an IT pipedream some years back.

There have been any number of unsuccessful stabs at solving the data silo problem via technology offerings over the years. Why Unsuccessful? Mostly because it’s a management problem, not a technology problem.

Governance and information authority and policy is a mess in most companies. It is a matter of who has the RAA (responsibility, authority and accountability) for any given information domain? And what governance processes are in place to establish policies and resolve disputes? In the vast majority of companies, these RAAs are unspecified with the requisite positions unspecified and unfilled.

For example, is “customer data” the domain of sales, marketing or finance (or yet another silo)? The answer is “yes”. But do these important corporate functions agree on what customer information is? The answer is “no”. Much less, do they agree on the attributes and the characteristics of those attributes, again the answer is “no”. How is the customer identified? By name, by a code, by a phone number, etc? Where is the company located, home office, primary manufacturing facility, purchasing department address? And on and on. And even if there is agreement on an attribute, say “customer code”. Does finance and marketing use the same code? Is it the same datatype? And how are the disagreements resolved? Which director, VP (pick the executive level you want) have the authority to actually declare the “correct” attribute. Are you joking? an executive is going to be bothered with this stuff? But if not an executive, which underling manager has the authority?

I’ve witnessed numerous standards asserted by committees such as ANSI, GEIA, EIA, ATA, ASTM and others (I’ve even had a seat on some of these boards) make only slow to no penetration with respect to adoption by industry members. That’s not a universal truth for all standards, not by a long shot, but for data naming conventions, attribute characteristics, and even a lot of higher level standards they pretty much exist on paper only.

Have times changed since I was in the barrel? Maybe, but probably not . . .

You might think that these heavyweights bring more credibility to the process. I would argue (from personal experience) that having industry heavyweights at the table is the norm, not an aberration. Will this particular effort have an impact? Maybe, but don’t hold your breath.


Thanks, brittlerock, that was very helpful! It seems that I really didn‘t have a grasp on the situation. From what you are saying I would surmise that there is practically no impact on any of our companies. And I would agree now with bjurasz that this will probably affect Salesforce the most.

Thanks again!