Oracle is sprucing up its customer data platform, CX Unity, with a little machine learning.
The platform will now support real-time behavioral data collection and personalization capabilities through Infinity, Oracle’s digital streaming technology. Infinity captures web event, app and point-of-sale data to help brands build realistic representations of the customer journey.
That previously required repeated and rigorous A/B testing, said Rob Tarkoff, EVP and general manager of Oracle Cloud CX and Oracle Data Cloud.
“But by applying machine learning to that, you can come up with predictions and insights based on a holistic set of data, and it doesn’t require you to do one-off activities,” he said.
Marketers can use ML in this context to anticipate the best possible discount to offer at the beginning of a conversation with a customer, for example, or to reduce the number of touches required for a sale.
CX Unity launched in 2018, right around the time Salesforce and Adobe started ginning up their own CDPs. The marketing clouds have gone big on CDPs after a slow start and initial skepticism about the need for CDP technology.
But Oracle differentiates itself with what Tarkoff calls “a true one-platform story” – as opposed to “the fake news we hear from some of our competitors who only like to talk about a single platform.”
Take Salesforce, he said. Einstein, the AI layer within Salesforce’s platform, is built on Amazon Web Services; ExactTarget runs on Azure; and other parts of Salesforce are built on Salesforce’s own proprietary stack. But Oracle weaves AI into its offerings consistently across platforms, including its CDP, Tarkoff said.
“Our ambition, and a big one for Larry [Ellison], is to have a single platform orientation and to automate and engineer the front office processes as much as the backend office processes,” he said.
What that means in practice is capturing and applying signals regardless of where they come from.
Field service is a good example. Last year, Oracle introduced a Service Logistics Cloud that helps service departments collaborate, share data and manage their supply chains. Through a combination of Service Logistics and CX Unity, it would be possible to send a signal to a field technician if they need to reroute their schedule because a part they need for a job isn’t available until later in the day.
“While we do all of the marketing use cases that traditional CDPs are expected to do, like campaign suppression, personalization and real-time segmentation,” Tarkoff said, “our view is that customer intelligence expands way beyond marketing.”