SAP Customer Data Cloud Overview
The Customer Data Cloud (formerly known as Gigya) is SAP’s solution to an array of common customer data management problems that organizations face. The SAP Customer Data Cloud (CDC) is a core component of the C/4HANA customer experience suite. CDC provides a complete view of the customer that is throughout the C/4HANA Suite and can be used by other external applications as well.
What It Does
CDC manages the complete customer lifecycle within the connected enterprise. It provides a single consistent view of the customer across all applications. The product focuses on three key areas: collection and management of first-party customer data, security and compliance, and integration.
Poorly implemented Customer Data Management can lead to many issues including
- Inconsistent customer data spread out across multiple data silos
- Poor offer and message personalization as a result of incorrect data
- Bad customer service experiences due to missing data
- Alienating customers by displaying data to them that they did not consent to giving you
- Frustrating customers by not integrating into their social networks
- Facing the wrath of regulators and customers by mishandling customer privacy
CDC’s focus on managing first-party customer data helps to solve these problems. CDC is structured on the principle that the customer owns their data and must consent to its use. CDC is built to serve as the database of record for customer data. As customer data is added or modified, it is broadcast to all other connected applications.
The focus on security and compliance helps solve the regulatory issues. It provides all the controls necessary to support GDPR and other regulations. CDC data centers are located in multiple countries to support data residency requirements.
CDC integration is focused on providing robust plugins and APIs that can be used within websites and mobile applications. CDC integrates with major social networks to provide CDC access with social data and customers to post to social networks via CDC enabled websites and apps. Finally, CDC provides an ETL platform for distributing customer data to all connected applications.
Registration and Login
- CDC provides tools that integrate customer registration and login with web and mobile apps
- Integration with most social networks allow very low friction site registration
- Built-in security features such as CAPTCHA and email confirmation
- Single sign-on capabilities allow users to login to a site via their social network or other connected site
- Simple plug-ins are available to allow out of the box functionality to be deployed to a site very quickly while still matching brand look and feel
- Captures customer consent for everything from accepting cookies to allowing data to be shared
- Customer opt-ins are stored centrally in a manner which supports rigorous auditing
- All connected applications have access to customer preferences
- Allows the creation of preference center
- Serves as the database of record for customer profile data
- Pulls data from social networks into the profile when connected and allowed
- Supports progressive profiling allowing the customer to share data over time instead of up front
- Quickly and easily create customer segments using profile data
- Supports a customer’s right to be forgotten
- Policies govern when data can be shared with other systems
- Distributes customer data to all connected applications ensuring a consistent view of the customer across all applications
- CDC provides ETL tools to manage the distribution of customer data to other applications
- Users define data flows that specify what data is to be transferred, any transformations required, and where the data will be loaded
- Prebuilt components are included to handle loading data into external systems
- Generic integration components are provided for file based (ftp, sftp, s3, azure blobs) and HTTP requests
- Plug-ins and APIs allow data to be collected by multiple sites and mobile applications and stored within the CDC
Security and Compliance
- Customer data is stored securely in the cloud in SAP owned and managed data centers
- Data security is regularly and aggressively tested
- Full customer level audit trails
- Complies with all data privacy and management regulations including GDPR
General Implementation Notes
A couple of things to consider as you begin planning for your CDC implementation.
While the “out-of-the-box” offering will work for a subset of customers, most will likely need some level of modification or enhancement to meet their needs. Some of the enhancements that may be required are extensions to the data schema, modifications and creation of new screen sets, finer grained control of the registration process, and external system integrations.
Ensure you have organizational support across the enterprise before initiating the project. This is typically more challenging than the implementation itself.
The level of effort tied to data migration will be tied to the complexity, quality and overall amount of customer data. This should be mapped out in advance in the project plan accordingly.
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