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March 26, 2015


Customer Engagement Architecture: A Quick Reference Guide

by Ravi Kalakota

As technology moves faster, customer’s patience grows thinner. A survey from UMass Amherst of 6.7 million users, showed that viewers tend to abandon online videos if they take more than 2 seconds to load. Most users stay on a single web page long enough to read only 20% of the text on that page, according to Nielsen Norman Group.

Instant gratification is the driver of next generation customer engagement architecture. Consumers and customers expect real-time responses. They are being conditioned for this. On an emotional level, posting a Facebook status, a tweet, or an Instagram photo feeds on and reinforces the need for instant approving feedback.  This trend creates incredible challenges for corporations who have to re-engineer, re-factor and re-architect their existing and legacy applications. 

It’s no secret that consumerization is disrupting, eroding and challenging how businesses operate.  Being customer-obsessed or “walking in the customer’s shoes” means putting customers at the core of the business, even if that means disrupting the existing platform architecture.  Easier said than done. In fact, it requires an entirely new engagement toolset at all levels – Systems of Record, Systems of Engagement and Systems of Intelligence.


Yet while most management teams understand the significance of the pace and scale of these customer experience and engagement changes, few companies have determined exactly how their organization’s strategy and architecture needs to change in response.

In response to disruptive digitization vendors have modernized, re-engineered and re-architected comprehensive frameworks to help customers. Here we examine the inter-connected “systems of engagement” and “systems  of intelligence” architecture proposed by various vendors.

  • Customer Architecture
  • Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Framework
  • Teradata’s Interactive Customer Engagement Customer Company Architecture

Customers are the heartbeat of every company. With its data-driven understanding of customer behaviors, Customer Success platform attempts to empower marketers to:

  • Combine online and offline data to reveal new insights;
  • Deliver optimized, personalized, real-time offers based on historical and in-session contextual data and search results;
  • Coordinate offers across online and offline channels in real-time;
  • Identify and communicate more relevant and personalized offers to the customer;
  • Gain a clearer view of both the customer’s path to purchase as well as his or her journey through various channels;
  • Have a better understanding of paid channels’ roles and effectiveness in converting browsers into buyers;
  • Deliver relevant, meaningful real-time offers across multiple channels by learning from previous interactions and aligning with company goals.

Salesforce Architecture

Oracle’s Customer Experience Framework

Oracle through its numerous acquisitions has stitched together a comprehensive customer experience framework around (1) Cross-channel Engagement (2) Customer Experience Insight; (3) Cross-channel Fulfillment

See this white paper for more details

Oracle - Customer Experience Framework


Teradata’s Interactive Customer Engagement

Teradata was one of the early pioneer’s in this connected customer area. Their Interactive Customer Engagement solution integrates several technologies, including a Data Discovery platform (Teradata Aster), a Big Data Analytics Warehouse (Teradata Enterprise Data Warehouse), a real-time decision engine (Real Time Interaction Manager), and the ability to deliver analytic intelligence downstream in event-driven communications (Campaign Manager and Digital Messaging Center).

The result is a broad and highly scalable, integrated solution for extending enterprise customer insight into real-time message delivery across channels. Put another way: Big data scope + freshest data delivery + behavioral and contextual data + comprehensive predictive analytics + real-time messaging = Maximized business results.

Teradata Interactive Customer Engagement

Additional References

  1. Salesforce Blog – Banking Customer Engagement
  2. If the customer is so centric to the success of a company, why are companies failing to engage 77% of customers they are doing business with? The answer: there is a divide between customers and companies, and the technological devices they are each using. – Keith Block,


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