New girl in tech
When thinking about what to write about for our first ever Blog post, I must admit I am a little lost at where to begin. The past few months have been about intense study for me which, thankfully, I happen to enjoy. From a history of hospitality and some smatterings of technology thrown in, I had considered myself fairly up to date on all things digital. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that behind the screen, there was a whole world of Data Science and Programming guff I was never going to understand and that suited me just fine.
And then I met Keross. Little did I know that I would begin to scratch at the surface of what is commonly known as “Big Data” but is already an overused, ex-buzz word which means about as much as Digital Transformation. That is, not much, nowadays. Add to that I have had to read, read, read about data management, ERP (big software programs to run whole departments for those non-techs like me), API, RPA, a girl named Cassandra with a pet Python and what exactly Orchestration means and why it is the way forward. Needless to say, I am now a staunch convert.
So what is data orchestration anyway?
A lot of my job has always involved translating IT guff into plain English so that “normal” people can understand what something is and why they need it. Orchestration can be thought of as, well, an orchestra. Lots of instruments learning to play together, in time and on key, to produce something beautiful. In our case, the instruments are software programs and the conductor is Keross’ orchestration platform “Ikon”. As the conductor, Ikon doesn’t do much on its own. It needs to bring all the talented instruments and players together in the same room to produce a symphony. And it needs you to tell us what you want us to play for you. Ikon does that by bringing all software solutions (and their data) together and training them to produce synergies never before heard, based on what you want to hear.
No doubt if you work in any type of organization you would know that there are tens if not hundreds of software solutions in use in business today. Starting with email, to free social media tools like Hootsuite, to a CRM like Hubspot to a full service ERP from Oracle or SAP and everything in between. When you also take into consideration unstructured data tools like video and social media posts – there is a lot of data being created that is often filed away and forgotten about forever. Or worse, deleted after it is used.
But bringing the instruments together (a.k.a. integration) is just the beginning for our conductor Ikon. It’s the variety of music that can be produced that will send goosebumps up and down your spine. Whether it is onboarding new staff automatically from the receiving of resumes to scheduling interviews, or rostering bar staff, ordering limes and hiring a band dependent on which guests will be visiting and whether it will be a sunny day, to automatically ordering a new clothing line based on upcoming trends, runway shows and colour predictions for a department store. The sky is the limit.
An simple example of how data orchestration is applied in practice.
Where a lot of our customers get unstuck is that they know that need Orchestration, but they are not sure where to start or how to apply it. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Start your thinking by working backwards from problems you face in your business on a regular basis:
Problem: ABC Co.’s milk delivery to Aldi supermarkets was delayed
Why? The order wasn’t ready
Why? There were not enough empty milk bottles in the warehouse
Why? We had to use more for our last order than we expected, so were short
Why? Summer came early than expected so demand for milk was higher last month
Why? There is no planning or prioritization for seasonal variations
The final answer is your root cause, and where we at Keross get excited. In this case, we would work with ABC Milk Co. to develop a workflow model to ensure this kind of thing never happens again.
Once we have a workflow to understand the process of making milk, we can then develop automated systems to forecast seasonal changes, or even set alarms and change to system B if an unexpected change is detected. Once the workflow is created with your expertise, we are in our element.
Before you know it, bottles are ordered in advance of peak periods, extra staff are rostered on in the factory, trucks are scheduled for a service before peak delivery times, farmers are notified to bring out their high producing cows (recorded with an internet ankle bracelet) and increase water supply for the upcoming hot weather, Aldi is emailed to advise to order more milk than usual, ABC Milk Co’s marketing department is alerted to ramp up milkshake ads, and perhaps production of ABC Milk Co’s mint ice-cream production increased depending on trends and benchmarks. Oh, and your friends at Starbucks can also be invited to collaborate on your new, custom milk dashboards so that they know they will also need more milk so that you don’t miss out on your café latte in the morning and end up with UHT. Gee, I really hate that.
So when we say “Harness the Power of Data” we really mean maximizing every process, person, system and software available to get the best results for your business.
Where are the bottlenecks in your business?
We challenge you to come up with your “root cause” and leave it with us to solve. Odds on, Ikon will blow your mind, as it has mine. Let me know in the comments below, and make sure you subscribe to see how we develop use cases, like the example above, across industry. We will be sending semi-regular updates of what we have been working on, and why orchestration should be a mandatory part of your business, as well as other valuable insights into what our customers (your competitors) are up to in the orchestration space.
Director – Marketing