The Importance of an Open Architecture Digital Marketing Software

The open architecture approach has had a significant impact across industries and upon many fields. Here's what it means for the modern tech stack.

Director of Marketing, Dynamic Yield

In an evolving technology landscape, why is an open architecture platform so important? 

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First of all the question is who owns the data?

I was a VP at a very large retailer and we used a lot of point services. When we wanted to pull the data out of all these point solutions, we couldn’t. These were black boxes, so even though they had five or six or seven years of data on our business, we had to start literally from a blank sheet.

So, the first thing with open architecture is that the data is yours as a customer. It is not the data of the vendor. And if you want to use this data for another initiative, you should be able to export it in real-time, in a very easy fashion.

The other aspect is that in almost every enterprise environment, there are existing solutions that you have to integrate with. So, no matter what your CRM is, no matter what your CMS is, or your ESP is, you want to be able to integrate with these third party platforms with ease.

And when we designed Dynamic Yield as an open architecture, we designed it as engineers that know how painful integrations are, especially in complex environments where you have legacy systems, you have new systems, you have global organizations.

We have customers that have different systems for different geos. And how do you make it work? You have to go with the open architecture play. And this is basically from day one of Dynamic Yield, we always say it has to be open architecture, open datasets, and engineering friendly.

In 1993, Harvard Business Review tackled the topic of how architecture wins technology wars. Specifically, as it related to computers, telecommunication, and consumer electronics.

Back then, conventional wisdom argued that in an “open-systems” era, proprietary architectural control was no longer possible, or even desirable.

Authors, Charles R. Morris and Charles H. Ferguson went on to argue:

In an open-systems era, architectural coherence becomes even more necessary. While any single product is apt to become quickly outdated, a well-designed and open-ended architecture can evolve along with critical technologies, providing a fixed point of stability for customers and serving as the platform for a radiating and long-lived product family.

And most significantly, that proprietary architectures in open systems are not only possible but also indispensable to competitive success—and are in the best interest of the consumer.

20+ years later, this model has had a significant impact across industries and upon many fields, including that of the marketing technology space. For Dynamic Yield, our platform was designed from the very beginning to be open and flexible.

Let’s dive a little deeper into what this means for the modern tech stack, and why this was an important strategic maneuver not only for the growth of our business, but for the experience of our customers.

Who Owns the Data?

When considering an open architecture approach to building out the Dynamic Yield platform, this was one of the first questions for Liad Agmon, CEO of Dynamic Yield.

Previously, VP of a very large retailer, Liad reflects back, sharing “we used a lot of different technologies,” and “when we wanted to pull the data out of all these point solutions, we couldn’t.”  

This has been a common dilemma for brands looking to gain a competitive edge by executing on their data, but are limited by black boxes and walled gardens from the various point solutions they employ.

“Even though a solution had five, six, or seven years of data on our business, we had to start literally from a blank sheet.” – Liad Agmon

With an open architecture platform, data falls into the hands of the user, not the vendor. And, there’s flexibility to the point where if you want to use the data for another initiative, you can easily export it in real-time.

For example, let’s say your data shows a user has purchased three items after clicking on a recommendation widget. The next time that user arrives to your site via an SEM campaign, you might want to take her directly to a product page optimized for product discoverability. This type of deployment is near impossible as it would require connecting data siloes from three or more solutions, but can be easily accomplished with an open architecture platform.

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Solving for Multiple Systems

In almost every enterprise environment, there are numerous solutions employed to complete specific jobs, such as, triggered emails or A/B tests. Though the vendors that provide these services often excel at delivering on a singular value proposition, and their utility begins to break down when you look at the holistic customer experience.

In order to deliver on meaningful personalization, a unified customer profile must be created, and data siloes from each existing solution, removed. The only way that can happen is by onboarding your data into a unified platform of engagement.

No matter what the CRM, CSM, DMP, or ESP vendor, you want to be able to integrate with these third party platforms with ease so that data can flow freely — open architecture technology allows for that.

So, what’s the big deal?

Well, for engineers who know how painful integrations can be, a platform like Dynamic Yield could mean a complete implementation in as little as three days.

Let’s say one of the services integrated generates upwards of a million dollars in new profit for your business by accelerating its rate of deployment. The value lifted from reduced engineering time becomes wildly significant. Especially in complex environments where you have legacy systems, new systems, and global organizations with systems in different geographies.

For us, the only play to make that work was through an open architecture. That’s why from day one, it’s been all about open datasets and seamless technical integrations with the set of tools you already use. Our open API is engineering friendly, helping you create powerful experiences with any enterprise CMS Systems, eCommerce Systems, DMPs, Marketing Automation Platforms, Tag Management Platforms, Web Analytics Solutions and more.