Imagine a man yelling at a manager in one of the stores in the USA: “My daughter is still in high school and you send her vouchers for baby clothes! This is beyond ridiculous!” The manager checks and yes, some discount vouchers were sent at the specified address, but they were sent not only for baby clothes, they also included special offers to buy cosmetic products for pregnant mothers and other products related to the child’s birth.
The manager apologizes, and because the customer is highly valued, he calls and apologizes again after a couple of days. However, today the voice of the angry customer is different: “You know, I talked to my daughter and I am the one who has to apologize. Soon, I will become a grandfather”.
“How is it possible that the store became aware of the future baby’s birth sooner than the family members? Well, the store analyzes buying habits of its customers and draws conclusions if any consistent changes are noticed as well as sends personalized offers. This is an excellent example of the big data”, explains quite an unexpected story about the adventure of the buyers T. Okmanas, Head of the System Administration Department of the group of companies “Penki kontinentai”.
Application of the Big Data
Yet another opportunity for the application of the big data seen by T. Okmanas is location-based marketing. For example, you bought green trousers in one of the stores of a shopping mall. The next time you find yourself back in the same shopping mall and receive a message to your mobile phone: “Hello, you bought green trousers in our store and today we offer a discount on brown jackets of a popular manufacturer, which go well with the trousers that you bought. If you are interested, we will apply a special discount of 15 percent if you show us this message!”
These examples show that metadata is an extensive collection of information related to consumers (services, processes) that can be monitored, analyzed and used to create more added value for both the company and its customers.
One of the metadata projects handled by “Penki kontinentai” is loyalty cards. Data collected about customers allow analyzing their habits and enable partners participating in the loyalty card programme to deliver personalized offers based on these data. For example, if you noticed that the customer started consuming a lot of protein food, you can guess that they started exercising, thus you can automatically offer a discount on sporting equipment or clothing. Therefore, not only can you take better care of the existing customers, but also to make the new ones loyal.
The information technology expert believes that banks could also make use of the big data. “We work a lot with banks, included foreign ones”, says T. Okmanas. “We see tremendous benefits of metadata in this field: from the analysis of customer habits to asset management. With our own “.iQ” family products at hand, we place our customers to the cloud of “Penki kontinentai”, where we later generate information about bank assets, their reliability, signal strength, and provide all of this information to our customers as well as analyze it ourselves”.
“.iQ” platform developed by “Penki kontinentai” can offer as many as 14 modules: from business data analysis or cash flow management to automation of cashier workstations or management of value-added services.
Clouds are the Best Place to be
It is clear that the big data can be handy for both businesses and their customers; however, everything is not limited to the data alone: it is important, where and how to apply them. According to T. Okmanas, today the impact of hardware is outweighed by software, and cloud technology offers the best media to store data. “One of the major advantages of cloud technology is size-based resource rent. For example, you launch a new product and expect a rush of customers. Order more resources. When the volume of customers reduces, reduce the scope of your order. Do not pay for something you do not use”.
“Penki kontinentai” shares it experience in the field of cloud technology with partners operating in the Silicon Valley. T. Okmanas who recently visited the Valley, met with representatives of “Cisco”, EMC, “NetApp” and “Vmware”. The attention to cloud technology paid by these companies is a proof that this field of computer science is not a one-day trend or merely a new bubble, but the technology of the future.
“Over the past two years, 90 percent of all data in the world were generated. As many as 99 percent of them are digital. Therefore, cloud software solutions are an excellent opportunity to expand one’s resources depending on one’s needs without investing in hardware and, thereby, to manage an increased data flow”, said the representative of “Penki kontinentai”.
Cloud services are part of “ProfIT” outsourcing service package offered by “Penki kontinentai”, which include computer maintenance, system administration and infrastructure development.