Bitesize takeaways from Adobe Summit 2019 – CBUS head of tech chats Experience Cloud updates
Marketing has a quick catch up with CBUS head of technology Rob Pickering to discuss what Adobe’s latest updates look like from a customer perspective.
While Marketing is in Vegas for the 2019 Adobe Summit, we’ll be giving quick updates of some of the most interesting things happening at the conference.
Among the crowded, winding labyrinth of Las Vegas’ Venetian and Palazzo hotels, Marketing somehow managed to bump into another Aussie. This one just so happens to be head of technology and digital transformation at Cbus Super, Australia’s third best performing super fund according to Canstar.
Pickering is responsible for all technology capabilities across the fund, including its investment in Adobe’s Experience Cloud.
Marketing spoke with Pickering just before Adobe’s annual Sneaks session (more on that to come) to break down how the new Experience Cloud updates and additions are hitting the ears of Adobe’s customers.
Marketing: What did you think about the update announcements for Experience Cloud and the Experience Platform?
Rob Pickering, head of technology and digital transformation, CBUS: A lot of them you already knew about if you were connected into Adobe, so there wasn’t anything that blew my mind. A lot of them have been on Sneaks or you’d heard about earlier. Nothing there was kind of mind blowing, it’s just nice to see them continuing to deliver the capabilities that they said they would, on the time that they said they would.
Is there a single update that you anticipate changing the way you interact with the platform?
Nothing that I can think of. Delving more into the use of Adobe Sensei – we’ve obviously got a large investment in Adobe, we also have an investment in a data platform that sits alongside it. Really understanding whether we need to pivot our approach around some of the automation feedback loops in the Adobe platform using Sensei [Adobe’s AI]. It’s probably something that I want to go back and unpick a little bit more, that’s one of the things I think I do want to do a bit more delving into – around whether we can start to use some of the more Adobe ‘native’ tools, and bring that data out and massage in another system. That’s something I think might potentially change the day-to-day for us.
Is AI something that’s used at CBUS a lot outside of the marketing function?
It’s something that we’ve have a foundational use of at the moment, we are doing some work in that space now. We have to build out our data science capability over the next 12 or 18 months to really take advantage of the transformation efforts but also the bulk amount of data that we do posses to really find ‘what is the information that would deliver a better member outcome for our members. So that’s our focus: on our use of data science and AI and ML [machine learning].
Handling technology all over the business, not just on the marketing front, what’s a development that CBUS has made recently that’s excited you?
With our members? We are continuing to innovate on our new platforms.
I probably should set the scene on this earlier: Industry Super generally has their administration platforms outsourced with an administrator. That administrator generally brings along a website, a portal, a CRM platform, a data integration platform etc. Historically we’ve just consumed that as a service. Strategic direction for the fund was to bring that capability in-house, which I’ve been doing over the last 12 months, since I started. And we’ve been doing that in order to control the customer touchpoints and to deliver a better member experience or member outcomes.
I’m excited about launching that, we’re about six weeks away from that.
Nothing really member-focused yet; we are continuing to deliver new capability on our old platform, but really most of the effort has really gone into – certainly in the time that I’ve been at CBUS – in delivering the future rather than spending a lot of time on ‘what is the legacy platform for us?’
From the customer’s perspective, is the consolidation of marketing automation, analysis, ecommerce and analytics into a centralised cloud a good or bad thing?
I think it’s an interesting thing. How that plays with your CRM and the integration with that is going to be the final frontier for Adobe. The two big vendors in that space are coming from very different areas – one has a really strong CMS and is building out its marketing automation stack, the other has a really automation stack and it doesn’t really have much in the CMS space. It’s kind of an interesting head-to-head battle, I’m keen to see where it all ends up, to be honest.
These systems have to be integrated when you talk about customer journeys – if you don’t have that strong innovation across the lifecycle of your customer, you will lose data points that matter. So, to have that closed feedback loop in one platform makes a lot of sense. The Marketo acquisition makes a ton of sense; but for for us? It doesn’t really change our direction. But I can see for people that might be AEN customers would branch out into using Marketo as a result of it, because you get an enclosed outer loop. It’s an interesting acquisition – more systems closer together with the goal of delivering a better customer outcome is the right thing to do.
The author of this article is attending Adobe Summit as a guest of Adobe.