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Rubikloud partners with Microsoft to transform retailers into customer-centric leaders with the power of AI

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Rubikloud empowers retailers to leverage machine learning and big data systems in meaningful ways

Retail is facing an existential moment. Disruptive e-commerce retailers are driving down prices while consumers are shifting buying behaviors and increasing their expectations for personalized experiences. Retailers need to solve their technology challenges immediately to win in this environment. Many retailers are seeking ways to leverage AI to help them stay competitive as they enter a landscape that will increasingly reward deep operational insights, predictive analysis of customer behavior across retail channels, and laser-focused promotional capabilities. Rubikloud, a Toronto-based Microsoft BizSpark alum, is attracting major attention for its ability to help retailers build a single, cloud-based model of their customer data and derive insights and actions through artificial intelligence solutions. Rubikloud describes its solutions as “intelligent decision automation for enterprise retailers.”

Rubikloud knows that speed and efficiency in handling customer data is a differentiator. Quickly and deftly interacting with and acting on customer data empowers retailers to do more—like create and automate better tailored customer communications, customize pricing and promotions, or prepare more effective product launches.

“The systems many retailers use to determine basic things like inventory, promotions, and customer offers are quite antiquated. Our belief is that AI and machine learning are going to completely change the way retailers can actually grow their businesses.”

–Kerry Liu, cofounder and CEO, Rubikloud

Being able to quickly model and query for specific, value-driven needs provides Rubikloud’s customers a significant competitive advantage. A key step in this process is to develop a single, unified data model. Rubikloud CEO and cofounder Kerry Liu explains, “When we work with a retailer, we look at all the different silos of data they currently have in their environment. These data sources are usually trapped with legacy applications that are on-premises. We extract all of these data sources into the cloud and apply machine learning to clean the data into a single data model that can be modelled for AI and for predictive purposes.”

Transforming retail with AI

Once the data has been modelled, Rubikloud helps retailers develop and run AI solutions targeted to their individual needs, enabling them to perform data analysis and automate processes in minutes instead of days or weeks. This timeline opens possibilities that were previously unavailable—from automating mass promotional planning to helping create individualized customer experiences that drive customer lifetime value.

Rubikloud’s data ingestion and warehousing platform, called RubiCore, offers infinitely scalable infrastructure to support its two flagship products; Promotion Manager and Customer LifeCycle Manager. Rubikloud’s Promotion Manager models individual SKU/store combinations to accurately forecast sales for a given time period. The advanced machine learning automates the decision-making process and dramatically increases the accuracy of promotions, leading to significantly enhanced ROI. Meanwhile, Customer LifeCycle Manager, applies machine learning to predict customer intention through intelligent decision automation. This solution looks at data from multiple sources across key segments to help retailers understand the offer and communication effectiveness and then deliver the most appropriate one-to-one personalized content. The results of this solution include highly personalized campaigns and offers delivered through the customer’s preferred communication path, as well as optimized value migration and life stage segmentation. Importantly, both solutions continuously learn and model using actual results to ensure rapid adaptation in changing market conditions. It’s technology and innovations like these that are making Rubikloud a major force in transforming the world of retail data.

Rapid value creation at retailer A.S. Watson Group

Rubikloud’s promise of enabling retailers to further enhance the customer experience and operational efficiencies by using big data and AI was enticing for retailer A.S. Watson Group. As the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe, A.S. Watson Group knew the importance of investing in big data and AI capabilities in order to stay competitive and delight its customers.

A.S. Watson Group began partnering with Rubikloud in 2015 by implementing Rubikloud’s Customer LifeCycle Manager at one of its European operations. In just 10 months, Customer LifeCycle Manager successfully generated incremental sales from direct-to-customer CRM campaigns by more than 8 percent. The company then deployed Rubikloud’s Promotion Manager for its United Kingdom flagship brand Superdrug, which brought about more accurate sales forecasts and more efficient operations. Today, A.S. Watson Group has a group-level partnership with Rubikloud and uses the RubiCore platform to enhance operational excellence by rapidly integrating many legacy databases from across business units and sources into a single, elastic, cloud-enabled database.

By harmonizing all corporate databases into a single data architecture, the impactful machine learning–driven solutions provided by Rubikloud allow tailor-made promotion strategy recommendations. Rubikloud’s total solution allows A.S. Watson Group’s retail brands to provide the right offers to the right customers, enabling truly customer-centric and optimized marketing promotions.

“We are thrilled to partner with a global retail leader like A.S. Watson Group. At Rubikloud, we focus on applying machine learning and flexible big data architectures in practical applications, which means driving tangible business impact.”

–Kerry Liu, cofounder and CEO, Rubikloud

The power of partnering with Microsoft

Rubikloud chose the Microsoft AI platform to complement its deep technical expertise in part because of its robust worldwide presence and state-of-the-art AI innovations. Liu explains, “The entire ecosystem of services that, without Microsoft AI platform technologies, we would have to go rebuild ourselves or build from scratch with other partners saves us a significant amount of time.” Microsoft’s global footprint and global relationships make it easy for Rubikloud to go to any city where a customer is located and quickly engage with the local Microsoft team. Liu asserts that “Microsoft continues to stand out as one of the top providers that retailers trust,” and their hand-in-hand partnership with Rubikloud facilitates enhanced value for retail customers.

Rubikloud also received strong support from Microsoft’s global startup program BizSpark, which provided Rubikloud with software, R&D support, and marketing expertise—all designed to accelerate Rubikloud’s path to creating value for customers. Rubikloud and Microsoft continue to innovate together as Rubikloud challenges the status-quo by creating a world-class, cloud-native, machine-learning platform for global enterprise retailers.

“Our partnership with Microsoft brings us the best of cloud computing, availability, security, and elastic infrastructure. This enables us to deliver on the promise of intelligent decision automation by applying AI at scale to create measurable value for our customers.”

–Waleed Ayoub, Chief Technology Officer, Rubikloud