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The Intersection of Fast Data and Big Data

By May 21, 2013Article

Have you heard the new term “Fast Data?” A recent article on the Oracle blog at, “Fast Data Gets a Big Jump On Big Data,” talks about how and why Fast Data is becoming a top requirement for organizations trying to keep up with their information. 

Move over Big Data … looks like Fast Data is the next new business intelligence issue creeping into your territory. But is it really new? 

“Fast Data,” earlier termed “Data Velocity,” was identified in a Gartner research article written back in 2001 by Doug Laney titled, “3-D Data Management: Controlling Data Volume, Velocity, and Variety.” Volume, Velocity, and Variety were identified as the key dimensions for extreme information management, a term that has evolved to today’s Big Data management. 

So what is Fast Data, and what does it mean for your renewals and recurring revenue?

Fast Data captures the idea of analyzing fast-moving transactions from which you can make better decisions to maximize profit. 

Big Data is generally about two things: 1) lots of data and 2) data located in a non-relational database without much structure from which you can gain insights and greater revenue. Think about Shibuya Tokyo and Times Square: The one thing they have in common is fast traffic, and lots of it. 

Shibuya boasts 2.5 million people a day, where Times Square has 1.6 million people and 300,000 vehicles passing through. Each person that passes has a value, an opinion and insight. If your business were located at one of these busy intersections, think of how many of these people could be potential customers. But how do you decide which ones to target? 

What if you could slow down all the traffic, organize the people, ask questions and sort the information based upon the answers? You could make real-time business decisions and offer just the right package of product and services. 

You want to locate your renewals business at the intersection of Big Data and Fast Data, enabled by cloud technology. Today, many renewals sales teams are sitting on the side, not in the central flow of traffic. 

The business challenge is how to efficiently manage Big Data (volume) and Fast Data (velocity). Gartner predicts that by 2015, organizations that build a modern information management system will outperform their peers financially by 20 percent. 

So if your renewals are in a back alley, how do you relocate them to the right intersection without ending up stuck in a traffic jam? 

Recurring revenue management is fundamentally about timeliness of information and large volumes of data. The Fast Data component of renewals is about continually updating your renewals system with new customer, product, contract, usage and satisfaction level data. 

Based on ServiceSource’s 12 years working to maximize companies’ recurring revenue, the average tech business can gain approximately $750 million in incremental revenue over five years for every $1 billion in annual total revenue — if they put in place the right process and tools to manage this data. 

Our Renew OnDemand™ SaaS solution takes the information from multiple legacy systems, then cleans and enriches the data to make it renewal ready. From here, your renewals system will be able to show the total opportunity, highest priority deals, the most likely renewals and cross-sell and up-sell possibilities. 

In the case of one early Renew OnDemand customer, we loaded roughly 140 million records of their customer data. We use a non-relational data approach that can scale rapidly and flexibly.  This infrastructure supports real-time data analysis and gives sales people and managers the information needed to prioritize opportunities and maximize revenue.  It’s the foundation that makes it possible to derive the opportunity information. 

Too many renewal sales teams are stuck in a jam while sitting on a bicycle, inching along.  Because they run the business using legacy tools or manual processes, they become frustrated with the amount of data they can handle, the pace of information flow, and their inability to spot the best opportunities. The revenue loss is significant, and it increases the cost of sales. 

Whether your renewals solution is delivered from the cloud like Renew OnDemand or from your own systems, ensuring your business is sitting at the right location has a direct impact on the top and bottom line. Focusing on getting your renewals team out of the data traffic jam and positioning them at the right technology intersection will put your renewals business in the fast lane. 

Christine Heckart is CMO of ServiceSource, the leader in recurring revenue management solutions. Christine has over 20 years of experience with tech companies in executive management roles. She previously served as CMO of NetApp; GM of Microsoft’s TV, video and music business; and CMO of Juniper Networks. She is currently on the board of directors at Lam Research. Christine is the author of two technology books. 

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