Author Archives: XOMNIAN

About XOMNIAN

-

API Management Toolset

Our V3.1 announcement had some very exciting improvements. One of them is the API Management toolset we introduced to help our customers expose their data to the outside world and ingest incoming data without worrying about the semantics of data schema. API Management enables out-of-the-box 3rd party service integration pathways as well.

This year at NRF 2016 we had the chance to capture a couple of videos showcasing some of the features of our platform. Below you can find our CTO, Daron Yöndem discussing API Management in XOMNI. Feel free to jump to our YouTube channel for more.

Iterative Improvements with v3.2

Releasing major functionalities and enabling new scenarios to help our channel partners accomplish more is at the core of our product development. We are happy to announce our next iterative development to our V3 production environment with a minor version named V3.2.

Performance in every aspect

When we design our APIs we always keep in mind that the speed of experience delivery is key. Our customers and channel partners need a platform where a client application can access just the right amount of functional data with less round trips to the cloud with the minimal caching as possible. We love to emphasize the fact that for the last four years at NRF Expo we had our showcase experiences running on conference wifi with no glitches and perfect fluidity fully connected to our cloud with zero caching.

In this minor version we focused on improving what’s already close to perfect. We wanted to make it better, faster, smoother and more customization. From now on we give you the ability to opt-out of our analytics platform. In case you think you are not going to use it, and you want to squeeze out more performance out of platform you can disable bits and pieces. This is just a small part of the iceberg. The good news is you don’t need to migrate your applications.

No migration required for the next version!

This is amazing right? To start using V3.2 and leverage all the improvements we listed above you don’t need to migrate your application. You don’t need to submit another application to an App Store. In fact, you don’t need to do anything. Your applications are actually benefiting by all the improvements just before this blog post is up. Congratulations!

In case you would like dig a little bit deeper and see a couple of changes specific to V3.2 from API schema perspective here is the link to our release notes. No breaking changes! As always our SDKs are up to date as well.

XOGO is ready for NRF 2016

Some of you following our blog are well aware that January is an exciting month for us at XOMNI. It is the month where we travel to beautiful New York City for the NRF Expo. As usual, we did our homework for NRF and we have some exciting news to share. This time, it is a new product; XOGO.

XOGO is not your traditional Digital Signage, in fact we call it Decision Signage. XOGO is a very low cost yet highly interactive assisted selling digital canvas for our partners and customers to leverage. Our Dev team is so excited, they wanted to tell you about it themselves!

We wanted to build XOGO to help every retailer, ranging from single store retailers to those with thousands of locations. Unique to XOGO besides its extremely low cost is the ability to leverage existing in-store screens, or quickly add one for the first time. Simply plug in a $35 player device and use existing mobile devices for management. Make sure you hit that play button on the video above to see some action and get more details. At only 5 minutes long it will be well worth your time! Also, if you are at NRF 2016, drop by the Microsoft booth and ask for XOMNI or XOGO. If your are not at the expo, feel free to watch videos captured from NRF 2012 for some nostalgia or from 2014 and 2015 if you are looking for the latest.

Talking BigData and IoT

With hundreds of millions of devices connected to the internet today, everyone talks about BigData and IoT. We don’t just implement the features and technologies in our cloud platform for retailers to enjoy, we are part of the discussion as well.

2016-01-06 14.09.03

The BigData and IoT Conference in Turkey hosted Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft as the keynote speaker. Just before Nadella’s session our CTO, Daron Yondem had the chance to talk about what we do in the BigData and IoT space. If you would like to chat about BigData and IoT in retail we will be at NRF 2016. (Javits Center, New York in January 17-20) Hope to see you there!

Creating cloud-powered user experiences in retail

Customer demands are changing – and fast. To keep up, retailers need a flexible, scalable platform that grows with their business, as we find out from Xomni

Creating cloud-powered user experiences in retail

This article was first published in the Spring 2015 issue of OnWindows

It could not be more critical for retailers to bridge the gap between digital and their bricks-and-mortar stores than it is today, says Xomni CEO Chad Brown. “When you think about what the store does for the online channel, and vice versa, it should be about creating a sense of continuity,” he explains. “Bring those channels together and you truly maximise your return on investment, and satisfy the customer.”

Xomni – a company whose name stands for ‘Experience Omni-channel’ – is achieving this vision through a cloud-based omni-channel experience enablement platform. The company caters for creative interactive agencies who want to leverage the Xomni Cloud to gain access to retailers’ existing systems, add new data sources (think IoT), orchestrate the data and leverage a consistent API to develop applications. Xomni Cloud also incorporates retail-specific functionality that makes building visually rich concierge, assisted selling and self-service applications easy.

“The idea of using a cloud platform to develop applications isn’t new,” says Brown. “However, we are not talking about one-size-fits-all applications. The Xomni model is unfettered UX and scenario development that enables contextual and personalised experiences without compromising massive scale. If our channel partners can dream it, they should be able to build it.”

This March, Xomni launched the third generation of its cloud platform, complete with significant scalability enhancements. “We base our performance requirements on what a retailer might experience during peak shopping days,” says Daron Yondem, CTO of Xomni. “For example, a tier-one retailer’s requirements include 60 queries per second and 11 gigabytes of data. With the release of Xomni Cloud v3 we can scale well beyond the industry’s current need.”

Cost effective and quick to implement, the solution incorporates a blend of typical retail functionality along with some novel capability designed to accelerate innovation.

One such feature is OmniPlay. Highlighted in a recent GameStop win, OmniPlay allows individual assets, product views or the customer presence to be passed from one device to another, assuming certain rules are met (geofence, beacon location or device capability). In this implementation, video content can be initiated from a consumer or associate device and sent to a 4K display in store, significantly increasing the ROI of a passive digital sign by making it interactive.

The GameStop experience is a compelling one, however, as Brown notes, one challenge that Xomni faces is the perception of complexity. “The term omni-channel inspires thoughts of user-centric, integrated, immersive and, by connection, complicated experiences,” he says. “First, Xomni makes integration with existing systems easy; second, although Xomni provides a seemingly endless list of features and supported scenarios, no one said you must use them all in one application! We encourage the use of what we call ‘micro experiences’ to engage customers in a meaningful but simplistic way. From there, you can encourage a deeper engagement.”

With the launch of Xomni Cloud v3, all the tools are there to build deep ‘macro experiences’ and more pointed ‘micro experiences.’ Version 3.1, which is targeted for a June release, will build on this thanks to the adoption of API Management – a new feature of Microsoft Azure.

“APIs bring innovation and agility, and at the same time drive a lot of data that can and should be used to improve user experience,” says Evgeny Popov, principal program manager at Microsoft. “That is why we teamed up with Xomni to deliver a powerful end-to-end retail platform.”

“Really, Xomni Cloud v3.1 should be called v4 as we consider it to be a major release,” adds Brown. “It’s significant for many reasons, but primarily because it will allow us to easily incorporate super innovative third-party technology partners such as My Style Genie.”

A new Xomni Technology Partner, My Style Genie is an expert in dynamic recommendations and has technology capable of putting together coordinating products that are highly relevant based on personal style, preferences, use, or even margin. “Through this partnership, retailers are able to provide the high-touch personalised service of days gone by in store, mobile, outbound or online,” says Laura Khoury, CEO at My Style Genie. “Our web service enables retailers to serve shoppers as a trusted personal assistant to help them find the best products for them, and suggest complete ensembles tailored to their objectives and style. The result is a win-win experience – customers are delighted with the personal service they receive and retailers have increased basket size and customer loyalty.”

Behind the Xomni-My Style Genie integration is thebigspace, a specialist in retail consumer engagement and connected experiences. “Our Omni-Channel Style Guide application needed the power, speed and flexibility of Xomni and the dynamic integrated analytics of the MSG recommendation engine to quickly analyse data,” says founding director Dick Lockard. “Working together, we’ll be able to optimise the customer’s buying decision and create highly targeted and relevant connections while maximising profit for retailers.”

Of course, as Brown knows all too well, the future of retail is always evolving. “The question is, what’s next?” he says. “If anyone tries to tell you definitively what the future of retail engagement is, they’re making it up. No one knows! This is why flexibility is core to our platform. We’ll involve the best partners, give them the utmost flexibility and see what great things happen!”

XOMNI Cloud v3 Launch Update

Blog Header

Last week we officially launched XOMNI Cloud v3 and the response has been amazing! We wanted to share a few helpful links so you can get to know what this new release has to offer, starting with a Whitepaper authored by Microsoft.

Super Search: Hyper performant search is key for any quality product catalog based in-venue and mobile experience. Of course, scalable search is just as important when dealing with Tier 1 retailers and their VERY deep product catalogs. XOMNI is ready for the largest of large catalogs out there today.

Simple Experiences: A common misconception about Omnichannel is that it’s complicated. From Omnichannel implementation to the experiences themselves, they are user centric, integrated, immersive and by connection complicated. Not true. First, XOMNI makes integration with existing systems easy. Second, although XOMNI provides a seemingly endless list of features and supported scenarios, no one said you must use them all in one application! It’s true, endless aisle, associate experiences and what we call epicenter experiences can benefit by rich functionality. XOMNI powers many such experiences. However, we encourage the use of what we call Micro Experiences to engage customers in a meaningful but simplistic way. We are excited to announce new mechanisms as part of XOMNI Cloud v3 to attract customers and measure success.

Expert Support: You don’t need to figure out the Micro and Immersive mix of experiences all by yourself! For this, we encourage engaging our Channel Partner ecosystem to selectively use XOMNI features that accomplish specific goals.

We can’t wait to see how our customers and channel partners leverage the new functionalities shipped in v3. If you haven’t already, please follow xomni_cloud on twitter to share your success and keep up with the latest in Omnichannel innovation.

Thank you!
Team XOMNI

XOMNI V3 Released!

The XOMNI Release Engineering Team is happy to announce the immediate availability of the final release of XOMNI Cloud Platform V3, a major milestone. We are sure you’ll enjoy the many improvements. We’ve done our best to bring the latest technology to our platform while still maintaining the stability, performance and security that you’ve come to expect.

Here are some of the advanced features and improvements we would like to highlight:

  • Twitter Integration : When we first released our Facebook integration specifically crafted for retailers, our partner ecosystem fell in love with it. Engaging social scenarios + simplicity + innovative analytics makes adding social to your application a no-brainier. Now, we are extending the functionality to Twitter as well!
  • Inventory Support : Today our partners implement inventory logic on our platform thanks to the flexibility of our APIs.  Now, we have much more! As part of v3 we have build-in inventory support with extended functionality designed to enhance the customer experience. A powerful inventory API will make contextual scenarios where inventory data is required much more effective.
  • UI Analytics : In our V2 API we released the back-end analytics integrated with loyalty data. With v3, we have UI analytics as well.  Interactive agencies can now easily implement flexible scenarios to track much more including simple A/B testing. Is your pilot hitting your success metrics? You’ll now know. Combine this data with Audience Measurement and gain even greater insights.
  • Public API SDK for .NET : Starting from V3 of our APIs you can build in-store experiences on top of our Public API SDK for .NET and not worry about straight API implementation at all. This has been one of the popular requests we received from our partners and very happy to ship it!
  • Meaningful Open Sourcing: This is huge! Our hope is to open source EVERYTHING that takes a dependency on our APIs. Samples, Reference Applications and even our CMS! As of v3, we have all of our SDKs open sourced on GitHub! This means you can grab the source code, discover the inner workings and contribute. Make it your way!  We will have much more to announce in time.
  • NuGet Packages : Our developer experience team wanted to make it easier for you to start building your next back-end integration or the next amazing client experience you are envisioning. Now you can simply use our NuGet packages without worrying about API minor updates or SDK updates at all. This will streamline the update rollouts directly to your developers desktop. A dream come true for many of our partners and certainly and dream to use!

For the geeks within us, here are some technical insights about what we did in V3 for better performance;

  • Azure Search : Search is a critical part of XOMNI. We were extremely happy to be invited to participate to a very early adoption program for Azure Search and work with Microsoft’s Azure Search Development Team. It’s not a coincidence that we have released our V3 APIs at the same time Microsoft released their Azure Search product and made it available globally just now! See Microsoft Blog for their announcement with a quote from our CTO, Daron Yöndem.
  • Azure DocumentDB : We worked very closely with the Microsoft Azure team on their first document type NOSQL product. We got our hands on the program while they were building it and were able to provide very early feedback to make sure DocDB and XOMNI are a success together. We migrated our back-end analytics infrastructure to DocumentDB and built the all new client analytics on top of it. Check out the the interview our CTO, Daron Yöndem gave to InformationWeek about DocumentDB!

I hope you find our resources on our developer portal to be useful, and thanks very much for all of our early adoption partners for their support on our journey.