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Couchbase CEO Matt Cain explains the strategy behind 'world’s first engagement platform'

Tom Macaulay | Oct. 18, 2017
The NoSQL database is designed to support the proliferation of customer interactions in web and mobile apps.

Couchbase claims that the latest version of its commercial NoSQL database is "the world's first engagement platform", designed to serve the on-demand mindset of contemporary consumers by powering a rich customer experience on mobile and web applications.

Companies are placing an increasing emphasis on the end-user experience of their mobile and web applications, to provide the more personalised service expected by their customers. Couchbase connects this to a shift from storing traditional transactions to capturing interactions, such as liking a tweet, entering a search term, or speaking to a chatbot.

These richer customer experiences place new demands on a platform's underlying database. They need to store vast quantities of constantly changing customer information in a variety of formats, including a growing proportion of unstructured data, and they need to personalise suggestions in real-time.

"The technology of the past is not sufficient to create the applications and experiences that are required for the future, and at the same time, there's been a pretty significant evolution in core database technology," Couchbase CEO Matt Cain told Computerworld UK.

"The interactions to transaction ratio [on travel bookings powered by Amadeus software] is 1,000 to one, and growing to 10,000 to one. Couchbase is built to capture the essence of these interactions in a way that creates meaningful customer experiences for consumers and companies, whether they're health providers, ecommerce or banks."

Traditional systems of record databases struggle to cope with highly interactive applications processing extensive unstructured information and images, words and videos uploaded, viewed and shared by users. The continuing rise of mobile technologies, social media platforms and IoT devices are exacerbating the issue.

Couchbase's database was designed in response to these trends. The memory-oriented architecture supports high performance at scale, with an emphasis on speed, scalability and flexibility to support adaptable, responsive and always-available applications that can handle unpredictable spikes in demand.


Legacy database limitations

Independent market research organisation Vanson Bourne was commissioned by Couchbase to survey 450 heads of digital transformation on the role of data strategies in digital disruption. Some 84 percent of respondents reported that their projects had been cancelled, delayed, or reduced in scope because of the limitations of their legacy database.

"If you look at the legacy solutions to try to put together a collection of technologies to even attempt to serve up all those interactions in a meaningful way, is just a non-starter for enterprise," says Cain, whose previous role was as president of Veritas.

"First and foremost it's not optimised for that level of performance, but to try to manage all those disparate technologies is near impossible and not cost-effective.

"What vendors like us have proven is that there are alternatives to legacy database systems and this transition that is NoSQL layered on top of that business transformation is the essence of Couchbase"


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