June 23, 2020
Companies need to transform the way they do business, rapidly. In some cases, they need to transform completely in order to become more responsive, agile and to stay competitive. Faced with increasing competition, unprecedented disruption and constant innovation, brands need to invest in a modern approach to enterprise architectures and build next generation platforms if they want to stay above water.
We recently revealed in a press release that Valtech is one of the founding forces of the MACH Alliance; a newly formed collaboration of industry leaders set up to educate and enable a wider audience in the scope and delivery of MACH technologies.
Over the course of this article, I’ll explain exactly what we mean by MACH, the logic behind creating the MACH Alliance, and show with client examples how a transition to microservices, headless and cloud based technologies is not just keeping brands in business, but also driving new opportunities and revenue streams during one of the most disruptive periods in living memory.
MACH in a Nutshell
MACH is a term that is growing in popularity but still needs additional explanation. Standing for microservices, API-driven, cloud-native and headless technologies, it’s a set of new architectural principles that put flexibility, agility and the pursuit of better business outcomes at the forefront of technical solutions.
- Microservices: Single pieces of business functionality that can be individually designed/deployed, leading to faster development and release cycles.
- API driven: Exposing functionalities through APIs, enabling the flow of data between microservices and acting as the ‘glue’ to link it all together.
- Cloud Native: For on demand access and unrivalled scalability. Making it easy to expand your reach across regions and channels and provide a better customer experience.
- Headless: The ability to deliver amazing front-end experiences without getting distracted by the back end architectures. Freeing you up to respond rapidly to changing market conditions.
What MACH Means For Business
With increasing market competition and in the face of massive disruption, brands are looking for new ways to engage with and mobilize their customer base. We are no longer in a world where companies can have a single online presence and expect to meet the demands of their customers, partners or suppliers. Brands must deliver multifaceted, personalized and connected experiences across various physical and digital touchpoints; experiences that engage, move and convert. They need to offer a customer experience that surpasses that of their competition and to capitalize on the ancillary "added-extra" services that will help them to secure recurring revenue streams, across multiple channels.
For the manufacturers and distributors who were typically fine-tuned for the 20th century economy which rewarded the efficiencies of scale and the globalization of the supply-chain, their market position now depends on their ability to transform their business at speed. They are racing to become more agile, responsive and adapted to continuous changes and market competition. Brands need to embrace new digital capabilities and harness the tools that will enable them to deliver better customer experiences and improve business operations. From empowering sales reps with the insights and capabilities to better respond to customer needs, to the development of a more versatile supply chain that’s more in line with how customers are consuming services and products.
When we apply a MACH approach to those challenges; the introduction of microservices means faster deployment times, removing the dependence on legacy technology integrations / barriers. Cloud hosting means the ability to scale at pace, adding new sites, systems and functionality without slowing everything else down in the process. By decoupling the front and back-end technologies, brands can enable their teams to respond quickly to changing market conditions and deliver a UX that maximizes conversion. It’s this ability to make connections between traditionally siloed streams of the business like CRM, Data and Commerce, that gives brands the power to see what’s really going on in their business and be much more intuitive in their response. In times of disruption or rapidly changing market conditions, you need tools and technologies that will enable you to make better business decisions faster, to continuously innovate and to incorporate continuous feedback to drive better outcomes.
Companies need to rethink their organisations if they want to become more agile, reactive and innovative. They also need to rethink their digital platforms to make them more responsive, frictionless and to be able to direct content to any touchpoint at any time. Finally, these platforms must continuously evolve to support always-on consumers and to provide the necessary scalability to cope with fast-growing demand.
Success requires a new generation of solutions that have this adaptability at their core. They must be easily configurable, present everywhere and infinitely scalable with perfect performance, even in the face of unknown demand.
Scale Without Limits
To achieve success with MACH technologies, brands really need to work with a strategic partner to support them in the design and implementation of these kinds of solutions. Here are some recent examples of how we’re enabling our clients:
- In a very short timeframe, we were able to deliver a retail solution for a leading Luxury brand who needed a new way to connect with their customers during lock-down. By adding new functionality to the CRM, we’ve enabled the store assistants—who previously relied so heavily on the one-on-one relationship—to contact their customers directly via video chat, to deliver a personalized concierge and styling service and to bridge the gap between the online and in-store service.
- We worked with Wavin to help them deliver PPE to where it was needed the most during this crisis. The MACH approach enabled us to respond rapidly to the challenge and that meant that Wavin could start delivering to their customers faster too.
- For Levi’s, we created The Tailor Shop concept to make the most of the power of the personalized experience within traditional retail. Building on Connected Experience principles and MACH technologies, we delivered an in-store tailoring service that took the store from a simple space to a memorable and emotive experience. By transforming the customer experience, we’re increasing consumer loyalty, brand affinity and taking a competitive advantage.
- We worked with Aerolineas Argentinas to redesign the web page, mobile app, CMS, and e-commerce solution, including shopping, booking, purchase and post-sale services with a new cloud-based architecture. Based on a micro-services platform, the new flexible funnel has accelerated the booking and checkout processes, reducing steps and increasing page response for the airline.
Why We’re in the MACH Alliance
The MACH Alliance: a group of independent, future-thinking tech companies dedicated to advocating for open, best-of-breed technology ecosystems. The Alliance is rooted in the common belief that the interoperability and open architecture of modern software will propel current and future digital experiences.
The aim of the alliance is to educate the wider market on the transformative nature of MACH technologies and to provide an alternative route for customers who are looking for a more responsive technical architecture. All of the vendors and partners in the MACH space are looking to provide those building blocks in a way that makes it possible for companies other than the Amazons and Ubers of the world to benefit. For those brands, it’s been hard to find independent information/direction on how to create end-to-end solutions that on one hand have all the benefits of microservices, APIs, cloud and headless, without requiring an in-house army of engineers to architect, develop and run.
As a leader in this field, we’re really excited to be part of the MACH Alliance, to develop and share knowledge and best practices, and to help customers take the right approach to selecting and building these modern platforms. The open nature of the alliance also fits well with the new reality that collaboration is needed to create the ultimate user experience/journey for clients and their customers.
Transform by Doing
By forming an alliance with some of the leading firms in the MACH space, we will shine a light on the next generation of enterprise architectures and show that there are alternatives available to the traditional suite-solutions. For brands to be able to scale and respond to disruption—whether that’s a shifting customer trend or a global pandemic—they must rethink their businesses, apply modern approaches and Transform by Doing. If you want to know more, reach out to us today.