ORLANDO – SAP global CMO Alicia Tillman believes siloed data is holding the industry back. She’s working to solve it.

A year ago, SAP joined forces with Microsoft and Adobe to launch the Open Data Initiative, a strategy that unites the data systems across the three companies to improve customer experiences for companies that operate across all three organizations. By creating a common data lake amongst them, customers can tap into all systems across Microsoft, Adobe and SAP at once to better inform their strategies. For example, Tillman says common data systems make it easier to utilize new technology tools like AI and machine learning at point of sale, which makes a company more relevant and able to respond to evolving customer behavior.

Most importantly, a unified approach to data makes it easier and more cost efficient for companies to take action and utilize the data they have.

“We live in a marketplace today where having data is not the issue, getting access to it and deriving intelligence from it is where the issue exists,” Tillman told Beet.TV in an interview at the ANA CMO Global Council. Siloed data, spread across hundreds or thousands of systems according to Tillman, is not only a resource suck in costs and labor, it also raises customer data protection concerns and areas of potential vulnerability. Working to clear these obstacles while building strategies on top of data-driven insights is the role of marketers today.

“What we need to focus on in particular as an industry is how do we work to reconcile these data sources more appropriately to the advantage of us as marketers, so we can operate with a higher sense of urgency, a higher sense of protection of data and ultimately then at an experience the customer will benefit from,” says Tillman.

The more partners join the Open Data Initiative, Tillman says, the better. Unilever is one example of a company working to build out its own data lake from Microsoft, Adobe and SAP’s sources.

“The more partners we can bring into this the more it helps become the advantage to the customer, so they don’t have to go through the different systems,” Tillman says. “We can do that for them.”

This video is was produced in Orlando at the CMO Growth Council.  The series is sponsored by iSpot.tv.    For more videos from the event, please visit this page.