Cloud Native: What does it mean for a CCM Platform?
“Cloud-native” and “cloud-based” are trending terms in Customer Communications Management(CCM), with many organizations using them interchangeably in their marketing materials. However, the terms are not synonymous and cloud-native offers significant advantages over cloud-based solutions. To fully realize cloud-native’s enormous potential it’s important to understand what cloud-native is and how it can impact your business.
What exactly does cloud-native mean?
The term “cloud native” emerged seven years ago. Back then, the term encompassed a search for multitenancy, distribution of applications, self-service, elasticity and placing controls on resources. Today, when people use the term cloud-native, they are referring to adaptivity for faster redeployment, effective scaling, and the all-around evolution of applications.
Cloud native brings some impressive advantages—including speed and agility—to the development and management process. When it comes to understanding the full potential of cloud native, four concepts are foundational: Microservices, Containers, Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CICD), and DevOps.
- Microservices are a collection of services that can operate independently of each other. This segmentation allows individual development teams to operate on their own schedules to adjust, develop, fine-tune or deploy their services. Think of microservices as a kitchen with a fridge, oven, dishwasher, sink, and other appliances. You can use these appliances separately or in combination and they are always available. By way of example, say you want to install a new oven. Ideally, you want the other appliances to continue functioning while you define the specs for your new upgrade. Microservices operate on a similar principle, allowing different functions to operate independently so individual changes don’t bring your entire “kitchen” to a standstill.
- Containers: All cloud-native applications are packaged in containers. Containers encapsulate an application within its own operating environment. The container isolates an application from other software and operating systems and includes everything the software needs to run. Containers are also highly accessible, scalable, portable and easy to create or tear down, making them ideal for building and running applications composed of microservices. Think of the container as a box with a brand-new toy. The box contains everything you need to build, tear down, and rebuild your toy as you wish. You can even combine pieces from other boxes to make an even better toy!
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery Model (CICD): CICD allows software developers and IT teams to develop, build, test, deploy and release software updates promptly and consistently without affecting other developers or users.
- DevOps: DevOps is an array of software development practices used alongside CICD to deploy and manage cloud-native applications. Designed to shorten a system’s development life cycle, DevOps facilitates delivery of features, fixes and frequent updates. Tools such as Kubernetes (a container orchestration system) provide DevOps teams with a platform to package and deploy containers and automate deployment, scaling and management of applications.
Understanding these four concepts provides some much-needed context to the meaning and value of cloud-native technology. The real power of cloud-native rests in the ability to continually fine-tune performance without impacting the use or availability of critical applications. The result is a win-win for businesses seeking to meet exacting customer demands while optimizing use of resources and increasing developer productivity.
Why champion cloud-native at Elixir?
For Elixir’s new CEO Tarek Harry, transitioning Elixir Tango from a cloud-based to a cloud-native customer communications management platform is key. With the release of Elixir Tango, the company has set the course for its cloud-native journey.
Elixir Tango is a digital CCM platform that enables users to design, configure and manage every phase of the customer communication lifecycle. Whether Elixir Tango is deployed on-premise, in the cloud or with a hybrid deployment model, it is designed from the ground-up as a cloud-based platform. Frequent updates are turning Elixir Tango into a full-on cloud-native customer communications management platform, with enhanced cloud features, containerization, microservices, CI/CD and DevOps functionalities.
Harry’s vision for Elixir involves “bringing customers into the future” through cloud-native applications and integrated cloud technology partners. Elixir has strategically implemented Docker containers in Elixir Tango to improve their experience for Elixir's customers in the cloud and on-premise. Elixir aims to offer cloud-native benefits to every customer, regardless of deployment model.
Companies that want to grow rapidly and adapt to their customers’ changing needs require more than cloud-based solutions. They need the flexibility and scalability of cloud-native technology. By bringing state-of-the-art cloud-nativity in-house, Elixir gives companies on demand, limitless computing power, providing new opportunities for innovation within the organization and its products.
Want to learn more about how cloud-native CCM platforms outperform legacy applications? Download our white paper here.