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Why Buying a Cup of Coffee Is Like Customer Identity and Access Management

I’m pretty sure that customer identity and access management (CIAM) is like my daily visit to the Starbucks near my office in London (let’s pretend there’s just one visit). When I place my order, I’m happy to give my name as I know the channel (a cup of steaming brew) and the fact they aren’t going to sell my details to the shop next door (which sells vinyl records) so the store owner can shout my name as I walk by with his latest offers (although that does sound cool).

Do you know what’s great? When I give that information to the barista and he or she gets it right when my coffee is ready! Do you know what isn’t so great? If the barista gets my name wrong (often Andrew or Adrien; I just have that impact on people).

In the Starbucks near my home, I typically visit with my family and they recognize us (OK, OK, I have a caffeine problem), welcome us back, know what we want to order (the kids only have warm milk) and EVERYTHING seems right with the world. It’s our routine and family time with as little tech as possible (a box of lego is used as a UN peacekeeping force between the little Nashes whilst we drink coffee).

So I gladly exchange my personal information because I know how the baristas are going to use it, and when my name gets called out it feels personal. But when they get it wrong I feel disappointed. As I become more loyal they know me, my family, my preferences and I wouldn’t go anywhere else because it’s a great experience.

In CIAM terms, while authentication is important, it’s the data that allows Gigya clients to empower their customers to define their relationships and become loyal, because these clients can  understand customer preferences patterns and thereby create that great experience.

Gigya stands apart from enterprise identity and access management (IAM) providers, where employees are forced to cope with whatever registration and login hurdles a company decides to put in place. CIAM only works when customers are treated with respect, given an easy path to follow, and get value from sharing their personal information.

But enough of this randomness. I need a coffee for some reason.

By Adrian Nash

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