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Eagle Eye Annual Report FY23

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Meet MACH: The Principle of Eagle Eye’s Technology Approach

Meet MACH: The Principle of Eagle Eye’s Technology Approach

How MACH principles enable us to deliver more effective and valuable solutions to our clients.

At its core, Eagle Eye has always been a company that embraces MACH architecture. Our innovative, API-based approach has enabled us to build incredibly flexible, scalable solutions for our clients, allowing us to meet the needs of some of the world's biggest and most complex retailers.

MACH, which stands for Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native and Headless, describes a fast-growing approach to technology architecture adopted by innovators and advocated for by industry groups like the MACH Alliance. But why is it important?

The answer is that MACH is the future of software development and has near-universal applications. For years, the dominant approach to development has been building one big, do-it-all, monolithic platform to meet a myriad of customer needs. But as these platforms grow and scale, they become increasingly difficult to maintain and iterate. Microservices, on the other hand, can be updated without impacting the entire system, and a cloud-based framework means those updates can be implemented rapidly, injecting agility and flexibility into the process.

At Eagle Eye, we exist to power best-in-class loyalty and personalisation initiatives for Enterprise retailers worldwide. Across the board, these businesses want to deliver personalised and engaging experiences to their customers whenever and however they choose to interact with them on and offline. Our hugely flexible and scalable platform, built according to the MACH principles, enables us to meet our customers' objectives.

In fact, MACH principles inform all aspects of our approach to how we build and run our technology; they are core principles of our architecture and development processes. And because we employ these practices, we have been able to move beyond the accepted limitations of what retail loyalty marketing can do for grocers, retailers, quick service restaurants and travel and hospitality operators worldwide.

Let's explore what MACH is, how Eagle Eyes solutions embody these principles, and what that means for consumer-facing businesses.

What is MACH?

As mentioned, the nonprofit MACH Alliance, an industry association that provides businesses with expertise and insights about modern technologies and their impact on customer experience, revenue, and overall performance, defines MACH as an acronym for a tech standard that is Microservices based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless.

That's the official definition, but these individual components of the MACH standard are really the best practices for technology systems and development that most forward-thinking businesses recognise and accept as efficient, nimble and future-proof.

M - Microservices-based

Put simply, the first element of the MACH standard, microservices-based, means that each individual application within a larger system is self-contained, limited to a single function, and developed and implemented independently. A series of microservices working together form a complete system, but each element retains its unique identity and functionality.

If a legacy system is like an old string of Christmas lights where if one bulb burns out, the whole string fails, then a microservices-based system ensures that the lights keep twinkling even when one bulb needs to be changed.

A - API-first

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the connective tissue of the MACH approach. By specifying how components (I.e., microservices) should interact and orchestrate the sending and receiving of requests and data, APIs are perhaps the most indispensable aspect of MACH architecture. APIs make it easy to plug different systems together, facilitate connections to other platforms and enable extensive customisation. This, in turn, enables businesses to be more nimble, responsive and flexible in their technology deployment.

C - Cloud-native

The MACH Alliance defines the C element as cloud-native SaaS, but the general idea is that for a system to achieve maximum scalability and flexibility, it must be hosted in the cloud rather than in an on-premise location. Cloud-based software or SaaS solutions don't require installation or maintenance and can be frequently or automatically updated or upgraded. Downtime is minimised or eliminated; microservices can be pulled down and deployed near-instantaneously.

Businesses recognise the benefits of cloud-based solutions, particularly for their front-end applications. According to research conducted by the MACH alliance in early 2023, 70.2% of companies describe their ideal front-office environment as mostly or completely cloud-driven.

H - Headless

The headless element of MACH architecture describes decoupling the front end from the back end of systems. Sometimes used synonymously with composable systems, headless means businesses can add, remove or modify components to create a customised end-user experience without rebuilding an entire platform. Like most elements of the MACH approach, this maximises flexibility and agility without sacrificing performance.

Together, as the MACH Alliance states in its manifesto, MACH technologies create an environment where every component is pluggable, scalable, replaceable, and can be continuously improved through agile development to meet evolving business requirements.

How does Eagle Eye embrace MACH?

The first and most obvious way we embody MACH principles is that our solutions are entirely API-based, and our underlying technology is cloud-native. In fact, we have been API-first since our product's first version was released in 2010. We have a platform, Eagle Eye AIR, that houses our many products that we can deliver independently to our clients to enable them to build the right solutions to meet their needs. AIR is far from a monolithic, black-box legacy platform; it's a collection of microservices that our clients can seamlessly integrate into their wider marketing ecosystem, enabling them to run next-generation loyalty schemes and execute personalisation at an unrivalled scale.

Eagle Eye AIR is integrated with over 80 other SaaS platforms and providers, ranging from point-of-sale systems to CRM, payments and e-commerce platforms, each using APIs to orchestrate constant communication and facilitate plug-and-play flexibility. Our API-first approach means that every solution that our retail clients deploy is detached from the front-end user experience and the data layer, allowing for complete customisation of the user experience, and means any changes to individual components can be executed quickly and cost-effectively.

Our solutions are fully hosted in Google Cloud and utilise the latest technology and cloud products Google has to offer. This is another fundamental MACH principle integral to our success. The cloud-based architecture ensures scalability, a critical capability for our clients (who are often fast-growing), and flexibility regarding integrations with existing tech stacks.

Because many of our clients operate in the omnichannel space, with both in-store and e-commerce aspects to their businesses, API-first and cloud-based loyalty marketing solutions are both necessary and advantageous. These technology-specific principles all translate to a more unified customer experience, the ability to deliver promotions and marketing communications in real-time and provide seamless interactions (and data transfers) between the customer and the brand.

That's why the MACH approach underpins Eagle Eyes technology, enabling us to deliver real positive business results for our clients. In part two of this series, we'll examine how this applies to the retail sector and what aspects of loyalty marketing and promotions are most impacted by MACH approaches.

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