WKCD fosters interactive CRM on cloud

Emily Chan,Chief Technology Officer, West Kowloon Cultural District AuthorityAs the  West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) paves its way for the opening of the Xiqu Centre in Q4 2018 and the Hong Kong Palace Museum in 2022, the IT shop has been busy laying the groundwork which includes a cloud-based customer relation management (CRM) system.

WKCD aims to foster the appreciation of arts and culture among the local citizens and visitors from overseas. "At WKCD, we are more concerned about audience development, not revenue generation. To achieve that, we hope to build a stronger audience and art space at the WKCD through personalized interaction with our audience and stakeholders," said Emily Chan, chief technology officer, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

The 40-hectare WKCD is still very much a "greenfield area," said Chan during the Salesforce Basecamp held last month in Hong Kong. At present, no arts or exhibition hall has been built in the District except the M+ art pavilion which was opened in 2016.

IT groundwork

In terms of IT setup, Chan said she was still busy with laying the IT infrastructure to ensure it will be scalable and flexible to support the District's growth, and to provide "seamless experience" for its audience both onsite and online.

Almost WKCD's entire infrastructure is now connected by Wi-Fi with location-based service. "This helps us to provide personalized service to our visitors, and allow them to stay connected using Wi-Fi," Chan said.

The Xiqu Centre, which will be next in line to open in Q4 2018, will also be serving as WKCD's data center. "Running on OpenStack, the data center will be serving as our private cloud with fast connection to the public cloud, and will be used to manage its digital assets like videos, for example.

Personalized customer interaction

"Following the Wi-Fi network build-out, we need to make sure there are enough applications and a sufficiently large customer base to serve our marketing needs by the opening of the Xiqu Center in Q4 2018," Chan said.

On July 3, WKCD went live its implementation of Salesforce for multiple purposes. "We use Salesforce primarily for CRM, but we also use it for marketing, as we hope to conduct personalized target marketing," she said. "We also intend to use Salesforce for fundraising, as we will store our donors' information on it, such that we can identify our donors' preference whenever we carry out fundraising activities."

"We have already stored the ticketing information of our WKCD visitors on Salesforce. This way, we can identify whether a visitor has previously purchased art and exhibition tickets from our ticketing system, for example."

WKCD is also running a digital platform called "M+ Stories". Using the CRM system, WKCD can identify visitors that are interested in viewing the M+ Stories on its website. "We wish to store all these information on Salesforce. And when the data pool becomes sufficiently large in the future, we can perform some data analytics on it to understand our audience more, and to provide the services that match their preferences," Chan said.

"In addition, we hope to log the potential event organizers' preferences of WKCD's venues for future marketing purposes on our CRM system. Down the road, we hope to extend the application of Salesforce to store the information gathered from our point of sales (POS)."

Peace of mind

Regarding choice of vendor, Chan said WKCD places strong emphasis on information security as it stores a lot of primary data on it. "I am a cloud believer, and I believe the data that we gather at WKCD will scale up," she said. "We are comfortable and confident with using Salesforce because of its compliance with ISO 27018," she said.

Tailored to the public cloud computing environment, ISO 27018 lays down the commonly accepted control objectives, controls and guidelines for implementing measures to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in accordance with the privacy principles in ISO/IEC 29100.

Exploring AI's potentials

Moving forward, Chan hopes to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities powered by Salesforce Einstein and IBM Watson. "Through machine learning and data analytics, we hope to generate some insights to improve our services," Chan said.

"We hope to partner with Salesforce on this journey. One needs sufficient data to perform data analytics with AI. We're just at the start of the journey and there's a long way to go."