Why Rise uses a network model

One question I am occasionally asked is why we chose a public cloud “network model” for Rise instead of a private cloud, “single instance per customer” model for our technical architecture.

It’s certainly something worth thinking about as it affects all Rise customers whether players or managers.

First of all lets compare the two approaches:

  • In the public cloud model – everyone has just one user account – my profile on Rise is the same profile I use for all the different boards I play in – whether those are internal social selling boards or external influencer boards. The scoring system and data for each board is different but all boards share my social profile connections.
  • In the private cloud model – everyone has multiple user accounts – one for each board they play in. The advantage of this is that no data from one board is shared with another – from a managers point of view as it means their view of the player is always the authoritative one.

Most enterprise software companies choose the latter model, the private cloud, that’s because the paying customer is the manager and they like the maximum amount of control over their data, including player records.

Most social networks choose the former model, the public cloud, really because none of the users pay and they monetise via allowing others to advertise to their customers.

However we are seeing a new breed of services emerge which is something of a hybrid.

Chief among these is LinkedIn Sales Navigator.  LinkedIn is a public cloud, social network model (each person has just one LinkedIn account) – yet LinkedIn also sell a CRM tool (for managing customer records) called Sales Navigator. This sits on top of the wider social network. Data about clients (meetings, notes etc) is kept private but the client records themselves are owned by the client themselves and shared with everyone who uses LinkedIn.

Rise operates in much the same manner as LinkedIn Sales Navigator – each player record is owned by the player themselves but board data is owned by the manager.

What does this mean for Rise players?

We see individuals requiring feedback on their activities from multiple sources, both internal and external. This means they need a single account per player to manage all the programs they participate in – hence the social network architecture.

For example a sales rep may want to get internal comparative feedback on sales progress and get external comparative feedback on his social media usage for example, from a company like Hootsuite.

What does this mean for Rise managers?

The key is to come to a clear understanding from the get go of what data you have control over and what you don’t. This also affects functionality that you build on top of  a Rise board. After all the raw index is often just the start of a new business, HR system or marketing program.

Since we are not private cloud, single instance per client – you don’t have the ability to extend the code for just for that instance – most enterprise software allows this, and is absolutely normal for 99% of CRM systems (basically all CRM’s except LinkedIn). Instead you only are able to configure the existing platform which is why there are so many powerful configuration options on Rise, and we keep adding more.

All new features built into the platform are instantly available to all customers – for example last week we produced a feature for multi-tag releases (the ability to release multiple relative rankings from a single leaderboard). This was needed by a large customer but is now a feature we can deploy to anyone. The cost of providing that feature is born solely by us.

Since Rise is a public cloud, social network we proivide an open API and themeable Player User Interface. This allows you to build your app or leaderboard on top of our platform but tailor it exactly as you want it.

Different customers interface with the platform at different levels. While one customer might use the API only, another may choose to theme the player interface with their own skin, while another may create their own scorecard but use the existing player interface as it stands. It all depends on the scale of ambition and the development capacity of the customer.


In all cases though, they are still using the network model and they are still showing that their results are powered by Rise using the powered by Rise logo. That way everyone can trust the results and that private data is being shared in a controlled and appropriate manner.

Our API only customers value the platform for four reasons:

  • provision of sophisticated leaderboards i.e. scoring system flexibility and historic recording
  • provision of employee / company data broking environment – i.e. employees can share personal data (e.g. linkedin activity) with their managers via a trusted third party broker
  • provision of external data (i.e. maintenance of social data apis, handling data procurement etc)
  • the relatively low cost of the Rise service compared to other suppliers

Major technology firms across the world build on Rise because they get an attractive value proposition from the maintained and improving Rise stack – maintaining social data connections for example is something we deal with daily on your behalf.

If I build on Rise who owns what?

In terms of intellectual property (IP) rights, the app / platform relationship also makes this clear.

Anyone building an app or template on our platform owns all the IP for their board (whether that’s just a scorecard design, a template, a custom theme or a standalone app). Board data ownership is shared between players and managers. Rise owns all the platform IP. A combination of legal policies such as the Terms of Service, privacy policy and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) manages the intricacies of data ownership between us all.

One final cautionary note is that like most social network platforms we can’t give you exclusive rights to particular functionality, a particular sector, theme or app and we may also choose to close your app/board if we feel it breaks the spirit of our service or the specifics of our terms of service. This lack of exclusivity cuts two ways – if you want to create a better version of one of our default templates or boards we’ve created ourselves and promote that, then that’s great too.

How do I become the industry standard leaderboard?

Becoming an industry standard is more than simply publishing an index on Rise – you also have to engage players and the wider audience. I’ll cover more on techniques for how you might do that in the next post.

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