In an interaction with DQ Channels, Sunil Jose, SVP and Country Leader, Salesforce India has shared some insights into Salesforce plans, enterprise IT challenges and hybrid cloud journey.
How does Salesforce plan to steer forward among Indian businesses?
Being among the early cloud computing enterprise software companies, we have come a long way in setting new trends in the software industry, particularly the way enterprises and organizations consumed software applications over the cloud, popularly known as ‘Software-as-a-Service’ (SaaS) rather than on-premise. From these groundbreaking ideas, Salesforce pioneered the pay-as-you-go business and technology models that allow us to serve all customers everywhere. We’ve evolved our entire business model around our customers’ success. Their goals are our goals. Their feedback is our directive. We aren’t successful unless they’re winning at what they do. It’s this symbiosis that keeps us true to what we set out to do.
India is in a constant state of reinvention, from being a technology greenfield to innovating as a mobile-first nation with a vibrant startup ecosystem. We believe the cloud will continue to be the medium for everything that businesses do and our focus is on innovating the best apps and platform technologies for our customers. The economy, however, is vast and diverse and digitization is not going to be a linear or uniform process. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s important to understand, and respect, the pace at which these organizations move. Some are quick to adopt new technology, others are more cautious. Companies that in the past have invested heavily in hardware and data centers want to better understand what the cloud or digitization means for their business. On the other hand, consumers are changing, rapidly expanding mobile and internet uptake is setting new international benchmarks and is a testimony to the scale of digital transformation. Yes, the needle is moving, but it’s a work in progress.
What are the key enterprise IT challenges which Salesforce is trying to address?
Today, the biggest challenge we face with our changing customer expectations which are changing what it means to be a successful businessperson in any role. Today, we live in an instantaneous world, but also one in which tailored, consultative experiences built on strong relationships are table stakes.
Consumers are prioritizing leisure and time with family and friends, and millennials are willing to spend more on experiences. I believe customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator compelling businesses to reinvent themselves. At the same time, it is equally important to get it right. As a business, a CRM tool is a strategy for managing an organization’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. A tool that is used for contact management, sales management, productivity, and more. The goal of a CRM system is simple: Improve business relationships.
What sets Salesforce apart in enabling enterprises to embrace cloud-based technologies? Could you please elaborate on some of the innovative approaches which Salesforce has taken to optimize the client’s hybrid cloud journey?
Being in the industry for over 20 years, Salesforce has constantly driven new innovations to meet the needs of even the largest businesses. This has helped us be the #1 CRM Company in the world with more than 36,000 employees and 150,000 customers worldwide. Innovation is a core value for Salesforce and we will continue to innovate on our established full-featured customer success platform to drive efficiency and growth for sales, service and marketing teams.
Every one of our customers faces unique challenges and it’s up to us to provide them with a neatly packaged range of tools to choose from. Our platform helps businesses grow and scale, enabling customers to build their business on a single, secure, and scalable platform that’s easy to customize and upgrade without anything breaking. Extending their power to sell, service, and market with pre-integrated apps on AppExchange, the world’s largest business app marketplace. Our complete CRM consists of core Salesforce apps, and over 5,000 AppExchange partner apps with the ability to build custom apps, and the ability to connect to outside business systems. The aim is for our customers to have the right mix of tools at the right time. Many of our customers stick to one or two of these apps focused on specific areas. Others layer on custom apps built on the Salesforce platform to solve a wide range of issues across their entire business. The beauty is that it’s all on one platform that can deploy in days or weeks, and is secured by our world-class trust infrastructure.
Workplace learning is a proven driver of success—employees who spend more than five hours a week learning are 39% more productive, 47% less stressed and 21% happier on the job (Deloitte). myTrailhead, our learning experience platform, empowers every company to create a culture of continuous learning and skill up employees at scale. myTrailhead is ushering in a new era of learning for the future of work – it is a learning experience platform that reinvents learning and enablement at your company with their brand and content. Our Trailblazer community is growing, customers have the opportunity to share and grow with the 2.3M+ Trailblazers in our community. Share experiences and expertise with passionate communities of people, partners, and developers, all brought together and driven by a common goal: blazing a trail for, and right alongside, their customers.
What sort of options do Salesforce customers have if they want to move to a virtualized cloud platform?
Growing awareness of the efficiency in business processes through the use of hybrid cloud is exponentially increasing the amount of business data through multiple applications of the Internet of things across industries.
The International Data Group’s recent study states that 69% of businesses are already using cloud technology in one capacity or another, and 18% are planning to implement cloud-computing solutions at some point. Businesses and industry leaders are recognizing the benefits of cloud computing trend to efficiently run their organizations, better serve their customers, and increase their overall profit margins.
Some of the key advantages are, cost savings, the ROI on investing in cloud is high and the pay-as-you-go system ensures customers are not charged for any space that is not used, lower costs and ensuring higher returns. The cloud offers businesses more flexibility overall versus hosting on a local server. A cloud-based service can meet that demand instantly, rather than undergoing a complex (and expensive) update to your IT infrastructure. It also allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and devices, which, considering over 2.6 billion smartphones are being used globally today, is a great way to ensure that no one is ever left out of the loop. It also makes collaboration a simple process. Team members can view and share information easily and securely across a cloud-based platform. Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios from natural disasters to power outages. Automatic software updates save valuable IT staff time and money spent on outside IT consultation.