Sramana Mitra: You mentioned that there’s also feedback going into engineering. Does that imply that you see bug reports on social media?
Howard Lau: It’s not so much bug reports. It’s something like product enhancement request.
Sramana Mitra: That’s for product management though, right?
Howard Lau: Yes, product management.
Sramana Mitra: Engineering can’t react to that.
Howard Lau: They will get the information focused in a specific department.
Sramana Mitra: If it is bug report, that would actually go to engineering.
Howard Lau: If people express bugs on social networks or on surveys, we can analyze those data.
Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else that you want to discuss in the realm of use cases.
Howard Lau: That covers it. We talked about fraud protection, customer SAP, analyzing sentiments, and service levels.
Sramana Mitra: I’m going to switch gear. Given your perspective in the industry, what do you see as the key trends in your industry?
Howard Lau: I think what we’re seeing is the migration of communication channels on to the social sphere. I don’t mean specifically Twitter. People want to express themselves in the channels that they’re used to expressing. It’s incumbent upon the corporation to follow the consumers to where they’re moving to and not tell them where they need to go to communicate with them. Even in a B2B environment, they have to migrate to the social channels because that’s where the people are.
The bulk of data that is created is structured data. There’s a need to have systems to manage, analyze, and annotate the vast volume of unstructured data. A lot have taken to unstructured data and summarizing and analyzing it. It’s also realizing that you can create and help business processes initiate based on the stream of unstructured data. The idea of creating actual business processes that would input it with unstructured data is really cheap. We feel that corporations should embrace and utilize the unstructured data that the customer has.
Sramana Mitra: If you were to start a company today, what are the problems that are on your radar? What kind of things are customers asking for?
Howard Lau: Instead of focusing on how to manage this vast volume of unstructured data, my focus would be on what are the problems that businesses are trying to address or solve and building solutions around these problems. For corporations, they care about how customers are using the product. Are they happy? Also, they are concerned about competitors. What are my competitors doing? From a technology point of view, they want to be on top of technology trends and innovation. What are the new patents being filed? What they really want to know is identifying opportunities in the business. Let’s take the technology that we have and create these use cases that will define value propositions for our customers.
Sramana Mitra: You mean the means of competitive analysis is not met?
Howard Lau: It’s not met at all. I would focus on a problem that customers are facing and define solutions specific to their problems.
Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.