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Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Arish Ali, CEO of Skava (Part 4)

Posted on Friday, Feb 17th 2017

Sramana Mitra: I’m trying to synthesize what I’m hearing here. Could what you’re saying be synthesized by saying that the trend in e-commerce right now is that a lot of the retailers are trying to do omni-channel but are looking for much more custom experiences as opposed to what they can get from the off-the-shelf platforms?

Arish Ali: Yes. We are seeing two distinct trends. There is a whole category of retailers anywhere from $50 million to billions of dollars, which traditionally use these on-premise e-commerce platforms and run their businesses on them. Roughly half of them don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a full IT stack of on-premise software.

They want all of this moved to the cloud so they can focus on the business, on the experiences, and on the core retail business. They are looking for something that is fully packaged but which, at the same time, offers the flexibility to customize their experiences very quickly without every customization requiring a six-month IT project. The business users who are running that operation want tools that make it easy for them to run the business.

Sramana Mitra: How long does it take for your product to be implemented?

Arish Ali: Three to six months depending on the scope.

Sramana Mitra: But you just said customers don’t want six months of implementation.

Arish Ali: That’s full e-commerce implementation. Traditional e-commerce implementation can run for as long as two years. A full e-commerce implementation for a large retailer can be anywhere from one to two years. After that implementation is done, every change you want to make can be done in days or weeks on our platform.

Traditional e-commerce platforms take weeks and months. The initial implementation is much shorter than a traditional full e-commerce implementation. That gives them the benefit of better time to market. Once they have our platform in place, their business users can do live updates to new campaigns without requiring any IT expertise in most cases.

Sramana Mitra: To be honest with you, just listening to you and processing the move of Infosys acquiring you tells me that there is a very significant amount of custom services work that your platform requires and entails. That’s the case behind Infosys for acquiring you.

Arish Ali: That’s not accurate for two reasons. The amount of customization that is required on our platform is in orders of magnitude less than the traditional e-commerce platform. This is something I’d rather have someone from Infosys talk about. What I’ve heard from the CEO is that this is a move towards software automation.

The trend is that more and more of the things should be done through automation. It should be done through software and tools. That’s the reason Skava has a role to play in this. It’s that vision that Vishal has for the company where we’re not coming to create more services. The move is towards simplification and making sure that software is automated. You empower your business users to self-service themselves.

It’s part of that approach from an Infosys perspective. The reason we have seen success in the marketplace is that move to simplification and giving tools to business users to run their business with the full power that they want but without requiring that kind of manual intervention.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Thought Leaders in E-Commerce: Arish Ali, CEO of Skava
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