Manish Sood: Consider how these customers look at engaging with their customers, vendors or gathering any kind of competitive information around products they are selling in the market. All of these different types of problems, whether it’s customer loyalty, customer experience, or customer engagement, requires you to think about bringing data together from multiple sources— both internal and external, regardless of whether it is master data or the interactions that are taking place.
More often, we started seeing the pattern that the customers today may start out with a specific point of view, but that point of view evolves quite rapidly as their businesses evolve. A simple example of what we saw in the market was the work that life sciences companies were doing. Their business model of going out and selling directly to the prescribers was morphing quite rapidly into a very complex account-based sales process. They now had to not only understand the information about the prescribers that they were engaging with, but they also had to figure out how best to go and get their drugs on the formulary list that was being provided on a specific plan by a provider and used by large, independent delivery networks like Kaizer. That divided the time of their sales force to effectively go and sell to large accounts but at the same time, keep the prescribers or healthcare professionals extremely engaged throughout the process so that they would act as evangelists for their product. That’s a very complex overall landscape that these companies have to understand.
Our point of view with the work that we embarked on in July of 2011 was that this could only be solved with applications that could be driven with data as foundation and the driver of the insights that would be provided. That led to the genesis of what we are doing at Reltio today and also led to some of the foundational concepts that we hold very near and dear to our philosophy of how we are enabling these kinds of solutions for our customers.
Sramana Mitra: Siperian was acquired in 2010. What was your role there?
Manish Sood: At Siperian, I was responsible for the product management and product strategy and driving the complete product portfolio.
Sramana Mitra: When did you leave Informatica?
Manish Sood: I left Informatica at the end of 2010.
Sramana Mitra: You didn’t have to stick around after the acquisition?
Manish Sood: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: Did you start observing all these other needs and issues with customers before the Siperian acquisition or was it after you started interacting with the broader portfolio of clients that Informatica put you in front of?
Manish Sood: We started observing and noticing these patterns before the acquisition. In fact, I would say right around the 2008 time frame. That’s when the Big Data type of technologies were just starting to become well-adopted and were also creating proof points that some of these types of problems could be solved. Even though proof points existed at that point in time with companies such as Google and Amazon, it was still a very good indicator of the direction that this was trending in.
Sramana Mitra: Were you contemplating leaving Siperian to start this company already at that point?
Manish Sood: Not before the acquisition. Before the acquisition, the goal was to try and do some of these things within the umbrella of the company that we were at.
Sramana Mitra: However, once Informatica acquired Siperian, you decided that you wanted to leave and start the new company.
Manish Sood: Yes, that certainly did act as a catalyst.