Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down on your industry. Help me understand the before and after. I understand you said they’re either on-premise or on the cloud, and they’re not on the cloud with industry-specific work flows. Let’s double-click down on that concept. What kinds of systems were they using? What kind of systems are you replacing? What’s happening in each of these industries?
David Schmaier: Let’s take Sky Italia. Sky Italia is a pay TV provider serving 5 million households in Italy. When you go to Europe and you turn on the TV, you see Sky channels. It’s part of that parent company. Sky was previously using Siebel Communications with industry-specific on-premise CRM.
Sramana Mitra: Isn’t that where you were before? Didn’t you work at Siebel before?
David Schmaier: I was one of the founders of Siebel Systems. By way of context, when I started in the CRM market, the worldwide CRM market was $20 million. Today, the worldwide CRM market is $20 billion. It turned out to be a pretty good idea. What I would say is this market has gone through various transitions. Let me talk about that and then come back to how that affected Sky. When we started at Siebel, it wasn’t obvious that the CRM market was going to happen back in the early 90s. I have known Marc Benioff for 25 years. Marc started Salesforce in 1999. In 1999, I could tell you that it wasn’t obvious that the cloud was going to happen.
Sramana Mitra: I remember that. In fact, there were 20 CRM companies when Siebel was doing the regular CRM.
David Schmaier: Not 20. There were 50. I know both Marc and Parker. When they started, the cloud wasn’t obvious. I would say the same thing for the industry cloud. Today, some people would say, “Is that really going to happen? Do I really need that?” In my professional opinion, having worked at CRM for 25 years, this is going to happen just as much as the cloud did, and just as much as CRM did.
Let me give you a simple analogy. When you go into a woman’s clothing store, do you want a suit off the rack that doesn’t really fit, or do you want the one that’s tailored to you? When I go to a men’s store, I’m going to pick the one that’s tailored. Companies want that too. They want the software that’s pre-configured to the best practices. If you can get that, why wouldn’t you want that?
Sramana Mitra: I’m completely on the same page with you on this, especially with what’s happening today in the domain of artificial intelligence. That really needs to be industry-specific. Everything that you do today is going to have a lot of AI implications. Weaving the industry-specific workflow, vocabulary, and data structure is the way of the future. You have a supporter here.