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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: David Schmaier, CEO of Vlocity (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 16th 2015

David Schmaier: The best customer experiences are industry-specific and they’re omni-channel. I might want to go to the website. You might want to call a company via the contact center. My colleague might want to walk into a retail store. What customers are starting to expect is I go on the website on my iPhone and then call them up. Then I walk into a retail store and they actually know who I am. That’s the omni-channel part of it. If I’m doing business with Verizon versus GAP versus the State of California, it’s different. Yes, it’s all CRM. Yes, it’s all omni-channel, but what I actually do when I’m in that store or talking to a call center agent is really different. The processes and the steps you go through is entirely different.

What Salesforce does is deliver that omni-channel piece and what Vlocity does is deliver that industry-specific piece. What’s very interesting when we started is this was a new idea. Now, we’re starting to have websites about this. I recently spoke with Salesforce and other companies like SAP. There was an industry cloud financial analyst conference. It’s just like CRM. It’s being coined as a market segment. In my professional opinion, CRM is going to keep exploding. My prediction is it’s going to go to $50 billion to $100 billion, and half of it or more will be industry-specific. We know from our prior experience that at Siebel, we ultimately delivered over 20 different industry versions. Our revenue went from zero percent industry-specific to 90% industry-specific.

Sramana Mitra: Enterprise software companies have always been organized as a vertical solution on top of whatever their platforms are. All the system integration companies are also organized in industry-specific solutions. I’m completely with you on your assumption.

David Schmaier: There’s one part of what you just said that I wouldn’t agree with. If you look at Salesforce, Marketo, or WorkDay, they’re mostly not industry-specific. They’re mostly general purpose. Phase one of the cloud has been non industry-specific. Verticalization is a natural specialization of what happens in markets. It’s just obvious that as the cloud becomes more prevalent and as it becomes more accepted, more and more people are going to move to this industry-specific approach. This is a natural evolution from cloud to industry cloud.

Sramana Mitra: The company that I’ve seen that has a pure vertical CRM approach is Bullhorn out of Boston.

David Schmaier: I’ve never heard of them.

Sramana Mitra: They’re over $100 million in revenue actually.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: David Schmaier, CEO of Vlocity
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