Sramana Mitra: I don’t buy all of Kurzweil’s points, but there are certain things that I think machines can do better than humans. For example, if you look at medicine and diagnosis, if you really have all the data and images set up, I think machines would do a better job with diagnosis.
David Schmaier: I agree with you there. It’s interesting in the area of software that we play in, which is the industry-specific CRM space. They want better human interactions.
Sramana Mitra: I understand. You are enabling people to do their jobs better. If you go in and say that you’re going to replace all your jobs, no one is going to buy your software.
David Schmaier: That’s one part of it. When I call for service, I want the other person on the other end to guide me. This is what we are featuring in Dreamforce, which is the guided interaction capability where based on machine learning, we can guide people the optimal way. You hang up the phone and say, “Wow! That company is really good. Service is really good. They immediately knew who I was and what I needed.” How many times does that really happen? Not very often.
Sramana Mitra: If you look at other verticals like healthcare, I think it would also take that form first — machine learning guiding healthcare professionals to make better decisions and do better customer service. If you look at manufacturing for instance, there will be more automation.
David Schmaier: Exactly. One of the things that I look back to when we got started is our sister company is a company called Veeva. They started seven years ago in a different vertical, pharmaceutical CRM. We’re the first people to do this in four verticals. Today, they’re about $400 plus million revenue today. All the leading pharmaceutical companies in the world use them.
What we’re doing in our four verticals is not just going deep, but also into deep customer relationships. We’re going deep with these customers. That’s what these companies want. They want a trusted partner that really knows their business. Not just great technology, but really smart people who have domain expertise. I think of the enterprise software business ultimately as taking world class domain expertise and embodying it in enterprise software.
Sramana Mitra: You can drive much better business practices by enforcing it through software.
David Schmaier: Exactly.
Sramana Mitra: Great! Excellent conversation. Thank you for your time.