Deepak Pargaonkar, vice president of solutions engineering at Salesforce.com Inc, leads the San Francisco based CRM giant’s new strategy to target the financial services sector in India. In an interview with TechCircle, Pargaonkar spoke how Salesforce is leveraging AI (artificial intelligence) to personalise solutions and real-time analytics to deliver faster response rates and the need to create an ecosystem of partners to address growing enterprise challenges.
Tell us more about the renewed strategy for clients in the financial services sector in India.
As part of our industry strategy, we will be focusing on delivering new social, mobile and connected cloud solutions for the financial services sector in India. We want to build a team of subject matter experts as a go-to-market strategy to interact with our customers from an organisational perspective. At the same time we will also be creating an ecosystem of partners as they will be key for delivering the transformational experience and solutions to address the current challenges in that sector.
Most consumers in India demand real-time interactions with companies. How are you making that happen?
When we look at the consumer touch points in the financial services sector, there are electronic and human touch points. Electronic refers to email, text messages and telephone calls. Focusing on the human element in the interactions, Salesforce tries to provide a single view of the data which can be used across all the stakeholders in all channels.
For example, if a person engages in conversation with a call centre agent and gets redirected to the seller, we make sure that the seller also has enough information about the customer. We have built the platform in such a way that all the interactions with different stakeholders are managed on a single infrastructure.
This real-time engagement also includes automated discussions including chatbot interactions, which also play a role in this single-view data model.
Apart from real-time feedback, how do you ensure that interactions are personalised for each customer’s needs?
When we talk about data, a lot of data gets captured as a part of the customer expressions and interactions in terms of email, telephonic communications or in terms of pre-set preferences of the customers.
The important aspect is to use this data in a meaningful way to convey what is right for the customer. Analytics and intelligence is applied to this data to generate insights. Salesforce, along with our standardised sales, marketing and other platforms provides these analytical capabilities.
These capabilities are in three areas -- standard dashboards, predictive analysis and AI-based use cases. Applying analytics to the data generates meaningful results, which is then delivered via the right interface. The bottom line is that intelligence and data is communicated to the stakeholder and the customer at the right time.
How has the AI platform Einstein evolved over the years and how has it been made more personalised for the Indian customer?
AI has played a big role in the Salesforce platforms. For financial services customers as well as customers in other sectors, we bring to the table the ability to sell, service and market their product. A company has to be receiving several leads and once the leads come in, there has to be an intelligent system that allows the organisation to recognise the top leads that need to be focused on.
Salescloud Einstein helps sellers to identify the best leads to go after. On the service side, the engagements that customers have with the organisation can be automated through chatbots and can be personalised for each customer. Our platform can identify what type of solutions or products can be targeted to specific customers. In India it has evolved significantly over the years and the solutions have become more personalised and accurate.
What are some of the top technology trends that you are excited about in the financial services sector?
The ecosystem is evolving and there is a lot of disruption being caused by fintech companies. No single financial services company can fulfil all of the needs of an entire organisation. This is where the ecosystem has to work hand in hand. Secondly, organisations are focusing more on personalisation while consumers also expect the same. The third is that data is king and the growth of data and how we make the most out of it is going to be critical for the future.
How are you using edge computing for real-time insights? Additionally how do APIs and microservices help Salesforce?
Gone are the traditional times when the system used to generate reports and distribute them. Today, edge analytics analyse and give feedback on data at the location where it is generated. When it comes to microservices, the Salesforce customer success platform is a comprehensively configurable and customisable platform wherein organisations can create their own innovations. The platform in use has to be able to support building new products and allow it to be scaled at large easily. They also need to be in-built with no-code or low code capabilities to make building of newer applications faster and easier and that is what we have worked on providing.