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Cloud is not a zero-sum game

Zafar Anjum | June 10, 2015
In this interview, Simon Davies, Salesforce's Vice President for ASEAN, Greater China and Korea, answers questions about the disruption that cloud and big data technologies are causing and how Salesforce is helping companies transform their customers’ journeys

One of our customers, online retailer Lazada has made full use of the cloud, leveraging Salesforce's Sales Cloud to automate vendor sign-on and on-boarding, and streamline vendor communications. Additionally, Lazada's Vendor Management team uses Sales Cloud reports and dashboards to provide vendors with dedicated support, online marketing expertise and best-in-class analytics.

In this new world, businesses need to look at how they can innovate, disrupt and reinvent-regardless of industry. Unfortunately, in the age of the Internet of Customers, those that do not will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

The cloud benefits all business - large and small - because every business can benefit from agility, scale and cost efficiency no matter how big or small.

Has cloud caused a transformation in the customer journey? How?

Consumer expectations have changed. Today, customers are always on and expect service to be delivered via every channel - social, mobile and through the cloud.

They expect companies to offer services and solutions that facilitate things such as a smoother ride from point A to B, or a better night's rest. They expect more value-added solutions from all industries and will not be satisfied with the status quo.

What companies such as Grab Taxi have done is make the transaction between the customer and the driver completely effortless and frictionless. Disruptors such as Grab Taxi and AirBnb are examples of collaborative consumption that has transformed the customer journey. Through these seamless interactions, they have built a solid level of trust with their communities - something that is critical to every brand and business.

Thanks to these disruptors, customers now have a voice when they previously did not, and as a result, businesses will be forced to imbue agility and innovation into the DNA of their organisation in order to consistently put their customers at the centre of everything they do.

The customer journey is now a 1-to-1 relationship between a brand and its consumers and it's never been more important to deliver value in that journey.

How do you see cloud and big data changing the business scene in Asia?

90% of the world's data has been created in the last 24 months. This instantaneous and ubiquitous world we live in today is such that data collected needs to be broken down and analysed quickly, in order for it to be meaningful. As such, data analysis cannot afford to be relegated to those who understand computer programming, but should be a tool that can be wielded effectively by every employee in an organisation as and when they need to do so. There are cloud services, platforms and solutions available today that will enable almost any user to glean meaningful insights effortlessly from collected data that can be manipulated into a series of graphs and actionable reports. These insights can empower businesses to make better business decisions on how to best interact with their customers in key moments of truth.


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