Q: For enterprise, who cares? Who cares about how smooth and fluid and good looking the software is? You don’t have to sell it to consumers.
Noah: That’s the whole point. If you think about it, that’s the whole market opportunity. Every day you talk about the amazing transformation in our consumer lives. Everything has changed. We just saw a drone that now follows you when you go on a family hiking trip. Your music’s always available. Photos are incredible. I talked to this teenager the other day that said they don’t even text, they snap.
But very little has been done in the enterprise space. I just talked to a customer that said this year, they hope to finally upgrade to Office 2010. That’s the opportunity. Can we help the employees actually love their work?
Q: It makes sense to me that software that’s pleasant to use would be a sales point, but from my perspective as an outsider, as a consumer guy and not an enterprise guy, I wonder why this hasn’t always been a sales point. To this day, if you peek around the counter at your bank teller’s screen or your doctor’s screen, you see this ugly, 8-bit, green-letters-on-black-screen stuff. Why isn’t it in demand in every industry?
Noah: The demand is there now, especially with things like “bring your own device.” Now you’re taking somebody’s personal life, and you’re saying if you want to do your work successfully on this, you’re now starting to blur this line, blurring issues of privacy.
Can I hand this to my mother, your mother, and say go get access to work information? How many steps is it going to take for them to do that? It’s ultimately been a challenge of can we make it secure enough, can we make it managed enough, but get it so elegantly and so seamlessly, that we get to do the cool stuff, which is to help make something new, help make something more inspirational.
Q: Word is around here that you in the company coined this term ‘mobile moments.’
Noah: I think it’s probably an industry term … There’s just so many times you get a piece of information that you want to take an action on. On your mobile phone you’re dealing with such a small screen and a finger gesture, you want to say how can I provide an insight or how can I provide a bit more detail? A simple example of this: Think about an email message comes in, and you’re a salesperson. If, all the sudden, it correlated your email message to Salesforce data so that in one click, you get a quick peek into Salesforce information, without having to sign in, without having to go to another app—that’s powerful!
You can imagine how we can bring that bank in you mentioned. They’re not trying to be behind a teller anymore. They want to go upstream. They want to take a device and start meeting face-to-face with people. If you see some type of notification, you get a complete picture about you as the customer, and now I can be more relevant and not, ‘Hey, you are…?’ Get into a reason for being brick and mortar. If you’re going to have a retail bank, provide value.
Q: As you look out over the next couple of years, what are your thrusts of your efforts here?
Noah: Any software company that’s working in this space that’s not talking about machine learning, Big Data, analytics—it would be a bad company to be at. We are really, truly focused on that now.
I’ll give you a simple example in our own VMware environment. We looked to see how many people had Salesforce on their devices. (We know that because we pay for certain licenses.) We now know when they authenticate, and we know what platforms they authenticate. And now we know over 30 days. Why is that interesting? Only 40% of employees authenticated to Salesforce on any platform over the last 30 days. That’s interesting. Is there a cost savings we can get there?
Then we did top performing salespeople. When did they get into Salesforce? We see this interesting correlation that actually at 8 a.m. top performing salespeople authenticate. So why is that?
We bring engineers into a room, and you just start folding these layers of data on and exposing them to customers. There’s this excitement: Wow, we’re really seeing something behavioral. Maybe we can inspire people to say that, ‘Did you know top performing salespeople in the aviation industry use this PowerPoint? Well, maybe we should look at that! We should train other ones that aren’t top performing on that particular piece of information.’
Where are we today in business with that type of thinking? We’re early. There’s a lot of opportunity for us to be that partner.