I’ve been a fan of the long-running weekly DisrupTV webcast from two high-energy tech rockstars, Constellation’s Ray Wang and Salesforce’s Vala Afshare, for a long time. So my heart went pitty-pat when I heard they were going to do an episode featuring Austin execs while here for a Salesforce education conference, and things got even more exciting when Ray invited Revionics’ Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Cheryl Sullivan, to be one of the guests. (It also gave me a great excuse to catch up Ray in person over good ol’ Central Texas barbecue, always a treat!)
The April 28 episode also featured GoTransverse founder and CEO Jim Messer, and his company is doing some very interesting innovation around subscription- and usage-based billing. As Jim says, “If you can measure it, we can bill for it.” Jim also had some great insights about sustaining an energetic, fun culture with transparency and accountability at the core.
Business Agility Key to Relevance
Cheryl in turn talked about the incredible disruption going on as digital permeates the retail industry: always-on shoppers doing 24/7 price comparison, online and in-store, with brand loyalty declining and price as the key driver for many. She notes, however, that using machine-learning science can help retailers cope to know which prices matter to customers – and which do not – so they build customer-focused pricing strategies that succeed in the digital era. This is particularly successful when combined with business agility – Agility is the Key to Relevance! – including both business processes and more high-frequency price updates in the form of dynamic pricing.
She also emphasized the importance of staying focused on customers after the sale. For a SaaS company like ours, this has to be a part of the DNA. Plus, collaborating closely with customers drives value for them as the product features reflect their most compelling business needs. And ROI for the customer is what it’s all about.
Next, Ray and Vala chatted with Cognitive Scale’s VP of Marketing Shaku Selvakumar about their industry-specific cognitive computing solutions. She focused on AI in driving powerful business results, and talked about their offerings in commerce, healthcare and financial services.
If you missed the live show, you can always catch the replay on Constellation’s site. Or if you prefer the written word to video formats, Vala did an excellent recap in his Huffpo blog post, which also includes some powerful stats about Austin as the #1 city for startups, #1 on the list of America’s Best Places to Start a Business, and all-around fun, business-friendly town.