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October 29, 2019

Dreamforce 2019 - What can we expect this year ?

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Dreamforce is one of the most talked technology events and a magical gathering that invites more than 100,000 professionals all over the world. The entire Moscone Center becomes a Disneyland for Salesforce Enthusiasts with Music, Monks and Marketing of Salesforce products happening around them.  This year, most of us were able to get a sneak peek on what is going to happen at Dreamforce this year with a series of talk shows called "Road to Dreamforce 2019" that went live every Tuesday starting on September 3rd 2019. Watching this series every week, I was thinking of writing a blog on what can Salesforce professionals in IT companies like Infosys, benefit from attending this event this year and what key notes sessions to focus on to plan our Calendar accordingly.

Dreamforce for Sales Cloud Professionals:

If you are planning to attend the key note sessions around Sales Cloud features, then you can expect the below topics focused to enable our customers to win deals better:

·     Salesforce Maps for Field Sales - All the partners have already attended the webinar on Salesforce Maps which is released this year. At dreamforce, we can have detailed sessions on how this can be leveraged to offer better selling experience to our customers.

·      Enhancement in Salesforce CPQ / Billing Features - Most of our customers always face problems in their billing engine which is going to be simplified and enhanced this year with newer and upgraded features to be announced at Dreamforce.

Dreamforce for Service Cloud Professionals:

Some of the key topics to focus around Service area includes:

·      New Digital channels to be integrated with Service Cloud for enhancement of Self Service Portal

·      Empathy factor as a feature to play a great deal for Field Service Agents and Contact Center organization.

·      Build Sites and Portals faster with the New Lightning Components using Community Cloud. With Salesforce partnering with Automattic this year, we can expect a lot of enhanced features at Community Cloud Digital Experience Key note session this year at Dreamforce.

Dreamforce for Marketing & Commerce Cloud Professionals:

I felt that Marketing cloud, Pardot and Commerce cloud team will play a huge role at this edition of dreamforce with some of the exciting key note sessions including:

·     Salesforce - Google Strategic Partnership for marketing - G Suite integrated with Salesforce for 360 degree marketing needs is going to simplify the ROI measurement of marketing efforts faster than any technology offering can do globally.

·     Journey builder Is getting a brand new upgrade and it is important to attend the Demo at dreamforce.

·     Product bundling feature with Einstein will be a great add on to the Pardot / SFMC offering

·     Interesting Use Case Demo - How Metallica band uses Commerce Cloud for online sales.

Dreamforce for IT professionals aka Technology Innovators

Apart from the above solution based key note sessions, Salesforce has a routine practice to set up a dedicated playground for IT professionals namely "Dreamforce for IT - Drive your Business Partner" which I am sure will be the place to be for Infoscions to get the scoop on all the networking and learning opportunities. This year, Salesforce have made sure that the relationship factor with IT companies will be directly proportional to the number of technology innovators that they groom in-house, with the support of their internal and external stakeholders, to increase the business value. Hence, we can look out for a lot of full force and innovative solutions from various competitors across the globe. This year at dreamforce, participants can see the shift of IT companies from just being a service enabler to a Technology enabler and how they are encouraging their Salesforce practice to embrace the technology for innovation. Salesforce has also made it clear that their customer SPOC, not just includes CIO or members of CIO office but also CTO (Chief Technology Officer), CDO (Chief Digital Officer) and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) who also sit in the office of CIO these days and embrace technology for their business needs. Hence, Salesforce believes that their IT partners as Technology Innovators can increase the demand for Salesforce in the market with such sessions. Salesforce also encourages their customer to establish a co-working relationship with their IT partners to drive their technology driven business in real time. Salesforce has also worked on an enterprise application and tested on Heroku for IT security needs of customers and will be needing IT partner support to enable their vison on Cyber Security and other security related needs of their customers. Above all, Mulesoft sessions will also be importance to IT players who are enabling digital transformation projects for their customers. Indeed, there is an increasing demand for OOB integration services to connect different platforms used by the customers in their IT transformation journey.

Infosys on the playing ground:

As a technology innovator and platinum Salesforce Partner ourselves, Infosys will be presenting on some of the Solution Innovation POCs /POVs that we have created with  the Salesforce Platform enabling our customers to perform better. Few notable ones are:

·         Auto-remarketing Solution

·         Efficient 360

·         Provider Experience

·         Channel Partner Management Solution

·         Customer Advocacy 2.0

·         Lightning Experience Solution

·         Agile Planner

·         Agile Pro

·         CRM Broadcast

Dreamforce for AI enthusiasts

There will definitely be Einstein AI feature releases  across all the cloud solutions that we have to watch out for that can help build use cases instantly for our clients.

 "Every great AI project starts with great use case", recalls Salesforce AI experts.

For IT professionals, Salesforce has bucketed Einstein sessions into 2 categories:

·     Building Smart Apps with AI enabling Business Visions using Einstein NLP / Translations & Voice Capabilities

·     Customizing Salesforce with Einstein AI which will talk about predictions & recommendations features that can be created and embedding within Salesforce Cloud Solutions

Einstein sessions will be held at Moscone West Zone with 3 floors worth of demos and hands on sessions on Einstein AI.

·         1st floor - Trailblazer Zone

·         2nd Floor - Einstein Platform Zone

·         3rd Floor -  Einstein AI summit

If we have any questions or sessions or demos to be arranged at dreamforce we can tweet the request with a hashtag #NowYouKnowAI

Other Interesting events: Apart from the above technical events, following are some of the interesting events to watch out for at Dreamforce:

·     Pardot puppies - All the Pet Lovers can visit the Pardot Puppies store to adopt the rescued puppies at Dreamforce

·     Mindfulness - On the last day of dreamforce there will be a session on Yoga / Mindfulness / Stress Management for the attendees with a popular figure driving the same.

·     Musical evening - As a routine practice, dreamforce will have a famous band at Dreamforce 2019 Concert.

For travelers to dreamforce, I hope this article will help you make a proper Calendar plan and coverage at dreamforce. For non-travelers to dreamforce, hope you are updated on what will be happening at Dreamforce this year.

Cheers and happy Dreamforcing!

#Dreamforce #RoadtoDF19 #Infosys #NavigateYourNext

October 23, 2019

Smart Targeting and Marketing Solution for Auto Finance

Traditionally, Automobile manufacturers have been focused on production processes, manufacturing and supply chain management. The focus of selling cars has been customer demand and dealer relationships to manage the process of selling vehicles and maintaining them post-sale.


As per Cox Automotive's 2018 Used Car Market Report and Outlook, new and used vehicle sales are expected to take different paths moving forward. New vehicle sales are expected to dip, while used vehicle sales will rise. With lots of off-lease vehicles returning to the market, the used car sale market will create a lot of opportunities for companies and dealers. To effectively capitalize these opportunities, the Captive Auto Finance needs to overcome the key process challenges such as:


  • Inefficient Grounding Process
  • Inaccurate negotiated and Bid price
  • No end to end digital traceability of inspection data
  • Additional Cost for 3rd Party Auctioneers
  • No Market Visibility or Feedback

Challenges - Auto Industry.png

These challenges have made the Auto Re-Marketing Process is Inefficient and Costly causing large delays on the Average Vehicle Turn in.

To address these challenges, we feel there is a need to build a robust digital platform that enables our Auto-manufacturing customers to explore the human-centric aspect of the buyer-seller relationship. We envision designing a business model that enables the Captive Auto Finance to directly connect with Dealers and eliminate 3rd party auction costs and shift sales earlier in the cycle. Infosys Auto Re-Marketing Platform, our first Industry Solution has been designed for the Auto manufacturer to manage their inventory and effectively market and sell directly to the dealers eliminating the need for third-party auction and inspection teams. This platform provides the capability for:


  • Unified Customer Experience - There is a need to build an intuitive customer experience across multiple channels accessible to purchase and deliver vehicles from the current inventory
  • Pre-built auction process - The pivot of the used car sales is a simplified auction process where the end customer can post a bid for the dealer on B2B Commerce platform
  • Customer Insights - One of the most important components of customer experience is to feed the insights from the market into the campaign management process
  • Predictive intelligence - The data analysis provides the backbone for customized campaigns and price predictions through Einstein across the value chain


Infosys Auto-Remarketing has been aligned to Salesforce's Value Proposition which adds Cost as well as revenue benefits to the Auto manufacture's ecosystem:


Cost benefits:


  • Reduce Professional Inspection Fees
  • Reduce Inventory Carry Costs
  • Reduce Repair Transportation Costs
  • Reduce 3rd-party On-line Store Fees by Moving OEM Dealer Sales to OEM Online Store
  • Reduce Auction Fees by Moving Some Non-OEM Dealer Sales to Online Store



Revenue benefits


  • Increase Vehicle Prices by Shifting Sales From Online Store to GD
  • Accelerate Revenue Recognition - 20% more Sales on Auction
  • Increase Vehicle Prices by Shifting Sales - Online Auction to Store

Auto Re-Marketing Value Add.png

October 3, 2019

Servitization/ Asset Monetization - Manufacturing Industry Business Transforming Models

In the past few years, customer service concepts and strategies have penetrated every industry segment. While some industries have touched the surface of this vast area some have gone ahead to invent innovative stratagems to engage customers, bring home the laurels of repeat business and record breaking NPS. Manufacturing industries including industrial machine manufacturers, automotive and chemical sectors are also investing heavily to stay competitive and provide proactive integrated and omnipresent customer service. In the recent years, taking a step forward in the 'Game of Service', Manufacturing organizations started maneuvering product centric services as a differentiating factor in the market. This mantra popularly known as 'Servitization' slowly became the key business model for Manufacturers looking at bringing revenue as a part of their service operations. 

As the name sounds interesting, 'Servitization' has multiple flavors which have been adopted by manufacturers to commoditize SERVICE. Some of these types are -
  • Regular Service - Selling parts and consumables and providing customer services for the same.
  • Product Oriented Service - Providing revenue generating services on top of the sold product like Installation, Upgrades of the Product, Maintenance (Cleaning, Periodic Checks, Maintenance Servicing etc.), Diagnosis, User Training, Product Consulting and Customer Help Desk Service etc.
  • Advanced Service Oriented Service - This model includes bundling advanced services with product delivery like:-

1. Renting the product or Use- oriented Services - In this model, manufacturers own the asset while the product is used by the end users in a pay per use model. The manufacturer, as the owner of the asset continues to repair, maintain and manage it while the customers enjoy the product usage without the worry of maintaining the same. This revenue generating model guarantees customer success with the product and a long-term relationship with the customer. Furthermore, this strategy entails harnessing the customer consumption analytics for better product propositions and greater NPS. While this is a great example of Servitization, very few organizations have adopted this modus operandi.

2. Asset Monetization - In this most popular model of Servitization, manufacturers generate revenue out of sold Installed Base by means of:-

- Proactive Maintenance via external devices like Internet of Things driven asset maintenance

- On- field generation of Service leads for the Installed Base (e.g. Extended Service Warranty)

- Artificial Intelligence powered Asset analytics based on consumption, service history and breakdown patterns for predictive maintenance, renewals and/ or possible replacements.

- On- field generation of Cross/ Up Sell product and/ or spare parts leads. 

After a look at the flavors of Servitization, let's take a quick look at some of the benefits associated with this game changing business model. What is making heads turn towards this strategy - 
  • Taking off the product support related burden from customer hands. In this proposition, customers can focus on their services rather than product while being assured that the same will be best taken care of.
  • Greater and better Net Promoter Score. With manufacturers taking responsibility for product services like installation, diagnostics etc. the risk of failure/ breakdown of the asset decreases thereby helping customers focus on other aspects of their business.
  • Increased lifetime of the Product - With IoT or AI powered asset monitoring and proactive services the upkeep and shelf life of the asset increases which in turn leads to reduction in maintenance and operational costs.
  • Better Customer Retention rate - Servitization not only helps better the NPS but also in bringing repeat business or long-term retention of the customer. With proactive services, risk free assets and greater time for key business aspects customer loyalty to the manufacturer is strengthened.
  • Stabilized and Increased Revenue - While Servitization brings the best total cost for the customer, it is one of the best methods of expanding revenue channels for the manufacturer. 

While Servitization appears to be a plum revenue minting approach, the sauce for its success rests in few things - A good technology which can Monitor, Manage, Analyze, Integrate and Respond to Asset/ Service needs, a careful deliberation on which business model will click, harnessing the power of devices (like IoT, AI, Data Storage), a good field service management stratagem for not only servicing but for revenue generation actions, making Field Technicians the champions of the organization.

Historically, Servitization has been extremely successful for organizations like Rolls Royce, Philips and Xerox who have capitalized on Customer Service efficiently. With this concept again getting rekindled, manufacturers have started moving focus from products to product- service bundles. In this era of competitive times, this change being inevitable, not only requires a concerted mindset change across manufacturer and customer but also a careful deliberation for the right selection of the Servitization model. This accoutered with right technology can help manufacturers address Whines and Shine!

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