Why the Industry Cloud Matters
Digital Transformations Inherently Differ by Industry
By David Schmaier, Founder & CEO, Vlocity
Today, Vlocity announced $60M in funding from our existing investors, including Sutter Hill Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Accenture, New York Life Ventures, along with new investor Bessemer Venture Partners. You can read our public announcement here, but I wanted to share my perspective as to why today’s news highlights a major milestone for the software industry, the advent of an age I call “Cloud 2.0” or what analysts increasingly refer to as the “Industry Cloud.”
The Rise of the “Industry Cloud”
We are living in the midst of what Salesforce calls “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” It is a time of the blurring of boundaries between our physical and digital worlds. In our largest industry sectors such as communications & media, insurance & financial services, healthcare, energy and government, the adoption of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), combined with mobile and cloud enabling platforms, are not only transforming companies but disrupting entire industries. It is perhaps the most exciting time in history to be in the software business.
Vlocity’s industry cloud applications, combined with Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM and cloud platform, have become a core component in the significant and fundamental changes underway in several important industry “verticals.” “Verticals” is a term we use in software to describe industries that have unique requirements, business processes and systems needs. For example, a Tier 1 telecommunications company has very different requirements for selling to, serving, and retaining customers when compared to a global insurance conglomerate. Building industry-specific software to serve these unique customer needs helped drive the explosive growth and success in the early days of the CRM industry, and this natural evolution and specialization is taking place again today in the cloud.
It is perhaps the most exciting time in history to be in the software business.
This growing enterprise revolution is called the “Industry Cloud”, in reference to cloud software that is tailored uniquely for specific industries. Vlocity is one of the very few cloud software companies that specializes in this category, and is solely focused on delivering solutions that help companies with their industry-specific digital transformations. Today, we are proud to be an important technology partner for over 150 digital and cloud transformations at some of the world’s largest companies and organizations, including New York Life, Farmers, Metlife, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, Verizon, T-Mobile, Orange, Claro, Sky, Telus, Telstra, Engie, TXU, British Gas, New York City, City of Toronto, and State of Colorado. Migrating legacy customer relationship management (CRM) systems to Salesforce is now critical to long-term competitive advantage, and for large enterprises in customer-centric industries, the fastest, lowest cost approach to leverage the full power of Salesforce is to embrace the “Industry Cloud.”
For the past five years, I have been meeting non-stop with CEOs, business leaders, CTOs and CIOs around the world to discuss their unique industry issues, the rapidly changing needs of their customers, the constraints they face with their legacy systems, and their competitive challenges. Our discussions always point to the need for a digital transformation strategy: rapidly moving to an agile, customer-first platform that is specifically designed for the unique processes, best practices, customer needs and regulatory requirements of their industry.
Migrating legacy customer relationship management (CRM) systems to Salesforce is now critical to long-term competitive advantage.
We talk about how the “Industry Cloud” is paving the way for transformative changes, and how modern cloud software and mobile apps built specifically for these industries are radically disrupting some of the world’s largest sectors. I often share examples of these changes and introduce executives to the innovators that are farthest along on their transformation journey. Our mission is to make every customer successful and ensure that each digital transformation has a fast and significant payback. This ever increasing speed of Industry Cloud adoption is the primary force behind Vlocity’s latest funding round. We are moving faster and faster to deliver deep industry-specific capabilities that help our customers transform their businesses and better compete in today’s mobile, digital, omnichannel and cloud-based world.
Why Verticals Matter
With the advent of the Industry Cloud, companies today do not have to design and build their own systems. That “custom software” approach – leveraging the cloud to create your own home grown industry applications and processes – was the first generation of the cloud for many big companies. Now executives recognize that “custom coding in the cloud” is the old way of doing vertical solutions, resulting in protracted, expensive, brittle, difficult to change custom software development projects. Vlocity’s industry cloud applications are agile, always evolving, future-proofed, extensible and most of all, they embed deep, industry-specific functionality, best practices and business processes with omnichannel capabilities, all completely integrated and in sync with Salesforce, the world’s #1 CRM and cloud platform. This combination of Salesforce with Vlocity enables companies to quickly achieve greater business agility and time-to-value from the cloud.
Vlocity’s industry cloud applications are agile, always evolving, future-proofed, extensible and most of all, they embed deep, industry-specific functionality, best practices and business processes with omnichannel capabilities.
The Vlocity value proposition is as simple as it is compelling: transform your business with industry-specific solutions that are better, faster, and cost less than anything that’s come before. Better, as in better customer retention, upselling and overall customer satisfaction. Faster, as in rapid, cloud-based implementation, delivery and software update models, and also the ability to quickly change the software on the fly to meet ever changing market needs. Costs less, as in significant reductions in technology, people, and service delivery expenses when compared to traditional on-premise or legacy systems.
That is why the dramatic changes in enterprise software – and the reasons for Vlocity’s latest funding round – are unprecedented. The executive suites and board rooms at some of the world’s largest companies see the Industry Cloud as strategic and essential. Companies across industries increasingly understand that digital transformation of their core business processes is absolutely required to competing and winning in today’s marketplace. It is a critical component of delivering a unique and memorable customer experience, and that Vlocity and Salesforce are the partners best equipped to help them drive that transformation.
Why Speed Matters
One of the first things that we did at the company’s inception was to name our company. We wanted a customer-inspired name. We decided that our Industry Cloud software would help companies realize value from their software investments far faster than previously possible. Since we were building software specific for verticals, verticals + speed, we named the company Vlocity. Because today, speed really does matter for companies. We move fast at Vlocity, but more importantly, we increase our customers’ business agility. Our customer’s thirst for speed has fueled Vlocity’s rapid growth, and this has helped us become one of the world’s fastest growing cloud Software-as-a-Service companies. We are helping to transform market leading organizations in Communications and Media, Insurance and Financial Services, Healthcare, Energy and Utilities, Government and Non-Profit, and helping them better serve over half of billion of their customers.
Our customer’s thirst for speed has fueled Vlocity’s rapid growth, and this has helped us become one of the world’s fastest growing cloud Software-as-a-Service companies.
This latest investment round will help us do more, faster, with focused investments in product development, customer success and support infrastructure for our customers around the world. We plan to go deeper with new releases of our industry cloud software, and we plan to go deeper with our customers. You will be hearing more about specific initiatives in each of these areas in the months ahead.
Why Core Values Matter
Our customers ask why we started the company and why we are enjoying such rapid growth. I am proud of the progress Vlocity has made as a company, and I want to extend my deepest gratitude to our customers, employees, to Salesforce, and to all of our partners. Thank you all, and please know that we are all thrilled to work with you. While we have accomplished much, we have more to do and much more to accomplish. Importantly, our company core values have stood the test of time and haven’t changed at all since the very beginning. Customers first. People are the core. Innovation drives us. Speed matters. Built on integrity. We give back. We are shareholders. These values matter and have made us the company that we are today.
At Vlocity, we are also determined to reach for our highest aspirations on many levels. Vlocity employees recognize our company as a great place to work. Salesforce and our alliance and technology partners recognize Vlocity as a trusted partner. Vlocity customers know that we are dedicated to delivering outstanding customer value and unique industry-specific customer experiences. We are a leading company driving the Industry Cloud, with modern, deep industry cloud software that helps companies transform for the digital age.
The world has entered the era of the Industry Cloud as the best customer experiences are industry-specific. On behalf of all of us at Vlocity, we look forward to the next stage of this incredible journey.