Every innovative leader has a vision for where they want to go and a strategy for how to get there. They can apply their strategy ideas to see what works and what doesn’t and then evaluate the results of their efforts against their vision. People with the above qualities surround themselves with similar individuals.
They choose people for their team or organization with the same leadership abilities and don’t waste their time with people who are negative or toxic to the work environment. This creates an organization where everyone is a leader, and it’s not a top-down organization. With each person contributing, an organization can reach its fullest potential. Shankar Sitapati, Vice President of Service Delivery at SoftClouds, stands out with these significant traits.
With over 25+ years of experience in the IT industry, Shankar has been blessed to have a wide variety of professional backgrounds. His career started with management consulting in India during a rapidly changing economy due to privatization by the government.
When he relocated to the US with his family, Shankar continued to consult with large Fortune 1000 companies. The focus was on performance improvements by benchmarking their key metrics against the industry.
This experience taught him that even the best companies have scope for improving their efficiencies. Eventually, he moved from consulting to a technology leadership role at manufacturing companies based in the US. Here, he got the chance to push my teams to take on complex challenges, including delivering critical projects that had been unsuccessful.
Through these diverse experiences, Shankar built his management philosophy on the following goals: a) building a good relationship with his team to push them to the next level and b) ensuring personnel and project performance is continuously measured and improved.
In an interview with CIOLook, Shankar shares valuable facts that highlight the significance of SoftClouds in the dynamic business arena.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your company and its mission and vision; how does it thrive towards enabling advancements in the ever-evolving modern industry?
SoftClouds is a leading CRM, Customer Experience (CX), IT & Cloud solutions provider headquartered in San Diego, California. SoftClouds has over 18+ years of experience providing innovations that rapidly yield measurable results and practical value. SoftClouds is an Oracle Platinum Partner and has won numerous awards for CX and technology leadership for various digital transformation initiatives across the globe.
The mission of SoftClouds is to successfully guide our customers through their digital transformation journey by delivering innovative, creative, and consultative solutions. SoftClouds has the vision to delight our clients and form long-term relationships.
This mission and vision are delivered by our innovative team, which enables our clients to provide the best possible experience to their customers. To accomplish this, we help our clients to implement exceptional sales, service, and support processes and systems that use industry-standard CX platforms like Oracle and Salesforce.
Enlighten us on how you have impacted the industry through your expertise in the market.
In the consulting industry, the two critical roles are the service provider, who offers the solution to the customer, and the business champion, who envisions, finances, owns and ensures the project is successful. I’ve had vast experience in both roles throughout my career. Therefore, I can understand critical factors that drive business success, empathize with stakeholders, and be the voice of reason during complex negotiations.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.
Openness, integrity, and focus on customers drive the SoftClouds organization. Our size and type of business allow us to work across teams and form close relationships with each other. We overcome time zone and geographical differences by treating each other equally and ensuring we can have a frank and open conversation.
All news, including bad news, is shared openly to improve the situation and make it a learning experience for the team. There are sometimes differences in opinion amongst our team members. During these events, we center our go-forward decision based on the option that would be best for our customers, which is crucial for our success.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you advancing towards technological innovations to make your solutions resourceful?
Our industry is driving the ability for our customers to service themselves and to receive responses to their queries quickly. We leverage chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to predict better and rapidly provide self-service to our end customers.
We’re implementing solutions and platforms built by other software vendors, innovating on top of them with technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), AI, and integrations with some open platforms in the industry.
In some cases, technology has surpassed their solutions – we treat this as an opportunity and build bespoke solutions leveraging technology to maximize our client efficiency for better customer experience, profitability, and ROI.
What, according to you, could be the following significant change in your sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?
The significant change in this industry will be driven by the confluence of AI and the social media infrastructure so that consumers can leverage each other’s experiences. This combination will improve customer service and support since consumers won’t have to go through a formal company-provided customer support portal to receive data or help. Nowadays, consumers expect instant gratification with 24×7 access to data and support without waiting on the phone to speak with someone.
Where do you envision yourself in the long run, and what are your future goals for SoftClouds?
SoftClouds will remain a thought leader in the customer experience and service industry. We’ve identified opportunities with existing CX SAAS platforms and will launch our products. Fast growth is expected by launching new products and multiple concurrent projects. We plan to run autonomous teams at various locations across the globe.
What would you advise budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the dynamic industry?
The advice would be the core principles of SoftClouds: to indeed partner with and understand the customer and ensure that decisions are taken with the customer’s best interest in mind. I believe our customers are the North Star and should help drive our decisions. The second advice would be to get to know your employees personally and understand what drives their success. It’s easier to go success with personal involvement.