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MuleSoft aids in businesses 'having a 360-degree view of customers': Chief product officer

MuleSoft Chief Product Officer Shaun Clowes sat down with Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi at the 2022 Dreamforce Conference to discuss customer data integration and enhancing customer experiences.

Video transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

DAVE BRIGGS: Yahoo Finance's Editor-At-Large Brian Sozzi had a chance to sit down with MuleSoft Chief Product Officer Shaun Clowes at Dreamforce 2022 this week, where they discussed the integration software, the company's role in the business world. Here's Sozz.

SHAUN CLOWES: As you can see, everybody here at Dreamforce is talking about how can they have a 360 degree view of their customer and grow efficiently. Everybody's looking to figure out how to automate while still delivering an incredible customer experience. And the average enterprise has to do that on top of about 950 different systems.

So imagine you're AT&T, you're a large telecommunications company or a bank, you're trying to deliver great customer service on top of those 950 different systems. MuleSoft helps you make those systems work as one. So it's a great place to be. You know, once you integrate those different systems, you end up being able to deliver your projects about three times-- sorry, 75% faster. It's just dramatically-- a good place to be.

BRIAN SOZZI: That was under two minutes. That was really good.

SHAUN CLOWES: Thank you.

BRIAN SOZZI: So what is your biggest challenge as you look forward to next year?

SHAUN CLOWES: I guess the question is-- the big challenge that all of us are facing is exactly how to do what I just described, which is achieve digital transformation and do so with less, right? We're all trying to do more with less. Obviously, we're facing economic headwinds, inflation, the workforce challenges. Everybody's facing all those challenges.

And so they're all trying to figure out, OK, I know I need to continue meeting the needs of my customers, but how do I do that efficiently, right? How am I going to actually achieve that, again, on top of those 950 different systems? And so our challenge is helping our customers do that. Our challenge is helping them deliver value from all those things so that their customers continue to get their needs met over and over again.

BRIAN SOZZI: You guys, MuleSoft, got a nice shoutout in the last earnings call a couple of weeks ago. It feels and it seems like there's a turnaround brewing. Sales are accelerating. What is driving that?

SHAUN CLOWES: Yeah, I mean, the simple case is that in the end, the real world is very complex, like I said. And most enterprises are really complex and getting more complex and still trying to deliver incredible customer experiences. And so MuleSoft has been doing-- for about 16 years, we have been helping organizations take all of those different systems and complex environment and connect it all together so that they can have a 360 degree view of their customer.

So for MuleSoft, this is us in our prime. We're doing exactly what we have always set out to do, and we're doing it as part of the broader Salesforce, which obviously has hundreds of thousands of customers where we can surface all of this data to drive a really better customer experience.

BRIAN SOZZI: I was talking to Salesforce's co-CEO Bret Taylor about the platform's integrating a lot more. It seems like there's more collaboration between a MuleSoft, a core CRM customer, and also a Slack and Tableau. Is that a fair assessment?

SHAUN CLOWES: Absolutely. We're working to make certain that all the different capabilities of all those things you talked about-- Tableau, Slack, MuleSoft, and Salesforce-- all work together really seamlessly. Let me give you an example. Some of our customers-- in fact, many probably listening to this interview-- still have mainframes with green screens that are holding important customer data. Like, if you were at the IT keynote, many people were clapping when we talked--

BRIAN SOZZI: I don't even think that-- I don't think we could stream on those computers.

SHAUN CLOWES: Yeah, I'm pretty sure they don't do video. But regardless, they have all of this important customer data and capabilities in their mainframe. So how do they take that stuff and put it in beautiful digital experiences like mobile apps or in service experiences in Service Cloud? So we released a new tool called MuleSoft Robotic Process Automation that does just that.

It takes those mainframes, UI-driven experiences, or PDFs, or images, it gets the data out of those things, and then it surfaces them up for use inside, for example, Salesforce, where it can be automated using Salesforce Flow. You can run workflows off Slack. You can see that same data in Tableau. Realistically, like, the whole idea is to bring this one view of the customer and all of these capabilities together. It's better together.

BRIAN SOZZI: I think that's what you're talking about, the team has been talking about, a single source of truth?

SHAUN CLOWES: Absolutely, a single source of truth. One place to go, one place to understand what the customer looks like, what they want, and what they need. And with Salesforce Genie, which you heard us talk about a fair bit and I assume others have been talking to you about, we are making this all real time. So that when something happens, you know, your vehicle breaks down or your bank account is overdrawn or you become a VIP with a retailer, when that happens, we can respond in real time.

We can send you a gift. We can send somebody to fix your car. We can notify one of the account teams that supports you to call you and tell you that it's OK and we're going to figure it out for you. We're bringing it all together to truly deliver an incredible customer experience. That's what makes moments truly magical. Moments are magical when they respond to what's happening to me as a customer, me as an individual.

BRIAN SOZZI: Bigger picture thing, what-- in this era of automation, it's only going to increase. What role do humans play?

SHAUN CLOWES: I mean, humans will always be needed to deliver those beautiful human magic moments. Like, humans are best when they're creative, when they're making smart decisions on behalf of their company, on behalf of their customer. So what we really want to do is we want to take away the drudge work. We want to take away the repetitive rote work that employees are forced to do which doesn't really add any value.

There's flipping from one system to another. They're copying and pasting data from one system to another. We worked with AT&T, and AT&T were automating some of the work that's done by their B2B sales team. And did you know that they automated a few of the key workflows? They saved 30 minutes per rep per day. I would love to have 30 minutes back myself.

BRIAN SOZZI: I got to push-- Shaun, I need somebody on the phone if I call up.

SHAUN CLOWES: Yes, but that person is still answering you on the phone. But instead of putting you on hold for 30 minutes, they're instead being able to use a system. That means they can answer your questions immediately. And that means AT&T saves a million hours every year of their reps' time so they can serve you as a customer.

SEANA SMITH: Our thanks to Brian Sozzi. He's out there with MoleSoft Chief Product Officer Shaun Clowes at that Salesforce Dreamforce event out on the West Coast.