Suman Reddy, MD of Pegasystems India talks about the role played by the Indian company in the global arena and its future growth plans…
A NASDAQ listed company, Pegasystems Inc develops applications for sales, marketing, service and operations for its global 2000 customers that include companies from the Fortune 500 list. The company is known for its Pega platform which is its latest visual tool enabling businesses to extend and change applications to meet strategic business needs without code, up to eight times faster than traditional Java model-based applications. Pega’s proven scalability ensures applications operate across the ever changing needs of users, business lines, geographies and channels that today’s enterprises demand. This platform enables streamlining of critical business operations, helps connect enterprises to their customers, in real-time, across channels, and adapts to meet rapidly changing requirements.
Its India division, which is headquartered in Hyderabad with a second facility in Bengaluru, was started in the year 2008. Pega India, the global parent’s largest R&D centre with more than 3000 employees, is headed by Suman Reddy, who has led Pega India since its inception. In this interview he talks to us about role played by Pega India in the global arena and the company’s future growth plans.
(As narrated in first person)
Innovate from a technology perspective and leverage all the newer innovations in the form of Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, IoT and cloud and many more. We need to advance our capabilities and come out with best technology.
From a growth perspective, we aim to cross US $860 million by the end of this year from the current level of U$ 750 million. We have expanded our business focus from the Fortune 500 segment to a much larger over Rs.3000 crore segment. This means we have to spread across geographies like US, Europe and Asia, eventually South East Asia will become more relevant.
We are also trying gain repeatable growth from cloud business and invest heavily to improve our backlog (guaranteed business that has not been booked yet). Currently, backlog has gone up by US $100 million and we want to expand our backlog and move to the next phase so that the long term health of the organisation can be determined by how much of backlog we have in terms of bookings.
Pega India and its role in the global parent’s plan
India is a strategic part of the global organisation. Globally, we have more than 4000 people and a little more than a third of the organisation is in India. India is not a back office and is the most advanced innovation centre for the entire world wide operation. It is the innovation centre for the entire company. Large scale of the development of our verticals solutions, flagship products and horizontal applications is done in India.
Secondly, almost 80 per cent of the worldwide support comes from Indian customers.
In terms of sales, we are bootstrapping our India presence and at the beginning stage of putting those plans together. We are supporting a lot of our APAC growth and have sales teams that are outside India like South East Asia, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. These are satellite offices led by sales representatives who are driving business for us.
Globally, we have more than 4000 people and a little more than a third of the organisation is in India
Pega’s unique selling proposition
We have been the leading platform in the space called Business Process Management. Our platform allows for customer interaction to be bunched together and makes it easier for organisations to provide service to their customer. It also has an analytics platform. When you combine all of these as baseline to help create a CRM platform, the value proposition becomes very strong.
Two, we have a unified architecture – CRM for service, marketing or sales. Organisations have three different products that they will sell you depending on what you want but Pega believes that you need to have a unified platform – be it sales or marketing. It is important for someone to know what each one is working on.
Three, a decision hub. AI and data analytics have become important in any type of customer engagement platform. Unlike any other platform, where they roll out AI as separate component or separate pieces on top of their service marketing or sales platform, Pega has customer decision hub that sits in the middle of its platform which provides customer service as one part, sales as another and marketing as the other. It has complete view of what you are doing with your customer on all channels. So our AI positioning is competitive and powerful.
Lastly, positioning as a cloud choice. Unlike other cloud only software, Pega provides you a software that can be compatible to cloud when you choose from azure to AWS to any private cloud, therefore decoupling you from the underlying cloud.
Role of automation or AI in the IT products industry
Pega’s platform uses AI within the platform which allows the platform to make intelligent decisions like helping in increase in sales, better campaign management and service to achieve high levels of detention. We made this investment 8 years ago and our platform has AI placed between the omni channel platforms that allow companies to make use of the capabilities today.
Emerging business models
Large companies have different pricing models. You could get a perpetual licence for a period of time and pay a maintenance fee after that. Second type is the term license. Typically, organisations have a “pay as they use” option. Third, is software as a service which is an operational expense as opposed to capex. There is also a platform on service. It could be charged on a one on one basis. Pega provides that flexibility for organisations to choose from.
Growth plans for Pegasystems India
Our strategy is to achieve our financial goals that we have set for ourselves. We will be selling software to global 3000 organisations. We will be selling software that allows customers to have an integrated solution for their service marketing, sales and operations.
We are going to provide a flexible platform and position and sell AI capabilities.
On maintenance of a happy workforce
We started the organisation about 10 years ago. We believe that hiring the best talents is the first objective of the company. We also foster environment that will empower these people and help them put their best foot forward and create innovative software by collaborating with cross functional team and by understanding the organisation’s objective.
We set clear objective to the staff and empower them so that we can achieve the objective. We create collaborative environment to the organisation so that there is cross functional collaboration. We provide incentives to the organisation and people feel like they have achieved something.
We have 1500 people and we continue to build on this workforce.