Data in Motion is Extremely Important to Creating Rich Customer Experiences: Srinivasulu Grandhi, VP-Engineering, Confluent

Confluent, a data streaming platform to put data in motion, recently announced the creation of an additional 100 new jobs over the rest of the year in India – a 50% increase in the current workforce – as well as the opening of a new office in Bangalore, India. The move confirms the company’s commitment to drive strong growth in 2022 by strengthening its global presence and offering a differentiated model for cloud-native, comprehensive and fully managed data in motion in India. The new office and engineering center comes amid growing demand for data streaming as companies modernize data processes across industries, including retail, automotive, manufacturing and financial services.

Srinivasulu Grandhi, vice president of engineering and site manager at Confluent, shares with us the importance of data in motion and how businesses can use it to better connect with their customers by understanding their preferences.

Some edited excerpts:

Tell us about the company and the services your company offers?
Founded in 2014 by the original creators of Apache Kafka, Confluent is a data streaming platform that helps put data in motion. Confluent’s cloud-native platform is designed to be the intelligent connective tissue enabling the streaming of real-time data from multiple sources within an organization. Acting as a central nervous system, companies are able to react and respond intelligently to everything that happens in their business.

Confluent’s platform also offers virtually infinite storage and elastic scalability, meaning it’s fully equipped to meet the needs of businesses as they grow, without disrupting or completely overhauling existing technology infrastructure. . Confluent also offers an extensive portfolio of pre-built Kafka connectors, enabling enterprises to modernize the entire data architecture even faster with powerful integrations at any scale.

Has the pandemic impacted your business and how?
Key trends that emerged from the pandemic included new business models, reprioritization of technological advancements, and most notably, a push toward real-time cloud event streaming as a primary catalyst for innovation. . In order to survive, companies have rapidly deployed real-time digital capabilities to drive cost reduction and real-time customer experience in key business processes such as intelligent automation, supply chain analytics , risk and fraud.

COVID-19 has heightened the importance of real-time, event-driven decision making, but organizations continue to face challenges in implementing the necessary technology. The biggest hurdle was the old systems already in place, which slowed the analysis of real-time events and also delayed responses. Manual steps also prevented employees like IT and developers from working on innovative products.

In order to overcome these challenges, organizations have turned to fully managed cloud-based event streaming platforms like ours to provide reliable ecosystem management and secure infrastructure deployment. Additionally, using cloud integration helps businesses leverage benefits such as cost efficiency and elasticity to scale when needed. Organizations are now able to save on resources while enabling innovative business models with intelligent responses to real-time events. By maintaining such flexibility, Confluent has been able to meet the technology demands of our customers accelerated by the pandemic.

What role does the Engineering Hub in Bangalore play from a global point of view? What solutions and products will this center provide?
Bangalore is quickly becoming the technology hub of the region, making it a natural location for Confluent to deliver its new class of data infrastructure. While Bangalore offers an exceptional pool of technology expertise, our remote culture enables us to hire top talent across India and the surrounding region. Our engineering team is expanding its footprint to deliver end-to-end products to our customer base. We currently have 200 employees and plan to increase our workforce in India by 50% by the end of 2022. We envision the majority of the 100 employees to be in product and engineering roles.

We are seeing strong adoption of our data infrastructure as digital natives and businesses race to embrace the digital world. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with India-based and international customers to scale our global product portfolio.

How does Confluent help customers put their data in motion?
The way Confluent helps customers put data in motion is through the use of open source Apache Kafka technology. Globally, Kafka is one of the most successful open source projects with approximately 70% of Fortune 500 companies deploying its technology.

Fully managed and cloud-native, Confluent enables our customers to free up valuable engineering resources from time-consuming infrastructure management and channel their expertise to help the business connect and process data from all sources. Enterprise-grade software helps Confluent customers deliver rich, digital front-end customer experiences while transitioning to sophisticated, real-time, software-driven back-end operations.

Objects at rest will remain at rest, but moving objects will continue to move. The same principle applies to data, but when set in motion it triggers action and now triggers reaction. In an environment where everything is constantly changing, an organization’s customer experiences and business operations must also evolve and that starts with putting data in motion.

What makes Confluent different is that it triggers instant reactions in all organizations and enables them to make decisions based on real-time data.

What are the “Data in Motion” trends and innovations you foresee?

Putting data in motion is crucial for businesses to collect, manage and analyze their data to gather insights that will help them thrive in a post-pandemic world. While many companies have re-examined their digital strategies before and during the pandemic, most have turned to a one-time digital overhaul, instead of looking to build sustainable and compatible systems for the long term. More and more companies have realized the value of real-time information, and we anticipate that these organizations will seek to engage experienced partners to help realize their digital strategies.

One of those values ​​is better customer engagement. The recent State of Data in Motion report shows that 80% of organizations worldwide believe that data in motion is very or extremely important when it comes to creating rich customer experiences. With consumers expecting the user journey or interactions to be instantaneous and highly personalized, many companies are considering using real-time data streaming to better connect with their customers by understanding their preferences.

Another trend would be the growing emphasis on successfully integrating data across various silos. While data in motion has proven essential for delivering business value, one of the biggest challenges facing IT managers globally is integrating multiple data sources. Aside from cost, the biggest hurdle to overcome is ensuring platform security, reliability of integrated sources, and data governance, ensuring that they are scalable as the situation demands it. As key factors to consider when companies are looking to put their data in motion, it’s no surprise that many are giving them a higher priority.

How has your business evolved over time and how do you think the future will unfold over the next two years?
Our company aims to emphasize the importance of putting data in motion. We believe that having the right technology infrastructure and cloud-native systems in place helps our customers unlock the power of real-time data. Leveraging this information will allow our customers to focus on creating greater business value and creating more personalized experiences for their customers.

Additionally, we seek to expand our footprint to provide end-to-end products and services to our customers. As a technology hub, Bangalore is the perfect environment to deliver a new generation of data infrastructure. The rapidly changing environment and rapid advancements in technology make it the perfect testing ground to continuously innovate based on changing customer needs and demands.

We believe the next few years will be extremely nimble, fresh and exciting as we continue to deepen and expand our product portfolio to accelerate the transformation of our customers into real-time businesses.



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