SalesForce – Why Former Salesforce CMO Joined Data Analytics Startup Confluent
- Former Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi recently joined data analytics startup Confluent.
- Customers like Walmart use Confluent to analyze data in real-time, like for online shopping.
- Buscemi thinks the firm has “massive opportunity ahead.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
In January Stephanie Buscemi left her role as chief marketing officer of cloud behemoth Salesforce and in March joined Confluent in the same role because of the “massive opportunity” she thinks the data analytics startup has ahead.
Confluent’s platform can access and process data on the fly, allowing it to analyze and act upon the likes of sales information and customer feedback in real-time.
For example, Walmart uses Confluent to track inventory so customers know immediately what’s in stock at a store or online. Before Confluent, Walmart would track inventory in batches at the beginning or end of a day, so there was less visibility for customers into what was in stock, which could cause frustrations like shipping delays.
The technology is based on Apache Kafka, an open source project that the company’s founders started when they were at LinkedIn and those roots mean that Confluent has built a strong developer userbase, Buscemi told Insider in March.
Even though Amazon Web Services launched a competing service in late 2018, Confluent is still attracting attention: It raised a $250 million Series E round announced last April, led by Coatue Management with participation from Altimeter Capital and Franklin Templeton, and existing investors, at a $4.5 billion valuation.
While the firm declined to comment on its IPO plans following a report from The Information in March that it was on the path to go public, it has made some notable additions to its leadership team recently, in addition to Buscemi: In June, Confluent hired financial officer Steffan Tomlinson, a former Google Cloud exec who also previously led public debuts at Palo Alto Networks and Aruba Networks. More recently, it hired former Google executive Cory Scott as its first chief information security officer (CISO) and former Adaptive Insights executive Melanie Vinson as chief legal officer.
Here’s why Buscemi decided joining the startup was a good move after Salesforce:
Confluent’s massive opportunity ahead
Buscemi said she understands the appeal of Confluent’s software because of her time at Salesforce, where she realized the importance of data to unlock business value. Companies that aren’t able to connect data between different applications can’t glean as many insights out of it as firms that do, she said.
“If you do not have access to the data — and not just access to the data, but the ability to capture the events that are happening in real-time with it — you’re tapping into only a fraction of the value of the data and what it can do,” Buscemi said.
Her goal is to help Confluent expand beyond its developer roots to reach C-level executives and help them understand how its products can improve their businesses.
“The company is now at an inflection point where it’s hitting a hyper-scale and going from what I would call from developer to C-level,” she told Insider.
Every industry can use Confluent, she said, and that’s part of what she’ll be helping to communicate in her role as marketing chief.
For example, ridesharing apps, like Uber, needs to be able to order someone a ride and send the address and payment details to a back end system in real time. Uber uses the technology to run their ridesharing platform.
She plans to use examples like that to grow Confluent’s influence and awareness about the product. In addition to focusing on outreach to business leaders, she plans to continue growing the developer outreach program Confluent already has.
“Confluent to me, it’s solving one of the biggest challenges I’ve been hearing from executives for seven years now,” Buscemi said. “This real-time conundrum: access to data and the movement of data.”
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