Deepa Iyer leads all of the innovation on the Salesforce platform at Accenture. She not only brings innovation to Accenture and its clients, but to the Salesforce Ohana. Deepa is constantly engaged with customers, and helping them design Salesforce solutions. Deepa listens to customer needs, and uses her deep solution architect background and Salesforce expertise to ideate, build and launch new ideas, so that her customers are at the forefront of their industry. It’s for these reasons and more that Deepa is a Trailblazing Partner. Here’s a deeper look at Deepa.
How did you get your start in technology?
Deepa: I started my journey in 2001 at a banking product firm i-flex, which is now part of Oracle Financial Services. Six years later, I joined Accenture. From then on, I’ve been solution operative. I’m very passionate about technology, and have traveled the globe helping customers solve business challenges with technology.
How did you get involved in Salesforce?
Deepa: Coming from a strong tech background in Java helped me understand CRM and cloud, and how to use Salesforce for our customers. For the past five years, I have been heavily working with Salesforce and our clients, hosting innovation and design thinking workshops, collaborating with various partners in the Salesforce ecosystem, building Industry solutions on Salesforce and rapid prototypes to uncover how Salesforce can help customers in the future. I ideate, build, and deliver with Salesforce every day.
Tell us more about those innovation and design thinking workshops. Is that how you continue to learn and grow in your skills and as a professional?
Deepa: Innovation and design thinking workshops help me understand customer ideas and challenges. From there, I can co-create on those ideas, and position new technology. Futuristic ideas and road blocks are tremendous learning opportunities. I make sure that I’m listening to customers across industries, and play a part in those real-life situations, in order to experience customers’ challenges firsthand. That’s how I learn and grow.
Speaking of innovation, you head up the Einstein practice for North America at Accenture. How you feel about AI machine learning, and how is it going to change the landscape of the world?
Deepa: Salesforce makes AI magic because the biggest problem with implementing a good AI solution is finding good data. And having great, rich customer data as part of your CRM platform -- and using it to help customers make decisions -- is so powerful. There are a lot of AI technologies out there, but Salesforce gives you that business context. To me, that’s the best way of approaching AI. Instead of worrying about coding a machine learning algorithm, Einstein is delivering it upfront. I say, why not be smart about using the data you already have? That’s what Accenture is doing with AI, and that’s changing the game.
Are there certain industries that you focus on?
Deepa: I have worked across many industries, and I’ve found that they all benefit from new technology and Salesforce. That’s exciting. With that said, I think financial services has experienced major transformation this past year. This started with the cloud. Salesforce helps you see the change, and you can adopt it from there. Other industries, such as public service, are about to go through the next phase of transformation. But today, it is financial services' turn. No matter the industry, I think we all realize that if you don’t do it, someone else will. That’s just the cloud reality that all industries are embracing.
What do you love about your job and how does it fill your career passion?
Deepa: My team came about because we wanted to sit across all of the industries and technology in order to bring the best of the best together. This approach truly helps customers, and that’s why I love my job. We serve and apply what’s up and coming in order to help customers be part of the innovation. I’m very passionate about what I’m doing right now.
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
Deepa: A Trailblazer is an innovator. They understand Salesforce and help everyone around them understand it as well. It’s not just a recognition, but a way of life.
What advice you have for others looking to blaze trails as well?
Deepa: Understand what’s changing, and be there for that change. Change is hard, so be the catalyst across your organization. Listen to customers, look at the landscape, and adopt the change together. If you are not keeping your eyes and ears open, you can’t blaze trails.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Deepa: I’m a sports fan. Sports is such a universal language, and when I meet people across the globe, it’s an easy and fun topic to break the ice. If you asked me my favorite NFL team, I’d say, “Go, 49ers!” (although they have not been in top form…)
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