Union Budget 2021 India: Cuspera.com is free to use platform for both business managers and software vendors.What is very motivating is to see even smaller businesses in India looking for the software on our platform.
Indian Union Budget 2021-22: It is almost cliched to say that the past few months have changed our personal and professional lives. Every company has woken up to the importance of digital technologies. The big question: How do you find the right tools? Subrahmanyam Vempati, co-founder and CEO of Cuspera (anAI-based platform), talks to Sudhir Chowdhary about the importance of the right choice of technology for digital transformation, in particular how Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be leveraged in the B2B space to drive digital transformation. Excerpts:
How do we see the future of AI?
AI has pushed the frontier in domains such as health, B2C segment (such as online shopping), language translation, cybersecurity that were unimaginable a few years ago due to cheap computing power and large amounts of data to train the algorithm. This trend will continue for many years to come. We see AI taking roots in B2B and enterprise solution. We are in exciting times. At Cuspera, we think we are lucky to start when some of the AI technologies have matured and found application in consumer technologies thanks to large amounts of training data. We leveraged some of these technologies in B2B to provide breakthrough innovations in how business teams discover the right software for their digital transformation.
How do you see AI disrupting the traditional way of doing business?
Traditionally, the software is selected using a very laborious RFP/RFI process taking several months. This pace is no longer acceptable. Sacrificing quality for speed is not an option either. Software vendors see the shift from the traditional push-kind of sales to pull marketing because of the more “consumerish” model of buyers doing online research before talking to the vendors late in the cycle.
At Cuspera, we see these two changes as the two sides of the same coin. We visualise this as a matching problem. We see AI helping shorten this selection cycle significantly by 10X or more while retaining the quality. Matching a technology solution that best solves a business need is challenging as each business need is unique. Every software product is different too, as they are designed to solve very specific use cases. Selection is complicated as any choice needs to fit into the business’s existing technology stack and meet the security and compliance needs.
That’s what Cuspera’s patented AI addresses this conundrum. Our NLP technology pools in domain knowledge, curated insights on software from vast and rich sources such as reviews, blogs, and forums. Machine-learning and NLP helped us understand the business needs and translate and match against the available solutions using a semi-supervised recommendation engine. Every month more than 50,000 users use our platform to discover software.
What kind of business can benefit from software like Cuspera, and how is it adding value?
One of the biggest inhibitors for a successful digital transformation is the selection of the right software solution. Most managers are not technologists. Cuspera’s mission is to become a trusted advisor to business managers who are continually looking to find software solutions for their pressing business needs. Cuspera now has more than 17,000 Martech and Salestech solutions listed on the platform with 100 million plus insights from solution users and experts. Cuspera is currently serving business managers across geographies, across industry verticals from small business to large enterprises.
How does Cuspera help business managers navigate this difficult time?
As we are a destination for business managers to find software solutions for their business needs, we have helped numerous business teams find solutions to address latent topics such as ROI and efficiency, internal communications, collaboration, sales enablement. Our traffic shot up from 5000 monthly visitors in January to close to 60,000 monthly visitors now. Cuspera.com is free to use platform for both business managers and software vendors.What is very motivating is to see even smaller businesses in India looking for the software on our platform.
How does Cuspera help software vendors?
Cuspera believes every software is unique and helps the vendor stand out in an ever-crowded space. Cuspera allows vendors to list for free on the platform and, based on verified data, recommends their software to businesses looking for solutions for matching business needs. We have seen a nearly 400% increase in SaaS (software as a service) vendor sign-ups on our platform with this pandemic. Many of these solutions are hyper-specialised in solving focused needs in specific verticals. They would have struggled to reach their customers without help from Cuspera’s AI algorithm, which surfaces them to relevant searches from business leaders across the globe.
Cuspera also has a paid product, an AI-powered guide on the vendor’s website, that helps its visitors determine the software’s fit for their needs based on peer and expert insights. Several software vendors are already benefiting from Cuspera in this model. We are working on scaling this in a big way soon.