Boomerang Spotlight - Vijay Sood
"A Boomerang... Who Technically Never Left?"
Chapter 1: Trailblazing in the Program Architect Business
Chapter 2: To Vlocity and Back
In 2015, a chance conversation on the trends of industry in the Cloud led Vijay to Vlocity. Meeting David Schmaier, CEO of Vlocity (now Salesforce’s Chief Product Officer), in London convinced Vijay that the Industry Cloud was a real possibility.
He told us, “It was a very difficult decision to leave Salesforce, but I felt that the Industry Cloud business was the next evolution of the Salesforce story. Luckily, Vlocity was based on a platform that I was always loyal to! It was additive and native to Salesforce.”
He would go on to become the first Services-focused person to join Vlocity in Europe and, while this was a different organization, quite a few things felt close to home. “Salesforce and Vlocity not only had the same platform, but they also had very similar cultures, architectural structures, and even a similar Go-To-Market approach. While Vlocity was a startup at the time, there was a lot of building and upskilling in an environment that felt familiar. But at the same time, we were going vertically-deep into the customer’s stack, the crown jewels of their operations,” said Vijay.
Then, in 2020, Salesforce announced the acquisition of Vlocity, something that was not entirely surprising to Vijay.
“Vlocity was not only built on the Salesforce platform but also had some funding from Salesforce Ventures, so there was always a chance of joining forces. By then, we had grown the company to 29 legal entities across the globe and over 1,500 people. It felt like a good move; it felt like coming back to family,” said Vijay.
Vijay remembers those months as exciting and dynamic times. He told us, “One of the greatest things was reuniting with my old team. The Program Architects, the Customer Success Managers, and so on. I was happy to see them again and I felt comfortable jumping right in. Culturally, Vlocity had been quite aligned with Salesforce so even the people new to Salesforce got integrated quite deeply. I think the team behind the integration was very sensitive to the needs of a company going through an M&A process, and that was great. We felt supported through the whole process.”
“Salesforce is always evolving, which is why I wasn’t surprised to see so many changes when I returned. One of the things that caught my attention was how Salesforce has scaled its culture as it grew to have more than 55,000 employees,” said Vijay.
Chapter 3: The Future is Now, and We Are It
Vijay shared his enthusiasm about the road ahead: “Being back at Salesforce with Vlocity is really exciting, as it’s a testament to our focus on Customer Success and our intention to go deeper into each industry, truly understanding how they operate, what their needs are, and how the Salesforce platform can add value to their unique situations. Vlocity has helped open a lot of doors for Salesforce in the industry-specific space, and this is just the beginning. The all-digital, Industry Cloud world is here to stay, and companies across industries will need to adapt. Not in five years, but now.”
In his current role as the Global Head of Industry Program Architects, Vijay leads a team of over 60 industry-focused enterprise architecture experts across the globe, a job as demanding as it is fascinating. “I have a great team and, since it’s a global one, I often get messages at all hours, so it’s important for me to block some time in the evenings for myself and my family’s wellbeing,” he told us. Being back at Salesforce, Vijay is also looking forward to learning the interaction between Industry and other clouds as well as volunteering. Vijay went on, “I used to help out in schools in East Africa and Nepal. We would make this a team activity and it was a great way to give back and also bond with colleagues. I hope to continue that with my current team, post-COVID!”
A Message for our Salesforce Alumni Out There
Vijay’s advice for our current Salesforce Alumni was plentiful. He told us, “Always nurture your curiosity and keep learning and training. This is a new way of working and Salesforce will play a major role in the enterprise space as the world moves forward. Think about all the potential there is — people have based their whole careers on our technology! Yet, there is a lot of work to be done, and a lot of opportunities to come. Have a starter mindset and most importantly, have fun. Sometimes it’s easy to say and harder to do, but if you get it right you will certainly enjoy the ride... and time will fly!. For me it has been 15 years with this family.“