Acquired by Salesforce five years ago, MuleSoft has become one of the main pillars on which the business strategy of the North American multinational is based. The integration has been a complete success in our country where it has gone from managing very few clients to managing almost 130 in this time. We spoke with Ricardo Usaola, vice president of MuleSoft for Spain and Portugal about the evolution of the company and its main objectives
Interview with Ricardo Usaola, Vice President of MuleSoft for Spain and Portugal
A few days ago you held the MuleSoft to You event, what conclusions were drawn?The objective of the event was to tell the vision of MuleSoft from the point of view of automation and connectivity. There were more than 100 clients, some such as Deutsche Bank, Grupo Piñeiro or Bergé who shared their experiences using MuleSoft and what benefits they were obtaining. We also had Amar Vidal, who tried to explain from his point of view how automation and artificial intelligence could affect not only business, but also society.Salesforce acquired MuleSoft a little over five years ago. What has this meant for your clients and what advantages has it provided them? What has this integration meant for MuleSoft?Salesforce acquired MuleSoft nearly six years ago to solve a connectivity problem: the problem of getting the various Salesforce clouds to connect not only to each other, but also to third-party systems. During these years we have gone from having very few clients to having more than 120. What these clients have seen is that they are capable of executing projects much faster and in a scalable way. That is, the integrations you build for your first project are reusable for your second project, for your third project, and so on. In other words, the main advantage that they have seen is that every time they have to carry out new initiatives, instead of increasing the complexity, what they are including are more assets that make it possible for their next projects to be carried out much more quickly. This advantage will increase with the use of artificial intelligence that we are implementing.A curiosity. These first clients you were talking about, why did they bet on you? Why integrate clouds to connect Salesforce clouds with each other or to connect them with third parties?I think there has been a bit of everything. There are customers using Salesforce or using MuleSoft to integrate their first Salesforce project. There are clients who, since they had several Salesforce clouds, have later used MuleSoft to integrate between them. And the most mature case is when they use MuleSoft to integrate the different Salesforce clouds with legacy systems or with any other application.What is it that customers are demanding the most from you: perform integrations, connect the clouds, connect with the on-premise,…?I think a key is to think about what the company will be like in a couple of years. We believe that in 2026 the companies that succeed will be those capable of offering products and services via API. All the organizations have already realized that the customer experience is the most important and all the companies have launched the super-apps. In other words, they are all capable of managing their entire portfolio through applications that are capable of managing registrations, cancellations, claims and even offering new products. What we see is that that year, more than half of a company’s income will come from the partnership they have managed to establish with other companies. It is something that is beginning to be seen now, when you go to a store of a telephone operator that offers an alarm, insurance or credit.In this context, one of the problems of the IT department is that it cannot meet business expectations…You have touched the key piece of what can change the way of working in a company. We believe that the key to this change will be in reuse. For example, do you know the houses that exist right now, the chalets that are made in a prefabricated way, that have all the modules already prepared? There are already many companies that work in this way and in five months the client already has his house instead of in a year and a half. Because? Because they already have everything already done. They have the windows, they have the blocks, they have the floor, they have the walls and all they do is adapt to the needs of the client: if they want one or two rooms, if they want the kitchen in one place or another… But the base is already has it done. It’s like a Lego. And that is what MuleSoft intends to do in the technological field. We don’t want IT to build things end-to-end or only for a certain project. It’s about changing the IT operating model. In other words, IT departments have to start building reusable parts that can later be used by any of the company’s departments. To be reusable, these parts have to be manufactured in a certain way, they have to be published on a portal and have to be accessible by the business. That is, the business has to be able to go in there and see what pieces to launch a certain program or application. This is what MuleSoft really achieves: we are able to give the business tools so that it can build new applications, new functionalities or new services.You have said that the first thing is connectivity, then automation and then we introduce artificial intelligence. More or less, in what phase are the companies, your clients, of these three?I think we are still in the connectivity phase. And then companies have dabbled in automation, but not in a consolidated, IT-driven way. In other words, in the end, the automations, the bots, all this has to do with technology. It should be driven by technology, but managed and prioritized and executed by business.You are investing in AI. How do you have it developed right now?There is a concept called hyperautomation that includes many automation activities that have to do with RPA, with integration, with connectivity,… Salesforce has begun to include artificial intelligence in ecommerce clouds, service clouds, and sales clouds. What is it going to allow? Well, that artificial intelligence, which right now what it does is take infinite data, take data from your own installation and prepare an answer. That is, we are moving from predictive artificial intelligence to artificial intelligence that does things. So if a company doesn’t have all its systems connected, some of that information is being lost. In other words, its artificial intelligence will be limited because the type of information that it is going to provide is not going to be complete, because for example, it does not have the information from social networks connected to Salesforce.