- Eight months ago Akshay Srivastava began a new role as RingCentral’s Chief Digital Officer.
- We sat down with Akshay to learn more about his role and how he plans to leverage digital assets for RingCentral’s growth.
After spending over three years at RingCentral in Finance, Akshay Srivastava took on the new role of Chief Digital Officer. He brings with him over 20 years of tech industry experience from working with well-known brands like Oracle and Intuit. Akshay sat down with us to talk about his role and how leveraging digital assets is a key strategy for scaling his various operations teams and the company’s growth.
Scaling exceptional growth.
It’s no small task transforming complex operations across a multi-billion dollar international corporation. In the time since Srivastava joined three years ago, RingCentral has grown from an almost $800M company to an over $2B company. One of the biggest challenges is scaling that kind of hypergrowth. “All of this growth translates to the need for better processes, better systems, better data, better insights and better end-to-end operations—enabling growth, increasing efficiency, being able to get things done quicker, faster, in a more process-oriented way. So at the root of it, my role is leading those areas requiring that level of transformation,” says Srivastava.
Digital dividends yield returns.
Srivastava’s primary plan is to leverage RingCentral’s existing digital assets while expanding the use of next generation technologies. Gartner has used the term “digital dividends” to describe the focus that businesses should have on technology that pays back a business with a greater return on investment value and outcomes. Akshay’s strategy to transform RingCentral is focused on developing three key digital dividends: data analytics to grow the business, data utilization for better internal operations, and AI for improved customer experience.
Data analytics and utilization.
Harnessing the value of the data RingCentral already has and using that data better internally are critical for Akshay. “Internal tooling to help accelerate the business —the less manual work and data scrambling we have to do as a team, —is more time created to help grow the business. Even a few months ago, it wasn’t as easy to get business insights quickly. We’ve made a lot of progress on this front by integrating disparate data sets and aligning the business to a regular rhythm around key insights. We have a lot more instrumentation now even as we have more work to do”
AI and customer experience.
Akshay also plans to move toward automation to meet changing market conditions. He says customers are asking for a more digital experience. “The experience expectations from customers are evolving. Many still want to speak to representatives but then there is a growing segment that wishes to interact with us digitally. It’s critical to support a variety of experiences across chat, IVR, phone and self-service means while integrating emerging technologies like ChatGPT and conversational AI that will transform the customer experience.”
As a customer-first company, RingCentral is always focused on the best possible customer experience and harnessing emerging digital technology like conversational AI is one way Srivastava plans to deliver. “If you invest more in creating a much better customer experience, you get a digital dividend in terms of customers staying with you longer and buying more of your services.”
Stranded, Star Trek, and LSU.
To get some insights on what he likes to do when he’s not working, we asked Srivastava what three things he would take with him if he were stranded on a desert island: a cell phone, a laptop, and a streaming service so he could watch all things zombie-related (it’s a very connected desert island). A big sci-fi fan, as a teenager living in Germany, he would watch Star Trek, dubbed in German of course, and still has not seen an original episode in English. Akshay’s family, including his wife, brother and sisters-in-law, are all Louisiana State University (LSU) alums and football fans. He never misses an LSU football game. With the recent NCAA Championship win by the LSU Tigers Women’s Basketball Team, we know Akshay is very proud of his alma mater!
Originally published Apr 14, 2023, updated Apr 17, 2023