Carlos Dominguez has a way with words. Capable of synthesizing complex information into something more approachable and easy to understand, he applies this special skill to the headiest topics. Take, for example, how he breaks down why C-suite diversity is so important—something he advocates for regularly as president and COO of Sprinklr.
“There’s something called the theory of collective intelligence, which basically means large groups of people will be smarter—as a whole—than an individual,” Dominguez explains. “I apply this same idea when I’m talking about diversity. Large groups of diverse people will be smarter than large groups of homogeneous people. With diversity comes different perspectives and experiences and insights.” To succeed in today’s competitive world, Dominguez insists, companies need that level of intelligence.
Dominguez can break down the theories, but it’s his lived experience that really makes him an expert. He is a diverse voice in a still relatively homogeneous industry. Dominguez is of Cuban and Chinese ancestry and has 30 years of experience in enterprise technology, 22 of which were spent at Cisco in nearly every IT role imaginable. What he has learned over his three decades in the tech industry is that hiring marginalized people just for the sake of “corporate social responsibility”—approaching it as a quota and not as a way of competing in the global market—will never work. Diversity must be approached with the understanding that it’s making the company better.
“I also want to point out—and I believe this strongly—that it’s about hiring the best person, not just hiring someone because they are a person of color,” he says. “I always tell Hispanics aiming to be leaders that the worst thing would be to get a job because you’re Hispanic. It has to be because you’re better than anyone else for the position.”
Sprinklr, the company Dominguez has been with since February 2015, is investing in diversity in a very important way. Its Sprinklr Cares program is launching in major cities across the country for the purpose of identifying minority high school students interested in technology to bring into their offices for a mentorship program. In college, those same students will receive an internship with Sprinklr. If all goes according to plan, they’ll have a job waiting for them with the company upon graduation. But what exactly will these students be doing?
“The brilliance of Sprinklr is that we’ve built a product for the enterprise that allows companies to integrate everything into one place.”
Sprinklr’s objective is to offer the world’s most complete enterprise social technology platform to help large brands create, manage, and optimize valuable social experiences. As Dominguez tells it, it’s about offering companies software that enables them to make the most of their social media, consolidating everything in one place so that they can have insight into what’s being said about their brand and products. It’s also about being able to better engage with potential and current customers.
The rabid use of social media has thrown many companies into a tailspin, and that’s understandable. More has changed in how companies do business in the past 25 years than it did in the previous 100, and that rate of change is constantly accelerating. The Internet is largely responsible, but access to technology, like smartphones, has also been pivotal. Consumers have real power, and according to the president and COO, knowledge has been democratized in such a way that anything your company has done—good or bad—can be known. In other words, the Internet makes mistakes harder to hide.
“We now live in a world where perceptions of a product are based not on what the company says, but on what consumers are saying about the product in reviews,” Dominguez says. “And the way millennials engage companies is so radically different than anything we’ve seen before. People of my generation called 1-800 numbers; young people tweet.” And tweets are public.
For companies that have been operating for longer than just the past 25 years, all of this can feel like too much to juggle. Managing a YouTube channel, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account is something that older companies have to learn how to do from scratch. People are saying things to and about companies at all times, and keeping track of it and engaging thoughtfully can seem terribly overwhelming, especially when running that company at the same time. Many companies feel as if they’ve lost a lot of control of their brand.
That’s where Sprinklr comes in. Sprinklr helps them regain that control by giving them the tools they need, in a centralized place, enabling them to stay on top of what’s being said and engage in real ways.
No other social-media or IT-focused company offers exactly what Sprinklr does. A few companies offer some of the services Sprinklr does, while a handful of other companies offer what those don’t. This presents the same problem all over again: certain companies are used for certain services, forcing companies to be trained to navigate multiple products with data being taken from multiple places. It’s not efficient or effective.
“The brilliance of Sprinklr,” Dominguez explains, “is that we’ve built a product for the enterprise that allows companies to integrate everything into one place. This kind of control is crucial, and I hope companies aren’t late to understand that. I remember doing speaking engagements as recently as five years ago, and executives talked about social media as if it were a phase. It’s here to stay, and it’s time to get a handle on it.”