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Jayaram Pillai

Regional Sales Director - IndRAA

National Instruments

1 Rating

SOFTWARE & ENGG TOOLS Customers cannot be just domain experts anymore

Jan 3, 2019

Jayaram Pillai, Regional Sales Director - IndRAA, National Instruments, in this conversation with Juili Eklahare, talks about how customers need to be ahead of the technology curve and how being an open platform has helped NI stand out. Excerpts…

For more than 40 years, NI has developed high-performance automated test and measurement systems to help solve engineering challenges. What has NI's core concentration in the test & measurement business been?

Our focus has been to be the leader of software-defined automated test and machinery. What fundamentally differentiates us from the rest of the market is our open platform. Customers can customise their applications and get to their innovations more quickly because of this open platform. Besides, we have built a lot of partners that provide complimenting technology for the platform. So, when we add our platform with this ecosystem, we end up delivering a customised system for our customers.

What are the major technical challenges that your customers are trying to overcome to succeed? Do you see those challenges becoming more complex? Or do you predict that you will be dealing with new issues in the future?

With several technological innovations coming in, customers cannot be just domain experts anymore, but need to be able to understand the different requirements that their customers are going to be looking at. They need to make sure that they are ahead of the technology curve and be able to adopt; if they have a more fixed functionality that they are using for an application today, the same cannot be used for the future.

There are also certain connectivity trends emerging, 5G being a classic example. The time gap from 2G to 3G to 4G to 5G was not very much; in fact, people are already talking about 6G. These technologies are converging with one device, which makes smart factory. This requires a tremendous amount of flexibility in the systems and the changes that take place are rapid. So, the testers have to adopt these changes fast. Also, software is playing a major role here; if one is building a system that is intelligent through software, then the testers need to be doubly intelligent to test that software. Hence, flexibility and software become key to accelerate the development of those systems.

What is your opinion on the changing role of marketing in today's intensely competitive market and has NI's marketing strategy evolved over the years to keep pace with changes in the communication test market?

Just like NI’s focus, where we try to help customers in these industry spaces, our marketing team also tries to solve customers’ challenges by understanding their needs. Customers now, too, are much more global. Hence, they must all get the same level of experience, irrespective of their location. There is also a vital emphasis on which industry has the highest value of NI platform. So, articulating NI’s value to those customers has become even more important today.

What is the significance of NIDays in India and overseas?

NIDays is the same across all countries. It is a great networking place for the test & measurement world, where there is an audience ranging from engineers to thought-leaders. NI is now showcasing the best-in-class technology and over 55 demonstrations showing technology innovations in action, how the customers & partners are dealing with challenges, etc. Plus, the people who come together here use these tools to build systems, develop ideas and go back and try to implement them.

What are NI's future plans?

As mentioned earlier, NI’s focus has been to be the leader of software-defined automated test and machinery. Besides, NI is going to start focusing on customers who need this highly differentiated platform to be highly successful in their own domain, and get closer to them and provide high value to them.

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