As Vice President of Operations at Salesforce, the world’s largest Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software company, Archana Subramanian navigates the realm where technology and business meet. Earning her MS in Information Systems from the Kelley School of Business provided the stepping stone she needed to launch her career.
“My MSIS degree completely changed my life,” Archana said. “I went from my best job prospects being a software engineer in India to VP of Operations at Salesforce.”
As an undergraduate student in India, she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. She enjoyed working with technology but realized she was not passionate about working behind the scenes as an engineer. During her final year of school, she made the decision to pursue a master’s degree. “I wanted to put technology in a business context and learn how it applies to business,” she said.
The MSIS program at Kelley was the perfect fit for her goals. “It was exactly what I was looking for to get to the next step in my career,” said Archana. “It had the right balance of technology and business.”
Archana attributes her skills to the practical and intensive MSIS curriculum. She gained a strong background in technology and enterprise resource planning (ERP), business intelligence and data analytics, and spreadsheet modeling. “You aren’t supposed to just breeze through the classes,” she said. “Everything we learned has so much relevance and provides context for the business world. MSIS gave me the foundation I needed.”
During her time in the program, Archana interned at Cook Medical, assisting in the deployment of new technology in Asia and Japan. “I was part of the team doing IT and training,” she said. “Cook sent my team to Japan to train users, and it was an incredible experience.”
Besides gaining a solid foundation of business skills and experience, Archana also developed a strong network of colleagues and friends at Kelley. During her MSIS, she worked directly with leaders in information systems, creating connections she still turns to today. Her capstone project team members became lifelong friends.
As VP of Operations at Salesforce, Archana oversees the strategy, operations, and enablement team for a large business unit. “Salesforce is a customer relationship software company and a lot of my understanding of that part of the technology and ERP technologies, in general, came from Professor Prabhakar’s SAP class. That gave me a background so I understood how these systems worked. Overall, the MSIS program helped me understand how things are structured in the real world. It made me more employment-ready,” Archana said. “A big part of why I have a seat at the table at Salesforce is thanks to the analytical background I got from the MSIS program.
“There is such a delicate balance between technology and business, and the Kelley MSIS program strikes that balance so perfectly.”