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  • AUDIO – 16 min listen

Ask Commvault Cloud: Commvault enables
go-to-market teams with generative AI

A conversation with Chief Market Officer Anna Griffin

CommvaultAT A GLANCE
20 min
To complete 8-12 hours
of work
Instead of months to
deploy custom chat app
How do you use Writer for sales enablement?
What impact has generative AI had on your company?
What advice do you have for other leaders looking to adopt AI?

Listen to the Commvault story or read the edited story below

Writer is the full-stack generative AI platform for enterprises. We make it easy for organizations to adopt AI apps and workflows that deliver quantifiable ROI quickly.

Writer helps organizations build highly-customized AI apps that compress entire business processes, support complex use cases, and infuse work with company intelligence. Our enterprise-grade platform can be deployed flexibly, keeps your data private, and adheres to global privacy laws and security standards. Leading enterprises choose Writer, including Vanguard, Intuit, L’Oreal, Accenture, and Kenvue.

Anna Griffin is the Chief Market Officer of Commvault. She’s a leader who is drawn to innovation engines, consistently challenging the status quo to enable her companies to achieve their goals. Anna is known for her problem-solving skills and ability to make thoughtful decisions in advertising strategies, and continues to make a significant impact in the field.

Read or listen to the story of how Anna and the team at Commvault are using Writer to accelerate productivity and creativity, advance sales enablement, and facilitate knowledge sharing with their own internal chat app, Ask Commvault Cloud.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do at Commvault.


I’m the Chief Market Officer at Commvault, a cyber-resilience platform. We protect the world’s data, and we make sure that it can be recovered instantaneously in any environment — ideal for a time when ransomware and cyber attacks are prevalent, as well as for traditional disaster recovery. I manage a global team that looks at the full funnel of taking a product to market.

What led you to pursue generative AI? What challenges were you trying to solve?


Generative AI crashed into the world like a freight train coming straight at us. Being a data security company, we realized that to use generative AI would require strict adherence to AI policies, regulations, and the highest security protocols. 

As a company, we were repositioning and rebuilding our platform and our product, bringing all new capabilities to market at great speed. We needed a tool that could help us generate the content and enable all of the touchpoints quickly as our strategy and brand were changing.


AI has advanced and it’s got great use cases. It should be easy adoption for a marketing organization. And frankly, the ability to do so much more with fewer resources, it’s a no-brainer.

Commvault homepage
The Commvault website

What led you to ultimately select Writer?


It’s important that you involve your security and IT leadership from the start. Go right to the top and say, “We all need to advance generative AI in all of our functions. How can we do this together? What are the platforms that we can introduce in the company that are going to give us a great amount of security and scale, that can grow with us cross-functionally?” Don’t set yourself up for, “Oh, there’s an app for that,” in every single function in a company, and then you’ve ‌got a hairy situation of thousands of apps, all trying to do the same thing, and none of them working collectively to harness the real power that generative AI can build upon to deliver for a company and brand.


Writer is a platform that meets the highest level of security clearances, is done responsibly and done well, and really eliminates a lot of the potential risk of other apps that try to solve similar problems.

“I’ve heard RAG is complex and requires months of engineering. But with Writer Knowledge Graph, I was pleasantly surprised. We deployed a powerful, highly customized chat app in weeks.”

Anna Griffin

Anna Griffin
Chief Market Officer

What’s your approach to building generative AI use cases?


Our first use cases were marketing-centric; we were trying to solve for content creation. As I mentioned, Commvault has been going through a repositioning and relaunch of our platform and products. When we started to get our content ‌articulating the new narrative we wanted to tell on the market, we came to realize that our brand is only as strong as the people who represent it.

While content is important, enabling our sales force with our new messages in a quick, efficient, and easy way was going to be critical, because they are the frontline representation of our new brand. Teaching a sales team how to deliver a new product and brand message is no easy feat, and we thought it would be the perfect use case for AI.

Tell us about Ask Commvault Cloud and the approach you took to designing this AI app.


We launched Commvault Cloud last November. When you’re selling a cloud platform, there are many different buying personas in the mix. We wanted to start building out content to make it quick and easy for the sales team to understand not only the platform benefits, but also some of the new product capabilities and key messages by persona.


Finding all of the right content on their own could take our sales team hours and hours. With Writer, we built a custom chat app called Ask Commvault Cloud for them. It serves as an enablement resource for competitor differentiation and trains reps on how to talk to different buying personas. The ability to use Writer to access a quick elevator sales pitch, synthesize five key points, and get the reference documentation is really important.

Ask Commvault Cloud
Using Ask Commvault Cloud, a custom chat app built on Writer Knowledge Graph

The user interface for Ask Commvault Cloud is hugely important. First, we branded it “Ask Commvault Cloud.” I didn’t want to confuse the teams with Ask Writer, the Writer prebuilt chat app. We created a simple user interface that they were already using, a chat window. You ask, and Commvault Cloud answers.

To build this chat app, we used Writer Knowledge Graph, their graph-based RAG (retrieval-augmented generation) solution. Knowledge Graph connects Ask Commvault Cloud to our most important documents and resources, enabling us to deliver accurate, on-brand answers to our sales reps’ product and messaging questions in real time.


In our enablement, we try to always include different perspectives — here’s what we wrote, here’s what analysts say about it, here’s what customers say about it. We looked at pages and pages of customer success documentation from the customer success team that were synthesized and became actionable endorsements, comments, and suggestions as well. We learned the importance of keeping your content well-rounded and told from multiple points of view.

I’ve heard RAG is complex and requires months of dedicated engineering, and even then you don’t get the level of accuracy and quality you expect. But with Writer Knowledge Graph, I was pleasantly surprised. For Ask Commvault Cloud, folks on my non-technical team, along with the support of the Writer account team, got a powerful, highly customized chat app deployed in just weeks.

How did you go about enabling your team to speak to different personas?


We’re always advancing our instance with Writer. We’re teaching Ask Commvault Cloud to be the new personas that we’re selling to, so the sales team will be able to interface with Commvault Cloud as if it is a chief security officer, a chief data officer, or personas that traditionally the sales team isn’t used to selling to, like CFOs. CFOs are highly influential stakeholders in a solution like cyber resiliency, which is a company-wide initiative. How do you know what their pain points are? How do you know what they’re going to be referencing in their point of view as the most important initiative for their business?

We’re feeding Ask Commvault Cloud with interesting information, like 10-Ks on the companies that we’re prospecting, to better understand points of view of different personas generally, as well as specific personas. If you know that you’re going to call on a CISO at X company, how do you know what’s on that specific CISO’s mind, and how would you interact them? These are all exciting things that we’re building and experimenting with for the future, and I cannot wait to see how this is going to work.

What’s been the reception to Ask Commvault Cloud?


There’s excitement because I think people want ease and accuracy. Sales reps are thrilled to have a tool that helps them increase their efficiency and improve their ability to speak to the competitive differentiation and unique proof points of our product.


A personal saying of mine is that who you are on the inside is who you are on the outside. Making sure that you have truth and accuracy in your data helps build trust with users for adoption, but then also the ease of having a tool that acts as a personal sherpa for you, sometimes selling big multi-million-dollar enterprise deals.

It’s like climbing to the top of a mountain, and it can be a long, arduous process. We’ll do anything we can to accelerate that process, and using Writer on that journey to make sure every step can be faster, more accurate, and bring truth into a selling situation will be important.

“We’ve been able to get work that might’ve taken eight to 12 hours a day down to getting something outlined and ready for review in 20 minutes.”

Anna Griffin

Anna Griffin
Chief Market Officer

What are some of the Writer features you’re excited about?


We do a lot of customer and prospect interviews, and we’re usually waiting for the researcher to write the executive summary. And sometimes it’s like, no — I’ve got a board meeting tomorrow. Now I just go into Writer and two seconds later I can understand the gist of what we talked to 22 customers about this week.

Think about how hard it is to truly synthesize a ton of data and long form two-hour interviews down to a nugget of a paragraph summary.

So analysis and synthesizing has been my personal favorite thing that Writer does because I usually want to read everything and go through every transcript and make my highlights. With Writer, my team and I are freed up from having to do that. We’re getting to insights faster, and we’re executing them and putting them into the market faster.


One of the newer features that I love is the ability to translate content. Translation used to be a very arduous process, and even though there’s been translation tools for decades, it still requires some type of human interaction to cut and paste and read and edit, and then multiply that by 30 different languages where you’re trying to translate content. That’s a daunting process.

Where the rubber will hit the road is in some of these new use cases and how it can impact pipeline metrics. Can we get more at-bats with some of these new personas faster? Can we accelerate opportunity progression through the pipeline? And ultimately, can we create by being more accurate, bigger, better, faster revenue wins?

Using Recaps in Writer to summarize customer conversations
Using recaps in Writer to summarize customer conversations

What was your internal adoption strategy?


The first question for some people is, “Wait a minute, that’s my job and if Writer does it, then what am I going to do?”

But that only lasts for a second, because what everyone realizes is Writer helps them do their job better, faster, and more efficiently. The actual skill of writing is really difficult for a lot of people. It’s not everybody’s first communication skill. With Writer, if it’s a sales email, it’s got a different type of voice than perhaps a support email or a piece of marketing or social collateral. We can be on-message. I don’t have to sit here and think for hours, “Did I do this correctly?” Writer makes it easy.


Adoption for any new piece of technology is a journey. These things don’t just happen overnight. Something we found to be successful was to make the tool accessible to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Give everyone a challenge, have everyone use it, and have an assignment for people to report back to their manager and show your assignment within the first couple of weeks of deploying the platform. That encourages everyone to play and experiment, and people get generally excited. It’s harder to get people to make it part of their daily practice. It’s taken us a year, but we went from 30% marketing penetration to now 80% of the team is using it daily in their work. It’s constant experimenting, but it’s also constant sharing and teaching.

“You need really great customer success partners. And the Writer team was with us every step of the way, no matter how daunting it was.”

Anna Griffin

Anna Griffin
Chief Market Officer

You have to create accountability. We’ve invested in this tool, I want to make sure you’re using it. Show me what’s possible. Come back to your CMO, show me a new use case‌ and blow me away. Let’s sit as a team and submit all of our different use cases, let’s create a council, and let’s showcase these use cases.

Some people will learn they can use generative AI to write blogs, and then they’ll only use it to write blogs, whereas other people will go, “Oh my God, if they can write a blog, what else could it do?” You have to remember everyone isn’t equal in how they process and think about technology and possibilities. Getting those people together and sharing will help adoption accelerate.


Marketing usually has the budget to bring in tools like this. We worked with Writer to say, “Hey, I want the rest of my company to be able to touch this. Can we have a 30-day license for cross-functionality, so HR can use it and see what’s possible? So finance and product can use it and see what’s possible?” Giving everyone quick and easy access is a great way to foster interest in generative AI. It will also facilitate faster adoption.


The whole Writer platform, the simplicity to get adoption fast, it’s just turnkey. But you also need really great customer success partners. And the Writer team was with us every step of the way, no matter how daunting it was.

“With AI, we have a 70–30 rule. You can quickly get ‌yourself 70% better than where you were, and then take the other 30% to ask, ‘What can I add that makes it more valuable?’”

Anna Griffin

Anna Griffin
Chief Market Officer

What impact has generative AI had on your company?


You don’t have to prove the ROI with Writer. You use Writer one time and you know the ROI. I never felt like I had to prove the ROI on this because it’s instantaneous. Anyone who touches it and uses it knows the ROI.


With Writer, we’ve seen a huge impact on time spent. A typical product marketing manager might spend an hour and a half on web copy, but we’ve gotten that down to 10 minutes. We’re able to get these larger, long form, customer-facing documents that can take weeks in development done in a two- to four-hour window with Writer.


We’ve looked to Writer to help us make that long form content as succinct and accurate as possible. We’ll take technical documentation that might’ve been 20 pages long, and use Writer to see if we can get it to seven.

We’ve been able to get work that might’ve taken eight to 12 hours a day down to getting something outlined and ready for review in 20 minutes. We call it a 70–30 rule. With AI, we find you can quickly get ‌yourself 70% better than where you were, and then we take the other 30% of our time to ask, “What can I add to it that makes it more valuable for the customer or unique or more compelling?” That’s where the human intervention with an AI tool like Writer comes together and works as a best-case scenario.

Using a Writer custom app to analyze 10-ks and generate a sales brief
Using a Writer AI app to analyze 10-ks and generate a sales brief

What advice would you give on how to surface new AI use cases?


When you’re thinking about new use cases, think about the number one pain point for your company. 

Usually the number one problem to be solved ‌has been scale. Once you identify what your problem is, ‌solutions will just start popping up. Land your pain point, and then assign use case generation. Make it a team sport. This is the problem we’re trying to solve — how could we use generative AI to solve it? You’ll be surprised at the excitement and innovation that comes from teams.

“I never felt like I even had to prove the ROI on Writer because it’s instantaneous.”

Anna Griffin

Anna Griffin
Chief Market Officer

Do you have advice for leaders who are early in the AI adoption process?


My number one advice is to have an AI leader. Most people will deploy a tool. Tools have to have champions. Champions have the ability to not only ensure that people are utilizing the tool and you’re using all of your license and that utilization is great. They can also figure out why it’s not and talk to people and understand how to solve that, because you want great utilization.

But champions also become cross-functional representations to go stand up at other functions’ all-hands and say, “Look how we’re using generative AI.” They also help you with metrics. They help you with training. Whose responsibility is it to train the tool? It can’t just be one human being, but at least one human being needs to be on point for ensuring the training of the model and other team members. If you want AI leadership, appoint an AI leader.


Do yourself a favor and start with a truly scalable platform that’s going to meet your security requirements and can support a ton of different use cases. If you go for generative AI in a silo or you do it rogue, it’ll take 18 months and it might all get undone because you will either get discovered or sales are spending more money and they’re going to double down on whatever platform they put in.

Making a selection of an enterprise-scale platform that will be a reliable way to enable use cases cross-functionally is critical. It’s saving you possible disappointment down the road. So the sooner you can get moving in a platform that’s going to work for you and the rest of the company, the faster you’re all going to move towards the goal.

What’s next for your team?


What’s next for our team is massive scale. There are so many new capabilities that are coming out within Writer, in terms of its ability to ingest more data, to crawl the web with data, to ingest longform data, to translate your content into multiple languages, to advise you to be savvy on what prospective customers are seeking and what they’re gonna ask you, preparing a sales team, preparing an investor relations team for an earnings call. The capabilities are massive. There are new product introductions happening at Writer every quarter. I expect this year to be an exciting one and who knows what we’re going to invent next, but I know we will invent and that’s what is most important with this platform: invention.


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