Surend Dayal: Changing Australian AI landscape with Influential Leadership and Customer Integrated Solutions

Surend Dayal

Surend Dayal

Magia Solutions is a prominent advanced enterprise cloud technology company that aims to help enterprises, government, and higher education deliver a seamless business experience. The company implements and resells Oracle products, primarily Oracle Software as a Service. Magia Solutions also offers services across project delivery, training, and managed services. Further, the company has received a Certified Excellence Implementer status in several fields, indicating a consistent year-on-year rating of its implementation and support services by its customers. Magia inspires its employees to be the best they can be to fulfil Magia’s customers’ maximum potential through technology.

Magia Solutions’ goal is to gain global recognition as the premier Oracle Cloud Business Solution Provider, starting with Australia & New Zealand, where the company is currently viewed as the most qualified CX partner for Oracle. 

Magia Solutions was founded as SDS Group in 1998. The company initially focused on Oracle BI solutions and then expanded into Oracle ERP solutions from 2004 until 2013 when the focus shifted to Oracle Cloud technologies. Magia Solutions’ Australian offices are located in Perth, Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne. The company has an operation in the United States and a partnership in the United Kingdom.


A Passionate and Far-Sighted Leader 

Surend Dayal is the CEO of Magia Solutions. Prior to his current stance at the company, he has an excellent track record of growing Australian businesses globally. Surend was one of the original founders of RuleBurst, a pioneering AI company, in Australia, Europe, and the US before selling it to Oracle Corporation in 2009. After that, he worked in Oracle for ten years under several designations in the US, APAC, and Australia; most recently as the Vice President for Public Sector in ANZ.  

Surend finds himself passionate about Australian innovation and has heavily invested his time in the local startup community, including AI-related startups. Apart from this tutelage as a businessman, he is also a qualified barrister admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW holding degrees in computer science and law. At present, Surend’s  primary focus is on building the Magia business locally and globally through the delivery of successful outcomes for customers. 


Transforming Industry Demands into Opportunities 

Magia Solutions leverages AI to build effective solutions across a number of Oracle product lines, including: 

Oracle Intelligent Advisor: This is a natural language rules engine (expert system) where the non-technical staff can enter complex rules in any language and deploy them as simple interactive questionnaires, web services, or embedded in other applications. 

Oracle Digital Assistants: These are online interactive tools that learn through continued interaction to provide answers to questions through any Chat interface (e.g., SMS, messenger, slack, etc.). 

Deep learning models are also embedded in Oracle SaaS and PaaS product lines implemented by Magia. 

Other arrays of Oracle solutions from Magia include Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Engagement Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Field Service Cloud, Oracle HCM, Oracle ERP, Oracle Application Express, and the Oracle Autonomous Database. 


Meeting Business Requirements with Innovation 

At Magia Solutions, Surend makes sure the team is constantly experimenting with new technologies to see how they can benefit Magia customers. Te company innovates around the application of advanced technology, taking advantage of the US$6 billion that Oracle invests annually in its product stack and making it easier for end customers to consume that innovation. 


Influential Leadership to Encourage AI Adoption 

Surend feels that artificial intelligence is disrupting industries that were previously thought to be dominated only by humans. This raises a lot of ethical questions about the best way to adopt such technology. However, proper management can help alleviate this conundrum. He further mentions that there is a lot more evidence-based management theory available now than in the past. Modern leaders should apply modern approaches to employee engagement such as Intent-Based Leadership and Authentic Leadership to empower their people and explain to them the potential and promise AI holds. Used well, Artificial Intelligence can be moulded into a key asset for any organisation.


Gaining Expertise to Solve Industry Challenges 

Surend believes that building up a small Australian business globally to be the best in class for Gartner’s MQ and Forrester’s Waves on Rules Engines, ultimately selling it to a Silicon Valley giant in Oracle, was a formative experience for him. His journey in building a business globally taught Surend how to operate across multiple cultures, and this was during the early days of AI. Now, the knowledge and expertise he acquired during the initial days of his career are helping him to guide Magia Solutions to be way ahead of the curve. Surend has devoted a lot of his time explaining the role of AI as a path to the future, both in business and at the Australian National University where he teaches amongs other things a unit in AI and LawEducating people was crucial in the early days, as he discovered a lot of skepticism amongst the public about whether AI could actually work or not. Surend striveto overcome this bottleneck by explaining why Magia Solutions’ products offer a unique approach for its clients. 


Words of Wisdom  

Surend cites the ability to look at problems and challenges from a creative angle is an essential attribute of an innovative leader, as it is the ability to make products and solutions customer-centric. Leaders should also demonstrate compassion and empathy for people if they want to improve employee engagement and satisfaction in their company premises and beyond into their customer base. 


Envisioning a Progressive Future 

Speaking about the future, Surend says that Magia Solutions has a very encouraging and richer journey ahead. Observing a 60 percent yearonyear growth in the financial year ended 30 June 2020, in the middle of Covid19, has reinforced his belief in the company and its potential to help other organisations.

Surend is confident that in terms of the AI industry, Magia Solutions is only going to grow as AI becomes increasingly mainstream. This will be somewhat different from the timestamp, 25 years ago, when he was developing AI and taking it to the world.