Digital transformation isn’t new, but the focus technologies and the focus of a company’s transformation efforts change every few years. The current artificial intelligence (AI) revolution will spawn a new breed of workplace apps that streamline workflows and deliver actionable insights. Leading companies are using AI to build Right-Time Experiences (RTE)s for their customers and employees. Lopez Research defines employee RTEs as enhanced business processes or services that deliver the right information, to the right person, at the right moment, on their device of choice.
RTE’s differ from simply providing real-time data in three ways. RTE’s are targeted and predictive because it will analyze a person’s prior transactions, analyze data from your current condition and predict likely requests. An RTE is semantic because it learns and adapts to a user’s behaviors over time. If the user context changes, the RTE service should self-adapt. The best RTEs will make the technology disappear, leaving people free to do their job or perform a task without “learning how to use the app.”
Rather than replicate existing business processes, companies will build Right-Time Experiences by combining application or process data with contextual data that resides in other internal corporate apps, data in the cloud and accessible device data. Leading businesses are also providing APIs to their partners and IT will use RTE to optimize workflow. For example, a soft drink manufacturer has made its inventory data accessible to its bottle distributors dispatch systems via APIs.
To date, most of a company’s digital transformation efforts have focused on digitizing paper, embracing mobility and moving workloads and applications to the cloud. The real heavy lift of reinventing business processes has yet to happen in most organizations. The good news is certain technology vendors are building technology roadmaps that will help companies deliver right-time experiences. In fact, two companies have announced new products this week that exemplify what a Right-Time Experience is and why you need it.
During the opening keynote at Citrix’s Synergy event in Atlanta, the company announced what it calls the intelligent digital workspace. PJ Hough, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer, outlined three key benefits of intelligent digital workspaces. Instead of merely delivering a workspace, intelligence will help employees organize work, guide employees on what to do next and automate the mundane and routine parts of the process. A smart digital workspace is the essence of an RTE.
The workspace offers feeds that allow a person to review and complete tasks within the context of the feed. For example, an employee can approve an expense in Concur, create a ticket in ServiceNow, view event reminders and read about the new hire email from G-suite email without ever leaving the workspace. In addition to the feed, the top right hand of the screen offers recommendations of the next best actions. The goal is to minimize context switching while driving engagement within the workspace. Another essential addition to the workspace was bots that help companies initiate work.
Visibility provides the foundation for any company’s technology strategy. The latest workspace solutions from Citrix uses telemetry data, big data analytics and machine learning (ML) to help thwart security threats. Calvin Hsu, Vice President, Product Marketing, talked about how IT can improve security because it knows who is using the devices, what they are authorized to access, where the employee and why they are accessing an app (e.g., request for approval)
Within the customer relationship management (CRM) space, People.ai has used artificial intelligence functions, such as machine learning and deep learning, to deliver actionable insights to customer-facing teams. People.ai’s The Wire is an AI solution built on top of its Revenue Intelligence System, Intelligent Matching and PeopleGraph. The People.ai portfolio of products analyze activity, contact and deal data from across a company’s Salesforce system as well as industry data to predict which sales, marketing and customer success behaviors will drive results. According to People.ai, “All collected data is synced with Salesforce and the system learns continuously from users’ actions to fine-tune predictive algorithms. These algorithms generate a ranked list of next best actions, trained on customer activity data from emails, conference calls, calendars, and collaboration tools like Zoom and Slack.”
By applying intelligent news feed ranking and other AI technologies, People.ai’s The Wire helps a company’s employees enrich existing relationships and close deals with a list of information and next best actions. For example, the news feed could alert a salesperson to insights such as a critical contact has changed jobs. Another type of data-driven insight might suggest that the salesperson reach out to an additional role within the prospect because other salespeople had higher close rates if they included a specific set of executives within a deal. It also reminds the salesperson of what action items they might’ve missed.
While Citrix and People.ai offer very different products, both companies are focused on creating intelligence within applications that surfaces the right information at the right time. Both companies are analyzing and correlating data to make recommendations. These products are learning, predictive and allow employees to focus on getting work done instead of hunting for information. It’s exciting to see how the workplace changes, not just as we add AI, but as we fundamentally rethink business processes to deliver new value. Whether it’s from a startup or an established vendor, it’s clear that AI changes everything.