Citrix And People.ai Product Launches Showcase How AI Enables A Better Future Of Work

Citrix Digital Workplace 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.

Maribel is a speaker, technology industry analyst and the founder of Lopez Research.  She’s the author of the Wiley book “Right-time Experiences” Twitter:@MaribelLopez

3 Conferences Women In Technology Should Attend To Further Their Career

The month of March offers numerous opportunities to celebrate the progress women are making in the world. This month the U.S. celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day was March 8th. Despite all of the challenges we’re reading in the media about “Me Too” and diversity in the workplace, there’s also a positive change occurring in the market. Companies across the globe have heightened awareness of the specific challenges women face in the workplace and with breaking into various technology fields. Large technology vendors have created numerous types of diversity and inclusion programs to attract more women into STEM professions. Moreover, these efforts, albeit slowly, are changing the world.

Technology conferences are one area where we see change. Event organizers and technology vendors are creating environments where women can learn from role models on stage, network with peers but also where they can integrate with a wide range of diverse talent. If you’re a woman in tech or inspiring woman in tech, there are three upcoming events where you can take advantage of new networking and development opportunities.

Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference on March 17-19 Want to learn more about the Artificial Intelligence field? Nvidia’s GPU conference offers multiple opportunities for early career women to accelerate their training in deep learning, and for all women to network and learn from each other. The company has a  Women in AI  program that offers several events specifically tailored to women but also highlights the incredible range of women speaking at GTC. While many companies struggle to find any female speakers, GTC has representatives from industry, academia and their own company. At the event, Nvidia is hosting a Women’s Early Career Accelerator which is a full day of complimentary training for early career women on the fundamentals of computer vision, an opportunity to network with women working in the field, and a free conference pass plus training. The company is also hosting a Women in AI & Deep Learning Breakfast where attendees will learn about the AI ecosystem in the retail and healthcare space. It is the company’s sixth annual Women@GTC event, and I’m personally looking forward to participating in the program. There’s still time to sign up for next week’s GTC event.

Google Next ’19  April 9-11  In April, Google will be hosting the NEXT 19 cloud computing and AI conference. It’s offering a curated diversity and inclusions program with sessions focusing on product inclusion, underrepresentation in technical fields, and inclusive business practices. Industry thought leaders, partners, and customers will provide actionable insights and share personal stories of how they’ve made an impact on inclusivity in their industry. One motivating part of the program is the #IamRemarkable workshops at the event. The workshop goal is to empower women and underrepresented groups to speak openly about their accomplishments in the workplace and beyond. The initiative motivates participants to promote themselves in front of peers and management, thereby breaking gender-related norms and glass ceilings. The Women of Cloud 2.0 session is also sure to be inspiring with a range of role models presenting the latest ideas in cloud computing. Going a step further, Google’s helping parents attend NEXT by offering childcare reimbursement.

Dell Technologies World April 29- May 2 Dell Technologies products span the gamut of IT, so if there are women in tech, they should be at Dell Technologies World. One of the highlights of the program is the Women in Technology luncheon. Last year, I learned about topics such as spotting unconscious biases and how to approach career advancement. Dell also had an impressive group of female employees in significant leadership roles take the stage in 2018. The speakers provided role models in areas such as marketing, channel management, sales CTO and the customer office. I expect this year’s program to offer even more networking opportunities and insights. These are just a few of the events where women can learn more about technology, be inspired and build networks for career advancement. I look forward to seeing you at one of these events.

While the progress has been great, I’d like to leave technology vendors with one word of caution. Diversity programs shouldn’t be a check the box effort. It doesn’t mean providing women (or anyone) a specific role or platform because they fit a demographic category. Diversity means creating a meritocracy with equal pay and equal opportunity for all. Diversity also isn’t limited to gender, race and sexual preference. Diversity and Inclusion programs acknowledge differences in age, religion and political views as well as supporting employees with disabilities. When appropriately executed companies have found that embracing diverse ideas leads to new insight and better business outcomes.