How to Leverage Intelligent Automation to Better Manage Alert Storms [Webinar Recap]

Author: Guy Nadivi

As most of you already know, there’s a digital transformation underway at many enterprise organizations, and it’s revolutionizing how they do business. That transformation though is also leading to increasingly more complex and sophisticated infrastructure environments. The more complicated these environments get, the more frequently performance monitoring alerts get generated. Sometimes these alerts can come in so fast and furious, and in such high volume, that they can lead to alert storms, which overwhelm staff and lead to unnecessary downtime.

Since the environments these alerts are being generated from can be so intricate, this presents a multi-dimensional problem that requires more than just a single-point solution. Ayehu has partnered with LogicMonitor to demonstrate how end-to-end intelligent automation can help organizations better manage alert storms from incident all the way to remediation.

The need for that sort of best-of-breed solution is being driven by some consistent trends across IT reflecting a shift in how IT teams are running their environments, and how costly it becomes when there is an outage. Gartner estimates that:

Further exacerbating the situation is the complexity of multi-vendor point solutions, distributed workloads across on-premise data centers, off-premise facilities, and the public cloud, and relentless end-user demands for high availability, secure, “always-on” services.

From a monitoring standpoint, enterprise organizations need a solution that can monitor any infrastructure that uses any vendor on any cloud with any method required, e.g. SNMP, WMI, JDBC, JMX, SD-WAN, etc. In short, if there’s a metric behind an IP address, IT needs to keep an eye on it, and if IT wants to set a threshold for that metric, then alerts need to be enabled for it.

The monitoring solution must also provide an intuitive analytical view of the metrics generated from these alerts to anyone needing visibility into infrastructure performance. This is critical for proactive IT management in order to prevent “degraded states” where services go beyond the point of outage prevention.

This is where automating remediation of the underlying incident that generated the alert becomes vital.

The average MTTR (Mean Time To Resolution) for remediating incidents is 8.40 business hours, according to MetricNet, a provider of benchmarks, performance metrics, scorecards and business data to Information Technology and Call Center Professionals.

When dealing with mission critical applications that are relied upon by huge user communities, MTTRs of that duration are simply unacceptable.

But it gets worse.

What happens when the complexities of today’s hybrid infrastructures lead to an overwhelming number of alerts, many of them flooding in close together?

You know exactly what happens.

You get something known as an alert storm. And when alert storms occur, MTTRs degrade even further because they overwhelm people in the data center who are already working at a furious pace just to keep the lights on.

If data center personnel are overwhelmed by alert storms, it’s going to affect their ability to do other things.

That inability to do other things due to alert storms is very important, especially if customer satisfaction is one of your IT department’s major KPI’s, as it is for many IT departments these days.

Take a look at the results of a survey Gartner conducted less than a year ago, asking respondents what they considered the most important characteristic of an excellent internal IT department.

If an IT department performed dependably and accurately, 40% of respondents considered them to be excellent.

If an IT department offered prompt help and service, 25% of respondents considered them to be excellent.

So if your IT department can deliver on those 2 characteristics, about 2/3 of your users will be very happy with you.

But here’s the rub. When your IT department is flooded with alert storms generated by incidents that have to be remediated manually, then that’s taking you away from providing your users with dependability and accuracy in a prompt manner. However, if you can provide that level of service regardless of alert storms, then nearly 2/3 of your users will consider you to be an excellent IT department.

One proven way to achieve that level of excellence is by automating manual incident remediation processes, which in some cases can reduce MTTRs from hours down to seconds.

Here’s how that would work. It involves using the Ayehu platform as an integration hub in your environment. Ayehu would then connect to every system that needs to be interacted with when remediating an incident.

So for example, if your environment has a monitoring system like LogicMonitor, that’s where an incident will be detected first. And LogicMonitor, now integrated with Ayehu, will generate an alert which Ayehu will instantaneously intercept.

Ayehu will then parse that alert to determine what the underlying incident is, and launch an automated workflow to remediate that specific underlying incident.

As a first step in our workflow we’re going to automatically create a ticket in ServiceNow, BMC Remedy, JIRA, or any ITSM platform you prefer. Here again is where automation really shines over taking the manual approach, because letting the workflow handle the documentation will ensure that it gets done in a timely manner, in fact in real-time. Automation also ensures that documentation gets done thoroughly. Service Desk staff often don’t have the time or the patience to document every aspect of a resolution properly because they’re under such a heavy workload.

The next step, and actually this can be at any step within that workflow, is pausing its execution to notify and seek human approval for continuation. Just to illustrate why you might do this, let’s say that a workflow got triggered because LogicMonitor generated an alert that a server dropped below 10% free disk space. The workflow could then go and delete a bunch of temp files to free up space, it could compress a bunch of log files and move them somewhere else, and do all sorts of other things to free up space, but before it does any of that, the workflow can be configured to require human approval for any of those steps.

The human can either grant or deny approval so the workflow can continue on, and that decision can be delivered by laptop, smartphone, email, Instant Messenger, or even via a regular telephone. However, note that this notification/approval phase is entirely optional. You can also choose to put the workflow on autopilot and proceed without any human intervention. It’s all up to you, and either option is easy to implement.

Then the workflow can begin remediating the incident which triggered the alert.

As the remediation is taking place, Ayehu can update the service desk ticket in real-time by documenting every step of the incident remediation process.

Once the incident remediation is completed, Ayehu can automatically close the ticket.

And finally, it can go back into LogicMonitor and automatically dismiss the alert that triggered this entire process. This is how you can leverage intelligent automation to better manage alert storms, as well as simultaneously eliminating the potential for human error that can lead to outages in your environment.

Gartner concurs with this approach.

In a recently refreshed paper they published (ID G00336149 – April 11, 2019) one of their Vice-Presidents wrote that “The intricacy of access layer network decisions and the aggravation of end-user downtime are more than IT organizations can handle. Infrastructure and operations leaders must implement automation and artificial intelligence solutions to reduce mundane tasks and lost productivity.”

No ambiguity there.

Ayehu

What is AI-Powered Decision Support?

Fifty years ago, businesses relied almost exclusively on human judgment for key decision-making. While some data existed, it was professionals and their intuitions, honed over years of experience, who were central to the process of determining good vs. bad and safe vs. risky. Not exactly the most ideal solution.

From there, we moved to data-supported decision making. Thanks to the growing number of connected devices, business leaders were able to access unimaginable volumes of data – every transaction, every customer interaction, every macro and microeconomic indicator – all available to make more informed decisions.

Unfortunately, even this approach had its limitations. For one thing, leveraging such a massive amount of data wasn’t feasible, which left a summarized version. This often obscured many of the patterns, insights and relationships that existed in the original data set. Further, cognitive bias from humans still existed.

Enter stage three: AI-powered decision support. Artificial intelligence is already ahead of the game because, provided the data being used is accurate, it’s not prone to cognitive bias. Therefore, it is more objective in its decisions. Furthermore, AI is better capable of leveraging not just mountains of data, but also all the information contained within that data, allowing for a much higher degree of consistency and accuracy.

As a real-world example, decision support that is powered by artificial intelligence can determine with much more certainty what the optimal inventory levels are, which ad creative would be most effective and which financial investments would be most lucrative.

While humans are essentially removed from the workflow, however, the purpose of introducing AI into the mix is to enhance and enable better decisions that what humans are capable of achieving on their own. In other words, the ideal scenario would involve both humans and AI working in tandem to leverage the inherent value of both for the benefit of the organization. In fact, there are many instances in which business decisions depend on more than mere data alone.

Take, for example, inventory control. While AI may be leveraged initially to objectively determine the appropriate inventory levels for maximum profitability, other information that is inaccessible to AI but incredibly relevant to business decisions may also come into play. For instance, if the organization is operating in a highly competitive industry or environment, human decision makers may opt for higher inventory levels in order to ensure a positive customer experience.

Or, let’s say the AI workflow indicates that investing more in marketing will generate the highest ROI. That company may decide, instead, that it’s more important to focus on areas other than growth for the time being, such as improving quality standards.

So, where artificial intelligence offers consistency, accuracy and objective rationality, other information that is available to humans in terms of values, strategy and marketing conditions may merit a change of direction. In these cases, AI can essentially generate a number of different possibilities from which human decision makers may select the best course of action based on the whole picture at hand.

The key takeaway is that humans are no longer interacting directly with data, but rather the insights produced by artificial intelligence’s processing of that data. Culture, strategy and values still remain a critical component of the decision-making process. AI is basically a bridge to marry them with the objective rationality that cannot be achieved through human cognition. Essentially, it’s a “best of both worlds” situation. By leveraging both humans and AI together, organizations can reach better decisions than they ever could using either one alone.

Want to experience the power of AI to create a force-multiplier for your business decisions? Try Ayehu NG absolutely FREE for 30 days. Click here to start your trial.

Preparing for the Future of Work: Transitioning to Intelligent Automation

These days, a growing number of organizations are making the shift toward integrating intelligent automation as a critical component of their business model. But it should never be about automating just for the sake of automating. That’s not going to help you win the AI race. The future of work will involve more of a hybrid approach that balances artificial with human intelligence for a “best of both worlds” kind of environment.

From the top down, it’s important to identify and address the challenges companies will face when implementing initiatives around critical areas, such as analytics, intelligent process automation, digital and AI. There is no shortage of lessons to be learned and common themes from which to gain knowledge. For those charged with preparing their organizations for what the future of work will inevitably become, here are five key insights to keep in mind.

Expect the unexpected.

While it’s true that business leaders can learn from others who have gone before, the fact is, every hybrid AI initiative is unique. As such, it’s important to design fluid systems that are capable of accommodating requirements, expectations and business challenges that are often unexpected. To some degree, the future of work is a moving target. Systems that can adapt and evolve will be the ultimate key to success.

Mistakes will happen.

It’s been said that failure is the key to success. This is an important mantra to keep top of mind when preparing for the future of work. Remember that when it comes to any type of change process, mistakes are inevitable. When and if you do fail, the key is to fail fast and bounce back by reflecting, regrouping and iterating your subsequent attempts with a greater understanding of what you’ll need to do in order to succeed. Decision-makers must also recognize that change is a necessary investment that requires the right communication and resources at the right time.

Start with small, measurable wins first.

Automating at scale isn’t something that takes place overnight – at least not if it’s done correctly. As you move toward the future of work and strive for digital transformation, it’s wise to start with smaller wins that can quickly generate ROI. To begin, focus on the tasks already being performed by the organization that are menial, repetitive and mature. Capturing those quick wins early will gain you buy-in and provide a solid foundation upon which to build out an organization-wide automation strategy.

Identify and communicate the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ across the enterprise.

When it comes to good governance, it’s critical that executives carefully develop their strategic plans around intelligent automation. More importantly, they must openly and consistently communicate the hows and whys behind their decisions to everyone across the organization. As mentioned, incorporating the valuable skills of humans in with the benefits of automation and AI is the ideal scenario. As such, proactively reskilling, retraining and reorganizing employees will become essential over the coming months and years.

Automate accordingly to address business problems.

Some organizations find it necessary to enlist the help of consultants or outsourced companies to help them identify the best processes to begin the automation journey. Don’t be afraid to admit if this assistance is something that could benefit your organization. Either way, the goal is to gain a deeper understanding of business priorities so you can identify quick successes. Ideally, the automation strategy should be one that is a joint initiative between the IT department and the rest of the business.

Ultimately, what these five insights have in common is that they require executive buy-in, AI investment that is strategic and a shift toward a business model that involves a convergence of innovative technologies. Master these five steps and your organization will be much better positioned to be successful in the future of work.

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Hybrid AI in the Future of Work

 Hybrid AI in the Future of Work - ITOps Guest Post
This article was originally posted on ITOps Times

Due to ongoing improvements in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, we are on the cusp of an entirely new era in automation. Not only are software robots adept at performing routine, repetitive tasks on behalf of humans, but they are now capable of carrying out activities that rely on cognitive abilities, such as those requiring the use of judgment and emotion. One only needs to look at the cars we drive to recognize just how far automation technology has come.

Does this mean that there will be no place for humans in the future? The answer – at least for the foreseeable future – is a resounding no. That’s because, despite the growing list of benefits, there are also a number of drawbacks to having a system that is entirely autonomous. That’s where hybrid AI comes into play.

The concept behind hybrid AI is remarkably simple, even if the actual technologies and strategies driving it are incredibly complex. In basic terms, a hybrid model integrates humans throughout the automation process, but uses advanced technologies like deep learning and natural language processing to make automation systems even smarter.

AI needs humans
Beyond the hype, the truth is that artificial intelligence technology is simply not yet ready to replace humans – particularly when it comes to mission-critical applications. Take, for example, Tesla’s autopilot feature. While the vehicle itself is equipped with the capability to drive on its own, the driver behind the wheel is still required to remain alert and attentive to ensure his or her safety. In other words, AI is capable of running unassisted, but when it comes to mission-critical functions, it still needs humans, not only to train it, but to make sure everything stays on track.

The truth is, when artificial intelligence gets things right, everything is peachy. But when it doesn’t, the outcome can be disastrous – especially for larger organizations. And while modern AI may have some impressive cognitive capabilities, at the end of the day, it’s still just as its name indicates: artificial. Keeping humans in the mix ensures that the nuances of communication are present and that the output is accurate and relevant.

Humans need AI
On the other side of the coin, humans can benefit tremendously from artificial intelligence technology. And with 37% of organizations having already implemented AI to some degree, it’s clear that people and machines working side by side is becoming the norm rather than the exception. The reason being, artificial intelligence is like a force multiplier for human workers.

For example, data mining can be handled far faster and in much more massive volumes than any human being is capable of. Using AI, organizations can more effectively turn data into insights that can then be used to assist in human decision-making. This thereby drives innovation and competitive advantage.

Bringing it all together
As we progress toward a more automated future, a hybrid approach to integrating AI can help organizations figure out how to get from point A to point B with as little business disruption as possible. One way executives are handling the shift is to create automation centers of excellence (COE) that are dedicated to proliferating automation throughout the organization. Taking a structured approach like this helps to reduce confusion and limit friction.

Members of the COE are responsible for planning, ongoing testing and continuous oversight of the enterprise automation strategy. Typically, this group is made up of individuals who possess a mix of critical IT and business skills, such as developers, operations specialists and business analysts. Additionally, an entirely new role of automation engineer is being created to support the COE.

CIOs may choose to create their COEs with existing employees who are reskilled or newly hired team members. Regardless, COEs represent a strategic approach that is designed to drive adoption across the enterprise while delivering key results in support of company goals.

Ultimately, choosing a hybrid approach that includes a combination of humans and artificial intelligence, is simply the logical evolution of any disruptive technology. It safeguards against the risks of early-stage gaps and helps organizations get the most out of new solutions every step of the way. Done right, technology enables humans to focus on mission-critical applications while using AI to streamline operations and identify the best opportunities and strategies for ongoing organizational success.

AI is not an either/or proposition. It’s up to each organization to determine the right mix of humans and technology that makes sense. As new capabilities and options emerge, that mix will inevitably evolve. And the IT leaders that fully embrace their increasingly strategic value will know how to create the balance that will continually optimize and elevate staff, technology and the entire future of work.

This article was originally posted as a guest piece on ITOps Times. Click here to redirect to the official publication.

Episode #23: How Automation Digitally Transformed British Law Enforcement – Crown Prosecution Service’s Mark Gray

August 15 2019    Episodes

Episode #23: How Automation Digitally Transformed British Law Enforcement

In today’s episode of Ayehu’s podcast we interview Mark Gray – Digital Transformation Director at Crown Prosecution Service.

The haggard lawyer toting a disheveled box full of paper evidence, before plunking it down on a cluttered desk to carefully examine its contents is a familiar trope employed by many a fictional TV crime series.  In real life though, automation, chatbots, and other technologies are rapidly relegating that stereotype into an anachronism.  In this regard, perhaps no law enforcement agency in the world has undergone a more radical digital transformation than Crown Prosecution Services, the agency responsible for conducting all criminal prosecutions in England & Wales.

Mark Gray is the man leading that digital transformation, and of the many metrics that can be used to measure what he’s accomplished in a relatively short span, one stands out as nothing short of astonishing – the elimination of 160 million pages of paper annually!  Mark talks with us about other impacts automation has had on his agency, including accelerating the justice process, ensuring evidence doesn’t fall through the cracks, and fundamentally changing how people perform their jobs with a greater sense of satisfaction.



Guy Nadivi: Welcome everyone. My name is Guy Nadivi and I’m the host of Intelligent Automation Radio. Our guest on today’s episode is Mark Gray, Digital Transformation Director for Crown Prosecution Service. The principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales. We’ve never spoken before with anyone who’s implemented digital transformation in law enforcement. And when you hear about what Mark and his team did, you’ll see it was an epic transformation for any kind of organization. We wanted to find out more about it ourselves and see what lessons our audience could learn from Mark’s experience, so we invited him to come on our show and share his considerable insights with us. Mark, welcome to Intelligent Automation Radio.

Mark Gray: Thanks very much Guy. Hi, everyone. Delighted to be here.

Guy Nadivi: Mark, you rolled out a number of digital transformation projects for law enforcement, allowing your agency to eliminate, this is an amazing number, 160 million pages of paper annually, which is just staggering. Not just that, it also eliminated physical disks too, which is impressive. If this was a corporate project, it’s benefits would have been measured in ROI. How do you measure the benefits of your efforts from a law enforcement perspective?

Mark Gray: It’s a good question. So undoubtedly we do track the kind of public sector equivalent metric of ROI. So, of course we have generated some direct cash efficiency savings in paper, in couriers, and so on. But I guess for us it’s the wider benefits that are more important.

Mark Gray: So we made the justice process swifter, for example, people don’t have to wait a couple of days for a disc to arrive. We’ve improved the information security because less things go astray in a digital world. We’ve improved the satisfaction and the experience for our own colleagues. So for instance, the move to digital has enabled people to work much more flexibly rather than being kind of required to come into an office. And of course as the a…there’s the significant environmental benefits of the changes we’ve made. So there is absolutely an ROI element, but it’s that kind of wider spectrum that we’re really pleased with and proud of.

Guy Nadivi: Automation, AI, and chat bots all play a role in your digital transformation. Can you talk a bit about some of the ways those technologies will be used going forward?

Mark Gray: Yeah, sure. I think we spent a lot of time over the past three years or so, putting the basics in play. Removing a lot of challenges of kind of the legacy systems of the past, and kind of future-proofing everything. That enables the kind of technologies that you’ve just referred to really add value. So with regard to automation, we’re looking at taking some of the kind of manual processes that our colleagues do on a day to day basis and automating those.

Mark Gray: So, an example might be when police send us a piece of evidence into the Prosecution Service or a new case, they flag whether the suspect in question is expected to plead guilty or not guilty to the charge. Now of course we never know for sure what they’re likely to do, but that informs the kind of the extent, the path down which it goes. They’re listed in different courts depending on that. And, similarly, as you would expect, the level of kind of preparation for the first hearing is different if you’re expecting a Not Guilty plea compared to a Guilty plea.

Mark Gray: And so one of the processes that we go through therefore is a crosschecking process that says which box has the police officers ticked, is that kind of consistent with where the court have listed this case? And also with the evidence that’s actually presented. Does the statement from the defendant kind of corroborate that? That is a very manual process, and one that could be relatively easily undertaken by a kind of robotic process. So we’re looking at things like that. With regard to chat bots. I think we think those will be primarily colleague-facing. So providing our users with better self-service options around the technology-related issues, queries, ideas.

Mark Gray: And with regard to artificial intelligence, one of the big changes and challenges that’s occurred in law enforcement over recent years is the enormous proliferation of digital evidence. So if there’s a crime or an alleged crime now, it’s likely that there’s closed circuit television of it. It’s likely that any witnesses may well have taken out their cell phone and recorded the footage of that. It’s likely that there’s social media interactions involving the participants. None of these were around kind of 5, 10 years ago.

Mark Gray: And so the volumes of data are just have just increased exponentially. And so actually where we see AI playing a role is in helping both the police officers, and the investigators, but also our prosecuting lawyers to kind of wade through those volumes of digital evidence, and to kind of assist their review. We don’t think that criminal justice is a space where it would be right certainly in the foreseeable future, for kind of technology to take the place of the reviewing lawyer. But we think that there’s a good opportunity there to make those people’s lives easier, which in turn should improve the quality of outcomes flowing through the justice system.

Guy Nadivi: And yet I imagine there was a lot of resistance to change at Crown Prosecution Service, with some entrenched mindsets advocating for maintaining the status quo of paper. How did you overcome psychological and cultural impedance to your efforts?

Mark Gray: It’s a good question. I think the key thing has been trying to show people the benefits. And I mean that on a really kind of day-to-day granular level. It’s a benefit that you no longer need to, you don’t need to get in a taxi or bring your car to go to do the 5-minute walk from the office to the court. Because actually you, you don’t need to carry four boxes of paper anymore. It’s a big benefit that through this process we’ve also, we’ve moved away from the local IT servers into kind of centralized, resilient platforms. Showcasing the times when actually one of our offices right now has experienced a flood. And the business impact of that three or four years ago would have been astronomical because there had been no functioning technology for that office. And no ability to access the paper for several weeks on end. Now it’s almost a non-event from a business continuity perspective.

Mark Gray: I think another thing to change this mindset is kind of is really, really listening to users. So kind of collaborative design. We built a network of digital champions across the country. So people are kind of hearing about these changes, not from me and my team who might be perceived to be in the kind of, in the proverbial ivory tower. But actually from their peers and colleagues who are genuinely experiencing the same things. I think that’s been really impactful. Another element about listening is kind of making sure we fixed the things that might be small technologically, but really annoying for users.

Mark Gray: So I’ll give you one example, if I may. Which is, when I arrived here, our remote access service was configured to timeout after 4 hours for security reasons. But of course, if you’re a prosecutor at court, you typically get there at 8:30 in the morning to prepare for the day’s hearings. And the morning session of court runs till one o’clock. So of course four hours – an incredibly annoying time out, because it’s right in the period where you’re standing up in court presenting your case. Little things like that. The technology change required to find the number four, delete it and put in a bigger number is trivial. But actually in terms of kind of winning people’s hearts and minds that’s been really impactful.

Mark Gray: But hey, it’s a really good question you’re asking. And I would say we haven’t got it all right. There’s absolutely more to do. And in particular we still need to make sure that those of our users who are not naturally digitally savvy. Who aren’t living kind of a digital life 24/7 as some of us do, that we don’t leave those colleagues behind. It’s really, really, really important.

Guy Nadivi: Given that your project broke a lot of ground in terms of how advanced a law enforcement agency’s IT operations can be, what impact has this digital transformation had on your ability to attract IT talent; compared to when you were primarily a paper-based organization?

Mark Gray: It’s a hard question because our whole set up is just completely different. It really is comparing apples and oranges. I guess, we have definitely found that we are more attractive to talent, because the opportunities are so much greater and frankly the scope of work is much more interesting. And we found both in attracting people from within the Crown Prosecution Service to come and work with the [inaudible 00:10:27], and in attracting people from across government, or from the private sector. We’ve definitely noticed that. It’s also of course much more demanding on our talent, both old and new. It’s much harder to manage a kind of, a dynamic mission critical environment than a relatively stable and unchanging sort of support system. So yeah, it’s definitely, the talent space definitely been a big sort of step up. And we’ve had to make sure that our whole processes and our set up and our people are ready to manage in a digital world.

Guy Nadivi: So looking back, what functions at CPS and the justice system in general were the most difficult to digitally transform?

Mark Gray: I guess it’s those that directly touch the wider public. In criminal justice there’s a really difficult balance to get between transformation and digitalization of processes, while making sure that justice is still served. Making sure that justice is still accessible to everyone. So all our major trials, our Crown Court trials are trial by jury. So there are 12 members of that jury and it’s really important that all 12 of those people are presented with the relevant information in a way that they find accessible. And so you can’t just kind of blaze ahead and replace all the paper with iPads, and expect that everyone on that jury can cope with that. And in fact I would say you talked about some of our paper savings, and the last real remaining vestige of paper in the criminal justice system is some of the kind of jury papers for exactly that reason.

Mark Gray: So I think, those bits that we can kind of directly control and work with our staff on are, for all the reasons you described earlier, are very challenging, but are easier than those bits that touch the public. I guess the other thing to say in the context of difficulty is the sort of technical infrastructure has been a real challenge. So we receive about a terabyte of multimedia evidence every single day. And so you can imagine there are all kinds of network architecture was of say five years ago, would not scale for anything like that. And so actually how we kind of had to re architect our whole infrastructure to accommodate that burden has been the, I guess the other big challenge along the way.

Guy Nadivi: Mark, I think a number of people would be curious. How has your digital transformation project affected CPS’ relationships with its IT service providers?

Mark Gray: Oh, I think the one word answer is massively. So we have through this process and through the kind of increased focus on digital, we have moved from what was essentially a single supplier outsourced model, to a multi supplier model supported by the kind of enhanced internal capability I was talking about earlier. And that internal capability both provides a large number of services directly, ad provides the kind of oversight layer across all the suppliers. And I think we’ve demanded much more flexibility, much more speed and agility. Much, much more volume of change from our suppliers than we had before, and of course that’s been a learning curve for them.

Mark Gray: In particular we’ve had one supplier who had been a very long standing and very, very positive relationship supplier. But that again, it’s a big shift from managing a business as usual, relatively stable service, particularly one that’s kind of a support for an organization to running one that’s fast changing, that’s transforming rapidly, that’s very dynamic. And it’s absolutely mission critical. If our case management system doesn’t work, then it’s no exaggeration to say that the criminal justice system of the country grinds to a halt. So, yeah it’s definitely, I guess made the supplier relationships and environment much more intense, much more competitive, and much more dynamic.

Guy Nadivi: What about the impact digital transformation has had on the organizational hierarchy at CPS? Is it still pretty centralized, or are you a flatter more agile agency now?

Mark Gray: That’s a tough question. I think – I don’t think it’s so much being about the hierarchy as such. But there has undoubtedly been that kind of significant cultural dimension to the change. And in particular, I think the kind of things like the managerial trust in people to how they manage their work. The ability for people to work remotely from their managers, is something that simply didn’t exist a few years ago. And actually that changes that relationship and those behaviors quite substantially. We’re now kind of seen across UK government as a leader, as a flagship for that kind of flexible, smarter working. Because we have kind of 90+ percent of our colleagues work remotely every quarter. And I don’t think it’s particularly changed the hierarchical structure, but it has definitely kind of changed the interpersonal dynamics. And getting that balance right between kind of, absolutely trusting people to work flexibly between judging them on therefore on their outputs and inputs. But also not losing all the benefits, and kind of cohesion associated with people being co-located.

Guy Nadivi: Mark you came to Crown Protection Services from the private sector. What was it like adjusting to the public sector?

Mark Gray: It was an interesting change. I mean my experiences is that every organization I’ve worked for has been quite markedly different. And that it’s not necessarily a public versus private split so much as an organizational dynamic split. That said, I guess if I was going to pick out a couple of big sorts of changes I noted when joining this organization. I think the biggest positive has been the phenomenal passion that people have for the end cause. So, whether you’re a frontline lawyer through to somebody working in a back office corporate function. Everybody is really passionate about doing a good job, because they recognize that, that makes the justice process better, which in turn makes the society in which we live in. And while of course in the private sector people are absolutely motivated by the company doing well, by generating shareholder value, perhaps by their own bonus or reward or whatever. That that kind of underlying passion for the cause, it’s something that I’ve really noticed.

Mark Gray: I guess on the sort of flip side, I think a big part of what I needed to do is to make people believe that transformation at pace was possible. Some of the stereotypes are undoubtedly true. We have cut through some of the unnecessary bureaucracy where it’s not serving a purpose, and just making people realize that actually when you pull out the stops, you can make things happen in a very transformational way at pace. And, almost not constraining themselves. They’re really, really pushing and really driving things through. I think that’s been the biggest thing that perhaps wasn’t there so much as a natural default in the public sector. That we’ve really kind of worked on that turbocharging the transformation.

Guy Nadivi: Mark, were there any skills you found were most effective at automating IT operations, particularly in a public sector organization?

Mark Gray: I think there’s a few. I think to exactly the previous point and I think drive and energy had been really key skills, and I guess tenacity relatedly. So it’s making sure that I and my team’s really push things through, and follow up on things. And if things aren’t moving then kind of systematically unblock them rather than just saying, “Ah, well I’ve sent an email to Fred, and so therefore I’ve done my bit.” It’s actually, if Fred isn’t coming back, or if it’s stuck somewhere down the line, it’s kind of really chasing that through, really following through.

Mark Gray: I think there’s undoubtedly a skill of kind of juggling many things at the same time. And sort of judging what the most important is, and where the relative priorities lie. And taking risk-based judgments, risk in all sense of the word. I think that’s been really important.

Mark Gray: I think there’s something about recognizing the limitations of what it can do as well. So I touched on earlier on the judgment of prosecutors as a good example of things that can’t easily be automated. And similarly some of the discussion around where jurors, what the requirements of jurors. I think, frankly there’s nothing more irritating to an organization than somebody who kind of blazes in and promises everything, and actually recognizing that there are some genuine constraints. And if those constraints aren’t genuine, we’ll knock them down. If they are genuine then we’ll work with people to kind of work through those.

Mark Gray: Which I guess brings me to the final skill that springs to mind, which is that kind of collaboration and communication. Both kind of within our organization and externally. Most organizations have complex networks of stakeholders. My experience so far is that the government has particularly complex networks of stakeholders. And actually that kind of working collectively and collaboratively is really, really key.

Guy Nadivi: For the CIOs, CTOs, and other IT executives listening in, what is your one big must have piece of advice you’d like them to take away from our discussion, with regards to digitally transforming an organization?

Mark Gray: Good question. I think I’d come back on the final point I’ve just made. However much you think it’s about the technology, it’s not really about the technology, it’s all about the people. So listen to them. Explain honestly to them, both the good and the bad. When things go wrong, don’t hide. Tell them what’s gone wrong or why, and why won’t it happen again. And bring them along that journey with you. Because the technology side of things is one lens, but true transformation requires the people in the culture of an organization to shift as well.

Guy Nadivi: Excellent. All right. Looks like that’s all the time we have for on this episode of Intelligent Automation Radio.

Guy Nadivi: Mark, thank you for being our first guest from law enforcement and providing us with a perspective on digitally transforming law enforcement IT. It’s been great having you on the show.

Mark Gray: It’s been a pleasure.

Guy Nadivi: Mark Gray Digital Transformation Director for Crown Prosecution Service. Thank you for listening everyone and remember, don’t hesitate, automate.



Mark Gray

Digital Transformation Director at Crown Prosecution Service.

Mark joined the Crown Prosecution Service in July 2016, where he leads the digital & technology directorate and is also responsible for commercial and estates. He is driving the CPS’ 2020 Digital Strategy – priorities include investments in new hardware, software and infrastructure; migration to cloud of a wide range of services; building partnerships across the criminal justice system; and contract disaggregation.  He previously worked in a variety of private sector roles, most recently at Barclays Bank.  Away from work, he has a 4 year old son, a one year old daughter and is a keen football supporter, chess player and curry eater!

Mark can be found at:

LinkedIn:                 https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-gray-38b65285/

Quotes

“…the move to digital has enabled people to work much more flexibly rather than being kind of required to come into an office.”

"We don't think that criminal justice is a space where it would be right certainly in the foreseeable future, for kind of technology to take the place of the reviewing lawyer. But we think that there's a good opportunity there to make those people's lives easier, which in turn should improve the quality of outcomes flowing through the justice system.

“We have cut through some of the unnecessary bureaucracy where it's not serving a purpose, and just making people realize that actually when you pull out the stops, you can make things happen in a very transformational way at pace.”

“I think, frankly there's nothing more irritating to an organization than somebody who kind of blazes in and promises everything, and actually recognizing that there are some genuine constraints. And if those constraints aren't genuine, we'll knock them down. If they are genuine then we'll work with people to kind of work through those.”

About Ayehu

Ayehu’s IT automation and orchestration platform powered by AI is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by hundreds of major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe.

GET STARTED WITH AYEHU INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION & ORCHESTRATION  PLATFORM:

News

Ayehu NG Trial is Now Available
SRI International and Ayehu Team Up on Artificial Intelligence Innovation to Deliver Enterprise Intelligent Process Automation
Ayehu Launches Global Partner Program to Support Increasing Demand for Intelligent Automation
Ayehu wins Stevie award in 2018 international Business Award
Ayehu Automation Academy is Now Available

Links

Episode #1: Automation and the Future of Work
Episode #2: Applying Agility to an Entire Enterprise
Episode #3: Enabling Positive Disruption with AI, Automation and the Future of Work
Episode #4: How to Manage the Increasingly Complicated Nature of IT Operations
Episode #5: Why your organization should aim to become a Digital Master (DTI) report
Episode #6: Insights from IBM: Digital Workforce and a Software-Based Labor Model
Episode #7: Developments Influencing the Automation Standards of the Future
Episode #8: A Critical Analysis of AI’s Future Potential & Current Breakthroughs
Episode #9: How Automation and AI are Disrupting Healthcare Information Technology
Episode #10: Key Findings From Researching the AI Market & How They Impact IT
Episode #11: Key Metrics that Justify Automation Projects & Win Budget Approvals
Episode #12: How Cognitive Digital Twins May Soon Impact Everything
Episode #13: The Gold Rush Being Created By Conversational AI
Episode #14: How Automation Can Reduce the Risks of Cyber Security Threats
Episode #15: Leveraging Predictive Analytics to Transform IT from Reactive to Proactive
Episode #16: How the Coming Tsunami of AI & Automation Will Impact Every Aspect of Enterprise Operations
Episode #17: Back to the Future of AI & Machine Learning – SRI International’s Manish Kothari
Episode #18: Implementing Automation From A Small Company Perspective – IVM’s Andy Dalton
Episode #19: Why Embracing Consumerization is Key To Delivering Enterprise-Scale Automation – Broadcom’s Andy Nallappan
Episode #20: Applying Ancient Greek Wisdom to 21st Century Emerging Technologies
Episode #21: Powering Up Energy & Utilities Providers’ Digital Transformation with Intelligent Automation & Ai
Episode #22: A Prominent VC’s Advice for AI & Automation Entrepreneurs

Follow us on social media

Twitter: twitter.com/ayehu_eyeshare

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/ayehu-software-technologies-ltd-/

Facebook: facebook.com/ayehu

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ayehusoftware

Disclaimer Note

Neither the Intelligent Automation Radio Podcast, Ayehu, nor the guest interviewed on the podcast are making any recommendations as to investing in this or any other automation technology. The information in this podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please do you own due diligence and consult with a professional adviser before making any investment

4 Ways Digital Transformation will Impact IT Support

The IT help desk, as it once existed, has changed. Driving that evolution has been the changing demands and expectations of digital customers. Simply put, digital is revolutionizing the world of IT support and service. These newer and more complex requirements of digital customers (which include employees) are causing IT teams to re-evaluate what they have to offer in terms of support and capabilities. If your organization or team is at a similar crossroads, here are four key areas on which to focus. 

IT Support Strategies

Regardless of whether your IT service desk happens to support a company of ten or a multi-location, enterprise level organization, the time to start thinking digital is now. A great place to begin is by uncovering how employees have evolved into so-called “digital consumers” and, more significantly, how this evolution has changed the expectations they have of IT support.

To do this, evaluate the gap between your current situation and those changing expectations. In particular, look at your current channels of support. Poll employees to determine whether they feel the current channels they are using to contact IT support are sufficient and effective. Figure out what channels they might prefer. Also, examine common customer use cases and needs. Then, use this information to develop a strategy that incorporates newer, more innovative support channels (like self-service chatbots and virtual support agents).

Operating Models

How does your IT service desk engage with customers? The focus here should be more on this approach as opposed to best practices and ITSM processes. To bring your operating models in line with digital transformation, ask yourself and your team the following questions:

  • Is your approach to IT support adequately in line with your realistic business needs and expectations? For example, what is the overall goal? Cutting IT support costs? Minimizing lost time and revenue at a business level? Understand your objectives and align your strategy accordingly.
  • Do your IT support agents understand “personas” of its customers (i.e. the common characteristics and behaviors they share)? Do your operational practices accurately reflect these personas?
  • How does your IT support desk measure success? Is it primarily related to how the IT service desk has helped and/or improved customer and business operations?

Once you’ve answered these questions, use the data you’ve gathered to identify any and all disconnects between IT support status quo and the actual needs and desires of both the customer as well as the business as a whole. These gaps are where changes must be made.

IT Support Technologies

Without question, the future of IT support will rely heavily on automation. In fact, newer technologies have already made it possible for organizations to augment their human workforce by leveraging ever-improving artificial intelligence capabilities. With these advanced technologies deployed in the right areas, IT support teams are able to more effectively deliver on the increasing demands of digital customers.

Whether your service desk is already leveraging virtual support agents or is planning to in the near future, it’s important to ask the right questions. In particular:

  • Are your virtual agents being used to their fullest potential?
  • Are your virtual support agents being employed at the right points during the customer journey?
  • Do end-users feel that the VSAs improve their support experience?
  • Have you established a robust and accurate knowledge-base from which the VSAs can draw?

This last point is key, as virtual IT support will only be as good as the data behind it. That being said, creating an environment that blends high-tech automation with the human touch of IT support agents will position your organization for greater success.

IT Support Staff

The question of whether human service desk agents will be assisted, augmented and possibly even replaced by virtual support agents is no longer an “if,” but rather a “when.” Getting employees onboard with the concept of artificial intelligence isn’t always easy, especially those L1 agents who view automation as a threat to their livelihood. But it’s essential for an organization of today to remain competitive tomorrow.

Educate your IT support team on the value and benefits that AI has to offer. Make it about them – how AI will make their lives easier, enable them to perform more meaningful work, provide an opportunity to learn new skills and make themselves more marketable, etc. – not just about the company. And start investing in your current workforce. Identify champions of the cause and reskill them so they’ll be ready to face the digital future with confidence. Get them excited about the possibilities that lie ahead!

There is no longer any doubt. IT support as we know it today is changing. Only those organizations that are willing to adapt and evolve their strategies, models, technologies and people alongside those changes will make it through unscathed.

Want to experience the power of artificial intelligence for your IT support team? Try Ayehu NG absolutely free for 30 full days. Click here to download your free trial.

Want better self-service IT adoption? Try these 4 tips.

Many individuals (and even entire teams) mistakenly believe that self-service IT is something that threatens their livelihood. To the contrary, providing employees the control over their technology usage can make the job of IT much easier and more efficient. In other words, it’s a good thing, not something to fear and resist. So, how can a forward-thinking professional convince the powers-that-be that adopting intelligent automation is a step in the right direction?

Focus on the needs of the end-user.

The first part of the process involves identifying what needs end-users face that the IT department is responsible for fulfilling. This could include everything from simple password resets to entire user setups for new employees. As these needs are identified, they should be built out into what’s known as a self-service IT portfolio. The second part of the process involves determining the actions required in order to deliver these services. This will make up the service catalog.

Standardize and assign value.

With self-service automation, it’s important to ensure that any and all services and workflows being automated are as standardized as possible. Otherwise, you could end up automating broken processes, which will not only not help but could actually harm your overall business operations. It’s also important to assign a clear price/performance to each item in your service portfolio and catalog. This provides insight into the true value of the self-service IT activities.

Sell the benefits to each group.

If you want everyone – from the end-users to the IT team – to jump on the intelligent automation bandwagon, you have to demonstrate the actual benefits each group will achieve as a result. For instance, show employees how much more quickly they can get their needs taken care of without having to rely on someone from the help desk. At the same time, show IT personnel the time and effort they’ll be saving by eliminating these routine, repetitive tasks from their workload.

Start small and work from there.

You can’t expect a huge change such as self-service IT adoption to happen overnight. The process will take time and involve researching various automation platforms to determine which one best suits the particular needs of your business and then testing that tool before rolling out a full implementation. Start by automating one small area, such as password resets, and then work from there. Your service portfolio and catalog can provide the blueprint of what areas to automate in which order.

If you’re thinking of adopting intelligent automation to create a more consumer-style, self-service IT environment for your employees, it’s important to recognize that these things take time. Following the steps listed above can make the process go much more smoothly and help achieve the buy-in and support needed from others across the organization.

Ready to try intelligent, self-service automation? Click here to start your free trial.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Episode #22: A Prominent VC’s Advice for AI & Automation Entrepreneurs – BGV’s Anik Bose

August 1 2019    Episodes

Episode #22: A Prominent VC’s Advice for AI & Automation Entrepreneurs

In today’s episode of Ayehu’s podcast we interview Anik Bose – General Partner of Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV).

Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player in the history of professional hockey, was once asked how he had such an uncanny ability during games to be at the right place at the right time.  He responded, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”  That quote more than any other defines the objective of every venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, many of whom are skating towards Automation, AI, and Machine Learning.  It’s a pretty good bet then that in the years ahead, that’s where the puck is going to be, and also where the most goals are likely to be scored.

To get an insider’s perspective on how VC’s view the opportunities these advances represent, we turn to Anik Bose, General Partner of Benhamou Global Ventures.  Anik reveals to us what he believes will be the biggest disruptions we’ll see in three, five, & 10 years from now.  He also shares his advice to entrepreneurs on what VC’s look for when investing in startups, as well as what entrepreneurs should look for in a venture capital firm.



Guy Nadivi: Welcome everyone. My name is Guy Nadivi and I’m the host of Intelligent Automation Radio. Our guest on today’s episode is Anik Bose, General Partner of Benhamou Global Ventures, usually referred to simply as BGV. BGV is an early-stage technology investment fund headquartered in Silicon Valley. Their portfolio focuses on digital transformation software startups led by entrepreneurs seeking to disrupt traditional markets in cybersecurity, mobility and internet of things, and the cloud.

Guy Nadivi: There’s so much investment activity right now in these three sectors that we thought it would be interesting to speak with BGV’s leadership and get their insider perspective on how they see automation, in particular, disrupting these markets. A disclosure for our audience, BGV is an investor in Ayehu, the sponsor of this podcast. Anik, welcome to Intelligent Automation Radio.

Anik Bose: Thank you, Guy.

Guy Nadivi: Anik, given that BGV’s focus is on early-stage startups, you get to experience a glimpse of the future long before most of us. I’m curious, what do you think are going to be some of the biggest disruptions we’ll see in three, five, or 10 years from now with respect to automation, AI, machine learning, et cetera?

Anik Bose: Sure. I think the first few points. The first I believe is that we’re going to see ideas starting to become action. In our discussions with industry execs, C-level execs, we have heard that almost 80% of the folks indicate that intelligent automation is on the agenda for implementation. I believe there was a report by KPMG that stated that currently the spend on intelligent automation is about $12.4 billion dollars, and they expect this number to grow significantly almost 10x by 2025.

Anik Bose: The second thing we also believe that’s going to be coming is unstructured data is going to be one of the biggest challenges. What I mean by that is when you look at data that exists outside the confines of forms and fields, data such as multimedia, could be image, audio, video, could be text…Making the best use of this data is going to be critical task for companies and their technology partners. So we believe that startups that are able to really handle both structured and unstructured data will be the folks who are driving significant value creation. Obviously, machine learning and artificial intelligence plays a big, big role in this.

Anik Bose: The third thing is we believe that there’s also going to be a trend towards more and increasing M&A in the intelligent automation field. I think SAP in November announced the acquisition of a French machine-learning RPA company called Contextor SAS. I think one of the rationales that SAP gave was that this would really accelerate development of their Leonardo machine learning portfolio. I believe that we’re going to see more of these kind of deals over the coming five, ten years.

Anik Bose: Then, the last thing I would say about that is that we look at organizations that embrace intelligent automation to really transform their workforce. We believe that it will not only affect business processes but will also create new jobs and titles for automation experts. This is still to be determined, but we believe we will see formal tasks of RPA training and development and managers coming about. So those are some of the big trends that we see.

Guy Nadivi: So with all this activity, which industries do you think stand to be disrupted the most from some of the early-stage startups you’re investing in?

Anik Bose: I think if you think about adoption and where the disruption is going to come, I believe that the financial services sector is going to be an early adopter of intelligent automation. So I believe that that’s going to be one of the big, big areas. I also believe that the retail sector is already being disrupted by the shift to online and the makes of what’s called Omni-Channel, which is both online and brick-and-mortar. We believe that retail will also be another sector where this is going to have an impact. Lastly, but not least, I believe healthcare will be the third area that will see some disruption.

Guy Nadivi: BGV’s website states that you “seek entrepreneurs digitizing assets disrupting traditional markets in line with our thesis.” Can you please elaborate a bit for our audience on what BGV’s thesis is?

Anik Bose: Sure. We’re 100% focused on B2B, investing in enterprise software startups. Our thesis is looking for companies that we call our enterprise 4.0 companies. These companies will share several common traits. First, they’ll be powered by AI on the inside. It could be voice, could be computer vision, could be robotics. Second, we believe that they will be business-outcome driven, which is either driving productivity, agility, or customer centricity, and the buyers will tend to be line-of-business people in enterprises. We believe that a lot of the use cases are going to be around intelligent automation, which is what we’re talking about in this podcast. And we also see that some of these companies will leverage a novel data set. Really, a business model that utilizes data as an asset to drive High ROI decisions in near real-time.

Anik Bose: Sometimes you’ll probably see that some of these use cases will be vertical use cases that are unique to certain industry segments. We talked about finance. We talked about retail. We believe that we will see increasingly those type of use cases that are vertical rather than horizontal showing up.

Anik Bose: A few examples of early-stage enterprise 4.0 companies from the BVG portfolio is a company by the name of Drishti. They basically combine computer vision with near real-time manufacturing cycle time data to address use cases such as manufacturing process visibility, quality, and line-balancing. We also have another portfolio company called Totango that utilizes AI and combining that with customer interaction and product user’s data to really accelerate customer success. So those are some examples of our international thesis.

Guy Nadivi: Okay, so let’s say I’m a Silicon Valley startup with a disruptive technology that employs automation, AI, machine learning, et cetera, and I can check all the boxes that make a startup technically compelling to an investor like BGV. What are the non-technology characteristics about my startup that you would want to see in order to make me appealing as a potential portfolio investment?

Anik Bose: I would say a strong team is the first thing. As a startup, one thing that’s for sure is whatever your plan is. You’re going to not make it, you’re going need to either beat it, or you’re going to miss it. We found that in our experience, strong entrepreneurs who can navigate a level of ambiguity, pivot and make changes, is absolutely critical to be successful. So we look for founders who not only have a compelling vision but they have some track record of execution.

Anik Bose: The second thing we look for also is some type of early customer validation. It can be PoC’s. It could be pilots, and sometimes if it’s Series A, customer orders. So those are two things we look for that are non-technology oriented to get us excited about an option, I think.

Guy Nadivi: Automation, AI, machine learning. These are buzz words that are getting a lot of press, a lot of interest, but are still not being universally embraced out there by organizations. What do you think are the likely long-term outcomes for organizations that don’t deploy those technologies?

Anik Bose: I believe that if you look at companies that have been leaders and look at, for example, the S&P 500, for example, and you look at 1990. You look at 2000. You look at 2010. You look at 2019. What you’ll see is there’s a very strong shift in who those companies are in the S&P Index. Folks like large, retail customers like Walmart used to be there in the early 2000. Now you’ve got Amazon. You had large, established industrial players like GE, and now you’ve got completely different players.

Anik Bose: So we believe that there’s going to be a lot of value erosion for organizations that don’t embrace intelligent automation and advanced technologies. It’s kind of been proven out with time. Whether it’s a loss of market share or customers or shareholder value, we believe those are things that have happened in the past, and those are things that will continue to happen. It’s just that in the past, the big technology shifts were on cloud, and they were on basically shifting to different business models, especially in retail. Looking and going from brick and mortar to online. We believe similar things are going to be driven with intelligent automation.

Guy Nadivi: So clearly there’s a lot of momentum for these technologies, but I’m curious if you see any economic, legal, or political headwinds that could slow the adoption of these technologies? Or at this point, are they basically runaway trains that can’t be stopped?

Anik Bose: I believe there is a significant amount of market education that needs to happen because there are some headwinds. You know, people seek to write articles that are very extreme-scenario oriented where there’s fears that automation will completely displace humans and eliminate most jobs. I’ll give an example. People believe that robots will eliminate all manufacturing jobs. Here’s a data point for you. Today there’s roughly about 330 million folks all over the world, people involved in manufacturing jobs, and there’s only half a million robots. So it’s a long, long time before anything that can even happen in theory.

Anik Bose: But more importantly, we believe this will simply not be the case as these technologies will really increase the need for human augmentation and new jobs with humans to be in the loop and leverage this type of data to make better decisions. So that is something where a lot of market education will need to be done by startups or technology vendors who are playing in the specific markets that are going to drive the disruption. To let the key constituents and ecosystem partners know how this is going to be a net-positive for the whole, as opposed to just completely displacing jobs and making it a very dystopian future.

Guy Nadivi: You mentioned market education, so let’s shift a bit to educational issues. With the direction you’re seeing technology going, what skills should people focus on acquiring in order to maximize their future success in this rapidly changing world we’re living in so that they won’t be put out on the streets by robots?

Anik Bose: I think there’s a very strong demand…I believe there’s a Gartner Report that came out where they projected that roughly 2.3 million jobs will be created by 2020 around AI-positional skills. I believe job titles like Machine Learning Engineer, Computer Vision Engineer, Data Scientist, we know today are among the most in demand AI jobs. I think technical skills around machine learning, around Python, Hadoop, data science. These are things that will continue to increase in importance and demand over time.

Guy Nadivi: For the entrepreneurs out there listening in, Anik, what is the one big must-have piece of advice you’d like them to take away from our discussion with regards to landing that investment that would accelerate their success?

Anik Bose: Sure. What I would say Guy, is that building a business and a company, A) it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s very difficult. I think what’s really important for entrepreneurs is they should really focus on finding a VC partner who not only understands what it takes to build a business, means they have operating experience, but they can partner with an entrepreneur along a journey where there’ll be lots of ups and downs. It’s not all smooth sailing.

Anik Bose: My personal belief is operating expertise can help founders avoid making mistakes. That makes a big difference between success and failure. You will make mistakes, but hopefully you don’t make 10 big mistakes. Hopefully, you can get it with two or three mistakes. That would be my advice to entrepreneurs, to make sure that as they go through the process of raising money, that they really do their diligence on the VC firms and the partners who will be on the board, and really get a feel for are those the right people who can not only give them the money but also help them build a business and be their partner in crime, so to speak.

Guy Nadivi: Great insight from a true Silicon Valley insider. All right. Looks like that’s all the time we have for on this episode of Intelligent Automation Radio. Anik, thank you very much for being the first venture capitalist general partner we’ve ever had on the show. You’ve given us a lot to think about, and we’ve really enjoyed having you as our guest.

Anik Bose: All right. Thank you for taking the time and happy to contribute.

Guy Nadivi: Anik Bose, General Partner of Benhamou Global Ventures. Thank you for listening everyone, and remember, don’t hesitate. Automate.



Anik Bose

General Partner of Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV).

Anik Bose has 15 years of active venture capital and corporate development experience, with particular emphasis on transaction structuring and strategic planning, including 7 years as SVP, Corporate Development at 3Com Corporation, and 10 years as General Partner at Benhamou Global Ventures.

In his role as SVP, Corporate Development at 3Com he played a significant role in company strategy, managed a $250MM corporate venture fund and a team of 20 investment and business development professionals, spearheaded 20 venture capital investments and executed numerous spin out transactions as well as several large M&A transactions totaling over $1.4Bn in value.  His venture investments on behalf of 3Com Ventures (3CV) include – Mesh Networks, Parthus, Cicada Semiconductor, Microtune, ADMTek, Atrica, Intransa, Sheer Networks, Air Prime, Yipes, Silicon Wave and Healthetec.

In his role at BGV, Anik Bose is currently a General Partner and works closely with Eric Benhamou. He is very active in every portfolio company where he spearheaded the investment, and serves as board member of Cyberinc, WebScale and Blue Cedar Networks.

Anik Bose can be found at:

LinkedIn:                 https://www.linkedin.com/in/anikbose/

Twitter:                 https://twitter.com/BenhamouGlobalV

Quotes

“In our discussions with industry execs, C-level execs, we have heard that almost 80% of the folks indicate that intelligent automation is on the agenda for implementation. I believe there was a report by KPMG that stated that currently the spend on intelligent automation is about $12.4 billion dollars, and they expect this number to grow significantly almost 10x by 2025.”

"…we look at organizations that embrace intelligent automation to really transform their workforce. We believe that it will not only affect business processes but will also create new jobs and titles for automation experts.”

“We believe that we will see increasingly those type of use cases that are vertical rather than horizontal showing up.”

“I believe that if you look at companies that have been leaders and look at, for example, the S&P 500, for example, and you look at 1990. You look at 2000. You look at 2010. You look at 2019. What you'll see is there's a very strong shift in who those companies are in the S&P Index. Folks like large, retail customers like Walmart used to be there in the early 2000. Now you've got Amazon. You had large, established industrial players like GE, and now you've got completely different players.”

“…we believe that there's going to be a lot of value erosion for organizations that don't embrace intelligent automation and advanced technologies. It's kind of been proven out with time. Whether it's a loss of market share or customers or shareholder value, we believe those are things that have happened in the past, and those are things that will continue to happen.”

About Ayehu

Ayehu’s IT automation and orchestration platform powered by AI is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by hundreds of major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe.

GET STARTED WITH AYEHU INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION & ORCHESTRATION  PLATFORM:

News

Ayehu NG Trial is Now Available
SRI International and Ayehu Team Up on Artificial Intelligence Innovation to Deliver Enterprise Intelligent Process Automation
Ayehu Launches Global Partner Program to Support Increasing Demand for Intelligent Automation
Ayehu wins Stevie award in 2018 international Business Award
Ayehu Automation Academy is Now Available

Links

Episode #1: Automation and the Future of Work
Episode #2: Applying Agility to an Entire Enterprise
Episode #3: Enabling Positive Disruption with AI, Automation and the Future of Work
Episode #4: How to Manage the Increasingly Complicated Nature of IT Operations
Episode #5: Why your organization should aim to become a Digital Master (DTI) report
Episode #6: Insights from IBM: Digital Workforce and a Software-Based Labor Model
Episode #7: Developments Influencing the Automation Standards of the Future
Episode #8: A Critical Analysis of AI’s Future Potential & Current Breakthroughs
Episode #9: How Automation and AI are Disrupting Healthcare Information Technology
Episode #10: Key Findings From Researching the AI Market & How They Impact IT
Episode #11: Key Metrics that Justify Automation Projects & Win Budget Approvals
Episode #12: How Cognitive Digital Twins May Soon Impact Everything
Episode #13: The Gold Rush Being Created By Conversational AI
Episode #14: How Automation Can Reduce the Risks of Cyber Security Threats
Episode #15: Leveraging Predictive Analytics to Transform IT from Reactive to Proactive
Episode #16: How the Coming Tsunami of AI & Automation Will Impact Every Aspect of Enterprise Operations
Episode #17: Back to the Future of AI & Machine Learning – SRI International’s Manish Kothari
Episode #18: Implementing Automation From A Small Company Perspective – IVM’s Andy Dalton
Episode #19: Why Embracing Consumerization is Key To Delivering Enterprise-Scale Automation – Broadcom’s Andy Nallappan
Episode #20: Applying Ancient Greek Wisdom to 21st Century Emerging Technologies
Episode #21: Powering Up Energy & Utilities Providers’ Digital Transformation with Intelligent Automation & Ai

Follow us on social media

Twitter: twitter.com/ayehu_eyeshare

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/ayehu-software-technologies-ltd-/

Facebook: facebook.com/ayehu

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ayehusoftware

Disclaimer Note

Neither the Intelligent Automation Radio Podcast, Ayehu, nor the guest interviewed on the podcast are making any recommendations as to investing in this or any other automation technology. The information in this podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please do you own due diligence and consult with a professional adviser before making any investment