In perhaps the ultimate cool endorsement, last week at WWDC Apple announced optical character recognition will be embedded in iOS 15. Named LiveText OCR, Apple describes it as “secure on-device intelligence to help you discover more in your photos, quickly find what you’re looking for, and relive special moments.”
Intelligent Process Manaagement
Move over, machine learning, here come the deep learning algorithms. We predict that deep learning models will disrupt the status quo of document classification over the next 12 – 24 months, as customers discover that they can train an AI classifier with as few as five samples and deploy it in a matter of hours. Without the need for Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or IBM, and without the traditional massive compute costs and data sets associated with Deep Learning to date. Time will tell if we are right or not, but change is on the horizon.
The MyInvenio deal follows closely on the heels of IBM’s acquisition of Brazilian RPA vendor WDG and add’s yet more practical functionality to its growing Cloud Pak services. Despite IBM being one of the largest IT vendors, its work in moving advanced automation to the cloud has received less attention than one might expect.
Today SAP announced that it is to acquire process intelligence vendor Signavio for $1.2B. Considering Signavio’s revenues were around $100m, and it had raised almost $230m in funding, that’s a high price to pay. But is such a high price justified, and why would SAP contemplate paying so much in the first place?
But, here’s the thing, a couple of years ago, everyone was talking about AI, but few were doing it. This past year things changed fast; now, there is a mad rush to embrace AI or get left behind. But its easier said than done, AI tools, models, and libraries are readily available, but skills, knowledge of specific user needs, and good data are not.
Software companies, and analysts alike, love to come up with unique product positions, and categories, that enable them to stand out from their competition. Put a bunch of related capabilities together in a box and give it a catchy name. Hey, presto! Congratulations, you just invented a new market and, guess what, you’re the King.
Whenever we discuss trends, the conversations inevitably turn to the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in process automation and robotic process automation (RPA). Frankly, I’ve found that most vendors latch on to the idea but have very little substance behind their words in terms of strategy and product roadmaps.
Increasingly, my colleague, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, and I are finding substantial convergence and common ground in our coverage areas. (Alan covers blockchain, content, compliance, and AI/ML, and I cover digital process automation, RPA, process mining, and customer experience.) The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing this trend even harder as companies struggle to get their arms around documents, tasks, processes, commerce, and customers so they can deliver products and services more rapidly across ever-morphing supply chains.