October 27, 2020 By Stefan Groschupf 3 min read

Digital transformation has been brewing for decades in the business world.

Now, it’s going full speed ahead and is one of the hottest topics in the virtual corner office, as companies chart their post-pandemic futures.

But digital transformation projects aren’t always easy — especially in industries like finance, where many companies have been slow to change on purpose. Rather than risk breaching trust with customers, banks, in particular, make tech choices that lock in security, scalability, and compliance. That’s why the behind-the-scenes backbone of the financial world (and many insurers, utilities, and large retailers, too) is still an enterprise server.

The trouble is, in a competitive environment, companies still need and want to incorporate cutting-edge innovations like automation and AI. For technical teams, upgrading legacy machines can require something of an archaeological dig, investigating how older software or hardware integrates with modern technology.

A bicycle for the modern workplace

I founded Automation Hero because I saw a way to free humans from tedious tasks that they don’t like doing but are critical to running a business. Take inputting sales data, for example. In my previous company, Datameer, I could see that the salespeople were brilliant at selling but dreaded the hours of CRM data entry that came with it. It was one of thousands of processes that we saw an opportunity to automate with AI.

At the same time, I realized that AI — while scary for some — is one of the most powerful tools available to humans. Rather than replacing humans or lording over them, AI should serve the human workforce, augmenting their intelligence on a number of levels. Steve Jobs once described the computer as a bicycle for the mind. Automation and AI are a kind of tandem bicycle for the modern workplace, helping humans speed past mundane tasks so they can spend more time in productive, creative grooves.

Automation Hero combines automation with AI in an end-to-end platform that lets enterprise companies eliminate repetitive, time-consuming tasks. In the end, this increases knowledge worker productivity, and those employees can drive more successful business outcomes.

We help all companies make data more actionable, but this is particularly important for legacy companies. A handful of large, well-established companies have been the backbone of Wall Street and the global economy, but now they’re being disrupted by digital challengers. Those upstarts, in many cases, have greater facility with data, using it to shape every product and process inside their companies. One of the things we help legacy companies do is both automate repetitive tasks and use data and AI to optimize processes at their core.

A tricky case

One of our clients — a German insurance organization — was running Linux on an IBM Power Systems virtual server and needed to speed up its document processing capabilities around payments. We knew we would have to move our product into a Power environment for the first time — something we thought would be extremely difficult and time-consuming.

We reached out to IBM for help. As it turned out, within hours, we had an enterprise server up and running in the IBM Power environment. Then, within a few days, we were able to implement our AI-powered optical character recognition solution. Where the organization once had a team of three to five people dedicated to processing thousands of payment forms in an office each week, it has now fully intelligently automated its document intake. The organization can reassign those staffers to other parts of the business, such as dealing with customers or investigating hardship cases.

Because the Automation Hero platform runs distributed in a cluster of servers, it can be scaled up to 1,000 servers to tackle even the most complex processes and biggest volumes. These servers can be in multiple environments (e.g., different clouds) to achieve highest reliability. And, unlike traditional automation tools, Automation Hero runs in the backend — meaning integrating with any kind of IT system, including enterprise servers, is as easy as a few clicks. It can be also governed, deployed, and monitored like any other modern IT system.

Additionally, because IBM Power Systems Virtual Server provides enterprise power infrastructure as a service, financial institutions can modernize at their own pace. Paying only for the resources consumed, with the ability to add intelligent automation and cognitive capabilities, opens up a new world for financial services organizations – it’s a huge leap forward in digital transformation.

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