I was on location at Automation Anywhere Imagine in Austin, Texas, this week. In this video, I speak with Ankur Kothari, co-founder, chief customer and strategy officer, Automation Anywhere. We talked about customer trends, increasing productivity, and the role intelligent automation and generative AI will play in businesses moving forward.
Automation Anywhere is on the Acceleration Economy Top 10 Shortlist of AI/Hyperautomation Enablers.
00:53 — Ankur explains his title, which unites “customer” and “strategy”. He says it’s because Automation Anywhere wanted to come up with well-grounded strategies that put the customer at the center of every decision that is made. Having the same person do both connects the dots.
01:42 — Learning from customers along with making sure that that learning permeates into every part of the organization helps Automation Anywhere innovate fast.
02:27 — The company’s report, “Automation Now & Next,” which started about four years ago, asks customers, “What are [you] thinking now? And what do you think happens next?”
03:36 — This year’s report had a complete blend of opinion (60% U.S.-based, 40% outside; CXOs, VPs, and directors; business and IT). The report showed three trends. Everyone wanted to deliver better business outcomes and have a higher productivity gain. The second trend was generative AI (Gen AI). Everyone wanted an AI.
05:09 —The third trend was literally more than 80% of the customers were looking at scaling the program enterprise-wide.These three trends became the basis of Automation Anywhere’s three predictions for the future.
06:53 — The three trends form a why, what, and how. It’s not only normal productivity gains and savings, but larger business value on top of the mind of CXOs. The second trend is the “what” —automation and AI combination. The third, scaling is how you’ll go about it.
08:04 — If you look at most departments where intelligent automation and generative AI their executives want to do more with less. This was accelerated by the pandemic. People wanted to do more with their time. The combination of wanting more productivity and a better employee experience is top of mind.
09:52 — Ankur gives an example of how automation benefits people and increases productivity. Workers don’t join healthcare saying, “I’m going to do paperwork.” The moment you automate those parts, you allow the healthcare worker to spend more time with patients. Patient care improves, and care workers are less stressed.
10:42 — When Gen AI swooped in, Automation Anywhere was building its Intelligent Automation platform, from discovering the process, to taking structured and unstructured data and digitizing it, automating it, putting it in the hands of hundreds of users in their application to co-pilots, managing it, etc. The best analogy is it was building a Tesla car and it got the supercharger with Gen AI.
12:23 — When the Gen AI wave started, people who were excited about questions getting answered. Business is not about asking questions. Business is about doing work. Combine that AI journey with automation and now you can not just ask questions, you can have the computer do work for you.
13:39 — In a year, Ankur hopes people are talking more about how they’re orchestrating work; how they’re doing this work differently; and how these copilots and assistants are changing the way people are wiring their work. The acceleration that happened in the consumer world will happen now in the business world.
14:44 — Another possibility for the future: Ankur follows football. Imagine if you could have all your analytics and reporting like the Wednesday morning papers. People cannot live without their live analytics in sports and entertainment, but somehow they’re okay with end-of-the-quarter reports in business.