In this Leadership Insights video podcast interview, Amanda Razani speaks with Claudia Michon, SVP of Product and Solutions Marketing at Automation Anywhere, about new product offerings announced at Imagine Austin 2023, as well as how business leaders can harness emerging AI technology.
Amanda Razani: Hello, I’m Amanda Razani, and I’m excited to be here today at Imagine Austin. It’s a wonderful event. There are a lot of people here, and I have Claudia Michon with me. She is the senior vice president of product and solutions marketing for Automation Anywhere. I’m excited to have you on the show.
Claudia Michon: Hi, Amanda. Thank you. So happy to be here.
Amanda Razani: So can you share some of the big product announcements that have been made today?
Claudia Michon: Yeah, so we had a lot of announcements that we just gave to all of our customers and our audience, and I know that sometimes it can be really overwhelming to get all of this great innovation at once. The two things that I’m most excited about – one is Automation Co-Pilot. We’ve now extended it to the automator experience. So if you’re a professional or a citizen developer, right inside of your automation workspace, your environment, you can use this generative AI-powered assistant to input natural language prompts and it will auto-generate an automation, a process flow that you can then go in and configure. Why this is so amazing is because it is just dramatically cut down the time for development, and a lot of our customers really struggle with massive backlogs of automation requests, not having enough developers to actually get through them. Now your developers can work faster.
In addition to that, you can now bring in even more business users and transform them into citizen developers because Automation Co-Pilot has just made it that much easier to create automations without code. So that’s the first one. Yes. Pretty awesome. And we have about 30 customers who are in preview right now who are actively using the product. The second is this is a true game changer and it’s really just the beginning of a massive wave innovation that will come very, very shortly. It’s a feature called Autopilot. So we have your Co-Pilot.
Now Autopilot can take you from process discovery and understanding what processes are taking place in your organization, prioritize all of those processes based on the potential ROI that each of them can deliver for your company once automated, and then take the top priority or top ROI opportunities and automatically transform those into draft processes that you can then configure and deploy very quickly across your organization.
So we’ve taken the automation development timeline and life cycle, we’ve truncated that and now we’ve taken the entire automation lifecycle from understanding what’s happening in your business to actually deploying in market and taken that from months to a matter of minutes. So pretty exciting and so many more exciting things, but those are really the two that jump out at me.
Amanda Razani: Absolutely, and I know speed, efficiency – those are things definitely valued in the enterprise and anything that can be automated is certainly appreciated. Are there some use case examples you can give from companies, or what are you hearing from companies as far as this technology?
Claudia Michon: So for our use cases, I mean really the sky is the limit, because those particular technologies are platform capabilities that developers can use to build anything that they want. What we’re really seeing in terms of generative AI and how it’s opened up the universe of what can now be automated that couldn’t be before. We are seeing a lot in financial services. Of course, there’s just such a massive amount of data and financial services. How do you harness all of that? You just saw a demo that features a financial services organization and how they’re tackling money laundering and being able to track all of those transactions using generative AI to make sure you’re capturing those anomalies and also make sure that you’re reporting all of that and meeting regulatory requirements. Another really exciting set of use cases is of course, in the customer service experience. That’s something that can just always be improved, as that becomes a true competitive differentiator for so many customers. How can you arm your human customer service agents with the information that they need to be able to respond as fast as possible? And now with generative AI, you can now auto-generate personalized replies and responses and make sure that you’re creating the best, most high impact customer service experience in the shortest time possible.
Amanda Razani: It does seem like generative AI is really taking the world by storm and has a place in almost every industry, and I’m fascinated by how the enterprise will harness AI in the future, and it seems to be advancing so quickly. How do companies stay on top of this advancing technology? And for those that have not yet found a way to harness it, what is a good starting point?
Claudia Michon: Yeah, that’s a great question. It’s a question that we get asked quite often. Every time you wake up, probably every time you refresh your browser, there’s a new AI technology, there’s a new large language model, and it’s really hard to know, okay, what do I do with this thing? Because it’s kind of raw material. Where we see our value to customers is being able to harness generative AI and really put it to work through the lens of automation. So you can’t just have AI sitting in a vacuum somewhere. You actually have to give it actions that it can follow through on in order to drive that productivity and that value. So that’s a really key piece of information that we want to make sure that we’re imparting on our customers.
The other thing is how do I get started? What do I do first? I think the short answer is just go, just pilot some use cases and get some learning, see what’s working, what’s not working, depending on your risk level as a company that will look different. We heard from Abbott Labs, and they’re really starting with use cases that are explicitly based on publicly available information. So looking at the internet and capturing data for investor relations purposes, looking at all the competitive landscape and consolidating that into a report that would normally take hours or days to capture, that’s all public information. So very, very low risk. The good news is that as you saw from our announcements, we have built in a variety of security and governance controls to ensure responsible use of AI. And as companies get more comfortable with generative AI and they can see, oh, we’ve got these use cases and we’re getting a great ROI, they can also feel confident that they can further deploy it knowing that they have the right safeguards and guardrails in place.
Amanda Razani: Wonderful. So as you’re going about this conference and you’re speaking to some of the different companies and business leaders, what are some of the main reasons that they attended this show today? Are there some pain points they’re trying to solve and just what are you hearing out there on the floor?
Claudia Michon: Yeah, I mean, I think the reality is there’s a lot of pain points across every industry and across every company, no matter what size they are. And it really comes down to the productivity gap. We know that there are less people in the workforce. We know that there’s less resources to hire massive teams, so how do you do more with less resources, with fewer resources? And that’s really what they’re looking for here. How can you help me fill that productivity gap but also maintain my competitiveness in a dynamic marketplace where all of us are trying to struggle to keep up with customer demands and inflation and all of these fun challenges we’re trying to deal with?
Amanda Razani: Certainly. Well, if there’s one key takeaway you’d like to leave our audience with, what is that?
Claudia Michon: It’s definitely just get started and start experimenting with generative AI. Find the advocates inside of your organization, the individuals who are excited to use it and harness it and have really great ideas, and then find sponsors who will give you the resources and the pathways to start using them within your own business teams and business units. And while you’re here and even after, imagine connect with a community of fellow automators that are all experimenting, all learning. That is the best way. There’s no better way to learn and be successful than to learn from your peers and learn from others.
Amanda Razani: Wonderful. It was so nice meeting you and I look forward to the rest of the event. It’s been really great and I’m learning a lot.
Claudia Michon: Great. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Amanda Razani: Thank you.