AI – Four Key Ingredients

Transforming raw data into intelligent action

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the great hope of software today: It can do everything.

At OpenText, we have developed a low cost, easy to use AI tool called OpenText Magellan. We want to make its application practical, so that it adds value instantly.

There are four key ingredients required for AI to add business value: digital maturity, data ecosystems, tools and techniques and use case scenarios.

AI – Four Key Ingredients

The first ingredient is digital maturity and this is wholly dependent on having mature processes. If the process is mature, chances are good that the data will be good. Mature processes, or proven processes, are based on data models and/or sources that are also mature. Quality data will provide better outcomes for AI. Once digital maturity is attained, you can develop a business case for an AI application. The business case should be based on existing processes, industry best practices and the positive impact or desired outcome.

With digital maturity in place, the next key requirement is the ability to connect to data ecosystems. To help our customers develop compelling AI algorithms, we have standardized our AI platform, OpenText Magellan, on Apache Spark so that it can “talk” to smart meters, other devices, applications like Google Maps or platforms like Enterprise Information Management (EIM) and Twitter.

Magellan transforms enterprise information into active data by enabling machine-assisted decision making, automation and business optimization. It brings information to life to empower the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise. Data can be collected, fed into other applications, algorithms applied, information exchanged through deep learning and insights discovered to improve decision-making.

It supports innumerable use cases on a cohesive infrastructure that is equipped for handling massive amounts of structured and unstructured data. It integrates voice, video, text, natural language processing and supports multiple data formats.

With Magellan, our customers own the data and the associated Intellectual Property (IP). We are currently having conversations with hundreds of our customers at varying stages of adoption of Magellan, from RFP to use-case analysis to proof of concept and deployment.

Customers are applying Magellan in inspiring ways to change the nature of work. In asset-intensive industries, our customers are using it for predictive maintenance and resource scheduling. HR departments are using it for hiring analysis to fill roles with the best candidates. Algorithms are being applied to help find ways to retain top talent based on measuring potential.

We have a public-sector customer with 100,000 employees. The company is fined if they fail to respond to an employee case in an allotted amount of time. In the past, they have been fined $15M a year. Now, the company  is using Magellan to prioritize employee cases. Their goal is to avoid these charges by applying an algorithm based on employee complaints to a content system that is integrated with Magellan.

Another example is a global wine company with 6,000 employees and $2B in revenue. They have standardized on Magellan to analyze their brand. Because of multi-tier distribution, the company often loses sight of the customer or where their product ends up. They may get some feedback from their website but ultimately, they lose control. As a result, the company cannot complete sales forecasting because they are unable to determine where customer demand comes from. The company is using Magellan to better understand the customer experience at every point in their distribution chain. Based on this, they can complete more accurate sales forecasting which will result in better Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP).

The outcomes of AI applications like Magellan and its algorithms will be significant: better efficiencies and performance, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings, more innovative products and services, smarter homes, factories and cities, improved health and a higher quality of life. Based on these, I encourage every company to place a no-regrets bet on AI and start today on the journey to becoming an Intelligent and Connected Enterprise.

The outcomes of AI are also inspiring new ways to work, which is the topic of my next blog in this series.

Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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