End of year reflection by Erik Leung

The Year That Was 2021 – A Reflection

December arrives once more, bringing a multitude of changes and new possibilities lying in store for the next year. Yet another year has passed with its ups and downs – an innovative mix of new AI solutions, product upgrades, improved operations, and of course branching out in different industries and sectors. 

2021 was no different than the year before if I take the excitement into account, for everything that we have worked for. The year before 2021 was about creating a holistic business automation solution – the Digital Employees. And we not only penetrated the market significantly with these powerful solutions but also started influencing the AI market gradually this year. 

 

Bringing Valuable Changes to the World of Artificial Intelligence  

For the past several years, when I talked to people having basic knowledge about AI, most times I could hear them speak was about chatbot technology. Yes, it’s true that the hype for chatbots has grown immensely since the past 4-5 years, and the disillusionment that it brings does carry several positive aspects. But only having a chatbot as an AI solution does not solve all the problems. 

Business requirements have gone ahead much further than just processing chats from customers and providing their answers. Businesses now want an overarching set of automation solutions that can not only handle chats, but also emails, documents FAQs, back-office systems, CRM systems, and more. This is where at Simplifai, we thought of expanding on the concept of omnichannel automation, especially through a focus on Emailbot and Documentbot from 2021 onwards. 

Now, if you ask me what does this all have to do with our achievements in 2021? Yes, it has everything to do with the disruption in the AI market caused by Simplifai. Perhaps the biggest achievement for us was to master the AI tech and make it available for people in user-friendly ways. And this was possible only through the Simplifai Studio – our one-stop platform for all your business automation requirements. Yes, I did mention last year about Digital Employees – a modular combination of Chatbot and Emailbot using decision engines, that provides business automation for a variety of tasks. But now this year we add to the mix, the Documentbot – an entirely new ballgame altogether. 

 

2021 – A successful year for the Digital Employee 

This year can certainly be remembered for the launch of our Documentbot and its penetration in the AI market, especially with our stable presence in this industry. This newest product was launched early in the year, and I’m still marveled by how smoothly it complements the Emailbot to handle documents. We had already proven our mettle in the case of Digital Employees working together. This is true especially with the maturing of Emailbot and stable operations in Simplifai Studio – where basically you can assemble all our products into a single digital solution. But, as 2021 pushed through riding on the setup of new offices in Norway and India, coupled with expansion in Europe and other countries, we found ourselves staring at a revolutionary product. In the future, we will not only improve the working mechanisms of Documentbot with Emailbot, but also enable a stable combination of Chatbot handling documents as well with the Documentbot. We might be even to combine two different Documentbots together and make them work on different tasks – that’s certainly a goal for the year ahead. 

It’s true that document automation has been there for the past 15 years. But the kind of document processing that we offer, no other AI competitor does the same. If you ask me what the single-most defining characteristic of the Documentbot differentiates us from the rest – I would say it’s the ability of its AI to classify documents, extract information, and archive documents, all without using templates. This template-free way of document interpretation propelled the concept of Digital Employee to even greater heights, packed with the ability to provide an allrounder, omnichannel automation for businesses. 

This brings me back to the hype of chatbot that I mentioned earlier, and I apply the same principles to the Documentbot. Document processing will soon plateau in a few years as more solutions come into the market. It’s only a matter of time before Documentbot and its processes can be individually integrated with other bots as a support system. But after 10 years if anyone looks back and tries to find about where it all started – then I’m utmost proud to say it once again – it all started in 2021. 

 

The Way Forward for 2022  

As I mentioned before, the trend that lies ahead for 2022 is omnichannel automation. It’s fascinating in a way to me despite being in this industry for many years now, because the more I see it like in the form of a vision, the more it appears like an art and not just another piece of technology. 

Businesses today want complete, enterprise packages of tech that resolve most of their problems simultaneously. The path that Simplifai has chosen to thrive on, is one that can allow not only individual products to get matured, but also bring in a holistic digital transformation. Using omnichannel automaton automation will see large-scale replication of manual processes across many workflow levels. Inter-transference of actions handled by different bots is also where I feel we could be headed. For example, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Chatbot receiving documents and processing them. Or maybe multiple Emailbots could be linked together to handle different email actions, that too by anyone who doesn’t even have experience in AI bot assembly. 

Another key trend that I feel is sure to explode is the interpretation of unstructured data using omnichannel automation – something that happened on an infrequent basis before. Using Intelligent Process Automation and Natural Language Processing, Simplifai will focus more on humans and machines working side-by-side. 

We have come a long way from just offering email or chat automation, and in 2021 have completed the product offering of all three bots and made them work together seamlessly. I expect this to pave the path towards another trend that I have noticed for a while now – to preserve the knowledge of a given industry and apply it in different domains. This manner of facilitating transfer learning about our AI solutions in 2022 is a game-changer I’m personally looking forward to in 2022. 

 

On this note, I bring this reflection to a close and hope that it provided you with some insights about Simplifai and where are headed soon. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, as I am off to learn more about this beautiful world of Artificial Intelligence and carve out new roads.

 

 

Erik Leung, COO

 

Erik Leung,
COO,
Simplifai AS

 

Les mer:

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