We know customers are challenging businesses right now to create the very best experiences and to provide this, businesses need to understand exactly what they need in order to meet their expectations. The first step in the process is to build a fully-connected organization, but then what to do once you've pulled all of your information together?
This is where AI is a fundamental part of being hyper-connected. Connectivity is the only way to get the nuggets of information on customers that will inform the experiences they need. This connectivity means bringing together information from both in and outside of the business - from suppliers or distributors, for example. But to go through all of that data in order to unearth the right bit of insight in a timely fashion is practically impossible for a human to do. After all, businesses can have billions of data sets to look through. But insights need to happen fast if you want to beat the competition.
Best practices from the past will not serve the future here. It is no longer enough to be a fast follower, especially when technology is concerned. Beating the competition means being the first to make a shift. According to McKinsey, companies that are first to adopt new business technologies experience 3-year growth rates more than twice that of those who wait.
Shifting consumer expectations are constantly changing the rules, so businesses need to create an agile environment behind the scenes to keep up. It's an era of experimentation; and that means fast insights that can be acted on quickly and without a large investment needed each time the team wants to try something new.
We've invested heavily in this area ourselves, doubling the size of our AI lab in Reading. With the hub, we're accelerating innovation. Time is of the essence and we know AI can make everything so much faster, but we want to keep experimenting in order to help our customers take even more advantage of critical emerging technologies.
With AI in the equation, all organizational data can be analyzed in a matter of minutes - and it's that time saving that can help a company beat their competition with a new proposition. Take our work with Mutua Madrid Open. Last year, the Spanish tennis tournament became the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Premier WTA tournament to incorporate an AI-equipped chatbot to improve communication with tennis fans. Implemented with our Cloud Platform, the chatbot, named "MatchBot", used AI to maintain natural conversations that provided fans with information on the event, players, and results, as well as details on hospitality services, discounts on merchandise, ticket sales, access, and parking.
"MatchBot" could only come to life thanks to gaining critical insights into customer behaviours and preferences - and then being able to act on this data to serve suggestions back to the fans. The technology constantly evolves in order to keep improving the experience, so the next user asking the same question would get an even more refined response. That evolution requires connectivity between multiple applications such as HR, ERP, CRM and CX.
It's often this, AI's ability to go beyond the analysis - acting on any information it finds or, at least, giving recommendations to the company on the actions they can take from it that will differentiate in this market. Acting of its own accord can save the company even more valuable minutes and seconds in reacting to a situation.
All businesses need to look at how they can become more connected, but finding a way to get - and act on - insights from data will require analysis of a level above human capability. As we move forward in the experience economy, AI built in to company systems will be crucial to helping organizations make the most of their data so they can act on insights in the speedy way needed to create the best customer propositions. That's why we're continually investing in this area ourselves.