Digital

Rise of AI has seen adoption of automation tools across various sectors: Asheesh Mehra, AntWorks

AntWorks is a global, artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent automation (IA) company that creates new possibilities with data through digitisation, automation, and enterprise intelligence. As the world’s only integrated intelligent automation platform (IAP), powered by fractal science principles and pattern recognition, ANTstein digitises every type of data for forward-thinking companies looking to achieve straight-through processing.

Asheesh Mehra, Co-founder and Group CEO, AntWorks, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:

Asheesh MehraDQI Bureau | DATAQUEST

DQ: What is the role of business process automation today, and in cutting costs and increasing the productivity?

Asheesh Mehra: Today, automation of business processes has moved from being a nice-to-have to a necessity. Analyst firm, Forrester, predicted that business process automation can cut operating costs by up to 90%. With costs reduced by that amount, the automation can enable enterprises to spend more budget on innovation. In the introduction to its automation framework, Forrester says that it is ‘impossible to overstate the impact automation has on digital transformation’.

We can take an example of how we redefined mortgage processing process for Indecomm Global Services, a leading SaaS-based technology and services provider to the mortgage industry. Indecomm Global Services sought an integrated automation platform (IAP) to enable easy flow through, organizing, extracting, validating, standardizing data and documents.

In collaboration with AntWorks, Indecomm developed an industry point-solution by deploying a full-stack integrated automation platform with cognitive machine reading (CMR), intelligent automation and AI/ML tools to classify and read contracts, extract unstructured data fields automatically, and send the output file to the client.

The mortgage approval has been cut in half, while quality levels and customer satisfaction has improved significantly. Indecomm has been able to repurpose its existing staffing model of 1,000 to support twice the current levels of business in the next 2-3 years. AntWorks, along with Indecomm Global Services, were recognized in The Hackett Group Digital Awards for redefining mortgage processing.

DQ: How can BPA automate processes and workflows, with a chosen process for automation?

Asheesh Mehra: BPA is a way of using technology to automate business processes in order to cut costs and increase productivity. Process automation allows organizations to automate workflows and tasks which are repetitive in nature, thereby, minimizing the need for human intervention.

A robust process discovery strategy can quickly and accurately identify process automation opportunities and confirm technical feasibility. This helps to optimize repetitive human-driven business processes and ensure scalability of their enterprise-wide IA programs. Process discovery enables you to aggregate, assimilate and analyze process data to transform your day-to-day processing actions into meaningful business operations.

Additionally, identifying and calling out clean, available data as the single most important factor to the success of any enterprises automation journey has solved the unstructured data challenge, AntWorks has eradicated the root cause of why so many businesses fail to scale their automation journey and achieve the ultimate goal of straight-through processing.

Without the right technology, approving, processing and paying large volumes of invoices becomes a daunting task for organizations. One example is AntWorks’ subscription-based Accounts payable-as-a-service, which helps in automating invoice processing quickly and easily with a hosted service that offers zero set-up time and zero set-up costs.

The industry leading AI-based technology is ready to process invoices from the start without the need for any training by transforming the invoice processing of an enterprise, making it faster, more accurate and more reliable. Accounts payable as a service is built on Antworks cognitive machine reading platform enabling enterprises to use fractal science-based machine learning algorithms that are pre-trained for invoice processing and accounts payable automation. This enables users to start using accounts payable automation from day one of procuring the solution. It is the only platform that understands captures and curates every data type.

While BPA is a great way to improve productivity and reduce costs, it also ensures end-to-end compliance in business. Weak areas of compliance may be identified through automatic data analytics, which trigger immediate corrective actions before identified issues become major problems.

Any task that an automated process completes is always documented. For every task, there will be clear logs that tells us what has been done, when it has been done and who did it. So, a transparent audit trail is available that will act as an important proof point when auditors put organizations under the microscope. This streamlining of processes allows compliance professionals to focus on important issues and decision making.

DQ: What are the benefits of BPA with IAP implementation?

Asheesh Mehra: We are living in the age of data deluge. By 2025, 80% of the world’s data will be unstructured. In such a scenario, an enterprise’s digital transformation journey will be heavily influenced by integrated automation platforms backed by fractal science.

It is of utmost importance to educate the industry on the benefits of moving towards an integrated automation platform (IAP) and seeing automation as a business process, beyond just task automation. In May 2019, AntWorks launched the industry’s first IAP, the ANTstein SQUARE.

This one of a kind, multitenancy solution allows for maximum bot utilisation, understands all types of data, and provides customers with a one-stop solution for data curation and building, deploying and managing an AI-enabled digital workforce. Customers benefit from this because fractal science requires smaller data sets, which in turn means higher accuracy, less infrastructure and quicker training time.

DQ: How is the intelligent automation being used across enterprises?

Asheesh Mehra: With the rise of artificial intelligence, we have seen the adoption of automation tools across the various sectors for business scalability. AI is transforming enterprise operations, and, in the coming days, we will witness major adoption across healthcare, logistics and transportation, media and entertainment, among others.

Traditional RPA solutions using optimal character recognition (OCR) is not capable of addressing the unstructured data problem in enterprises. AntWorks developed an alternative to OCR called cognitive machine reading (CMR), a proprietary technology which uses fractal science and pattern recognition to read and ingest every type of data.

The full-stack solution enables non-technical business users to automate end-to-end business processes quickly, easily and in a scalable manner. The superior accuracy in unstructured and image-based data curation, including handwritten extraction, image recognition, and signature verification with its fractal learning technology is a strong differentiator.

The cognitive machine reading engine, which is AntWorks’ front end data ingestion engine based on fractal science, is the most powerful differentiator in the marketplace today. AntWorks disrupted the traditional RPA industry and revolutionized business processes, creating a whole new technology category, the Integrated Automation Platform (IAP).

Being the first IAP, powered by fractal science, the multitenancy solution provides enterprises with the ability to process all types of data using an all in one solution for data curation, building, deploying and managing an AI-enabled digital workforce.

The ANTstein SQUARE platform curates, transports and uses machine learning simultaneously to help enterprises experience the seamless automation journey that they are looking for. This brings a new perspective on how business processes should be looked at as end-to-end and not as a single business process.

A leading Indian bank used AntWorks’ integrated automation platform to automate their trade finance processes, leading to improved business efficiency by 75%. The bank faced challenges of trade finance processes which were manual in nature, leading to a loss of business efficiency. In addition, fund transfer documents were in multiple templates resulting in inconsistency and process errors.

The solution: ANTstein platform, in combination with cognitive machine reading (CMR) technology and BOTs extracted data from various document types helped to minimize the need for manual intervention in identifying data points to be captured into the system. After IAP implementation, the bank observed increased accuracy in extracting data from process documents, lower turn-around time and resulted in easier workflow management.

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