October 23, 2020, ainerd

Chip Wagner, CEO ISG Automation, Breaks The Internet While Interviewing With Ai Nerd. Crushed It.

Chip Wagner, CEO ISG Automation spent 30 minutes with Ai Nerd breaking the internet with his insights and discussing some key topics in the intelligent automation industry. A bit of humor and a short discussion on tool belts too.

  • Intelligent Automation Market
  • RPA Movers and Shakers
  • Automation Services Industry
  • Strategic Acquisition of Nueralify
  • Future Intelligent Automation Predictions

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Full Interview Text:

Thomas Helfrich 0:00
Thank you for joining AI nerd AI with attitude. Today I am with chip Wagner. Amazing chip Wagner chip. How are you today?

Chip Wagner 0:09
I’m good Thomas, how are you, bud?

Thomas Helfrich 0:11
I could complain. But I’m not going to. It doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t? It does. Um, I appreciate it join today,

I want to talk to you about Intelligent Automation, and you have an incredible background. And I think you every time I’ve had a conversation with you, I learned something about Intelligent Automation, and I’ve been in the space for a number of years. Maybe for those who don’t know, you, you’re gonna watch this, you know, the four or five people that will watch this. If you could give a background of you and isg automation. And, you know, don’t take the floor, but let us know you are.

Chip Wagner 0:45
Sure, well, I guess if I work backwards, let’s do it that way. I see automation is an operating business inside of ift. ISD is Information Services Group and business traded on the NASDAQ. And we found our way to isg by selling the former company all’s bridge where I was the CEO roughly four years ago, actually December 1, coming up here will be our fourth anniversary as a member of the family. The automation business is one of many service lines. It’s actually the probably the fastest growing service line in the four years that we’ve been a part of is GE and not surprisingly, because really what was RPA what’s now Intelligent Automation was the fastest growing part of AWS bridge from the day that we started, which was five, five and a half years ago. And it’s been just an absolutely amazing journey. And we really look forward to the future as much as we do the incredible last five years.

Thomas Helfrich 1:42
That’s great. And in it automation is become one of the most successful service implementers. And resellers have a fair way to say of RPA tools specifically. And I think it’s fair to say and may you know, one thing I think it’s always confusing is the difference between RPA that lovely acronym, and Intelligent Automation. So just from your point of view, can you lay out what the differences between the two?

Chip Wagner 2:09
Absolutely Well, you know, I’ve always loved the the the acronym RPA to begin with, right? So the first thing I’ve had to explain to many people, whether it’s friends, family, business, colleagues, prospects, clients, they say okay, RPA robotic process automation, where’s the robot? Everyone wants to know, where’s the robot? So I don’t know who we blame. I think blue prism wants to be blamed, but I’m not exactly sure who should be blamed for the moniker RPA. But anyway, it’s a software agent, as we all know. And you know, I think of the whole RPA thing. And really, from the beginning, we thought of it as a continuum, right? RPA is like the foundation of a large skyscraper.

It’s it’s dug deep in the earth, and it just it’s centers this entire building. And then as you start to go up the skyscraper and build the various floors, we get into things like this is acronym, soup here, right? intelligent character recognition, optical character recognition, natural language processing, machine language, natural language generation, conversational AI, chatbots. And that and it goes on and on, into other cognitive tools and then ultimately into artificial intelligence. And then at the top floor of the building as we know it today is the Watson and Watson look alikes whether it’s going to be homes, dry ice, whatever tools you want to think about, that perhaps have not yet met their hype, they haven’t caught up to their hype, maybe they will, maybe they won’t. But really Intelligent Automation is a continuum of disruptive technologies that when taken together, can create just incredible business impact for clients. Speed, regulation, cost, time, accuracy, auditability, everything that you would think of in sort of a Nirvana situation around technology in some form or fashion. RPA and its other brother and sister Intelligent Automation technologies largely offered the chance, if done, right, they get to deliver that and

Thomas Helfrich 4:09
I was always disappointed. I never could file my expenses weekly. For me, that was where I just faded out.

Chip Wagner 4:15
I think it could, if you would remember structured data, right? So if you give it the structured data, the pictures or the scans of your expenses, Mm hmm. I think you could write about to do it even you Thomas could write about to do that.

Thomas Helfrich 4:29
I’m going to try it I have no free time. So I should be I should be well, you know, it’s very easy to use. We’ll cover that in a little bit. But you know, anybody can do it. That was the claim and I look forward we will dive into that one a little bit.

Chip Wagner 4:42
Right. Okay.

Thomas Helfrich 4:43
But you know, state of the market right so we have you know, this this launch slips let’s say roughly seven, eight years ago, really took really taken off in the last five and took the last three. COVID hits. What’s going on with these RPA companies, the service companies what what’s your take on on this?

Chip Wagner 4:59
well I mean, the COVID virus has done lots of things to lots of people if we stay away from the airlines and hotels and some of the other people that have been really decimated restaurants, and it’s been unbelievably brutal. If we look at the RPA software players, right, so let’s talk about automation. They were at Blue prism, nice UiPath. The thing about that software is, if you already have it, you have a license agreement of some kind, the license agreement will come to an end. And you have two choices, I’m going to renew or I’m not going to, if you renew, the software keeps working. And you have to pay something for renewal Generally, if you don’t know the software stops working.

So if you think about the renewal stream of revenue for the for the providers in RPA, has been largely unaffected by COVID-19. And that’s because people rarely decommission the bots once they get started. Talk about new bots, sales, new, new software sales, people are embracing automation even more so with working at home being more prominent, and it’s no I mean, really, especially you think about the call center type business and an agent’s right, client service agents and so forth service desk personnel, what what an opportunity to automate, when we’ve just suddenly sent everyone home to make the job easier. And to take away variability. Imagine how much variability there is when instead of having 1000 agents coming into a building, we now have 1000 people working from home imagine all that variability, which probably doesn’t lead to a good client experience. When I think about the services side, you know, we’re we’re looking to talk to new clients, we’re looking to bring new people into the fold to start them on a journey. Much harder to do when you’re trying to establish a services relationship in the midst of COVID. When you really can’t travel, the best you can do is something kind of like what we’re doing here with this amazing video conferencing capability, which many people were scared of, frankly, a year ago, they didn’t do it very often. It wasn’t great. It was okay. Unified Communication was something most people didn’t understand. Oh, my gosh, we’re all like, you know, rather conversant now, with unified communications, zoom. I mean, zoom is a verb just like Xerox and FedEx, right. It’s also the name of a company. And I would dare say that of all the people in the business world a year ago, somebody would said, Do you know whose zoom is or what zoom is? I think the answer might have been no, in the majority of cases. And I think the answer now would be overwhelmingly Yes.

Thomas Helfrich 7:20
Yeah. That segment was brought to you by zoom. Thank you.

Chip Wagner 7:23
Yeah, they send me money to my mailbox.

Thomas Helfrich 7:26
I didn’t get that check. But I’ll take some be great. Yeah, no, you’re right. So I’ll tell you, it’s interesting. I never used to want to get on these video conferences. But since I hate just talking on the phone, I’ve never liked talking on the phone anyway. But like, but getting on the video piece feels way more natural. Now, since you don’t have that kind of interaction. You know, as you automate process, though, I don’t know how you’re doing it over zoom, though. I don’t know how that’s I don’t know how it was pretty tough to do. Like, let’s say we’re using offshore teams before, which would involve some recording and stuff. Have you seen that change at all, from a, you know, execution of recording a process and learning how to automate it?

Chip Wagner 8:03
Well, you know that that’s a great question, because, of course, the trepidation on our side, you know, in March, I guess would be about the time when we began to feel the trepidation most dramatically, Oh, my gosh, how on the world in the world, are we going to function? How are we going to do our business if it’s going to have to be remote. And of course, the thought was, it’ll be remote for a month or two, and then this all kind of blow over. And, you know, we’ll be back on airplanes and all that, and that hasn’t really come to pass. But when you start when you develop a PDD and an STD, and then you are going to develop the software remotely. Anyway, the idea of doing work in India for us. That was that where the STD was developed here, and the PD was developed here, that actually is not at all unusual, and nothing’s really changed there. But to your point, documenting the process, having the conversation what would normally be an in person interview, observing an employee doing a function, we’ve had to learn how to do those in a zoom enabled type of an environment took some getting used to, but remarkably, and I guess it’s a tribute to the adaptability of the human creature is that we have been able to figure out how to do it. So we’re not overwhelmingly bothered now by the idea of doing our work remotely. And in fact, I would suggest the old normal is indeed that it is the old normal, and the new normal, whatever shape it takes will not resemble the old one. It may be 60% of the old normal, but the idea that everybody in our business has to get on an airplane and fly and observe people doing things in person in order to write a PDD in order to then develop an STD to have someone developing the software and implementing code the bot whether that would be locally or in a place like Bangalore, we think that is not necessarily going to be the case going forward.

Thomas Helfrich 9:40
Yeah, and it may be Is it is it opened any or shed any light maybe is the right word to say of, of one of the providers or the RPA solutions. Truly being easier to work with and others now that you’re it’s almost completely not in person.

Chip Wagner 9:56
You know, I don’t know that I would be able to really pull to one of either the sort of the Big Four, if you want to go and include sort of the next tier and go to the top dozen or even 15, I’m not sure you can really say one is much easier to work with than the other. I think it would take somebody, certainly from a technical perspective, there might be somebody who wants to make an argument about technical sophistication or, you know, technical prowess of one of the products, there might be someone else who will say, well, as a user, it’s easier to use as a coder, it’s easier to cook, I don’t know, there’s probably some subtlety in there. There are people who make their living, scoring these things and put out, you know, massive reports that they asked you to pay for. And they’ll show you that, you know, Company A has a 79 aggregate score a company B was 82. And company C was 83. Yeah, I don’t really I’m not the guy that does that. I think in large part, there are a lot of capable software products out there, some more capable than others. There’s probably tiers, if you will, and the top tier, we can argue about who belongs in there or not. But the top tier, they’re all capable products.

Thomas Helfrich 11:04
Yeah, and I would agree with this as well. I just I would love to have your perspective, I wanted to have your perspective on that because in the beginning, there were certainly differences in a you back up a few years ago between product a product B product C, and then I think they’d become a more consistent across the the capability set. It’s just pick your language period, you like processed you like, you know, low code, whatever it would be. But then if you look at the services side, what distinguishes then the ISG automation from the KPMG, EY, the Accenture’s of the world. So is it? Is it just relationships? Or what do you how do you guys win?

Chip Wagner 11:39
Now? That’s a super question. Really, the whole subject of differentiation is is an amazing topic in business, especially in the services business where it’s all about differentiation. So you know, that I love this question. Because if you put us next to competitors of ours, and and you want to have a little bit of a fly off, and you’re the client is okay, guys, do you have a methodology? Yes, we do. proprietary, amazing, it’s been here forever. Okay, everybody’s got a methodology good. Do we have, you know, sophisticated engineers that are certified, we all have sophisticated engineers that are certified some entities like sort of the MBA model, right, they are a bunch of MBAs, they put them on a bus, they put them with one person who has little hair, or gray hair, or 1015 years of experience, and they herd the cats. And the MBA cats are smart cats, but they don’t have a lot of experience. That’s one thing that’s a differentiated business model. That’s sort of one model. And then, you know, people like us that are out there. We’re kind of the grizzled veterans that have been doing this for a while, have people that are probably a bit more experienced, but even at the end of the day, I’m not sure that’s a differentiation. So, you know, in the era of no differentiation, of course, people buy on the sole differentiators stress. So I guess what I would say to you about ISG Automation is we have developed a digital enablement platform, and some software tools that support that. And we’ve done that through an acquisition of Nueralify. Nueralify has a digital learning platform and a code quality analyzer that taken together have anecdotally proven with the clients who have used them and their automation, anywhere centric, to have produced a 270% output at 43% less time and cost, then for a client who has been not using the tools, while So for us, this is a differentiator because this is proprietary software now part of it automation that is available only from us. And we can show proof of it having done this in the automation anywhere environment. And lastly, I will tell you that if even if people don’t want to believe that this is just the comments of somebody isg automation, ai automation anywhere sells these products in their portfolio of services and products.

Thomas Helfrich 13:55

Chip Wagner 13:56
It is directly and it’s the only non automation anywhere product in their portfolio period.

Thomas Helfrich 14:07
I think about the lifecycle of an RPA adoption. So not only if you’re just starting out, if you’ve been living under a rock for seven years, you’re like, hey, maybe maybe we should look at this now. You’d be crazy not to find something that’s an accelerator, especially with all the endless resources that are out there. If you’re struggling, you’ve plateaued this can identify a number of ways to accelerate or differences in code or problems with your architecture, etc, etc. And if you’re really killing it, that means you got lots of automation, so you don’t have time for code reviews or keep up the amount of maintenance you know, because at some point it plateaus because you can’t keep up the maintenance relative to new things. So you need something to accelerate that as well. I got to ask the hard question, then. You know, is you’re gonna have to chop off my left arm to get this thing or is expensive like to tell me give me an idea sense of cost relative to maybe the RPA foundation itself?

Chip Wagner 14:56
Well, it depends of course on a lot of things, but it We sell it in an enterprise license environment to a large enterprise that would want to have, you know, a large number of licenses both for the code quality analyzer, and for the digital learning platform. And you’re exactly right. I mean, code reviews is one of the long poles in the tent to determining pace of scale and quality of bots, the code quality analyzer puts out enables you to put out bots much faster, it takes away one of the more painful processes in code reviews, when you think about a citizen development environment, and how do we teach people? How do we give them the ability to become capable, and get up to speed and produce good bots, the digital learning platform does exactly that. And it does it at their pace, and it has a gaming Arena in it, it has a number of things that make it fun. And gamification obviously, is something that we’ve seen in other places, but we’ve applied it here as well, we have the appropriate sandbox that goes with it. So you know it this year, you’re talking about 10s of thousands of dollars, if you get up into an enterprise license, you know, annually, then you’re talking about six figures. But the returns are unbelievable. When you think about 270% output at 43% of the time cost less, you know that those are huge numbers. And even if you only get half of that, and you’ll pay for the tools 10 times over scaling has been a big challenge for a lot of clients, a lot of enterprises, this defeats the scaling problem. Embracing and taking citizen development to the right level, this enables that, and that’s why we I mean, I love the simplicity of a digital enablement platform, it’s digital and enabled, it enables people to achieve what they haven’t been able to achieve, largely. And it’s a platform we support. It’s our intention to take that platform to both UiPath and blue prism and most likely nice as well. And perhaps beyond that, but that’s sort of next year’s plans to get that having very variant of the product for those other tools.

Thomas Helfrich 16:53
I mean, it’s amazing. So right now, so unclear if your Automation Anywhere, you can use it today. Roadmap over the next six, nine months, whatever year the next players in the game UiPath, Blue Prism, Nice. And is this a you know, kind of a click and install type of thing, how to how does it deploy? I mean, without getting too technical, is it fairly easy to adopt?

Chip Wagner 17:13
Very easy to adopt basic licensed subscription model, SAS product for the digital learning platform, and basic license based model for the code quality analyzer. And we support it with clients who want some help with it. Sometimes they ask us simply to bring the tools and come help them build bots. But just come with your tool belt on other times, they’re like, you know, we’re pretty good at building bots, would you please let us have your tool belt? So we’ll allow them to have our tool belt?

Thomas Helfrich 17:43
Never give another man you tool belt? Have you ever given other manual tool belt? I’ll give someone my tool belt just just not to a man. It’s my tool belt. We’ll cut that part. No, we won’t cut that we’re gonna leave that in. That’s excellent.

So Chip the the numbers you just 270%, 40% less time, the number seem almost like a backup seven years, some of the most ridiculous claims of you know those numbers are real. We back up just when it started. And I know you were there, because you had a you know, Old Bridge kicked it off. What are some of those ridiculous things and claims you heard back when RPA was like, you know, going gangbusters from day one from when UiPath automation when these guys had seven people in the company and they were claiming, give you a give me a few give us a few morsels?

Chip Wagner 18:28
Well, you know, the funny thing is, when you go back, I mean, this, this stuff may have just sort of only caught fire, you know, 3 5 7 years ago, pick your number. But, you know, several of these companies were founded 15 and 17. And 18 years ago, you know, in early screen scraping technologies, some of the competitors are fond of describing their competitors. But it’s certainly well beyond that at this point. You know, I think about some of the things I remember early in the day, several companies saying, you know, we will have an environment in the not too distant future where there’ll be a bot for every person. So you sort of extend that, you know, to the business world, and you just start to think about given countries or extending that are really going to have bots for people in their homes. I mean, I don’t know, it just seemed, it seems it was elegant. It was simple. It was easy to get your head around. And yet it was outrageous at the same time. But But you know, we are striving in the business world, in places where it makes sense and where there’s the right kind of business scale, we’re striving toward that. The idea of having I remember one of the CEOs of one of the software providers saying that it was his intention to have 10 million employees. But for his mind, an employee was a bot. And so his point was he wanted to have been able to have deployed 10 million bots to do process work for clients and that that particular provider as well on their way to doing that.

Thomas Helfrich 19:49

Chip Wagner 19:50
And to this day, you can hear yet another of the one of the other ones is probably closest to you know, maybe having a public event perhaps you know a bot for every person is one entres of their of their vision and of their market statements.

Thomas Helfrich 20:05
I remember their early years of consulting in the space. And this happened a number of times where you go into kind of a workshop meeting with the CFO and the one downs, and then one downs. And you’d be talking about automation and robotic process, somebody usually would raise their hand and go, when is the bot coming in? When is the robot coming? And it was always, you saw the look of disappointment realized it’s software like, right? They’re taking the day and they thought that robot was gonna march in there like Terminator. It happened, I mean, at least a dozen times. So I would have liked to have my bot that never materialized. But, um, if you look today, if I shift gears, what is the biggest objections right now that you’re seeing in the space of buying services? or moving forward? I mean, you know, people got to renew and they got to do this. But if you hit any headwind, just if you’ve seen the industry, I should say, hit a headwind. On this quarter, next quarter, is there still a wait and see?

Chip Wagner 21:07
Well, I think it depends on where people are in their experience, right. So the neophyte who, maybe he hasn’t been asleep for seven years, but for whatever reason, has not even explored the possibilities of RPA, much less intelligent automation, their objections, their concerns, their issues are way different than someone who’s what we might call bot three Dotto. They’re an RPA, they’ve got RPA coming out the years, they might even have two RPA tools. Because we’ve seen the industry move from sort of I’ll pick one, I like the red one, no, no, I’m gonna have the red one. And now like the blue one, too, I need a competitive tension, I need a second tool for all kinds of reasons. Those people are they’re well into cognitive, they’re, you know, they’re on the hyper automation scale their way down the road, their objections, their concerns, their issues are way different. And then there are loads of enterprises in between common problems that we see are, you know, it’s just not exactly the duck to a type. It’s just not as you know, we bought 150 licenses, we thought we’d be able to consume them right away, and we have exactly 20 bots.

Thomas Helfrich 22:10
But it’s, it’s so easy to use. And that’s always been the claim, right? Anybody can do anybody can develop.

Chip Wagner 22:16
Exactly, Don’t you wish it was so simple, right? Like at Christmas, you just pull it out of the box, and you turn it on? And it works, right, self configures? And it just functions?

Thomas Helfrich 22:24
I mean, you’re saying it’s not. I can’t keep a straight face? And do it.

Chip Wagner 22:27
It’s not quite like that, you know, I guess I mean, you could you can wonder, I mean, the business that we’re in, right, the services business, and, you know, why would services companies like ours exist, they exist, because not quite as easy as everybody thought it would be. And you really probably don’t want to develop a perfectly, you know, capable, scaled entity inside your company to do this, because that’s not the core business that you’re in what you want is the capability of Intelligent Automation, you may choose to have an internal capability and a center of excellence, but you would probably want some help to scale, you want to get the vast majority of what you can get out of the RPA world in the early days, as fast as you can get it because it’s a competitive advantage. And then in time, you may have care to maintain it and scale it down. But you know, we’re in the services business, we’ve had this really good run of five years of explosive growth, because it’s not so easy.

Thomas Helfrich 23:20
Yeah. You know, I wonder sometimes, you know, how stable the actual RPA market is, and I’ll say is, it’s some point, though, couldn’t Microsoft just go say, here it is for free?

Chip Wagner 23:35
Right, great question. And of course, you know, Microsoft having having made an acquisition, right? You say to yourself, oh, King Kong has come into the jungle. And when King Kong walks through the jungle, and just a simple step by King Kong shakes the trees and makes the ground rumble. So you know, is Microsoft King Kong? Should the other animals in the jungle be worried? Now, sometimes can call wasn’t particularly fast as big. And if you got a hold of you, it was a problem, because you could tear you apart.

Thomas Helfrich 24:08
Unless you’re a blonde, then you can never hold on to her for some weird metaphor in there. I just don’t know what it is. Go on…

Chip Wagner 24:16
So I don’t know. It’s a great question. I mean, for free, I mean, giving it away for free, I suppose. It’s possible. Google’s made a fairly good business of giving their stuff away for free, but it seems to maybe be coming to an end, or at least their..

Thomas Helfrich 24:29
Different topic. lol

Chip Wagner 24:31
…objection to their model of some types of, you know, could Microsoft give it away for free? I mean, I suppose anyone who wants to try to disrupt the market could give it away for free. I don’t know that that’s sustainable. Maybe it is. If you have 900 other products and this is just a door opener. It’s some sort of a promotional thing. I don’t know about long term free for anything, but I guess we could see.

Thomas Helfrich 24:51
Yeah, it I’d be maybe just, it would increase their cloud consumption and, and that’s the play and, and, but but it’s interesting ’cause I’ve always wanted that like You know if this gets too big, and I think the markets like 60 billion or the cap on it is right now for RPA, or whatever the number is, it’s, it’s big. But it’d be interesting if one of the big players to said, I think we can do this and put it on our platform, and because they’re all a lot of them are built on dotnet. Anyway, so it’s interesting topic to have I it’ll be, it’d be a prediction, I’m going to make that Microsoft is going to really disrupt this market with without their own technology, or buying one of them and then making it so readily and easily available to us. But it is Microsoft still probably screwed that part up as well. So

Chip Wagner 25:31
Well that prediction is probably not the boldest you’ve ever made, and you made it two years ago, it might have been more bold, but now that they’ve bought soft, emotive, it perhaps is, is more, you know, reasonably possible. But you know, what would be really fun is five years from now, looking back at these next five years, you know, we think think a lot has happened in the last five years, when this thing kind of hit the ground and hit it hard, and really hit made some traction and has now become pervasive. What’s the next five years gonna look like because we always see compression, you know, five years, the last five years a look like sort of the next eight months. And then the time after, that’ll be another number of years, it’ll be so much compressed activity that five years from now we’re gonna look back at where we were in 2020, apart from the virus in this space, and we’re going to say, gosh, that was prehistoric, and its capability,

Thomas Helfrich 26:23
I would agree. And say, Well, I think I think it’s a, I would love to follow up with some of your team, get into the weeds a bit on your, your acquisition Nueralify. So I’ll put that out there. And I think that would be a really wanna learn how how that technology is doing that, because it seems like a no brainer. But seems like that’s maybe really the only one in the space, or at least the one that’s being talked about out there.

Chip Wagner 26:44
So we welcome that we welcome sharing that with you, because we absolutely believe it’s the Holy Grail. It’s, it’s incredibly digital enablement is just as as a concept for anyone trying to use a disruptive piece of technology, and use it broadly. Right. And it’s not like we just have to tip to people and every enterprise to understand how this stuff works. If you want to embrace citizen development, you need hundreds, maybe even ultimately thousands across the globe of a very large enterprise. And to do that you must have some type of digital enablement platform, it cannot, it can’t be non digital. And it has to be some type of platform so people can reach it easily. And the word enablement is the key. So I think it’d be great, we’d be happy to set that up. And I think it would be worthwhile for the people that listen to your podcasts and whatnot.To do it, well.

Thomas Helfrich 27:35
You know, all six people, I think we’re up to six now, it’s gonna be great. No, I think it could be great.

Chip Wagner 27:39
Could be seven or eight.

Thomas Helfrich 27:40
Maybe nine, we might get ten, you know, the, I will say this, what I like about what you guys what you what this technology does, it’s just not yet another tool. It’s something that’s going to be integrated with something that’s already been bought. And so whenever you start adding a yet another tool, and it just becomes a nightmare, and just becomes a soup that you never eat. Right. So this is great. So I will absolutely follow up on that. The, you know, you made predictions, I think it’s, it’s a good time to give you the shameless plug, I just want to I want to know, how do people get ahold of you? And, and give give me the shameless plug. And I’ll, I want to hear it. What is what is the Chip elevator pitch shameless plug section?

Well, I guess what I would say to people who might be listening to this or we’re in an enterprise is if you’re not looking at RPA, certainly, but the whole notion of Intelligent Automation, I think you’re you’re doing yourself a disservice and your company a disservice if I really go all the way down to the individual employee level. And I work in a situation where maybe I have a clerical billing type of role. And my job has a lot of structured data, a lot of redundant road processes. And maybe the good news for some is I go to work, and I know exactly what I need to do, I follow steps one through 100. And I repeat, over and over again. And it’s and that’s what I do. I’m not really particularly stimulated by some of that work. If I said to that person, hey, we have the ability to remove the 60% of the job you do that’s redundant, rote, repetitive, not particularly exciting, and allow you to take on in that 40%, the human interaction, take on other pieces of work. And it’s not a job reduction program. It’s a job enrichment program, because I’m going to take the stuff that’s no fun. And I’m going to just automate that because the robots actually don’t complain, we study them, they don’t get sick, they don’t smoke. They miss no work. They’re awesome in that regard, they do consume some electricity. But apart from that, they’re basically trouble free. Now they only do what they’re taught to be doing to do. So when we change software products that they use, we actually have to go back and adjust right so it’s not it’s not the the buckets programmed once and never, never to be seen or heard from again, they have to be monitored. There’s an entire career in Intelligent Automation for folks going through kids going through college now. And are thinking about, you know, what am I going to do in the future? Well, I’m going to grow up and I’m going to be in a business and I’m going to manage bigger teams, and I’m good, that’s what I’m going to do. Well, there’s going to be somebody 10 years from now who’s going to manage 2000 Digital workers and control rooms and the technology that surrounds it, and the cognitive technology that goes with it, and they’re going to be that’s a job that didn’t exist 10 years ago. So I don’t know if that’s a shameless plug or not, I mean, I guess I can go on for ages, we, you know, we’d love the space. We love helping our clients. And, and we, we’d love to hear from anyone isg-one.com. And there you go.

That was that was the shameless plug one liner. I was gonna get your marketing team, like, we got to work on him. I mean, just a web address, Chip web address. Thank you that it’s a great point. And I really appreciate the time, by the way, it’s, it’s always great to catch up with you, you know, it’s I do miss the, the the vodka at the bar at the, at the conferences that we occasionally get to have back in the, you know, back in those old 2019 travel days,

Chip Wagner 31:02
But on days when there were conferences now that’s a tough business. That’s, that’s a business that the COVID virus has hit with a roundhouse punch.

Thomas Helfrich 31:08
Yeah, maybe as a follow up kick to the groin. So, but that’s okay. You know, before it hit them, it was hitting Delta and Marriott as well. So it’s gonna be I don’t know how you automate that except maybe the flights and the planes? I’m not sure I’m going to get on anytime soon since we’ve been sitting around being not maintained very well.

Chip Wagner 31:27
So well, I’m happy to report I guess, apart from your maintenance comment, I’m happy to report that I have three business trips actually planned between now and the end of the year.

Thomas Helfrich 31:36

Chip Wagner 31:36
I’m not sure that’s going to be, you know, portending a massive return to travel. But But I can tell you living in Dallas, where American Airlines flies one or two flights a day and it’s prime, you can clearly see a pickup at the moment whether we, you know, how long does it take us to return to, you know, the flight volumes and patterns of a year ago? Good question. You see, you know, you certainly see a lot of predictions in Dallas about that, because, in addition to American Airlines, good old Southwest Airlines is headquartered here, as well. And I see stories that say it’s five years before we’ll see the kind of volumes we saw a year ago.

Thomas Helfrich 32:12
Yeah, unless they find a way to return to work safely or with de-risk. And everybody else for that matter where the mask becomes acceptable and you get where you need to go. It’s it’s gonna be a really long climb. If this, this virus drifts or becomes the next COVID 20, or whatever the sequel is. Our responses are gonna have to be different. I think they return any type of travel and see stuff, but I think I think America is going to drive again, that’s for sure. And we’re gonna go see a whole bunch of stuff around our own country, and I’m sure that’s gonna be the same in other countries. Hopefully, our borders aren’t too small. But uh, it’s, uh, it’s been it’s been a fun ride. Chip, thank you so much. I appreciate it. And I look forward to catching up with the Nueralify team very soon.

Chip Wagner 32:51
My pleasure, Thomas, and I’ll be sure that gets connected that so that would be terrific. Thanks very much for having me.

Thomas Helfrich 32:56
Thank you. And thanks for coming on the AI nerd AI with attitude YouTube. Thank you.



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