Friday, 11 May 2018 06:17

VIDEO Interview: Aera CEO explains the revolution cognitive AI technologies are bringing

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Launched in June 2017, Aera Technology leverages AI, machine learning, natural language processing, data and enterprise domain expertise to deliver real-time cognitive automation at cloud scale, make real-time recommendations, predict outcomes, and take action autonomously, and we interviewed its chief executive and president, Frederic Laluyaux, on what this all means.

Aera Technology. As described above, the company is operating at the cutting edge, offering advanced capabilities that are revolutionising the way enterprises operate.

Of course, we've all heard of companies promising revolutions, but in today's new era of market volatility, evaporating barriers to entry, hyper-competition, and heightened customer expectations, companies are forced to accelerate their timeline for digital transformation.

And so, with artificial intelligence, combined with Internet-scale technology, a new era of self-driving supply chains is being ushered in, improving both the speed and accuracy of decisions across the organisation.

What Aera does is "indexes, correlates and normalises raw data from multiple enterprise systems into a single, unified data set and makes this available across the organisation".

The company tells us that, "through knowledge graphs that reveal key findings, advanced search that makes the data set dynamically accessible, as well as machine learning and natural language processing, this unified data set gives enterprises the ability to give everyone across their business access to critical data and make better decisions – all from the ease of their desktop or simply by asking their mobile phone" – as we'll see demonstrated in the video interview embedded below with Laluyaux.

So, how else does Aera explain its differences with the rest of the market?

Well, it's important to first note that "cognitive technologies do things similar to things done by human beings. They grind through data, carry out tasks, and deliver reports. They listen, read, interpret, speak, and analyse. The smartest ones also learn" – as you'd expect as we near the end of the second decade of the 21st century.

Aera "recently launched a suite of data-enabled Cognitive Skills, including Cognitive Demand Management, Cognitive Manufacturing Performance and Supply Chain 360".

The company says its suite can "leverage machine learning and embed artificial intelligence into granular aspects of the supply chain, enabling cognitive automation at scale", and that "Aera continuously crawls enterprise systems for real-time data to predict, recommend and execute actions that improve operational efficiency, while delivering end-to-end visibility into operations".

Now, despite being less than a year old, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and already "services some of the world’s largest enterprises from its global offices located in San Francisco, Portland, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Paris and Pune", with Laluyaux's visit to Australia being because of the companies natural expansion into the Asia Pacific region.

Before we get to the video interview, it's useful to know that Laluyaux is an entrepreneur at heart, having founded his first company at the age of 23.

Prior to launching Aera, he was the CEO of Anaplan, which he grew from 20 to 650 employees, and a $1 billion+ valuation. Before that, he held several executive positions at SAP, Business Objects and ALG software and thus has more than two decades of experience and seems perfectly placed to helm Aera into a new era of cognitive AI.

In the video interview, Laluyaux discussed how organisations are already embracing cognitive automation to transform their business operations allowing these companies to reduce working capital, improve efficiency and service levels to clients, and accelerate innovation. He also outlined the company’s plans for growth in the Asia Pacific region and what’s next in technology innovation for Aera Technology.

In the interview, I introduced and welcomed Laluyaux, and asked him to give us an overview of the company and his history in the world of technology.

We discussed digital transformation, AI, machine learning and plenty more, and what makes Aera Technology different. We talked about the companies using Aera's technologies and what it all meant, as well as the move to our region, the history behind the company's name, plans for the future, what the market might look like in a decade and whether companies will run solely on AI, great advice he has received in life, and his final message to viewers, readers, customers and partners.

I hope that watching the video and learning from Laluyaux will be a cognitively augmenting experience!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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