Outsourcing to AI does not mean making people irrelevant to the work cycle but making people available for more relevant activities
Outsourcing started when some business owners understood that some needed tasks, being repetitive ones and easy to perform, could be outsourced to lower cost providers instead of burdening the organization available resources and work schedule.
So far, AI has evolved to the point where some of those tasks can be entrusted to machines that run inherent rules compliant algorithms, being now possible to outsource tasks to machines, instead of humans.
Jonathan explains that AppZen focuses on the development of Enterprise Backoffice Automation tools, the first being one that targets dealing with expense reports.
This concrete tool does not replace humans, instead of allowing them a huge work time window optimization, therefore, raising productivity and efficiency. In general terms and given the extent of financial reports, auditors do their job via partial samples of the report; the power of computing associated with AI allows the Auditors to be directly lead towards areas on the report that bare non-compliances, therefore making the work both faster and more cost effective.
Although sales are never easy, there is a good market adherence rate once the leverage of the concept is realized
Typical client profile
AI related offering, in this case, AppZen’s, bears a high-value proposition towards companies because the pain point is common, nevertheless larger corporations will get a higher ROI driven volume share simply because they have more business volume.
AppZen is working on expanding their portfolio towards other BackOffice tasks that bear a similar level of requirements and difficulty leveraging the same algorithm basic logic like in Accounts Payable and Invoice management (which also represents a significant pain point for the vast majority of companies).
The market strategic approach that AppZen decided to undergo was not one of creating a AI platform that would use the technology inherent capacities to immediately address and support several business areas, but to create a unique vantage point regarding one of the most painful areas within a company and then to move to another and another.
Results so far
Jonathan reveals that in average AppZen’s clients have been able to optimize their expense reporting processes by a factor of 10 (10x more efficient). As a specific example, one given client while growing was incapable of coping with timely payment of employees’ expenses, which was creating some discomfort and demotivation within the organization, having applied the tool, the expenses that usually took a couple of weeks to be paid started being paid within a couple of days.
Even though this specific task is usually done by companies at offshore sites, where labor costs are lower, there is still a labour-intensive endeavor which means several people and a significant amount of time.
Up to some extent offshoring can now be replaced by AI, but it is still the dawn of this offering, so only time will tell. It is likely that at an early stage both will work together only representing a lower demand from offshoring that starts to work integrated with AI.
What about Outsourcing providers?
AI is arriving, and to stay, so in the same manner that when the computer replaced the type writing machine companies adopted computers, those companies need to strongly consider the adoption of AI tools or history has shown where the alternative path is likely to lead.
AI also means human work will somehow start shifting from labor intensive repetitive tasks to more creative tasks.
Having AppZen current tool producing results towards a client company usually takes from 2 to 4 weeks since there are an integration and fine-tuning process towards client IT Systems (such as the ERP), plus training the tool to adhere to client’s processes and reality.
AppZen’s goal is to widen its portfolio up to the full scope coverage of corporate Backoffice.
Humans aren’t going anywhere, but AI is certainly a part of the future, so companies need to prepare for that