Accenture launched a new business platform that blends data, AI and digital technologies to help businesses improve their efficiencies.
Accenture's SynOps is a "human-machine operating engine," but unlike some other artificial intelligence solutions it includes a human element. SynOps pulls from Accenture's more than 100,000 operations professionals, including data scientists and AI experts, to work with the company's machine workforce of more than 3,600 automation offerings, 65 analytics applications and 40 AI advisers.
“SynOps represents the re-imagining of the enterprise as operations leaders grapple with integrating their automation, analytics and AI strategies,” said Phil Fersht, CEO and chief analyst at HFS Research, in a prepared statement. “Moreover, Accenture focuses SynOps on augmenting the human experts, which is so critical as companies design the processes they need to drive an effective operations strategy and business outcomes.”
SynOps orchestrates the allocation of workloads by assigning tasks to software bots using AI and analytics in order to identify automation opportunities. By using data-based insights, Accenture says that SynOps can ensure that the correct resources are being utilized for the right tasks.
SynOps taps into the analytics and AI capabilities of the Accenture Insights Platform as well as partner technologies, which include more than 100 preconfigured analytics and AI solutions, to help businesses reach their desired outcomes. SynOps enables the collection, monitoring, storage, analysis and reporting of structured and unstructured data from various sources and creates the environment for advanced data exploration and AI model development to help with real-time decision-making.
The initial use cases for the branded SynOps offerings are for finance and accounting, procurement, and marketing. A telco service provider could use SynOps for finance and accounting to streamline its payment and charging structure. Accenture said that one customer that has used SynOps increased the productivity of its finance operations by more than 50% and saved more than $140 million.
By mixing a human element with big data analytics and AI, Accenture is seeking to eliminate any prospective biases that could make its way into the AI algorithms while also improving its efficiencies. Combining AI with human interaction has been a growing trend in telecommunications. Last year, IBM announced cloud software that was designed to identify any bias in AI deployments while also recommending fixes.
Earlier this month, Verizon rolled out a new addition to its managed services portfolio that uses AI to improve the customer experience for its business customers. Verizon's "Digital Customer Experience" (Digital CX) managed service offering also combines AI with a human element.
Digital CX integrates automation into organizations' existing customer experience tools in order to help customer service representatives offer better support based on past interactions.
After years of incubation, AI appears to be poised for a breakout year in 2019, although it's somewhat hampered by a lack of skilled employees. A survey last week by Gartner said that the number of enterprises using artificial intelligence grew 270% over the past four years and tripled in the last year.