July 24, 2018
Antworks is an intelligent automation company that straddles across three leading-edge multi-billion dollar markets— data capture, RPA, and AI. The company was co-founded by Asheesh Mehra and Govind Sandhu in 2015. The duo identified the glaring gaps in the current automation market and created Antworks to leverage a bouquet of cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and pattern recognition technologies to address these gaps. Asheesh Mehra brings in deep expertise and knowledge of the BPM industry having worked with large BPO organizations such as Infosys, Mphasis, TCS, and WNS in various leadership roles for over 20 years, while Govind Sandhu is an M&A specialist with experience of over 17 years with TCS, Capita, and WNS, and he led one of the largest captive acquisitions in India. Endorsing Antworks’ approach, Tom Reuner, Senior Vice President, HfS Research says, “AntWorks’ holistic approach to automation and the compelling vision makes them one of the most innovative providers in the market. The value proposition of linking the RPA capabilities with machine learning and that is including semi-structured content such as handwriting and forms as well as broader cognitive capabilities, including pattern recognition, even images, are going beyond what you see most in the market.” In an email interaction with Dataquest, the founders briefed us on the company’s mission and relevance in helping businesses undergoing digital transformation. What’s the problem that Antworks seeks to solve and how? We apply machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to the front-end of a business process to ensure we obtain clean data to enable a seamless, automated process. We are a global, artificial intelligence (AI) company; creating new possibilities with data through automation, digitization, and enterprise intelligence. We provide the only integrated, intelligent automation, enterprise-level product that is powered by fractal science. With the world’s only platform that understands every data type, we digitize every bit of information for a diverse range of industries. By creating human-like bots in a code-free environment, we innovate new ways to automate complex processes. Our solutions power up enterprises with accurate insights through an integrated, intelligent, technology stack that automates and learns independently. In short, we accelerate the new, constantly. How does that differ from traditional RPA? AntWorks redefines the robotic process automation (RPA) goals of companies. Today’s businesses are paralyzed by unstructured data that is passing through their systems. Current RPA systems cannot process unstructured data. This results in stalled automation programs. The AntWorks platform lays down the building blocks of automation in a single stack — comprising of machine reading, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence. What’s the starting step? Getting data in, in an increasingly complex world. We are trying to get customers off object character recognition (OCR) solutions. Old habits die hard, but one needs to dump them when they do not work anymore. OCR depends on character recognition, so it just cannot handle different types of unstructured data that typical digitization solutions process every day. Pattern recognition technologies do much better in handling the challenges of unstructured data. Apps have given way to bots, at least from the customer interface point of view. Would they be as ubiquitous as apps? Bots are the way to go. The current pricing of bots is prohibitive. Customers have to spend on expensive developers to develop and then maintain bots. In one revolutionary move, AntWorks’ platform enables code-free bots. Business users can drag-and-drop pre-fabricated components to run their RPA process. These are just some of the tectonic shifts that AntWorks is trying to bring around. How do you see the company and the industry in the future ahead? We are ushering in the age of cognitive automation. While most automation companies are adding intelligence to solutions post RPA implementation, our platform applies cutting-edge cognitive technologies like machine learning and natural language processing ahead of RPA. This results in smooth, seamless automation with high levels of accuracy. The future will belong to point solutions. We are seeing customers from the typical banking and insurance industries, but what we are observing more than ever is the interest by the heavily regulated industries in this technology. RPA is non-invasive, sits outside core systems, and helps customers maintain audit trails – a necessity for these industries. The industry is seeing a rising importance of business and technology enablers like virtualization, convergence, and cloud. How do you see these emerging technologies impact your business sector? We have recently signed a partnership with Red Hat and see many of our customers wanting to deploy on the cloud. Everyone is aware of the efficiency, affordability, and flexibility of functioning with virtual machines. We are providing that channel for our customers. So, currently, we have both on-premises and cloud versions of our product. How does your company’s rich expertise help uncover patterns with powerful analytics and machine learning? Most platforms leverage neural networks which require huge data sets. Other than Facebook, Google, and Amazon; no company has access to such huge data sets. The AntWorks platform uses a hybrid of fractal and neural networks. This allows its bots to train on much smaller data sets, which reduces the training cycle times for bots and impacts support infrastructure expenditures positively.