Artificial intelligence

Game changer at all levels

The term “game changer” is often used in connection with AI. Anyone involved in the field of artificial intelligence will be well aware that this is the case. But what is artificial intelligence all about and why is it worthwhile for company managers to look into the use of artificial intelligence in their own company? What added value do they derive from the use of AI and where does this pioneering technology reach its limits? We get to the bottom of these questions. Many companies have long since recognized the potential of AI. They are now using powerful AI approaches for process optimization, digitalization and automation of their service areas or for the development of new products, for example. However, these AI technologies are far more than just a game: companies that shy away from them risk falling behind.

Sophisticated AI models use numerous methods

Artificial intelligence can easily be understood as a concept of machines that reason, plan, learn and interpret language in a similar way to humans. Although experts are already predicting that machines will probably not be able to keep up with human intelligence in the near future, AI will nevertheless have an impact on our everyday lives and change them. Machine learning (ML) technology is the driving force behind AI. The aim of this is to reduce work and make us humans more productive. However, machine learning is by no means the only technical development that is making AI solutions a reality. Other methods such as natural language processing (NLP), deep learning (DL) and reinforcement learning (RL) are also used in AI models. Which technology is ultimately used is determined by the respective use case that a company wants to map.

Almost inexhaustible application scenarios for AI

The potential applications and benefits of AI are manifold. AI can be used along the entire value chain. The possible applications of artificial intelligence are wide-ranging. That is why we are focusing on customer experience management as an example. In this environment, you will benefit particularly from AI in the following areas, among others:

Evaluate your leads in future using clearly defined KPIs (key performance indicators). The closer a new lead comes to existing customers with the best value, the higher the lead’s rating. Artificial intelligence opens up unimagined options for you. In sales, you only deal with leads that are really of “benefit” to you. Namely with those that have the best values and are therefore particularly promising. Overfilled sales pipelines are now a thing of the past. Your pipeline becomes more valuable in the truest sense of the word and you can focus your sales activities on the essentials.

You anticipate new sales opportunities in an instant and recognize in advance what you should offer your customer next. Using sophisticated AI technology, you can identify new opportunities based on historical, similar data sets even before your customer searches for them.

Increase your conversions by creating target groups based on insights. How does it work? By using AI to evaluate targeted information on the interests of online store users who have already converted.

Provide proactive services to your customers by identifying potential problems before they do and avoiding escalation. This is how customer loyalty works today – with artificial intelligence.

Increase customer loyalty through automated decision making based on historical data. AI makes this possible. Your customer receives a quick and accurate response to their request and you save yourself a lot of manual work steps, time and money.

Customer dialogs in the service area or, for example, speeches by a board member / CEO to all his customers and business partners are possible around the clock, seven days a week. An avatar does not have fixed working hours. With this in mind, we developed NEXOVI, our digital video consulting assistant. The dialog with the artificial counterpart feels like a conversation with a real person. This is made possible by our developers classifying all dialogs using deep learning and conversational AI. In this way, a dialog structure tree is created, which can predict the dialog path as well as the contents via probabilities. This means that the new digital avatar can provide the user with completely individualized offers and assistance and no two consultation sequences are the same. Artificial intelligence provides support in day-to-day business, raises customer loyalty to a whole new level and relieves the burden on the workforce – an unbeatable competitive advantage against the backdrop of a shortage of skilled workers.

Our solution for Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) paves the way for digital, document-related workflows. You can use IDP to convert scanned documents such as your invoices, ID cards, payslips, PDF files or even insurance contracts into categorized and machine-readable formats. This eliminates the need to transcribe these documents manually. The tool is characterized by a user-friendly interface and can be operated without in-depth IT skills. The extraction of information can be fully automated using IDP. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), optical character recognition (OCR), intelligent character recognition (ICR) and workflow automation are used for this purpose. These ensure that human skills in identifying, classifying and processing documents are imitated. But our IDP solution can do even more: unwanted interference, image effects and rotations can be easily removed. We adapt the OCR engine used to your exact requirements. Our IDP solution also reliably checks the accuracy of read-out data such as addresses. It can also be easily integrated into your existing IT infrastructure via a flexible API. In addition, documents can be automatically imported from various sources such as Dropbox or GoogleDrive. Incidentally, our IDP solution is POC-ready. We will be happy to provide you with a demo system as soon as possible!

Where the use of AI is particularly worthwhile

Predictive maintenance

Lead scoring

Opportunity scoring

Data Cleansing

Data Enrichment

Download our white paper!

To give you further in-depth insights into the topic of AI, we recommend our white paper entitled “Artificial intelligence in today’s corporate world”. Find out how you can stay one step ahead with AI. Simply click here to download:

Our AI partner network speaks for itself

We see ourselves as implementation and integration specialists and have numerous AI specialists, data scientists, business analysts, requirements and data engineers as well as experienced project managers. For the successful implementation of AI projects and AI-supported services, we rely on the products of well-known partners and a closely interlinked network. We focus on your individual requirements, as we always provide you with vendor-independent advice and introduce the right AI solution for you, put it into production and expand your existing IT landscape in a targeted manner. Our focus is always on quality and reliability: for example, we work with you to analyze whether data is available in sufficient quality and quantity and how the AI system can best be integrated into the existing application architecture.

To ensure that you can operate your AI system sustainably, you must continuously update and readjust it. The sheer volume of new data that your business generates every day makes this necessary. This is because these can be used to improve the AI model through continuous learning. All of this requires processes and tools that go far beyond the mere creation of an AI solution. We use modern AI tools such as TensorFlow, a framework for data stream-oriented programming, which we use particularly in the ML environment, or PyTorch, an open source program library for the Python programming language that is geared towards machine learning.

Benefit from our successful partnerships in the AI environment. These are impressive. We work with the following providers on a basis of trust and with each of the solutions presented here, you will be in the front row when it comes to AI:

The SAP Cloud Platform offers a whole range of intelligent services. With SAP AI Business Services, you can use machine learning and AI functions to generate added value for yourself and your customers – across all areas of the company if required. You benefit from reusable services, simple integration into your existing IT landscape and the reduction of manual routine activities. You can find more information on the SAP website.

Salesforce’s Einstein AI offers a whole range of intelligent services that allow you to focus on what’s most important – your customers. Recognize hidden opportunities in your business data with Einstein and derive trends and patterns that point the way ahead. Quickly create efficient AI-powered applications for your employees and customers on a unified platform with artificial intelligence. The areas of application are also broad here:

  • Einstein Discovery
  • Einstein Prediction Builder
  • Einstein Next Best Action
  • Einstein Language
  • Einstein Bots
  • Einstein Vision
  • Einstein Voice

You can find out more about the many options offered by Salesforce Einstein AI on the Salesforce website.

With Azure AI, Microsoft offers proven, secure and versatile AI functions. You can use Azure AI to create mission-critical solutions, analyze images, understand language, make predictions based on data and mimic other intelligent human behavior. Whatever your requirements, you will find the right application scenario with this AI solution.

Azure AI offers you these bundled possibilities:

  • Develop your individual AI solutions without any expert knowledge: For example, by linking AI functions with machine learning to your apps or using tools and frameworks of your choice for collaboration to create models faster.
  • Integrate AI into business-critical applications and make your company fit for even the most demanding workloads.
  • Leverage responsible AI by reliably interpreting behaviors and reducing bias in your AI systems – maintain full control without compromising on privacy, accountability and compliance.

With Azure Cognitive Services, you make AI immediately accessible to every developer through pre-trained models. In-depth qualifications or knowledge of AI or data science are not required. You benefit from a comprehensive variety of domain-specific AI functions to easily apply artificial intelligence in a wide range of scenarios. Optimize your individual developments with the first AI services that achieve human-like performance in machine vision, speech and language recognition. You are also very flexible when it comes to providing cognitive services: With the help of containers, they are available anywhere if required, whether in the cloud or at the intelligent edge. These containers enable you to analyze information close to your real world at any time. This gives you real-time insights that make you extremely responsive.

Read more about the powerful functions of Azure AI and Azure Cognitive Services.

With Dialogflow CX, Google delivers a powerful virtual agent that handles concurrent conversations with your end users. With the help of Natural Language Understanding (NLU), the agent even understands the nuances of human language.

Thanks to the latest innovations in conversational AI, the use of avatars based on Google Dialogflow CX, for example, is ideal for complex interactions with customers in numerous fields of application. With Dialogflow CX, Google provides an intelligent technology that supports you in building sustainable customer relationships. Your service avatar learns to recognize the context of your customer conversations and respond in a natural way. Create a unique customer experience: once your digital assistants have learned to understand your customers’ intentions and queries and extract important information, they will serve your customers particularly efficiently as patient helpers for interacting with your company.
Find out more about other features and options offered by Google Dialogflow CX.

Nowadays, digital assistants are used in many business sectors to enter into dialog with customers and provide professional support. These assistants now use AI models that appear to be human. Our partner IBM develops software and hardware to enable smooth, cloud-native development and the use of basic models for AI in companies. In this context, IBM Watson provides a platform that focuses on the development of digital assistants.
IBM Watson solutions and associated APIs understand all forms of data, can identify business-critical insights and harness the potential of cognitive computing. The special feature: IBM Watson can be used to develop chatbots and virtual agents that answer customers’ questions quickly and efficiently and also learn.
With Watsonx, IBM is designing a new, powerful AI and data platform that enables you to multiply the impact of AI for your business. The platform consists of three central core components:

  • the studio for new foudation models, generative AI and machine learning,
  • the fit-for-purpose store for the flexible use of data lakes and to fully utilize the power of data warehouses
  • and the watsonx.governance toolkit to enable AI workflows that are designed to be responsible, transparent and explainable.

IBM Watson products open up new levels of productivity by integrating AI and automation into core business workflows.
You can find out more about the modern AI solutions from IBM and IBM Watson on the IBM website.

How we are introducing an AI solution

We have a method for introducing an AI solution and you as a customer are actively involved in this process right from the start. When implementing a standard AI solution, we generally go through four steps together, which we show you in the diagram.

However, we are also very familiar with designing and implementing an individual AI solution tailored to your requirements. In such cases, we use CRISP-DM, a uniform standard for the development of data mining. This standard provides tried and tested support in structuring data mining or machine learning projects and, above all, helps to explain the data mining process in more detail in close consultation with you and to integrate it into your company processes.

Recognize and exploit the full potential of OCR

OCR or optical character recognition is also known as text recognition or text extraction. OCR techniques are based on machine learning to extract printed or handwritten text from images, such as posters, street signs or product labels, as well as from documents, such as articles, reports, forms and invoices. Companies typically use OCR tools to identify text, classify business documents by topic or obtain key-value pairs within documents. This eliminates or significantly reduces the need for manual data entry. Based on OCR results, other technology providers develop applications such as document automation.

Digital document management with IDP

Many companies are still reluctant to switch to digital document management. This is shown by data from a survey that we conducted together with market researchers from Statista: Only just under half of the companies surveyed use digital solutions to manage their documents intelligently. The potential for increasing efficiency in this area is therefore still enormous. The reasons for this are usually complex, because if a company decides to manage its documents digitally from end to end, it has to rethink tried-and-tested processes and fundamentally change existing structures. What’s more, many companies do not even have the know-how about the opportunities offered by digital technologies. At the same time, companies are required to implement innovations and new technologies in ever shorter cycles in order to remain competitive – numerous business processes in companies are therefore increasingly technology-based. These aspects are also reflected in digital document management. Technological innovations open up a wide range of options.

Best practice: IDP tool from PTA

Our AI specialists have developed a special tool for automatically extracting information from documents (IDP: Intelligent Document Processing). The AI functionalities used are based on an OCR engine that can read information on the structure, key values and entities. Accurate text recognition is crucial here to ensure that such an IDP solution works reliably.

We have therefore manually tested and evaluated the performance of four OCR tools. These are:

The methodology: what we tested

As part of our performance test, we investigated the fundamental question of how OCR and intelligent document processing (IDP) are connected in the first place. Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) uses OCR as the basic technology. In order to extract additional information on structure, key values and entities, form recognition is performed using machine learning, which in turn is based on an AI service. This is exactly what we carried out and tested in this context:

Form recognition

The form recognition contains an OCR engine that is an optimized version of the read model for documents. The more complex tasks can be solved using other models. In this context, there is also talk of predefined models. The selection of the appropriate model depends on the type of document to be analyzed. Form recognition currently supports the following predefined models:

In addition to the use of predefined models, form recognition also offers the option of configuring user-defined models.

A selection of our AI references

When checking incoming invoices, companies often go through numerous manual steps. In addition to avoiding errors, the focus of this process is clearly on ensuring legal compliance. With the help of intelligent document processing services, documents with typewritten and handwritten content can be digitized and converted into readable data. All your incoming invoice processing is streamlined, electronic and automated. And you have more time again for value-adding tasks.

This is how the automated process for processing incoming invoices works:

  • Invoice receipt
  • Extract and classify data
  • Digitize information with the help of OCR
  • Various, flexibly configurable levels of formal and personal validation
  • Preparation of the payment transaction in the system only after validation
  • Export to the management system

Advantages of electronic invoice processing:

  • Significant cost savings through reduction of manual activities
  • Error avoidance + error prevention
  • Ensuring compliance with the law

It’s amazing, but it’s still common practice in many companies today: Countless employees manually check every single document to see whether a signature is in the right place or not. With automated signature recognition, this antiquated procedure is literally a thing of the past and you gain more time for your core tasks.

The following criteria make automatic signature recognition reliable:

  • It works regardless of the number of documents, the number of pages or where the signature is located within a page.
  • It works reliably regardless of the scan quality/resolution.
  • It does not require the customer to prepare the documents in advance.
  • Signed and unsigned documents can be automatically sorted into different batches or provided with labels.

And these advantages are what make automatic signature recognition so valuable:

  • Quick and easy further processing of information and documents
  • Increased efficiency by eliminating manual work steps
  • Improved data security and GDPR compliance

Research in our IT projects in the field of artificial intelligence

Have we sparked your interest?

Portrait von Dr, Rene Külheim

Dr. René Külheim

Topic manager AI

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