Sramana Mitra: If you were to predict the horizon, what time frame are we talking about in which decisions will be driven by data – more scientifically as opposed to approximation?
Joe Shamir: It’s very hard to predict that. You have to be a social guru for that. Today, the phenomenon is driven from the consumer to the organization. If you’re thinking about the revolution that we are experiencing now on the mobile, the level of automation that each of us is using today and the amount of decisions that we are willing to delegate to our phones and to our mobile devices is way higher than any organization is willing to allocate to its operations or marketing. Today, it’s the other way around from when the early adopters and the technology were pushed by the organization. These processes are starting from private users and then go into the corporations. That is the way I’m looking at it – from a very social perspective.
I would claim that we are talking about a horizon of a decade. I don’t think it would be much faster than that. It is happening now. Amazon is operating at a very high level of automation. It’s very hard to discuss their success. If somebody smaller wants to compete with Amazon, he has to be as sophisticated as they are in their decision process. If he will do it manually, he is bound to fail. No question about it. The question is how to automate it well. I believe that today there is a technology and we are leveraging this.
More than that, one of the gaps that has to be recovered – and that’s why we’ve chosen this type of technology – is that the machine learning has to be able to express the logic to how it was able to extract from the Big Data so that it could replace humans in a semi or fully automatic way. It happened in agriculture in the beginning of 1900s. In the 20th century, 30% of the population was still in agriculture. Today, there’s less than 1.5% in the US. Now, it is also happening in services. We are introducing a new wave of automation. In this case, it can be services within companies that are doing logistics. This is my view of the future.
We see clearly that it’s not a secret that the future is going to be on personal proposal. We are talking about real time marketing. When you are in omni-channel and you are selecting a product on the web and in a store of any retailer, there is a real time competition between the retailer and those sites that you’re visiting with your mobile device. It is clear that we are moving in that direction and the meaning of that is that the automation is going to be the integration of both the sales and marketing processes as well as the supply chain. Simultaneously, you’re questioning the supply chain in order to see that you are able to deliver that goods to that person in the way that has been selected – and with margins.