How far should Artificial Intelligence be pushed to engage emotionally with humans?
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself and IPSoft.
Jonathan Crane: I’m the Chief Commercial Officer of IPSoft. IPSoft is probably not a company many of you would know. We’ve been a privately held company for 17 years now, grown to nearly half a billion as what I would call a company deploying stealth marketing.
Sramana Mitra: The company is half a billion in revenue? Is that what you said?
Jonathan Crane: Yes, we’re not a small company. The question is how have we been able to do this. What we did is we focused early on on a unique concept of managed services. Many of the companies that have provided managed services always force their user community to come inside of their data centers, buy equipment from them, and then they would spread the expertise they had within their data centers to help the customers manage their environments. That was the beginning of managed services.
We pioneered the concept of remote infrastructure management, which meant that you weren’t obligated to bring your technology into our data centers. We, in fact, developed monitoring technology that would allow us to see a device, manage, and ultimately remediate – any of the elements of what we know today as an IP infrastructure. This is interesting because no one has been able to do that. Even today, they still have it. What have we been able to do? We’ve taken that technology and we said, “If I can see into a device and I can determine what the issue is, suppose I build the capability to automate that engineer’s solution set and I make it a virtual engineer.” The company built its strength on a concept called virtual engineers.
These virtual engineers are automations structured to solve most of the incidents and events that occur in infrastructure environments today for many of the largest companies. We took this platform that we’re using for this automation and remote infrastructure management and began to place it into very large companies by calling it PaaS. We also decided that we could embed this technology in some of the largest service providers in the world. There are numerous service providers who have adopted this technology and use it today to support their client base. It’s primarily about automation. It’s about these virtual engineers that we’ve designed.
There are now 15,000 plus virtual engineers available to work for a company who decides to contract with us or in support for these service providers. But we decided that it wasn’t enough. If we are able to do this, why not turn our attention to developing the same kind of automation, not only for IT management, but let’s look at the business process. In particular, let’s look at today’s knowledge worker and look at the context of their work and see if, within their working environment, there weren’t things that were repetitive in nature that we couldn’t automate as well. Our latest invention just announced a new version. It’s called Amelia.