With 2019 Nearly Over- Where are AI, RPA & EDI going in 2020?

  • Where are AI, RPA & EDI going in 2020?

    A perspective by Tangentia CEO, Vijay Thomas

2019 was a significant year for Tangentia. As a recognizable ‘global boutique’ consulting firm that provides bespoke services in Canada, USA and India—we are excited about the progress we saw.

Whether it was our core B2B business of EDI(Electronic Data Interchange) and Ecommerce or the development of our new AI(Artificial Intelligence) and RPA(Robotic Process Improvement) segment, we empowered many businesses to improve their core operations.

But what trends really defined 2019? And which ones will continue to lead the way into 2020?

2019 Was a Milestone Year For Tangentia

2019 was the year we committed to automation through our AI and RPA service offerings. While we had some exposure previously (mostly through providing staffing solutions), we expanded our offerings by creating a new range of services that focused on key problems that businesses face in a multitude of industries. We expanded our partnership with IBM to become a Platinum partner of IBM for Watson AI. Also we are global partners for Automation Anywhere, UI Path and Blue Prism in the RPA space.

We also consolidated some of our legacy services, improving our B2B business segment—which includes our legacy EDI and Ecommerce business. These services continued to grow substantially outside of North America with many significant wins in 2019 in India including India’s largest retailer.

Our global headquarters also moved in Toronto, from Willowdale to the Waterfront district, which saw us join the likes of Google,Uber, LCBO, Royal Bank, and soon Microsoft in what is arguably the fastest-growing tech hub in the world. We are beyond excited to be located in such an innovative area of the city.

How Will 2020 Impact Digital Transformations?

Company accomplishments are important, but the real value is in the lessons we learned from the exciting technologies that we offer.

So, what were the main takeaways from 2019?

Automation Isn’t a Magic Bullet

The RPA industry saw between 600-1000% growth in 2019. These numbers are large and signify that many companies are investing in this technology heavily. Major players in this industry have become unicorns in the investing world as the markets realize the potential that automation has.

However, AI, RPA, automation, and similar technologies aren’t a guarantee. Companies that invested millions into this technology without a plan saw minimal results.

Automation is a catalyst for innovation, but your business needs the right systems in place to take advantage of it. The goal of RPA is to enhance existing systems that are already working. An automation solution will decrease costs, improve efficiency, and other core metrics- but only if an organization understands what areas they need to improve.

It’s important that a company makes small changes that compound over time. We encourage our clients to push for real value and not to fall victim to the marketing pitches that they’ve heard about automation. Our team even has a Continual Process Improvement(CPI) using RPA model that we encourage our customers to try out.

In 2020, we expect to see more companies identify how RPA can help their organization cut costs, improve productivity, and make their business more agile.

EDI Isn’t Dead. It’s Evolving

Yet again, critics made the claim that EDI is dead. But as an EDI solution provider, I can assure you that EDI isn’t going anywhere.

If anything, EDI is evolving and adapting to the digital age. At Tangentia, we see EDI as any B2B communications between two business entities and not through the traditional lens of ANSI X12 or EDIFACT. And while this traditional EDI may be slowing down, XML and API formats aren’t going anywhere—especially in the age of integration. Today, businesses rely on countless apps having the ability to communicate and synchronize flawlessly. This alone will ensure the longevity of EDI as companies look to simplify B2B communications.

Legacy companies will always rely on some form of EDI, while modern startups have the benefit of building out in the digital world. Still, even startups require EDI solutions using either the XML or API formats.

Digital Transformations Matter – But You Must Define What It Means to Your Company

Digital transformation is the buzzword today. Every company is claiming they are making a digital transformation.But what does it really mean?

An effective digital transformation should be all about making incremental changes that drive long-term value and improve the user experience.

For example, a business may use an invoicing system that takes one month to complete. They could realize substantial gains by automating this process down to several days.

One advantage that we can offer our clients is the perspectives we have gained from working in Canada, the United States, and India. We can help companies identify what’s working in one region and find ways to adapt that same technology in another.

Digital transformations aren’t going anywhere in 2020. Successful companies are always looking to modernize and improve the way they connect with customers, employees, and partners. However, we expect to see companies focus more on what their personalized digital transformation looks like.

Where Is Tangentia Going in 2020?

Agile Digital Transformation

Our unique agile approach to digital transformation has allowed us to deliver complex digital transformation projects for the largest beverage alcohol distributor in the world, the largest retailer in India and many mid sized companies worldwide. We will continue to stay true to our belief in the power of the iterative agile delivery model.

Global Boutique

Tangentia is a ‘global boutique’ firm. We know how to execute using a global delivery model with much less overheads than our competitors and that provides our customers with high-end services at a value driven price.

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