Have you ever think what will be in the future with your experience and skills that you are getting during your lifetime?
We are working on average 40 – 50 years, and during this time, we are getting everyday new bits of knowledge. When we are talking about the IT industry, people in this industry are working with some particular software or technologies, so they are becoming experts at some point in time.
In 40-50 years, all our skills are becoming dead assets for us. Of course, we can train new people, and we can transfer part of our knowledge to them. I wasn’t able to find any research regarding this, but I believe if we take all our knowledge and skills as a 100% then most probably we can transfer a maximum of 0.000001% of it. The rest of them is a dead asset.
A few years ago, I started asking myself if there is a way to transform my knowledge into the digital asset so that expertise will work in the future, and they will not become a dead asset. I know that this is not possible today, and of course, there is no way to digitalize our brain. Some time ago, I decided to try to transform some small part of my knowledge.
I used to work as an SAP consultant for eight years. I have implemented new SAP projects for different customers and also worked in the SAP Support (Service Desk).
The work in SAP Service Desk was terrible because my primary responsibility was to solve the issues from the end-users, so my brain was dedicated to maintaining something existing and did not create new things, and this was a sadly. During the work, I found that up to 40% of all volume of the issues that come to the Service Desk is was the same; they were straightforward, and I felt myself as a monkey.
What I need to do is to repeat the same actions every month to solve the issues. I was so distressed by this. From one side, it was ok, I received the money, and I do not need even to think and stress my brain. On the other hand, my motivation to work was below zero.
The outcome of the work in the Service Desk was great. Even a bad experience can be turned into a good experience.
I started thinking: If I am working in one particular company and doing the same repeated work at the service desk. Then most probably, there are a hundred thousand like me who are doing the same stuff in all other companies around the globe.
Even more, I started thinking not just about the Service Desk, but also about the enterprise software in general and the users of enterprise software. I will explain it. In one substantial international company (FMSG) was a sales department, the salespeople are not working in ERP (e.g., SAP) every day, and they are not spending much time in front of the desktop. But they are using information from the ERP, and every time they needed information about the credit limit for the customers.
They had two options on how to get a credit limit. The first option is to remember where is the SAP, how to login to SAP, credentials, transaction, and find the field with a needed credit limit. The second option is to write an email to the Finance department because boys and girls in the Finance Department can quickly check this information. Every time they selected the second option. Why? It was easier for them to use natural language to get the information; they do not want to use a graphical user interface, because it is required more effort. They forgot that with such a request to the colleagues from Finance Department, they spend more time, their time and colleagues’ time.
And again if there is such a problem in one particular company, then most probably in all other companies, the salespeople are facing similar problems.
New thought – How to copy me and sell to all the companies in the world for checking simple information in the enterprise software and for providing the answers?
Three years ago, the first time I saw the demo of AI solution – Amelia from IP Soft. I realized the capabilities of AI technology, especially in the processing of the natural language. This changed my mind.
If the machine can understand the natural language and the context of the request, then we can program the process flow (dialogue tree) to perform some actions by using a formula If This Then That.
Then wasn’t too many AI service (NLP, syntax analysis) on the market that allows a person without any knowledge in AI/ML to start building a chatbot solution.
From one side, we had problems that business faced and from another side, the capabilities of AI technologies.
To extract the synergy from the technologies and problems, I started thinking about how we can answer the main question: How to copy myself and sell to all the companies in the world for covering repeated work?
The answer was simple – Digital Skills!
So I tried to split my knowledge in the SAP into the smallest pieces (atoms), and each small piece becomes equal to the digital skill.
A simple example, I know how to reset password in SAP, and I can start work in any company in the world that using SAP and I can start reset passwords from the first second of my work. This is my knowledge, and there is only one way how to reset passwords in SAP. So the process of resetting the password in SAP is becoming a one Digital Skill.
As a result, by using AI technologies, we can understand the natural language and the context. From another side, by using our knowledge in SAP, we can build the APIs to reset the password. Finally, by combining AI technologies and technical expertise, we can create a conversation dialog with the end-user to reset the password.
With this approach, we have answered our initial question. Of course, this is a high-level answer, and there are many questions regarding network integrations, security, etc. But the approach was evident.
Finally, we have built a platform that allows us to create digital skills and publish them.
I also very like the overall concept of Amazon Alexa. The real value for the end-customers is not the device or technology but the Alexa Skills and plug&play installation. You need to spend five minutes at home to install the Alexa, and then you can start using your voice to get the weather or play music, etc. For me, as an Alexa customer, the real value is skills, because they can simplify my life.
We decided to use the same approach. What if people from around the world can create the skills for enterprise software or IT products/programs and publish them on the marketplace?
It will mean that any person/developer/consultant can transfer their knowledge by creating digital skills, and publish them on the marketplace (skills store), specify the pricing for the skills and sell them.