Kavikkal Balakrishnan, Co-Founder & CEO of Autonom8 – Interview Series

Kavikkal Balakrishnan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Autonom8, a SaaS platform that enables the digitization of customer-facing workflows. These workflows are referred to as customer journeys. The platform goes beyond merely transitioning from paper-based processes to app-based processes.

Could you share insights into the initial vision behind Autonom8 and how the journey has evolved since its inception in 2018, particularly with the integration of Generative AI?

IT teams in enterprises are under constant pressure to roll out new projects, and make changes to existing platforms, which usually involve a lot of time and money.  Unsurprisingly, meeting business expectations becomes a challenge for these teams. We at Autonom8 (A8) believe that what Enterprises need today is the ability to go live with projects quickly, and the flexibility to make ongoing changes as the business needs change.

The initial vision behind A8 was to transform workflow automation by reducing the required code, ultimately moving towards a no-code environment. With the integration of GenAI, A8 aims to further enhance its offerings by enabling conversational channels and facilitating easy customization through co-pilot capabilities with changes that can now be made in minutes instead of hours!

What were the significant challenges Autonom8 faced in developing and deploying the world’s first GenAI-integrated low-code hyperautomation platform, and how did you overcome them?

Autonom8 started working with the OpenAI LLM stack over 2 years ago, much before Chatgpt was launched. The initial objective was to create a strong co-pilot capability that could speed up delivery of automation projects.  Developing and deploying the world’s first GenAI-integrated low-code hyperautomation platform did pose a set of challenges, like ensuring the security and compliance of the platform, handling sensitive information, mitigating risks associated with GenAI, and addressing the complexity of integration with various enterprise systems.

Autonom8 overcame these challenges through rigorous security measures, compliance adherence, extensive testing, continuous monitoring, and strategic partnerships with leading technology providers. In the process, A8 has built the industry’s first “Efficient Frontier” middleware for LLM.

How does Autonom8 uniquely address the needs and challenges of the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) sector and customer support services compared to traditional methods?

Several of Autonom8 customers are in the BFSI sector which has significant regulatory requirements, and need to quickly adapt to rapid changes.  The A8 platform meets all the regulatory requirements – on both infrastructure and application layers. The platform has been extensively tested by international 3rd party IT security agencies.  Any new application being rolled out using the A8 platform will be compliant with these requirements.

A8’s BFSI customers are thus able to focus on the business objectives they are trying to achieve, and not be concerned about various regulatory requirements. By leveraging GenAI, Autonom8 empowers organizations to create bespoke solutions tailored to their needs while ensuring compliance with industry regulations and data security standards.

With the rapid advancements in AI and technology, where do you see the future of low-code hyperautomation heading, and what role will Autonom8 play in shaping that future?

There is no doubt that low-code hyperautomation is poised for exponential growth, driven by rapid advancements in AI and technology. A8 believes that Low Code automation platform with strong co-pilot capabilities will further accelerate digital transformation and drive operational efficiency. A8 will play a pivotal role in shaping this future by leveraging its expertise in GenAI, and forging strategic partnerships to deliver cutting-edge solutions.

Could you share some success stories or metrics highlighting the transformative impact of Autonom8’s solutions on your clients’ operations?

As a result of implementing A8’s hyperautomation platform, clients have significantly reduced time-to-market, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced customer satisfaction. Using the A8 platform, customers are able to roll out new automation projects in 1/3rd of the time it otherwise has taken them traditionally and at a fraction of the traditional budget.

The A8 platform is built for enterprise-grade scale, handling tens of millions of transactions each month.  These success stories demonstrate the tangible benefits of Autonom8’s approach to workflow automation and its ability to drive measurable results for businesses across various industries.

How does A8Studio facilitate the creation of autonomous enterprise workflows, and what distinguishes it from other workflow automation tools?

Traditionally enterprises are run with a process driven approach, compared to the journey driven approach in the digital world.  The aim of digitization should be to make it easy for a customer to do business with the enterprise.  This basically means an enterprise should be able to handle each interaction uniquely rather than with a one-size-fits-all approach with pre-defined, hardcoded rules.

This is how autonomous enterprises should work – conceptually similar to how an autonomous car behaves.  An autonomous vehicle is constantly adapting to a new set of data coming from multiple data sources and deciding what to do next.  The A8 platform has been built ground-up with the same thought process.

With over 20 years of experience, what advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to innovate in the b2b2c space, especially in the telecom and IT industries?

B2B space is complex and takes a long time before one is able to get traction.  Many startups get lost in their own product, without real clarity on the solution that is being offered. The simple truth is, customers buy a solution to solve a crippling pain point.  It is very important for a start-up to have a few early customers signed up, and iterate quickly based on customer feedback on their solution, thus finding the product-market fit faster.

How can Autonom8 revolutionize the fintech sector, and what are your plans for driving digital innovation in banking and financial services?

The financial sector is undergoing massive transformation and constantly facing new challenges and threats.  Along with new products coming out everyday in various domains, there is also a rise in fraud and challenges in KYC, risk and underwriting. Often, there are multiple systems and products that have been onboarded over a period of time within an enterprise.

In order to offer a seamless experience to a customer, the enterprise needs to bring several capabilities together by reducing the friction in the customer journey. This task can be achieved only if the front, middle and back offices are brought together with a seamless set of integrations that will enable quick and informed decision-making.

The Autonom8 platform aims to be that glue that holds the journey together and delivers an end-to-end seamless experience to the customer.   It aims to be the go-to platform for all financial institutions as they drive innovation and operational effectiveness – bringing together channels, workflows, and insights.

Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Autonom8.

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