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AI: From experimentation to implementation

Tino Faulhaber
25 Oct, 2023

Since the arrival of ChatGPT, every company wants to do ‘something with AI’. Good news: thanks to Microsoft technology it is now easier than ever to quickly and safely implement AI applications within a client’s Azure environment. These applications help drive innovation, improve customer service, and increase profits. With their experience and knowledge of various industries, specialists from HSO and Motion 10 are helping more and more companies successfully transform their business challenges into AI solutions.

AI has already been around for decades, but new applications are being developed at an ever-increasing pace. With the breakthrough of generative AI applications like ChatGPT and DALL-E, a new chapter has begun in this development. Tino Faulhaber, Director of Data and AI at HSO Netherlands, explains: “Thanks to these applications, you can generate not only text and images, but also write code and ask questions in natural language, such as: Who were my most profitable customers in the last three years?”

Legitimate hype

Microsoft has contributed to driving the AI hype. “And rightfully so,” says Alex Zweekhost, Unit Manager Data & AI at Motion 10, an HSO company "They have a major stake in OpenAI, which develops ChatGPT, and they are working hard under the name Copilot to implement various functions that automate a variety of tasks. The beauty of this is that companies can develop their own AI applications. They can use their own business data, and everything they do with it stays within their own organization. Microsoft and OpenAI's tools are now available for every company in their own Azure environment, which means you don't have to be a top 100 company to start working with them concretely."

Ready-made solution

Microsoft offers ready-made AI solutions that marketing and sales departments can use in a Dynamics 365 environment, for example. Alex: "Copilot can summarize a conversation with a customer, but also form a customer profile through sentiment analyses or directly offer a product based on the purchasing history of similar customers. With these insights, marketers can approach their customers in a more targeted fashion and manage their campaigns better, or service employees can respond more appropriately to a customer's sentiment. This makes the work easier, increases your ROI, and adds value for your customers." Applying AI in this manner within marketing and sales is obvious, but it will also fundamentally change other business areas. For example, an HR/recruitment department trying to find that brilliant candidate or an employee looking for an answer about her pension in plain language.

Beyond the Experiment

 We are now at the stage where we are moving from experimentation to implementation. The key is to follow the principle: think big, start small, and act fast. Alex: "Some companies have already started working with AI models, but many of them began without a concrete plan. The models sometimes run locally on a computer. Eventually, you'll get stuck if you want to expand this securely, and a machine learning platform provides a solution. In addition, there are ready-made solutions that provide a good starting point, but keep in mind that these are still in development, and customers often have very specific questions. Using data scientists to develop and (re)train models, as well as machine learning experts to make the model operational, is still necessary and important."

Every Step of the Customer Journey

“HSO as a business transformation partner and Motion10 as a specialist in Microsoft Cloud, data, and AI complement each other perfectly,” Tino says. "In addition to knowledge of data and AI, we have experience in various specific industries. We are uniquely capable of thinking with the customer throughout the entire business process, both before and after implementation. We guide the entire process and take the customer's hand in every step of their journey. Together with the customer, we build a business case with the aim of, for example, demonstrably acquiring more customers or achieving a certain percentage of savings."

Alex adds: "After that, we lay out a data roadmap. After implementation, we also ensure adoption. We have developed a complete program for that. After all, you want to involve the organization in your AI strategy."

Ethical Questions 

If you want to use AI to optimize processes and make the right decisions, a prerequisite is having your data foundation in order. Tino: "You can't escape data governance. Questions come into play, such as: who owns the data? Is it valid? Are we using data in an ethically responsible manner? In that respect, you only have to do something wrong once, and you risk damage to your reputation or financial losses. That's why we have also developed workshops in the field of ethics," Alex adds.

AI as a Managed Service

HSO and Motion10 are ready to offer all the ingredients for full-stack AI to their customers. Not just the technical and strategic elements, but also the on-site data foundations and everything needed to meet the prerequisites. Tino: "For customers who don't want to worry about their AI solutions at all, we offer a package as a managed service. We ensure that the model is available, that the accuracy remains at the right level, that the output remains available and that the data and input side remain solid."

Alex concludes: "We are very excited about this field and its developments, and happy to exchange ideas with our network about the great opportunities that AI offers. That’s why we regularly organize sessions with our contacts to inspire each other."

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