Ali Hyder, Group CEO at Focus Softnet explains how the ERP market leader is also establishing itself as a leading solution provider in Artificial Intelligence with its new cloud-based AI platform, AIFA.
Focus Softnet has established itself as a market leader for its ERP offering. However, at GITEX you also launched your cloud-based AI platform called AIFA. Can you tell us more about this?
Focus Softnet has been at the forefront of offering new and ground-breaking technologies to help its customers scale and accelerate their journeys into the digital era. With business applications undergoing yet another paradigm shift, we began integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into our ERP solutions to further assist users to optimise the latest technologies. During this process, we realised that the platform that was being added could be used seamlessly for other ERP and business applications without any alterations. This resulted in establishing AI as a separate business division, where we developed a platform that can be universally integrated and deployed across enterprise applications – Artificially Intelligent Futuristic Applications (AIFA). It’s an advanced and automated platform created to enhance business, increase productivity and reduce investments in human training. The platform allows speech recognition, face recognition, machine learning and predictive analysis.
The AIFA platform is designed to act as a plug-in for major ERP and CRM providers, but how will this new AI platform enhance their ability to provide better solutions in the enterprise segment of the market?
While change is inevitable, it is also the most dreaded experience for any enterprise user. Historically when a new technology had to be implemented, enterprises had to go through the process of upgrading existing ERP/CRM or other business applications. However, organisations can now enjoy the added benefits of AI, thanks to its ability to sit over existing applications without changing anything. AIFA will greatly enhance enterprises’ capabilities to provide better solutions and services for their customers. The plug-in AI platform enables businesses to effortlessly receive responses to ad-hoc queries. As an advanced AI chatbot that uses machine learning, AIFA will understand queries and respond smartly. Businesses can get insights and predictive analysis to lower their operational costs, improve services and user experiences. A single deployment of AIFA can strengthen a company’s ERP or CRM platforms with Voice User Interface (VUI) and boost Payroll & Attendance systems with face-recognition feature. The face recognition feature also helps in contributing to the increase in sales by getting maximum information of walk-in customers in retail sales. The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) feature in AIFA allows organisations to automate routine tasks that can be integrated with business application. Additionally, businesses can analyse data and support their customers in data entry tasks.
The scale of investment into ai across multiple industries only serves to reinforce the belief that it is going to be the prominent technology in Industry 4.0. However, are you concerned about the lack of ethical and regulatory frameworks around the technology?
Any kind of system implementation must be protected with adequate institutional frameworks so that companies are bound by it. This also has to be in place to ensure critical data assets are not stored or shared outside the domain. We believe building these frameworks are a work in progress and will have a more definite structure as we continue to innovate with the technology. Defining the boundaries of what is acceptable and necessary without intruding unduly into the privacy of individuals or enterprises is the job of AI deployment teams. This definitely requires both end-users and service providers to play their roles in outlining the levels of security and information access that needs to be granted to different departments.
Focus Softnet has been an IT leader since its inception in 1992. However, in your opinion what ultimately differentiates the company from its market rivals?
Focus Softnet has been continuously pushing its R&D to deliver state-of-the-art applications ahead of competitors. Our true differentiator lies in the fact that we allow customers to provide seamless experiences without disruptions to their core business as they adopt and adapt to new technologies. This offers a competitive advantage to end-users. We are redefining the ERP and CRM space with pioneering AI-led innovations. We understand customers’ challenges and offer genuine value-add to help them drive their objectives for a digital future.
What are the major challenges facing your customers today, and how are the innovative solutions provided by Focus Softnet helping them to address their problems?
Rising costs and operating efficiently in increasingly tougher market circumstances are two of the biggest challenges that customers face today. Companies are overwhelmed with how they can grow successfully or at least retain bottom-line constant figures in such an environment. Today everyone is looking at enhancing competencies in business processes so that they can save costs by completing tasks faster or by automating them. Digital transformation technologies such as Machine Learning, AI and Robotic Process Automation are improving the quality and efficiency in processes. To thrive in these challenging times, customers have to implement business transformation and automation technologies. In this regard, at Focus Softnet, our continuous goal is to be customers’ partner of choice for their end-to-end automation and transformation requirements. Focus Softnet products have been known to deliver hi-tech and modern applications, which in many cases are ahead of its competition and are offered at competitive price ranges. Our revolutionary solutions propel customers to reinforce their digital commitments and help them future proof their businesses.