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The software is part of what Laluyaux’s company, Aera Technology, is trying to coin as "self-driving enterprise," a Siri-like experience for deriving business insights. In testing for the past few months, Aera launched this month with its own app and the first three of its workflows the company says can use artificial intelligence to make sense of a company’s back-end.
“The tech understands how a business works, so it can make real recommendations on how to improve performance and can act in real time,” says Laluyaux. “Because we have the ability to understand the business and correlation end to end, we can bring actual predictions and recommendations that are actionable.”
Laluyaux points to supply chains as an area where technology has lagged in recent decades. Many businesses, especially those that make acquisitions or go through mergers, end up with several, if not dozens, of software systems for tracking their resources and flow of inventory through software systems called ERP. “You’d imagine that after 40 years that problem is solved, but it’s really not,” says Laluyaux. Data comes in from different sources in varying formats — and at a huge volume. One Aera customer has 1.2 billion rows of data across 24 systems, the CEO says, meaning it’s difficult to trace any given event back to the overall business impact.
Aera crawls all those systems many times each day to find the relevant data and index it into a usable layer for its software to scan. That allows it to predict supply shortages, spikes in demand or bottlenecks. At customer Merck KGaA based in Germany, executive Alessandro De Luca has been playing with Aera’s tech for two years. Using Aera’s software, Merck KGaA was able to increase its level of service of pharmaceuticals to hospitals from around 97 to 99.9 percent, De Luca says — a big difference in its reputation for reliability.
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