For the better part of a year, I have been working at one of the most innovative and fast-growing consumer commerce startups to emerge out of California’s Silicon Valley called Hypersonix. After working for much of my career around retail and supply chain innovation, I have enjoyed introducing Hypersonix as a new category of software to many companies in the retail, restaurant, ecommerce, and hospitality industries. It’s a lot of fun because Hypersonix seeks to disrupt the advanced analytics landscape with a truly unique approach to solving age-old problems with fresh thinking.
As background, Hypersonix has built from the ground up, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based, next-generation, data-driven decisioning platform specifically for B2C companies. The company is at the forefront of helping its clients tear down long-standing data and people silos. It is also helping decision-makers across the enterprise make faster and better decisions based on auto-generated (autonomous) data-driven insights. These decision-makers, who are mostly non-technical businesspeople, can engage freely in a democratized way without having a dependency on data analysts or the information technology organization. Who wouldn’t be interested in that, right?
Well, under the covers, there is a lot more to what we do that makes our solution even more relevant for future looking B2C enterprises. Frankly, we sometimes struggle to explain and differentiate our capabilities, especially in this noisy-market, with so many other software solution providers vying for mindshare and wallet-share.
One of my colleagues remarked in an internal meeting that Hypersonix and AI in general, offers the same transformational potential as the Apple iPhone has over the past dozen or so years. His rationale for this comparison really connected with me, maybe because I have been a long-time iPhone aficionado. As we internally discussed it more, I concluded that AI really does offer transformational similarities to the “iPhone” and the platform has the potential to fundamentally change Enterprise decision making forever. I will make that case here.
Do you remember what life was like before the iPhone was announced in 2007?
Here is my experience…
Before I purchased my first iPhone, I was “living large” with a series of successive Blackberry devices in a row. Every time Research-In-Motion, the manufacturer of the Blackberry, came out with a new model, I had to have it, and I needed it before anyone else. Imagine such a powerful device that was a phone, but I could also read my email in text form and manage my calendar at any place or time. The Blackberry was truly a magical device because it allowed me to combine and replace what I was doing on my Motorola RAZR flip phone and my “Palm Pilot” Personal Digital Assistant.
Before I got my first iPhone, I listened to my music on a Sony Walkman. Ultimately, I transitioned to Apple’s iPod. I took high-quality pictures on my Pentax camera. I carried a Motorola pager in case someone wanted to text me urgently. I rented movies on VHS, and then DVDs, and I watched them on an actual television. At the time, the epicenter of my technology arsenal was my beloved IBM ThinkPad Laptop, where I could print off directions to get someplace without getting lost. The printed maps gave way to using a Garmin GPS system, yet another device.
The genius of the iPhone was that it became more than just a phone. It replaced my mobile phone, my landline phone, my PDA, my camera, my music devices, my video devices, my thermometer, my GPS, and even my credit card. I admit to still depending on the latest ThinkPad! Besides my laptop, Apple has “stitched together” virtually all aspects of my life into a ridiculously-simple-to-use device. In fact, the iPhone’s user experience is so seamless that I rarely ever need assistance, no matter what I want to accomplish. If I actually do ever need help, Apple has been kind enough to give me access to my own personal digital assistant named Siri.
If all of that weren’t enough, my iPhone is connected to hundreds, if not thousands of useful applications on the App Store, to help me accomplish a variety of other things, including managing my exercise and diet. I can manage the maintenance and performance of my automobiles, open/close my garage doors, and manage home devices including locks and lights. I can connect to all of my social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. And, I can shop for groceries, apparel, and even order food online.
The iPhone has become the new epicenter of my life. I couldn’t imagine doing things the old way ever again.
Why is Hypersonix AI Innovation Impactful Like Apple iPhone for Your Enterprise?
Hypersonix has the potential to be as transformative to enterprises as the iPhone has been in our personal lives. Here are four AI innovation examples that are a key part of the Hypersonix platform that confirms the analogy.
- Unified Data Analytics Platform (UDAP) – Hypersonix has created a high performance, cloud-based data platform designed to unify and “stitch together” all of your various disparate enterprise data sources, tearing down the numerous data silos that currently exist due to the software being used in your business – whether it is legacy or modern, on-premise or cloud, packaged software or in-house developed custom software.
The UDAP is capable of auto-ingesting data from a variety of commerce and application platforms such as point-of-sale transactions, ecommerce transactions, merchandising data, CRM/Loyalty data, store operations data, supply chain data, and ERP data. The platform leverages AutoML (Automatic Machine Learning) to automatically identify, ingest, cleanse, and organize data without the necessity for ETL tools and other middleware software. The source data can be ingested in batch, real-time and even streaming mode. And, the platform can support many terabytes of data with exceptional speed.
Core to the Hypersonix UDAP is a proprietary data intelligence layer that overlays all of your data regardless of the source software system. We essentially create an intelligent data lake not just focused on centralized data storage, but more importantly, designed for extremely fast retrieval of massive amounts of data. The UDAP can uniquely provide a 360-degree view of your customer, product, finance, and operations data.
- Data Science and Machine Learning Microservices – Once you have an intelligent, high-performance UDAP in place, Hypersonix applies an innovative array of deep-learning, machine-learning, and data science capabilities to that data. Hypersonix has created a portfolio of highly innovative, reusable microservices designed to read signals in the data, interpret those signals and ultimately provide insights around virtually any challenge or opportunity in a consumer commerce centric enterprise. These microservices are full lifecycle in nature including descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytics. They run autonomously to help interpret what’s happening, why is it happening, and what you can do about it.
Hypersonix data science and machine learning microservices can level the playing field for regional enterprises as they compete with large multi-national companies. Larger enterprises are known to aggressively invest in analytics tools that can be operated by an army of in-house data scientists.
- Ridiculously Easy User Experience – In today’s commerce environments, especially retailers and restaurant chains, all enterprises have a majority of decision-makers who are not analytics or technology-savvy professionals – they’re businesspeople. They are merchants, marketeers, store operations, supply chain, and finance professionals. Some are senior executives, while others are mid-level or first line managers in the store, the warehouse, or the headquarters. It’s not their job to understand data structures, analytics tools, or complex technology infrastructures. Consequently, absent a solution like Hypersonix, these decision-makers are forced to surround themselves with experts comfortable with the data and technology. Or, they make anecdotal / instinctual decisions instead.
If you had the opportunity, as Hypersonix did, to design a next-generation data-driven decisioning platform that everyone would want to use, you would seek to create a user experience that is already familiar to everyone in the organization, even at first glance.
- Virtually everyone already understands how to do a Google search in their personal/business lives to research a given topic. It is not uncommon for a typical person to Google things ten, twenty, or thirty times a day. Given the universal comfort that everyone has with Google searches, what if you could have a Google-like experience for your retail or restaurant business where you could ask plain English questions in a search bar and get instant results? Hypersonix offers this “Google-like experience,” allowing business users to be productive on the Hypersonix platform immediately, without any significant training.
- Virtually everyone understands how to verbally ask Siri or Alexa a question using the voice interface. Why type if you could simply speak instead? What if you could have an Alexa or Siri like personal decision agent for your retail or restaurant business where you could ask for and receive immediate insights? Hypersonix offers JARVIX as a Siri-like or Alexa-like voice or text experience on our platform. Think of JARVIX as your personal data analyst providing instant insights and data interpretation for non-technical businesspeople.
- Virtually everyone understands how to work with and manipulate data in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. What if tabular data, reports, and data visualizations were presented to you in a simple-to-understand Excel-like experience that was instantly familiar to you? Hypersonix offers an integrated Excel-like experience where users can slice and dice tabular data and visualizations in this commonly understood fashion. Even non-technical people can create reports, generate visualizations instantly, add incremental data sources visually, and even include calculated fields without analysts or technology experts. This universal familiarity makes it very easy for just about anyone to be quickly proficient on the Hypersonix platform.
When the Hypersonix platform was built, the founders were intent on delivering a “ridiculously easy user experience,” and they sought to be a clear innovator around Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and Natural Language Generation (NLG). These capabilities are available at the office on your personal computer, at home, and on the go – whether you are accessing the platform on a personal computer, tablet, or mobile experience.
- Autonomous Intelligence Apps – The Hypersonix platform brings together actionable insights across a variety of different functions of the retail and restaurant enterprise. In seeking to simplify the decisioning experience for these enterprises, Hypersonix created an integrated “App Store like experience” where a marketplace of advanced functional and analytics capabilities can be enabled to address the needs of enterprises. These intelligence apps can be Hypersonix-built capabilities, third-party applications, and even client in-house developed intelligence apps.
Autonomous Intelligence Apps are designed to solve a variety of very specific business problems.
- Merchandising – maybe your business needs AI-powered pricing, promotions, or assortment optimization capabilities to drive profitable revenue growth?
- Marketing – maybe your business needs access to customer insights and segmentations where you can tier your loyal customers and correlate an understanding what products they like to buy. Maybe your seeking to personalize their experience and shape demand with individually relevant offers that you can present to your customers?
- Operations – maybe your business has an inventory problem where you are losing sales due to out of stocks or you are carrying too much inventory. Perhaps you are experiencing excessive shrinkage or spoilage? Maybe you are struggling with loss prevention? Or perhaps you may need better labor planning analytics to support your staffing plans?
- Supply Chain – maybe your business needs more accurate demand forecasting and across-the-supply chain collaboration capabilities?
- Digital Channels – maybe your business is expanding eCommerce with curbside pickup or home delivery. Optimizing all aspects of eCommerce can certainly be done with Hypersonix intelligence apps.
The point here is that through the Hypersonix app store, your business can leverage our out-of-the-box capabilities and third-party capabilities to create a fully integrated data-driven decision-making platform. This is truly a unique approach to synthesize analytics with AI Innovation, versus the fragmented approach that most enterprises struggle within today’s environment.
One of the clear advantages that Apple has leveraged with its iPhone platform is that it is a fully integrated platform where all key aspects of the platform are provided by or at least curated by a single vendor. Hypersonix offers a very Apple-like approach because it has uniquely combined four core ingredients:
- A Unified Data Analytics Platform – the ingredient that brings data from disparate sources together
- An array of Reusable Machine Learning and Data Science Microservices – the ingredient that reads and interprets signals in that data seeking to provide autonomous and instant insights
- A ridiculously easy and familiar user experience that is Google-like, Alexa/Siri-like, and Microsoft Excel-like – the ingredient that allows all users to immediately and in a self-service fashion get value from data-driven insights without a dependency on data analysts or technology professionals. Users can just “Ask Jarvix!”
- Marketplace of Intelligence Apps – the ingredient that provides users with an array of ready-to-use applications that can save money or make money in your enterprise.
All of this is assembled and managed by a single organization on a single platform specifically focused on the unique needs of retailers and restaurants.
With Hypersonix, B2C enterprises will make fewer instinctual decisions and fewer costly bad or late decisions. Instead, empowered by Hypersonix’s AI Innovation, users will make faster, better decisions that result in meaningful financial benefits. This unique Hypersonix approach allows enterprises to have one version of the truth across the organization provided by a single “one-throat to choke” solution provider. Older, legacy decisioning platforms and best of breed, niche solutions can be retired resulting in significant costs savings and a simpler decisioning infrastructure.
At Hypersonix, We Are Re-Inventing Decision Making Forever
Hypersonix, a venture-backed San Jose, California-based company that offers an autonomous cloud-based, AI-powered analytics solution enables decision-makers to aggregate and analyze disparate data sources and derive actionable insights, simply and quickly, without needing to depend on IT or analysts being involved. Serving Consumer Commerce industries like Retailers, Restaurants, Hospitality, eCommerce, and CPG Brands, Hypersonix helps clients drive profitable revenue growth, save money, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Harnessing the power of AI innovations like machine learning and natural language processing, Hypersonix offers its customers an exceptionally simple and fast “Google-like” text and voice search experience for their business augmented by “Jarvix” – an embedded Intelligent Decision Agent. The company offers a full suite of descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics designed to help its customers understand what is happening, why is it happening, and what can they do about it!
✎ by Todd P. Michaud, President & Chief Customer Officer at Hypersonix, Inc.