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Level up with AI: Expert tips for businesses

Whether you’re a small startup or an established enterprise, integrating AI tips and tools into your business strategy can revolutionize the way you operate, streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and boost overall efficiency.

In this week’s edition of Let’s Talk, our experts discuss AI tips and tools that are poised to take your business to new heights, unleashing its full potential and paving the way for success in the modern business landscape.

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Ross Fenton, Senior Director, Corporate Sales, JAPAC at GitHub

Ross Fenton
Ross Fenton, Senior Director, Corporate Sales, JAPAC at GitHub

“Australian SMEs face a pinch point when it comes to pushing the needle on innovation. Between economic uncertainty, a rapidly changing digital landscape, and a battle for tech talent, these organisations are facing some strong headwinds. AI has a key role to play in boosting Australia’s SME ecosystem, offering up the ability to transform workplace productivity, increase employee happiness, and accelerate innovation. In fact, these benefits are already taking hold in the crucial sector of software development as generative AI continues to have a material impact on developers.

“We’ve seen firsthand the transformative impact AI can have on developer productivity. Developers are already writing code over 55% faster with GitHub Copilot, can complete tasks more rapidly, stay in the flow, focus on more satisfying work, and conserve mental energy for problem solving. When that happens, innovation accelerates and organisations benefit from the full focus and creativity of their developers. And more productive and inspired developers only spell good news for business impact and the pace of innovation.”

Ruth-Anne Marchant, Senior Team Lead at Mathworks Australia

Ruth-Anne Marchant
Ruth-Anne Marchant, Senior Team Lead at Mathworks Australia

“Most companies likely have many business units that can benefit from AI, but not many technical resources dedicated to coding and creating AI-based projects. This is where low-code AI solutions come in. Low-code solutions significantly reduce the barrier to entry, allowing domain experts to leverage AI without extensive programming knowledge. Shortening production cycles and lowering project costs, low-code applications also help bridge the gap between innovative solutions used by data scientists and the engineers on the ground.”

David DeSanto, Chief Product Officer at GitLab

David DeSanto
David DeSanto, Chief Product Officer at GitLab

“Companies across all industries are at a pivotal moment in AI adoption. The policies we put into place, the strategies we create, and the ways we shift our workflows to incorporate AI will help shape the future of business and software development.

“To adopt AI responsibly and sustainably, organisations must look for ways to incorporate it in alignment with their goals and values, while also considering what updates to security and privacy policies may be required. When implemented strategically, AI has the potential to augment functions across organisations, from software development to marketing to finance.

“By creating thoughtful security policies and contingency plans surrounding the use of AI, including how tools store and protect proprietary corporate, customer, and partner data, organisations can better protect themselves from security risks. Without these plans in place, the resulting consequences can seriously impact the future of AI adoption and will have a profound impact on the trajectory of software innovation for decades to come.

“Strategically identifying priority areas to incorporate automation within software development allows organisations to reap the benefits of AI without creating vulnerabilities, sacrificing adherence to compliance standards, or risking relationships with their customers and stakeholders.”

Preethi Bridgement, Director, Solutions Engineering APAC at Freshworks

Preethi Bridgement
Preethi Bridgement, Director, Solutions Engineering APAC at Freshworks

“For a long time, companies have been looking for ways to become more efficient and productive. With generative AI, efficiency and productivity now becomes a reality in helping to improve the customer experience. Using AI tools like machine learning, chatbots and advanced analytics to analyse customer data can effectively help businesses boost customer service efficiency and increase self-service options, ultimately driving hyper-personalisation and reducing friction when it comes to moments of truth in a customer journey.

“Support agents talk to many clients on a daily basis, and as the amount of data on a customer profile grows, AI can help agents quickly distil those data points and provide a contextualised summary of a customer and their brand journey. This enables agents to better understand the needs of the customer, determine the best action and deliver personalised services within minutes, ensuring the customer on the other side of the phone, chatbot, or social channel feels like more than a ticket ID. By filtering the data and cutting through the noise, CX professionals are able to get to the heart of a customer issue and drive greater accuracy and customer satisfaction through personalisation.

“Generative AI tools like Freshworks’s Freddy Insights have the ability to analyse customer and employee support data to automatically identify areas for improvement. By offering real-time recommendations, agents are empowered to make informed and tailored decisions, optimising and improving customer engagement. AI is a key enabler for any business looking to level up their customer experience.”

Shaun Broughton, Managing Director, APAC and Japan at Shopify

Shaun Broughton
Shaun Broughton, Managing Director, APAC and Japan at Shopify

“As Australian retailers grapple with mounting economic pressures, AI and automation have emerged as crucial tools for enhancing efficiency and doing more with less. Shopify’s recent Australian Retail Report 2023 revealed that 44% of Australian retailers are either investing in or planning to invest in AI. These technologies are being employed for various purposes, with the top five use cases being: improving employee experience, enhancing the customer online experience, predictive analytics, handling customer service inquiries, and content creation.

“Traditionally, crafting captivating product descriptions required significant time and expertise. However, thanks to AI-powered systems, businesses can now rely on high-quality, engaging content that conveys a product’s essence, features, and benefits. This innovative technology not only saves them a considerable amount of time and effort but also allows them to dedicate more attention to other crucial aspects of their business.

“Moreover, AI-enabled assistants like Shopify’s Sidekick go beyond generating content and can offer additional advantages to businesses. Powered by Shopify Magic, Sidekick can instantly access relevant context, data, and expertise to provide personalised support for various tasks.

“By harnessing such tools, businesses can unlock the true potential of AI to boost productivity, streamline workflows, make intelligent decisions, and free up valuable time to focus on business growth.”

Rogier Roelvink, Customer Strategy Director, Oracle Construction and Engineering

Rogier Roelvink
Rogier Roelvink, Customer Strategy Director, Oracle Construction and Engineering

“While the goals of construction projects haven’t changed from completing tasks safely, on time, and on budget; today’s tools have come a long way and the addition of AI has made the tools even more capable.

“Prescriptive AI and machine learning provide predictive intelligent actionable insights, identify hidden risks, schedule delays or poor schedule quality, process inefficiencies, and project- planning issues, all of which allow you to complete tasks with greater certainty about their safety, duration, and cost.

“It is imperative for Prescriptive AI and machine learning success in projects that they learn from a data set that can be trusted and relied upon. Trust in the data comes from consistency and standardisation in the use of a base suite of connected tools and solutions, a connected ecosystem of applications creating and maintaining a secure common data environment.

“Benchmarks show that standardisation of suitable and specialist construction project applications can reduce cost overruns, safety incidents, and project durations up to 20%, 38%, and 10% respectively. Standardisation and subsequent Prescriptive AI can provide actionable and predictive insights and help prevent adverse events from impacting project delivery.”

Nick Eayrs, Vice President, Field Engineering APJ, Databricks

Nick Eayrs
Nick Eayrs, Vice President, Field Engineering APJ, Databricks

“We believe that AI will usher in the next generation of product and software innovation, and we’re already seeing this play out in the market. The next generation of winning companies will be those who understand and leverage AI. Our State of Data + AI report showed that the number of companies using LLMs has surged by 1,310% between the end of November 2022 and the beginning of May 2023.

“Data is the oil that fuels AI, and AI is only as good as the data it is trained on. Business leaders need to first recognise that their proprietary data is the component that differentiates them from their competitors, and businesses should be able to control and monitor their own data. They can do so by building their own LLM models. In that way, they can take ownership and maintain control of their proprietary data and model quality to allow them to securely utilise their data without having to move or share it with a third party. This provides businesses with more control over the correctness, bias, and performance of their generative AI applications, whilst protecting proprietary data.

“Businesses looking to leverage AI should invest in a data lakehouse platform. This open and unified data management architecture combines the best of data warehouses and data lakes and is the best and most secure place to develop data and AI applications together. By using a data lakehouse platform, businesses can avoid having their data in silos, hence, simplifying the process of building AI on top of all data easily accessible in a unified system.”

Kat Warboys, APAC Marketing Director, HubSpot

Kat Warboys
Kat Warboys, APAC Marketing Director, HubSpot

“Many businesses already use at least one common form of automation, so it’s no surprise AI has been adopted by marketers far and wide. Not just for the sake of efficiency but also to provide a more personalised experience for their customers.

“For marketers, quality content is key to attracting visitors, keeping customers engaged and expanding your following. Despite its importance, the process of sourcing ideas, drafting and editing posts and optimising content is a time intensive undertaking. AI-powered tools like Content Assistant are designed to help this process, letting you bid farewell to writer’s block once and for all — whether that’s crafting an email or drafting a blog.

“When integrated correctly, AI tools like ChatSpot.ai enable marketers to create personalised customer experiences, resulting in improved conversion rates and increased sales leads. From follow-up emails, personalised content, prospecting, and lead management, AI allows marketers to level up assets and make sure customers stick around for the long haul.

“With features centred around enhancing productivity and automating operations, AI tools can give marketing teams more time to focus on creative strategies that will help grow the business. Our mantra is work smarter, not harder by using AI — and harness its power with our new tools, designed to streamline your day-to-day and help your business grow better.”

Sumir Bhatia, President Asia Pacific, ISG at Lenovo

Sumir Bhatia
Sumir Bhatia, President Asia Pacific, ISG at Lenovo

“According to IDC, 70% of leaders are interested in or already leveraging generative AI to improve customer experience, enhance security, and deliver personalized and targeted experiences at scale.

“Some of the key tools & tips include:

  1. Data Analytics: Leverage AI-powered data analytics tools for valuable insights from large datasets, enabling data-driven decisions and identifying trends. Automated data analytics software is a tech tool widely used by businesses, but it demands careful oversight. While helpful for data-driven decisions, it also entails potential data security risks. Access to sensitive data needs proper configuration and protection to avoid becoming a target for cybercriminals.
  2. Personalization: Employ AI algorithms for personalized customer experiences, tailoring products, services, and marketing messages to preferences.
  3. Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: Integrate AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants to enhance customer service, improve instant support and query addressal. For instance, we partnered with one of our ISV partners DeepBrain AI offer complete solution for generative AI virtual assistants. These assistants, paired with powerful large language models (LLMs), customized themselves to represent various demographics and supported the company’s brand vision, resembling real employees or known personalities.
  4. Predictive Maintenance: Use AI-based predictive maintenance tools monitoring equipment health, predicting failures, and optimizing maintenance schedules, reducing downtime. A notable example is Lenovo and Guise’s AI solutions that aid industrial customers with up to 14 days of advanced prediction to minimize unplanned downtime. They also offer customer behavior understanding and process optimization through predictive maintenance on the production line.

“Clearly, AI’s potential is vast, businesses must avoid rushing into AI technology without understanding its long-term impact. Understanding the complexities of AI capabilities, Lenovo has committed US$ 1 Bn to the expansion of infrastructure solutions to accelerate AI deployment worldwide. As we approach the early stages of implementation, it is crucial to strike a delicate balance between embracing AI and addressing the potential disruptions it may bring.”

Merlin Luck, Regional Vice President, Salesforce

Merlin Luck
Merlin Luck, Regional Vice President, Salesforce

“In the current climate, small to mid-sized businesses are faced with increasing pressure. However, the introduction of AI is already helping from automating repetitive tasks to providing real-time actionable information.

“To unlock the transformative power of AI, it is essential that SMBs have a clear vision of their strategy and business goals, pinpointing where AI can add the most value and drive new efficiencies This allows small business owners to free up employees, give them more time to focus on running the business and improve customer service.

“AI tools such as Einstein GPT, part of Salesforce AI Cloud, provide added value by seamlessly integrating with existing CRM capabilities. By providing a cost-effective, efficient, and scalable way to generate high-quality, personalised work, Einstein GPT has the power to transform the way SMBs work.”

Emma Bromet, CEO at Eliiza, a Mantel Group company

Emma Bromet
Emma Bromet, CEO at Eliiza, a Mantel Group company

“There are so many tools, many of which are open source, to help businesses harness AI. From our experience tooling is often the easy part, the key to truly boosting the business impact of AI is often much more people centric. Firstly it’s important that the business has good data foundations, for example data literacy across the organisation since, as more advanced uses of data are introduced, trust in its outcome and security of this data increasingly become vital. Secondly, having the platforms and process to scale AI become increasingly important, for example having established machine learning operations (ML Ops) Scaling AI is the difference between running one-off proof of concepts, and having productionised models driving business value day-in-day-out.

“Also, the National AI Centre has published a comprehensive catalogue of patterns for implementing AI responsibly. This catalogue contains helpful patterns for across the whole development lifecycle from governance to process and product.”

Rohini Sharma, Industry Lead at monday.com

Rohini Sharma
Rohini Sharma, Industry Lead at monday.com

“AI-powered tools have emerged as an innovative technology influencing the way businesses and teams operate in the workplace. Capable of supporting both complex and simple tasks, AI can help drive automation from time-intensive responsibilities, including customer support and composing emails, to content development and summarisation. With AI automation, businesses can save hours on manual tasks, freeing up more time to focus on impactful areas of the business, such as creative strategy, cross-team collaboration and enhancing relationships with both existing and new customers.

“AI solutions, like monday AI assistant — a smart assistant that seamlessly integrates AI capabilities throughout the monday.com work management platform is designed to enhance business productivity, efficiency and innovation. monday AI assistant provides another layer of innovation that optimises the way teams use the platform. For example with Formula Builder, you can easily build and run complex formulas and with Automated Task Generation, you can create best practices to complete your projects in less time. The way we work is changing and it’s important to have the right infrastructure in place to interact, build and to improve workflows.”

Daniel Park, Sales Engineering Manager ANZ at Zebra Technologies

Daniel Park
Daniel Park, Sales Engineering Manager ANZ at Zebra Technologies

“Regardless of whether it is a manufacturer, retailer, or third-party logistics provider, enterprises should consider adopting artificial intelligence (AI) powered solutions like scanners, mobile computers, wearables, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, machine vision or even robots, just to name a few.

“In the manufacturing industry, for instance, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) equipped with machine learning and computer vision, are meant to work hand-in-hand with front-line workers in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and distribution centres to optimise operational performance, efficiency, and results. Manufacturers and retailers can also use adaptive AI to forecast demand and plan inventory. AI-powered machine vision can further assist with tasks like detailed quality inspections when it comes to the production of medications, automotive parts, and other goods coming off the manufacturing line.

“Ultimately, it is about leveraging AI-generated insights to meet business needs, and to make critical business decisions quickly, accurately, and decisively.”

Dominic Procter, AI Mad, Founder of Outsourced Staff

Dominic Procter
Dominic Procter, AI Mad, Founder of Outsourced Staff

“AI can significantly boost your business when employed as a tool rather than a replacement for human creativity. Enhancing efficiency, increasing output, improving customer service, automating processes, and ideation are just a few ways AI can empower you.

“AI optimised by humans (AIO) involves taking the output from AI and adding that human touch, personal context and your unique perspective.

“AI chatbots like ChatGPT, Bard, and Perplexity serve as personal assistants with a knowledge base beyond any human capacity. Harness their capabilities and personalise them to your needs. Consider integrating the following tools into your day-to-day business operations:

  • ChatGPT 4 assists with idea generation, brainstorming, content creation, job listings, descriptions, and even language translation. Whatever your needs, ChatGPT can provide a solution.
  • Fireflies.ai not only records, transcribes, and analyses your meetings, but also highlights key takeaways and action items. Forget about scribbling notes – you’ll have searchable recall of all your meetings.
  • Content at Scale enables you to generate 2000+ word SEO-optimized long-form blog posts in minutes! Combining the top search results delivers an AI-generated, plagiarism-free output that instantly ranks and drives traffic to your site.

“Embrace the power of AI and watch your business grow.”

Albert Nel, Senior Vice President APJ at Contentsquare

Albert Nel, Senior Vice President APJ at Contentsquare

“No business today can afford to lose transactions unnecessarily, let alone to waste the goodwill of customers to a needlessly frustrating online experience. Contentsquare’s data tells us that one in three website visits are frustrating customers and causing revenue loss. Businesses are putting in extra effort to ensure their digital channels are free of undiscovered blockers and frustrations that stand in the way of customer happiness and retention. However, efficiently harnessing insights from billions of data points without spending hours and hours remains the biggest challenge.

“Digital experience analytics (DXA) offers brands the insights they need to optimise and personalise every experience to drive growth and eliminate the costly errors that impact conversion. New AI-powered capabilities in the category improve the way businesses fix user frustration at scale. By adding a layer of precision to the insights, CX teams can contextualise behaviours and unlock a deeper understanding of how and why customers are interacting with the content on their site. For example, CX teams will be able to use AI to differentiate between a user searching for a product by clicking multiple times on a product carousel vs. a user rage clicking, demonstrating rising frustration.

“By leveraging AI to smarten up their insights, businesses can better detect frustration along the customer journey and prioritise the right optimisations and deliver better user experiences across web and app channels. Additionally, the insights can surface opportunities for businesses to optimise performance, improve user journeys, and lift usage and conversion.”

Andrew Philp, Platform Strategy Lead ANZ, Trend Micro

Andrew Philp
Andrew Philp, Platform Strategy Lead ANZ, Trend Micro

“In today’s business landscape, leaders are facing a number of challenges, but cybersecurity is emerging as a top concern. With the threat landscape rapidly revolving, along with a dire tech talent shortage and rising costs, business leaders’ anxiety is at an all-time high. While AI might be seen as the latest ‘flash in the pan’, it can be a game-changer for businesses to improve productivity, operational efficiency, and their security posture—if leveraged in the right way.

“AI tools can revolutionise cybersecurity, providing unparalleled benefits such as enhanced protection and detection, automation of tedious tasks that once burdened overworked security teams, and the ability to explain complex scenarios in easily understandable terms. The advantages are immense when AI complements layered security measures.

“However, AI can also act as a double-edged sword and can expose businesses to significant risks if it is used inappropriately among staff. To counter this possibility, businesses must establish clear AI usage policies and access controls. Adding to that, employee training and monitoring for inappropriate AI usage is critical.

“AI has immense potential to bolster the cybersecurity resilience of a business and ultimately, business operations overall, but its usage must be coupled with thoughtful policies and oversight.”

Fabian Calle, Managing Director, Small and Medium Business, ANZ at SAP Concur

Fabian Calle
Fabian Calle, Managing Director, Small and Medium Business, ANZ at SAP Concur

“Contrary to popular belief, business leaders don’t need to be artificial intelligence (AI) experts. Well-designed AI applications, built for evolving businesses of all sizes, are straightforward to install and require no extensive investment or customisation.

“Here are a few exciting ways that AI can turbocharge businesses:

  • Streamline travel and expense (T&E) activities: By leveraging AI-powered automation, integrated T&E platforms not only free up employee time, reduce costs, and increase return on investment (ROI) but also enhance employee experiences.
  • Manage cash flow: cash forecasting software, powered by AI, can accurately predict when cash crunches are likely to occur, empowering businesses to plan ahead and make informed decisions. Additionally, these tools identify cash-rich periods, creating opportunities for expanding the team or investing in new equipment.
  • Unleash employee potential: AI-powered automation in T&E management liberates employees from mundane tasks, ultimately stimulating creativity, innovation, and more strategic work.

“AI tools can be transformative, empowering businesses to maintain agility and market responsiveness in the digital era. Embracing AI isn’t just an accessible option; it’s also a crucial step for businesses of all sizes to unlock new possibilities, fuel growth, and maintain a competitive edge.”

Scott Wiltshire, Vice President and GM, Oracle NetSuite

Scott Wiltshire
Scott Wiltshire, Vice President and GM, Oracle NetSuite

“Businesses that adopt AI open themselves up to many benefits and opportunities. These include reducing time-consuming manual processes to freeing up people for more valuable and strategic tasks as well as unlocking insights to better forecast and prepare for the future.

“As a first step to reap the benefits, business leaders should consider whether the tools and systems they use have embedded AI capabilities. For example, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have built-in AI capabilities to provide real-time visibility into operational and financial performance. Having this visibility, sales teams can more accurately forecast demand, operations teams can identify potential supply chain challenges, and finance teams can enhance cash flow predictions. Having cross-functional visibility across the business helps provide leaders with the insight to make the right decisions in a rapidly evolving economic world.

“Automating repetitive or time-consuming processes using AI, can provide immediate time-saving benefits. Automating accounts payable (AP) eliminates manual processes by converting supplier invoices into a standard digital format. When integrated into a digital workflow, this helps free up finance teams to focus on higher value tasks and inform decision making.”

Brad Drysdale, Field CTO, SnapLogic

Brad Drysdale
Brad Drysdale, Field CTO, SnapLogic

“Generative AI leverages large language models and, like ChatGPT, can produce responses that are sometimes right, sometimes wrong but always certain – a characteristic that reflects AI’s inherent opinionated nature. Consequently, these “hallucinations” raise questions around the accuracy of the integrations they generate.

“GPT’s performance is commendable but not 100% accurate and may contain biases from its learned content, which is generally taken from the Internet. This raises concerns for organisations using it as a virtual assistant, chatbot, content generator or product encoder. The risk of AI producing racist, discriminatory or biased content could harm a brand’s trust and value. Therefore, caution must be exercised to strike the right balance between AI and human involvement.

“Looking ahead, the real game-changer lies in deep domain-specific training for AI. This depth will drive real change, allowing businesses to accelerate, improve accuracy and achieve high-quality outcomes while reducing human errors. SnapLogic has embraced this early on with SnapGPT, the first generative integration solution to use AI and a large language model. It allows organisations to integrate and automate faster, improve accuracy and free up time for more critical tasks. It’s an exciting tool that’s leading the way into the future of AI-powered productivity.”

Billy Loizou, APAC Area VP, Amperity

Billy Loizou
Billy Loizou, APAC Area VP, Amperity

“World-leading brands have mountains of customer data at their disposal. However, despite investments in leading-edge technologies and service teams, brands often continue to struggle to build a unified view of their customers, blocking their ability to provide the personalised experiences today’s customers demand.

“Even more, according to McKinsey, they’re also missing out significant business gains. A positive customer experience has been shown to yield 20 per cent higher customer satisfaction rates, up to a 15 per cent boost in sales conversion rates and a 20 to 30 per cent boost in employee engagement.

“Brands that leverage Amperity’s AI-powered patented technology intelligently unleash the power of their data, rapidly building a comprehensive and accurate view of the customer at scale. This results in efficiency gains, new use cases and enhanced personalisation opportunities and more. In just 12 weeks, one brand was able to identify 1.5 million previously unknown customers and correctly attributed almost $200 million in customer lifetime value by linking siloed data sources.”

Marcus Paterson, Sales Director APAC, Storyblok

Marcus Paterson
Marcus Paterson, Sales Director APAC, Storyblok

“When it comes to routine tasks, such as content creation, editing, optimisation and the overall content workflows, all of that can be automated to a certain degree. For instance, generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Jasper or GhostWryter can significantly speed up the text content creation process.

“Even though these tools still require human input, you can still refer to them as automation services. You can also use them for editing and proofreading content, which can streamline content workflows and approval processes.

“Many companies have already embraced the power of AI and integrated this technology into their existing architecture, allowing them to automatically format and optimise content. Whilst once a distant vision, the reality is that the AI revolution is happening. It has the ability to change everything and create a content journey that is truly out of this world.”

Dhanush Ganglani, Managing Director, Eden Exchange

Dhanush Ganglani
Dhanush Ganglani, Managing Director, Eden Exchange

“From using ChatGPT to help draft business-for-sale listings to AI-powered chatbots, providing personalised recommendations and tailored experiences, AI has enormous potential to boost business growth and success.

“For one, AI algorithms have the power to analyse the preferences, requirements and criteria of buyers and sellers, enabling them to be connected with the most suitable opportunities, saving time and effort in the search process.

“At the same time, AI-powered valuation tools provide accurate and real-time business valuations by analysing various factors like financial data, market trends and industry benchmarks. This means sellers can more easily determine the fair value of their businesses, streamlining the negotiation process.

“There are also AI-powered analytics tools that can extract meaningful insights from vast amounts of data, empowering buyers and sellers to make informed decisions when assessing business opportunities.

“We’ve seen this first-hand with our DealXchange platform, which leverages AI to simplify and streamline the entire business buying and selling journey in new and exciting ways. When used correctly, AI can enhance customer experiences, improve efficiency and help you stay ahead in today's competitive landscape.”

Chad Gates, Managing Director at Pronto Software

Chad Gates
Chad Gates, Managing Director at Pronto Software

“AI has emerged at the forefront of data innovations. According to McKinsey, the right AI tools can transform roles and boost performance across functions, unlocking upwards of AU$6.64 trillion annually.

“As an example, Pronto Software recently strengthened its long-standing relationship with IBM, launching a groundbreaking data integration suite of products called Pronto Xi BI Unlimited with IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson. The integration addresses a critical challenge that many businesses face – a limited focus on the scope of data that was deemed important.

“With the new capability, businesses that leverage the solution can gain a comprehensive view of their entire operations with unlimited data access to report and analyse all their critical business data together. This includes data from Pronto Xi ERP as well as other sources, such as external financial systems, sales tools, online websites, weather and weather forecast, foot traffic trends, PLC controllers and IoT.

“In addition to gaining access to unlimited data sources, customers will also be able to access deeper insights leveraging IBM Cognos Analytics’ Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

“As the space of BI and AI continues to evolve, working closely with IBM allows us to deliver the right tools to our customers and facilitate their growth and maturity in using AI for data-driven decision-making.”

Jonathan Reeve, Vice President APAC, Eagle Eye

Jonathan Reeve
Jonathan Reeve, Vice President APAC, Eagle Eye

“AI can be leveraged to boost your business in a number of ways:

  • Get good data: For AI to work, you need data. As a retailer, to get customer data, you must first give something in return. A tried and tested way to create this value exchange is by establishing a compelling loyalty or customer engagement program that earns you high participation rates.
  • Power personalisation: Once you have the data, you can personalise the customer experience. AI algorithms can be put in place to analyse customer data and uncover patterns, preferences and trends quickly. This enables you to deliver highly personalised experiences at scale, enhancing customer satisfaction and driving revenue.
  • Embrace the right tools: Leverage tools and platforms that align with your business needs to enhance customer experiences, improve operational efficiency and drive revenue growth. Eagle Eye AIR, for instance, provides the most flexible, scalable and future-proofed promotions, loyalty and gifting capability in the world. This platform enables organisations to execute against their data analytics and AI-based personalisation strategies as without execution, you are all thought and no action!

“Remember, successful implementation of AI requires proper data management, robust AI tools and a clear understanding of your business objectives. Continuously evaluate and refine your AI strategies to stay ahead in the competitive market.”

Andrew Winlaw, Vice President and General Manager Australia and New Zealand at Amelia

Andrew Winlaw
Andrew Winlaw, Vice President and General Manager Australia and New Zealand at Amelia

“As businesses turn to AI platforms like Conversational AI to improve employee and customer experiences, they should follow these tips to ensure successful and high-impact deployments.

“For internal AI implementations, company leaders should involve employees in the development process to ensure AI agents are tailored to the specific needs of their workforce. Leaders should also have a clear stance on the role of AI within their workforce and communicate it effectively to employees. In addition, regular upskilling and reskilling will help employees adapt to the AI-powered workforce and remain engaged in their tasks.

“When deployed externally, AI drives the most value when stakeholders from all customer-related business units are involved in the development process. This ensures that AI agents are tailored to the needs of the customer at every touchpoint. Another tip for success is enabling AI to seamlessly transfer customer conversations to human agents, so that customers have a fallback option when AI agents cannot meet their needs. Finally, by deploying AI over multiple channels, companies can consistently deliver high-quality service, regardless of their customers’ preferred modes of communication.

“By following these AI deployment tips, companies can build stronger relationships with customers and increase productivity and employee satisfaction.”

Jay Sanderson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Progress

Jay Sanderson
Jay Sanderson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Progress

“Investing in AI tools necessitates a comprehensive understanding of their impact. We need to discern how AI can augment our businesses and foresee potential challenges, such as data privacy issues or the cost of implementation and maintenance.

“Business leaders must seize the opportunities to amalgamate AI into their existing data-driven tools. Positioning AI at the heart of technology systems has the potential to fuel greater efficiency compared to using AI merely as an added function. AI should not be seen as a side feature but as a transformative element that can significantly enhance decision-making processes and operational efficiency.

“Boosting the customer experience calls for a prioritisation of a Digital Experience Platform strategy with a modular approach, offering businesses the flexibility to handpick tools, including AI-enhanced ones, that best serve their needs. The concept of composability should be approached cautiously—it’s not a universal value-driver and needs careful implementation to ensure its real value is harnessed, avoiding the creation of an underused product suite.

“To shield against possible AI risks, opt for tools equipped with built-in features to tackle ethical decision-making, AI bias, and security issues. This proactive approach when choosing tools underscores the importance of responsible and safe AI deployment.”

Warren Schilpzand, Area Vice President of ANZ at DataStax

Warren Schilpzand
Warren Schilpzand, Area Vice President of ANZ at DataStax

“Customer service will be transformed for businesses using artificial intelligence. A tip for businesses is to use AI-powered chatbots which, unlike chatbots in the past, can provide helpful, real-time responses by accessing all the data and customer conversation history you have. But doing this requires having the right database, such as our vector-search-enabled AstraDB.

“Vector search is a gamechanger, because unlike the keyword-powered searches of the past, vector search uses AI to capture the meaning and context of unstructured data, from chat histories to images and sound. A vector search-enabled chatbot, for example, would be able to understand a customer is about to churn based on what they’ve said, and then provide an offer designed to keep them on board, all in real-time.

“Organisations that don’t use AI for customer service are going to be left behind, so the choice for business is clear: are you going to ride the AI wave, or be wiped out by it?”

Jonathan Levy, Country Manager Australia at Shopline

Jonathan Levy
Jonathan Levy, Country Manager Australia at Shopline

“In today’s evolving digital world, AI isn’t just a luxury, but a necessity for businesses to thrive. At Shopline, we’ve embedded AI across all our products, helping ecommerce businesses stand out and stay ahead of the curve.

“Personalising customer experience is arguably the most important for every business. By leveraging AI-powered recommendation engines to analyse customer behaviour, preferences and purchase history, you’ll be able to deliver tailored product suggestions that resonate with each customer. Elevate this further with AI-powered marketing tools that provide multidimensional segmentation for email and ad automation, improving targeting precision and enhancing ad performance.

“AI chatbots are the new superheroes of customer service. By integrating them into your website and social media platforms, customers have instant access to 24/7 support with inquiries, processing of orders, or any issues they are having. More broadly, AI can also help with keyword generation, on-page SEO, product tagging and copy optimisation, and so much more. It ultimately takes the burden of manual tasks away, allowing businesses to focus on growth.

“These are just a few tools among many to boost your business and gain a competitive advantage. Success lies in a seamless and unified approach.”

Peter Philipp, General Manager ANZ, Neo4j

Peter Philipp
Peter Philipp, General Manager ANZ, Neo4j

“AI has shown its versatility across a wide range of sectors and can increase productivity and streamline workflows. AI is dramatically changing how enterprises work, leading to many benefits for companies, such as boosting efficiency and cost savings, generating valuable insights and creating new opportunities.

“Companies can improve customer satisfaction and reduce response times by using AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to automate repetitive administrative tasks and provide instantaneous customer support.

“AI tools can collect and analyse massive amounts of customer data, including online viewing and purchasing history, online behaviour, preferences, and social media interactions, that can be used to create personalised content and product recommendations, enabling businesses to create targeted marketing campaigns and ultimately improve customer engagement and loyalty.

“AI’s enhanced data analysis capabilities also equip organisations to gain invaluable insights more quickly and accurately. This empowers companies to make better decisions by identifying patterns and trends, providing predictive analysis and capitalising on new opportunities – giving businesses a competitive edge.

“Combining AI with tools like knowledge graphs provides a formidable solution for organisations to enhance their demand forecasting and inventory management. It also identifies and prevents fraudulent activities, especially with the onslaught of cyber attacks so prevalent in today’s business landscape.”

Chris Smith, Senior Manager, Partner Sales, APAC at M-Files

Chris Smith
Chris Smith, Senior Manager, Partner Sales, APAC at M-Files

“Information and security compliance is critical for businesses, especially as the volume and value of digital information continues to grow. Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a crucial tool that helps organisations work from anywhere securely, which is essential in the modern hybrid workplace. AI is a valuable solution for businesses that operate in highly regulated industries or that want to simplify compliance with changing legislation and industry regulations.

“One of the biggest benefits AI delivers to organisations is by classifying data seamlessly and automatically according to pre-defined compliance rules. This is especially important for data or documentation that includes personally identifiable information (PII) or that needs to be protected according to the rules of the Privacy Act or similar.

“AI takes the time and stress out of this process by automating information management and helping to create digital audit trails that show access and modification for improved control and compliance.”

Sudha Viswanathan, Executive Director, Digital and Data Solutions, Pitcher Partners

Sudha Viswanathan
Sudha Viswanathan, Executive Director, Digital and Data Solutions, Pitcher Partners

“AI has been converting audio into text for some time, but the significant recent improvement is how AI can now summarise and share that information.

“Consider high volume contact centres, where multiple people are handling customer enquiries and feedback – AI is helping transcribe recorded conversations then providing a synopsis of the main issues or key points in the call.

“In a similar vein, AI can also scan and summarise large documents that time-poor executives might otherwise be struggling to comprehend or digest. Think legislative changes that contain important information for business leaders, legal judgements or large technical documents that are heavy in jargon.

“AI excels in saving people time yet still delivering insights for decision making.

“These tales do come with a caveat that AI technologies still need checks and balances. Blindly feeding important documents to a machine-learning tool or relying on AI-driven information without verification is a big risk.

“The now infamous case of the US lawyer who relied on ChatGPT for case studies, only to discover they came with major inaccuracies, should be a reminder about the dangers of using AI unchecked.”

Jamie Hoey, Country Manager AU at Wunderkind

Jamie Hoey
Jamie Hoey, Country Manager AU at Wunderkind

“Personalisation and positive brand experience is paramount for driving customer loyalty and increasing sales. So how can AI help?

“It would be near impossible for a human to sift through the vast amount of data it would take to create hyper-personalised experiences for each individual customer. Thankfully, AI and ML tools can analyse big data and provide invaluable, real-time insights.

“My first tip? AI is only as good as the information it has. To get the best results, businesses must have relevant, up-to-date, first-party data to understand everything about a customer – from demographics, to expectations, purchase behaviour, interests, and why they choose your brand over competitors.

“The second tip? The insights drawn from this gives marketers critical information that can be used to provide customers with the personalised experiences they’ve come to expect. Leveraging these insights and utilising them to update your messaging strategies, is what’s going to provide your customers with personalised and targeted communication for customers with the right message at the right time – something they’ve come to expect.

“As consumer demands and expectations continue to change, leveraging AI allows marketers to stay in the loop and continue to adapt, meet customers needs and wants while delivering better results.”

Chris Ellis, Pre-Sales Director at Nintex

Chris Ellis
Chris Ellis, Pre-Sales Director at Nintex

“There is certainly no one-size-fits-all when it comes to AI tools. Businesses need to examine the wealth of tools already on the market—consider using a website such as huggingface.co—and select those that will add the most value to their operations.

“With all the hype around the impact that AI will have, the best approach to AI and automation is strike a balance between opportunity and responsibility. Although no one can perfectly predict which industries and jobs will be impacted, organisations should be proactive and engage with credible partners to help them navigate this significant and ongoing technological shift.

“Businesses would do well to remain level-headed, start small, and achieve some short-term goals. These five tips can help teams to build a framework for their AI efforts:

  • Canvas the business for pain points and challenges that AI could be applied to
  • Establish an innovation team or hub to support a safe place to experiment
  • Communicate early and often
  • Provided multiple avenues for training and learning to ensure maximum adoption
  • Encourage open and honest feedback with a lens on improvement

“As experience grows, tools can be extended to other parts of an organisation where they can add value in different ways.”

Ricky Blacker, Partner Enablement Manager and WordPress Evangelist at WP Engine

Ricky Blacker, Partner Enablement Manager and WordPress Evangelist at WP Engine

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that can help support and even transform an online business. From enhancing operations, optimising and automating routine tasks for efficiency, to refining content and even personalising the customer experience.

“While AI is complex and can seem daunting to use, it doesn’t have to be. Website plugins offer a great opportunity for businesses to leverage AI without redesigning the whole platform. Examples of quality plugins include Jetpack, which offers contextual spell checking as part of its proofreading functionality. It uses AI to detect misused words, style errors and biased language, alleviating team pressures. Yoast SEO also leverages AI to identify and track key words within content, improving website traffic.

“Reliable hosting providers can provide guidance in selecting the most secure and suitable AI-powered plugins for your website. For example, WP Engine provides in-depth plugin recommendations in its Ultimate Guide to WordPress Plugins.

“We will see a continued increase in AI-powered WordPress plugins due to the growing popularity of AI. The key is to select those most appropriate for your website, without adding unnecessary bloatware. When done strategically, AI can be a great tool to boost efficiency in website management for small businesses.”

Kristin Austin, Managing Director at KAMCT and Opportunity Delivered

Kristin Austin
Kristin Austin, Managing Director at KAMCT and Opportunity Delivered

“As a regular user of ChatGPT (and other AIs), I’ve found it useful mostly for research/admin purposes. I can give it something I’ve written and ask for social media outlines, hashtags and to typo checks. I’ve asked for speaking points to see what floats to the top or research outputs. I’m about to get it to bullet point info from casestudies I’ve done interviews for. Of course, all AI generated work must be double checked for accuracy. Many people are finding out the hard way that sometimes rather than admit it doesn’t know, the AI makes things up.

“Plus, warning, warning, warning you can never just copy/paste anything you’re given, particularly online, as ChatGPT retains the copyright of the work – yes, I asked it. Even if you’re using a different AI-tool, check which main database it uses. You might be surprised – and negatively. This is a tool that remembers everything it’s ever been fed and will likely search for its own work in future and come a-hunting. You have been warned. Oh, and Google has recently announced that it’s likely to rank on well-written, non-AI generated work into the future (as has Medium too for what it’s worth).”

Andrew Kernebone, Head of Solutions Consulting APAC, GoTo

Andrew Kernebone
Andrew Kernebone, Head of Solutions Consulting APAC, GoTo

“AI technologies present a significant opportunity to improve efficiency, productivity and experience within businesses, and especially IT teams. AI can alleviate IT staff workloads by automating mundane or time-consuming administrative tasks, while also reducing errors made by overburdened IT teams. It can also be used as part of the IT support stack to quickly generate programming scripts for device management or to automate repetitive tasks like resetting passwords, restarting machines or backing up files. This allows IT teams to focus on higher-priority tasks that require unique and critical thinking.

“Looking past IT, AI also provides an opportunity to improve customer and employee experience. Businesses can utilise solutions with ChatGPT integrations to streamline communications by providing instant access to a wealth of information, improve customer experience by sharing immediate responses to customers, and create more effective collaboration by sharing information, coordinating tasks, and tracking progress in real-time.

“Ultimately, businesses will be able to boost a range of areas within their organisation when leveraging solutions that incorporate AI. It provides an opportunity to improve employee and customer experience, and enhance productivity across all departments,  especially IT teams.”

Tim West, Co-founder and Managing Director of UBX Boxing + Strength

Tim West
Tim West, Co-founder and Managing Director of UBX Boxing + Strength

“AI’s power in business is now a reality for franchises like UBX, driving growth and efficiency.

“It automates tasks, such as scheduling and admin, freeing up staff for valuable human interactions. Moreover, AI and machine learning tools offer powerful insights from the data your business already collects. For example, predictive analysis enhances customer retention by identifying at-risk members and optimising staff levels based on usage data. It’s crucial to leverage AI’s capabilities without replacing humans, enabling creative, strategic, and relationship-focused work. Success hinges on asking the right questions and interpreting data accurately. AI is not a magic wand but a transformative tool that, when used intelligently, propels business operations and maintains a competitive edge.”

Lana Weal, Marketing Consultant at Market Mindfully

Lana Weal
Lana Weal, Marketing Consultant at Market Mindfully

“There are countless ways to use AI in business and marketing today. AI is great because it’s making everything faster and saving time while increasing access to information. But not all of that information shared via AI tools is accurate and the industry is still developing.

“On an average workday, AI is being used by business owners to help create content, break down insights from data, automate repetitive tasks, or support their decision-making processes.

“Like with many things in business, it’s best to focus when working with AI tools. Business owners should focus on one business process, strategy, product, piece of content or activity at a time – and then consider how AI could improve those individual processes.

“Consider explaining to a chatbot AI about existing business processes and strategies then ask for automation or optimisation suggestions. Consider using writing tools that can help express and develop ideas. Consider using Canva Magic Write AI tool to create engaging content or use other image and design AI tools to create unique assets.

“Business owners should make the most of AI to solve internal problems and improve processes – then consider using AI and other digital tools to address real problems for customers.”

Bhavi Chadha, General Manager, Strategic Growth Initiatives at Banjo Loans

Bhavi Chadha
Bhavi Chadha, General Manager, Strategic Growth Initiatives at Banjo Loans

“The use of Artificial Intelligence – or AI – in business decision-making can be a confronting thought, but it’s important to remember that it is a tool you can use to save you time so you can focus on the big picture.

“I recommend starting with something that is both small and a pain point for your business.

“This could be something as simple as having a bot take notes and collating the key action points from an online meeting, or help with writing emails to ensure they have a consistent professional tone.

“There are also more complex things that AI can do, such as feeding your financial statements into the AI engine and analysing it for financial forecasts or profit/loss statements.

“AI is also useful with customer support, so having bots replying to customers with prepared messages can take pressure off staff to focus on more complex queries.

“The key takeaway is that AI can take those tedious time-consuming tasks off your plate so you can get time back in your day to focus on the long-term strategy for your business, rather than being tied up with reading financial statements or writing emails or taking notes.”

Cameron Boog, Tech Innovation Lead at NCS NEXT

Cameron Boog
Cameron Boog, Tech Innovation Lead at NCS NEXT

“It’s certainly an exciting time in history where you can embrace AI as a trusted assistant with your business. Since the public release of ChatGPT in November last year, the market has produced endless new services and products aimed at providing targeted assistance and insights to complement human intelligence.

“At NCS, we’ve been working with clients to support the adoption of Generative AI in their business in a safe and secure way. Realising the full benefits and significantly mitigating the residual risks when relying purely on the available public Generative AI models. In short, our advice has been centred around a simple framework:

  • Client First – Prioritise tools with internal needs in mind;
  • Pursue Dedicated deployments – Data security is non-negotiable;
  • Evaluate tool performance – Construct an internal framework to measure effectiveness and suitability; and
  • Build a roadmap – Seek to extract value from an AI model incrementally.

“This framework enables fast tracking of rapid experimentation with Generative AI models. For our clients, this has led to significant improvements in workflow, automation, customer response times, and risk management, truly highlighting the ability of human-computer relationships in the future.”

Thomas Fu, Executive Director at Motor Culture Australia

Thomas Fu
Thomas Fu, Executive Director at Motor Culture Australia

“Embracing AI for your business can be a game-changer, and there are several tips and tools that can help you harness its full potential. The first step for businesses is to do an audit of your processes and operations to understand where you could use AI to remove repetitive or admin heavy tasks. Once you’ve established the key areas for improvement, try to utilise AI applications to gain insights into your customer’s behaviours and market trends. This will assist you to create highly personalised marketing and advertising campaigns and/or to improve your services using real-time feedback. Whilst many are worried that AI will replace staff, learning to effectively utilise this technology will actually improve employee output and create space for heightened creativity and innovation. Whilst change can be unsettling, it also brings new opportunities for growth and better ways of doing business.”

Vinnie Romano, Chief of Revenue at MySocial.ai

Vinnie Romano
Vinnie Romano, Chief of Revenue at MySocial.ai

“Nurturing a prospect/customer? Showcasing your culture? Building a tribe?

“MySocial.ai is a tool that can help you create, curate and schedule content from your personal LinkedIn profile whether you’re an individual or as part of team within an organisation.

“Content that is authentic, relevant and consistent so as to keep you top of mind, more often so you can continue to build trust in front of the audience you want to influence, at scale, organically.

“All while removing the guesswork of LinkedIn best practice, for less than the price of x1 coffee per week.”

Luke Kelly, Director of Fuse Fleet

Luke Kelly
Luke Kelly, Director of Fuse Fleet

“In today’s digital world, businesses across all industries are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) to gain a competitive edge. AI offers various benefits for businesses and their customers. Here are just a few:

  • Personalised Customer Experience: AI-driven recommendation engines cater to individual preferences, increasing satisfaction and retention.
  • Tailor-Made Insurance: AI enables customised insurance policies, including fleet insurance, based on unique needs, ensuring accurate coverage and protection. Insurers can provide custom quotes based on the customer’s specific risk profile, leading to fairer premiums.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: AI-powered data analytics extracts valuable insights, empowering data-driven decisions and process optimisation.
  • Fortified Cybersecurity: AI-driven security systems protect against cyber threats, detecting and responding to breaches in real-time.
  • Predictive Analytics and Forecasting: AI algorithms can be used to forecast demand, sales, and market trends quickly and accurately.

“By leveraging AI, businesses can thrive in the fast-paced digital market, offering personalised experiences, optimised solutions, data-driven strategies, and enhanced cybersecurity.”

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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