Actionable Science powers virtual people to take over repetitive tasks

7th Sep 2018
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AI startup Actionable Science’s platform helps build purpose-built, skilled, digital employees for specific job functions; aims to lower costs and increase productivity. 

In a world taken over by technology, Actionable Science is making virtual people at workplaces a reality. 

Founded by Saurabh Kumar, Manish Sharma and Udaya Reddy, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup builds “virtual people” that help enterprise support teams lower costs, boost productivity, enhance customer experiences, and increase employee satisfaction. 

Saurabh, Manish, and Udaya, IIM Bangalore alumni and industry veterans with 20 years of experience in the likes of Accenture, Bank of the West, Capgemini, IBM, and Wells Fargo, often felt that every enterprise had tasks that were better suited for machines. Saurabh says they often saw several IT-driven improvement programmes measure human performance with metrics better suited for machines.

“We had seen the waste caused by repetitive tasks that are high volume. In 2016, we started exploring using a range of AI technologies to tackle this problem. We soon realised that existing solutions had many gaps,” Saurabh says. 

Many were designed for large companies, were expensive, and needed major upfront investment to implement. Others, including chat bots, were limited in their automation capabilities. 

The core team of Actionable Science

What does the platform do?

The trio, all with strong technical backgrounds, soon came up with the idea of Actionable Science. The platform helps build purpose-built, skilled, digital employees for specific job functions that help enterprises save huge costs on simple, repetitive tasks done by humans for employee and customer interfacing.

The San Francisco and Bengaluru-based startup – launched in 2016 – provides a full-spectrum, freemium cognitive automation platform to midsize companies in the US and India. 

“Our focus has been to combine the power of various AI technologies into prepackaged solutions for various functional areas that are extremely cost effective to implement with high ROI,” Saurabh says.

The three important components of their solution include: 

  1. Full Spectrum: Equivalent to a virtual person in skills - natural language processing, machine learning, process automation
  2. Business Aware: Prebuilt domain specific “skills” to speed startup and lower upfront costs
  3. Enable midsize clients: Low startup cost, transparent outcome-based pricing 

“This greatly increases self-service around available information. Clients can implement this instantaneously and get started for free,” Saurabh says. 

Actionable Science also offers a prepackaged AI automation solution for common repetitive tasks. For now, the focus is on three areas – IT Helpdesk, HR Helpdesk, and Customer Service. The prepackaged solution can be implemented by companies in days with very little upfront investment, and results in savings up to 90 percent for many repetitive tasks that would be part of the help desks. 

The next level involves automating complex tasks and business processes. Using a combination of process orchestration engine and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Actionable Science can handle high levels of automation for even the most complex business process. 

The operations 

Actionable Science’s sales team is in the US and Bengaluru while its engineering and development centre is in Dehradun. 

The company claims to be working on several pilots with leading clients in the US, Mexico, and Europe in the financial services and banking, healthcare, and other industries. 

It also offers employee help desks. For a single team, Actionable Science charges $1 per employee/per month plus a small one-time setup fee ticket. For enterprises and multiple teams, it charges $1 per employee per month and $2 per resolved ticket. 

The platform is provided as a SaaS-based offering in a multi-tenant setup. Customers can sign up for the base level offering or the team can help implement a more complex offering.

“When we start automating a job function we may think 20 percent automation is good. But once there, we may want to move to 40 percent or 60 percent,” Saurabh says.

Funding and the future

Actionable Science recently raised $1 million seed funding led by California-based funds Globevestor and Tri-Valley Ventures. The funds are to be used to accelerate product development, get a strong customer reach, and focus on client delivery.

AI is a buzzword these days. Earlier this year, the Indian government is reported to have appointed a task force that has released a plan to boost the country’s AI sector in general, for the next five years. This includes developing technologies, infrastructure, and data use. 

There are several players in the deep tech space. Gridspace uses deep tech networks to drive speech recognition systems; Indico builds image and text analysis tools; and Ibidon offers text analysis using deep learning networks in combination with human analysts. 

The Actionable Science founders have a lot of plans for the future. In the next 12-18 months, they are looking to aggressively grow through marketing and sales-based efforts, raise additional capital, build product partnerships (technical and go-to-market), and double the team size. Alongside, they aim to expand the depth and width of the platform with more prebuilt skills, configurability, and intelligence. 

Speaking on their investment in the company, P.N. Raju, Co-founder and Partner at Globevestor, had said, “There's a lot of noise around AI/ML globally and it's tough for enterprises to sift to the right solution. This is where Actionable Science's approach of building products around tangible skills, real outcomes, and measurable dollar savings is a big advantage.”

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