21 months have passed since Turbotic was founded. Since then, we have been on a crazy ride releasing the first version of Turbotic within one year and launching operations in both India and the US, among other things... We sat down and asked our founder and CEO about some reflections on the journey so far.
Turbotic is taking the lead and building something no one else has done. Aren’t you afraid of such a bold bet?
As an entrepreneur, you are always in doubt about what you do stepping into an uncharted land. However, I am so sure about the value proposition of what we are developing; for me, it’s not a matter of what but of when?
Since the start, you have shared the vision of “self-driving companies” what do you mean?
Looking back 10-15 years ago, you had sensors, cameras, GPS, and many other isolated technologies in cars, yet it’s not until now that you talk about autonomous cars. It’s the same with enterprises. They have RPA, Low code, Chatbots, AI models, etc., running in their core functions, but they are all isolated from each other, and no one is stitching them together. Once you add that glue, holding it all together, you will collect so much data that you can create self-learning processes and solutions talking to each other. When that happens, we will see companies operating in a completely new model with a technology-first mindset. The other day I saw one of those Waymo cars in downtown San Francisco and thought about Turbotic; imagine what we will be able to accomplish in just a few years.
Would you say that orchestrating and managing all of these technologies is one of the major problems for companies trying to scale Automation and AI today?
Yes exactly. Lessons learned are that to succeed in large-scale Automation programs, you need to crossbreed technologies and vendors to support more complex use-cases. Still, with no system supporting this and no single source of data, it is almost impossible to scale beyond a handful of RPA bots and some AI proof of concepts.
What companies do today is to build their own “support system”, trying to glue together excel- and PowerPoint files with Jira, Tableau, and other documents to establish control. I would say, however, that is not a sustainable way of driving transformation. Investments should go to developing use-cases and solving company problems, not developing your own tools to support it. Most companies do not even have such an internal solution in place; they still manage all of these projects and solutions in excel-files.
Turbotic started 21 months ago. Would you say that you are where you wanted to be at this time?
Well, one thing is sure, expectations do not always match reality. From a platform development and product-market fit perspective, I am surprised by the speed and quality we managed to put a product to the market. However, as always, I would have wished that we launched in the US from day one with a global product. However, when we are in, all focus is on the US and India.
Remember, building a company is all about what people you attract and what passion and dedication they bring with them. Turbotic is fortunate to have a AAA team, and from a personal point of view, it is by far the best team I have ever worked with. The talent and the passion for what we do are that great.
How come Turbotic, in such a short timeframe, has managed to integrate with the top-tier RPA vendors?
First of all, we have received a lot of support from UiPath, BluePrism, Automation Anywhere, and Microsoft’s Power Automate team. Without such excellent support, we could never have done this. I am forever humbled and thankful that these companies share the same vision as Turbotic, and I think, to some extent, that they also see a clear gap in the market. By helping us, they also help companies scale Automation and AI, so it’s a win-win situation at the end of the day.
The second thing is our outstanding technical team. They have managed to crack some deep tech-related issues needed to integrate with these vendors, and without such talented people dedicated to solving our problems, we would still be on square one.
What would you say are the most important value proposition of Turbotic’s platform today?
The short answer would be that it will save you a lot of operational costs and help you be more successful. I think it is pretty obvious that you cannot run a digital transformation program, including Intelligent automation, without proper tools to monitor it. Our most important value proposition today is to save a lot of costs, be more effective when running a program, and, perhaps most importantly, measure its business effects. It doesn’t’ say much if your developers tell you that the robot runs flawlessly unless you can attach that to the value it creates. Our platform covers all of this end-to-end.
You have talked a lot about having a more holistic view of Enterprise Automation and AI. Can you elaborate a bit on what you mean?
Many RPA and AI projects start with the ambition to build a robot/model or, as a request from a core function, to see if they can automate a process or make it more predictable. Having said that, there are a lot of great RPA developers and data scientists out there that are experts in building solutions. However, a more holistic view is needed to scale and go beyond just a few pilot projects or AI Proof of concepts. The solution is just one small component in a greater transformation journey, and understanding the entire lifecycle of your transformation is fundamental to being successful. How you build a solid and continuous funnel, guard rail the build process, create reusable assets, deploy, schedule, optimize your license consumption, and operate your portfolio of processes and solutions are key to success. However, one of the most important components of them all is how you measure success! Success can be that the robot or model is working or that the operations are smooth, but how you attach that to business value is something else.
A final question then, what does the next 21 months look like for Turbotic?
We have been incredibly successful the first 21 months, and to be honest, I have the same ambition for the next. We have already established ourselves as a speaking partner for big global brands, trying to solve their most pressing problems to scale. At Turbotic, we have fully embraced a rapid development methodology when developing our platform, meaning we basically deploy one new version every month. I would expect us to continue doing that while simultaneously focusing hard on the hairiest problems our customers have. If we cannot solve it, no one will, and I think we have proved that already. I would expect us to have a good product-market fit for our platform so that we can scale and grow over the next 21 months.