its development with a combination of
big-budget research and development
(R&D) internally and acquisition of outside companies on the cutting edge.
“We’re balancing what we can do
with our own capabilities with what the
market can bring us,” Ollagnier said in
Miami. “Speed to market is really the
name of the game.”
Earlier in the IUEC conference, Ben
Holfeld, technology delivery architect
at Accenture, showed off some of the
mind-blowing “toys” that help the com-
pany innovate for itself and partners.
Attendees watched a live video link to
the innovation center in France, where an
employee demonstrated a virtual reality
training session that can teach field workers
how to deal with expensive, dangerous
machinery equipment, among other things.
Every company represented in the
Checkpoint Panel indicated some high
level of R&D effort. Mike Koehler, chief
information and digital officer for utility
holding giant Exelon Corp., said his
company’s journey into AI experimentation is exciting while it’s starting at a
crawl with process automation.
Using augmented reality with AI can help
field workers be equipped and enabled at
hugely complex tasks. Predictive analyt-
ics can help with storm forecasting and
maintenance schedules. In addition, some
companies are rolling out chatbot pilot
products in customer-facing channels.
Innovation is attractive, of course,
but meaningless if the human connection is damaged.
“If you chase the shiny new object it
may hurt your engagement with customers,” Koehler noted.
Accenture’s Ollagnier sees great potential in three transformative digital arenas:
1) the asset operations model through
Internet of Things (Io T), predictives and
more.; 2) grid optimization with lots of
startups focused on energy aggregation
and control balancing technologies; and
3) customer engagement.
“It means today we have evidence around
these three things” with hundreds of cases
giving evidence to the potential market
impact, he said. If companies “work hard
on these things we can truly unlock a
tremendous amount of value.”
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