Transcript for HP In Context Analytics
Jim Burton: Welcome to UCStrategies Executive Insights. This is Jim Burton. I am here with Kieran McCorry from HP. Let me set the stage of what we are doing here. We are at the Lync conference. Yesterday Gurdeep Singh Pall in his keynote presentation talked about the evolution of our industry. It’s the end of UC as we know it today as unified communications. We are taking a step forward into “Universal Communications.” What Gurdeep has talked about in that is how we are using the various services, that intelligence, automated intelligence, analytics, all of these types of things – artificial intelligence – all the things have been pulling together to make much more rich environments for the communications and the collaboration and the communications people have. That’s the beauty of this.
I wrote an article four years ago talking about what I saw as the three stages of unified communications: click-to-communicate, integrating communications into business process which you can look at as CEBP, and then the third stage is analytics. What is interesting about it is the third stage is now universal communications. The great news is we are here with HP who already has a product. It is kind of serendipitous that we already have that. Can you talk to us about your product and where you see it fitting in this new world?
Kieran McCorry: We were delighted to hear Gurdeep talk about the future with respect to analytics in real time communications because we are doing it today. We have technology called HP In Context Analytics. Basically, it is about bringing the par of analytics capabilities and the platform to bare with individuals as they are communicating together. We want to enrich the experience for individuals. We want to understand what they are talking about and make them more productive in par them getting the information that is relevant to their conversation as they are having that discussion. That is our focus area.
Jim: That all sounds good, but put into a practical term. How would I benefit from the analytics that you have developed in my day-to-day life that I can see the improvement?
Kieran: Without that analytics capability you and I are in a Lync conversation together. You say to me, “Kieran, I recall a Gartner article about social mobile incline, could you go get that for me?”
I would have to find that somewhere. I might have to go search on the web. I might find it. I might have to pay for it, or I might not find it. It might already exist within my corporate environment somewhere, but I might not know it’s there. Right? That’s the situation we have today. Bringing the real time analytics capability to bear, by the time you have mentioned that article and given the information that surrounds it, I don't need to go look for it. We display the article in an extension panel within Lync, right there, at that particular point in time. It cuts out a lot of effort that individuals have to go to to find information. We are all about simplifying the means by which individuals can find relevant content. That is really what we are focused on.
Jim: It's interesting because in Gurdeep's keynote yesterday he talked about an example that. You are looking for a Joe, and that Joe pops up at the top of the list because they know the Joe you are referring to because of the communications and other interactions you have had. It just makes it much more productive.
Kieran: We don't call it “in context” without a reason, right? We are very concerned about the contextual relationship between individuals. We learn about individuals. We profile them. We characterize them. We understand where in the organization they exist. If we talk about “gap,” for example. Maybe you are in accounting and gap means something very specific to you like generally accepted accounting principles. Maybe I work for the London Underground and gap to me means “mind the gap” when you get off the train. The context of gap to you is very different from the context of gap to me. Understanding the individuals, their context, means we can tailor the information we present back to them based on who they are, what they are interested in and what they know. That is our focus. It is not just about looking at the unstructured data in a conversation and simply going off and finding matching content, it is deeper than that. It is about finding content that is contextually relevant to you and where you are.
Jim: I know you are an engineer. Don't take this personally, but I know that engineers often have these visions of things they are going to produce. Where are we? How real is this today? How can someone access it and actually buy it? I know there are several questions in there, but they all kind of lead to the same thing.
Kieran: We built the system. We are on the road map for functionality that we plan to introduce in the future. We are about to ship this in March. It is only several weeks away at this point in time. We are already deploying it in pilot customer projects within Europe. We have one lined up in the U.S. This is real technology. I am not saying we solved every problem. There are problems we will only solve as we enhance the technology that we have today. In terms of that core functionality of understanding what users are communicating about and giving them relevant content in real time, that works today.
Jim: Not to belittle this, because what you have done is real important. It sounds like your first level of interest is observing what is happening in voice communications and then looking for key words, taking those key words and delivering information. Is that pretty accurate?
Kieran: That is pretty accurate. We look at the communications between individuals, we strip out all of the irrelevant noise that is associated with ordinary conversation. We identify some key terms, we send that off to an analytics platform that has indexed a large corpus of data and content and we provide the relevant content back to the user. On the one hand, yes, that’s true. But like I said we enhance that interaction by finding information that is contextually relevant to you. It’s not just search terms; it’s about more than that. It’s about looking at search terms with meta information that describes the individual and communication; who they are, what their interests are. We learn about that over time.
We also only present information to users that they are entitled to see. We respect organizational hierarchies and access control lists and different levels of permissions and rights of the users.
Jim: I would expect that from HP. So far it sounds like what we have talked about is you are having access to information based on that conversation. Is there anything else, because I have got emails, all kinds of content that I am looking at on a regular basis. Do you go into that yet?
Kieran: Our focus at least for the first release and the second release is very much on the here and now. We are very much focused on interpersonal communications. What is relevant for you at this point in time as you are in a conversation with someone else. However, we are interested in improving efficiency and empowering individuals. Yes, today we look at interpersonal communications, but very much on our road map is, well, what if I am about to send an email to someone and I want to talk about a particular project? Maybe something has happened somewhere else in my organization that I don't know about yet. I haven't gotten the status update. It is not an interpersonal conversation in the real time sense, but if I am about to type a question in my email message that I am sending, it would be great if I could get the answer to that question at exactly the same time as I am asking it, without actually directing the question to anyone. Because if the knowledge exists in the organization somewhere, why shouldn't you just have it?
Jim: I know my colleague Marty Parker, he was sitting here and having these questions is, how do you see this eventually integrating into business processes? That is where there is so much opportunity because anything you can streamline, cut out the amount of time involved and the labor involved, great return on investment there.
Kieran: We want to enhance and enrich the business activities of users. There are a number of ways you can look at that. Traditionally you have seen all these kinds of things to say if you use this tool you will save 25 seconds per day in a user's productivity. And you can take those and you can leave.
Jim: Finance guys don't accept those.
Kieran: Absolutely. What we want to do is give users the right information to make them more efficient, to make them more effective. There was an element of cutting out the labor-intensive mechanical actions that people need to do. That improves efficiency. That allows you to do your job a little bit quicker. We are more interested in improving the quality of information that individuals have to allow them to make I guess you could call it informed better business decisions. We want to give individuals the right information so that they can make better decisions basically at the end of the day. We see that as underpinning business processes and business efficiencies.
Jim: That's really good. One of the things that I think is important to understand though is go to market for you. Because HP is such a complex company, you have so many ways to take product to market, you have channel partners. I know a lot of that is around your networking products. Is this something that one of your channel partners could take advantage of and deliver with the Lync solution?
Kieran: We have a model that has multiple parts to it. We are focused on the enterprise space to some extent, and we see this as a service we would offer directly from HP to the enterprise. The technology itself is something that we will package up and we will make available through the channels as well. It is not something that is confined to the enterprise. It is something that is easily packaged and implemented by channel partners and other parts of the business.
Jim: That's really good. Part of this reason for having this discussion is to help educate the market. Hopefully I have asked you many of the questions that people would have. Is there anything that I have left out that you would like to get out and let the audience know who is listening to this?
Kieran: I think the key thing I suppose with my HP hat on is very much, we are bringing a big data cloud services and analytics into play here, into an area that has traditionally been starved of innovation. In the work place services space we haven't seen a lot of this type of technology coming into… we believe we are uniquely positioned in HP to bring our capabilities and our competencies in analytics, consulting services to a space where very few other people have that ability.
Jim: Yes. Very good. Well, thank you for joining me today. I think it has been very helpful and very educational. Thank you.
Kieran: Thank you very much, Jim.