Many businesses struggle with juggling different tools to improve marketing, customer service and operations. Pega allows enterprises to streamline and manage those tools with their new software suite, Pega Infinity, which leverages machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA).
At PegaWorld 2018, I sat down with three of Pega’s executives: Head of Marketing Ying Chen, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Don Schuerman, and Director of Marketing of Decisioning Systems Matt Nolan, to discuss Pega Infinity and the company’s future plans.
Pega’s place in the market
Ying Chen describes the Pega platform as “WordPress for Enterprise.” Just like how WordPress enables lay-people to access web development, Pega allows business people without coding experience to build both customer-facing and internal enterprise technologies.
Chen emphasized that many businesses suffer from disconnected operations, spread out across different tools that employees struggle to manage. Instead, Pega takes all the customer information a business has and centralizes the data. By streamlining operations, businesses can spend more time on improving customer engagement and improving experience.
A plethora of AI systems
There are plenty of enterprise solutions in the market that all tout artificial intelligence (AI) as a unique selling point. How can businesses choose the best tools?
Chen recommends taking a pragmatic view of the technology you want to use. Instead of getting drawn in by shiny AI technology, consider what you want to achieve first. Then look at the tools based on your ultimate goals.
Schuerman breaks it down further: “AI isn’t just a big blob of technology. It’s lots of different technologies like natural language processing, decision management, and image recognition, that can be used for very specific use cases.” He seconded Chen’s advice by saying that companies need to start with the problems that they are trying to solve, and not with the tech first.
“However,” Chen warns, “The tools you use might be great, but they’re nothing without data.”
Automation done right
Another popular buzzword that also has people mixed-up is robotic process automation (RPA). Automation is a big thing right now, with 9% of U.S. jobs at risk of being completely eliminated. While the media popularizes the view that AI and automation will take our jobs, Chen argues that businesses are doing themselves a disservice by trying to automate 100% of roles.
“Instead,” she says, “we should be considering micro-automation, where you can take portions of a person’s role and hand it over to an RPA solution.” One common use case is signing into thousands of different applications over the course of your working day. Pega’s Start My Day product uses RPA to centralize this onerous daily task into a single automation.
Everyone’s Favorite Feature
I asked each executive for their favorite Pega feature and the answer was unanimous: self-optimizing marketing campaigns.
Instead of sending out a campaign to one massive audience at once, campaigns are sent to iterative segments. The insights from previous segments are then used to optimize the campaign for the next group.
“With Pega’s model,” Nolan explains, “each wave of the campaign gets a little smarter. If one offering stops getting customer engagement, the system will automatically shut that offer down and send a different promotion out in the next wave.”
Future Plans For The Company
So what’s next for the company? Nolan mentioned an increased focus for Pega over the coming months. “Like most tech companies, Pega can be a lot of things,” he admitted, but emphasized that “Pega’s real value lies in being a central brain – being the bit in the middle that connects everything.”
Chen finished on the same note, explaining how she’s seeing clients bringing together their operational efficiency on Pega’s platform, and improving customer experience as a result. “It’s really something magical,” she mused, “when operational excellence and customer satisfaction comes together.”
What Do Pega’s Customers Think?
Company employees are naturally inclined to view their products – the result of years of hard work – in a favorable light, but what do Pega’s customers think? Watch our event coverage to find out!