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Artificial intelligence and machine learning may seem like technologies for the future. But large enterprises are implementing AI, ML and other related technologies, and getting real business benefits today.

While small and midsize businesses may not be able to afford these advanced technologies quite yet, it’s just a matter for time. For now, you and your SMB customers can take some lessons from the big guys.

One such company is Intel. Last week Intel released its 2018-2019 IT Annual Performance Report, which reports on how the IT team has contributed to the business. And among the big contributions reported are advances in AI and ML.

Stand and deliver

Here, according to Intel’s latest IT annual report, are some of the hard business benefits advanced tech has delivered to Intel:

> Total business value of $1.25 billion delivered across 24 projects in manufacturing, design and supply chain

> Time-to-market for new products improved with ML and data analytics by a full 52 weeks/1 year

> Productivity gains saving 933,000 person-hours per quarter with video meetings, mobile solutions and PC upgrades

> Supply-chain inventory optimized with AI, saving $58 million

Looking ahead, Intel expects the efficiency of its critical product-validation processes to be improved 20% by next year.

To get there, Intel is using AI to automate product-validation processes that were formerly done manually. Already, the results, in the words of Intel’s IT report, are nothing short of “remarkable.” They include:

> Issues identified: increased by 50% — yet at only half the cost

> Testing coverage: expanded 200x

> Debug duplications: reduced 50%

> Regression testing: reduced 70%

IT big and small

It takes a big IT department to deliver such big benefits. Intel’s IT group, led by CIO Paula Tolliver, employs more than 5,400 IT staffers working from 22 sites around the world. These IT pros manage some 210,000 Intel desktops, mobile PCs and smartphones.

Intel CIO Paula Tolliver

Data fuels Intel’s transformation, says CIO Paula Tolliver

That’s far beyond the size and scope of most tech providers and the SMBs they serve. But advanced technology has a way of coming down in price as adoption broadens and production costs drop.

Consider, for example, flat-screen TVs. Yesterday’s $7,000 luxury is today’s $500 staple. That’s likely to happen with AI, ML and other related technologies, too. What’s now affordable to only the biggest corporations should soon be available in lower-cost versions for SMBs.

Smart sales help

One likely instance is sales. Intel is now experimenting with an AI tool called Sales Assist that simplifies account management and recommends actions for Intel salespeople based on customer and market activities. It does this, in part, by capturing and analyzing some 300,000 social-media posts a day.

In the first quarter of Sales Assist’s use, Intel salespeople reported that over 85% of the insights provided by the AI program were helpful. That, according to Intel, led to a positive impact on sales valued at $46 million.

Your SMB customers may not be able to afford AI-assisted sales today. But tomorrow, they likely will. Get ready now by checking out Intel’s latest annual IT report.

Download the full 2018-2019 Intel IT Annual Performance Report (PDF)



Blog Category: 
Advanced Technologies