GenAI Agents Will Redefine Business Operations

June 6, 2024 • Nic Surpatanu, Founder and CEO

In the last decade, numerous tools have emerged to improve every aspect of business operations, from Robotic Process Automation and Intelligent Automation to an abundance of SaaS applications. Despite enterprises adopting them at scale, as many as 1,000 per organization, we’ve seen limited progress in simplifying back-office work and improving operational outcomes. Today’s reality is that enterprise software struggles to keep up with business teams that are constantly adapting to changing company, client, and market needs. As a result, business teams still spend most of their time, 70% in the case of sales, juggling various tools and relying on expert support teams to get their work done. 

I dealt firsthand with these inefficiencies during my time at Microsoft and UiPath, and I have also seen the significant improvements that successful automation can bring. However, over the past year, I’ve had many conversations with business operations leaders, and it’s clear that traditional business software has reached a plateau. The fundamental problems - complex interfaces, data and functionality silos, and inability to easily adapt to new business needs - remain pervasive and unsolved. The dynamic workflows that are at the core of each business, the ones where contextual, diverse information and expert-level decisions are essential, are poorly supported, slow, and people intensive. Therefore, there is a clear need for breakthrough technology that can manage complex business tasks, bridge functional silos, and easily adapt to changing and unique business demands.

At Tektonic, we believe that Generative AI (GenAI) Agents are the technology that unlocks automation for a whole new class of critical business processes. Just as many business domains are now reimagined using AI, from web search and software programming to the movie industry and medical research, we believe that AI will similarly transform business operations. 

The remaining question is “how?” and we are at the beginning of the GenAI-fueled innovation trying to answer it. Tektonic’s approach involves using GenAI Agents to augment employees with contextual information, guidance, and simplified actions through natural interfaces. We believe the best outcomes come from employees working interactively with the Agents, providing feedback, making decisions, and supervising. This contrasts with other approaches that focus on automating tasks using fully autonomous GenAI Agents. But when these Agents are tasked with solving complex problems and left unsupervised, they prove to be generally unreliable, prone to making poor decisions, compound mistakes, and are ultimately unable to guarantee improved outcomes. To fulfill their promise, GenAI Agents need to work alongside humans, constrained by business rules, and paired with deterministic software. The result is an AI-augmented work environment, where human abilities are amplified, leading to better outcomes and job satisfaction.

But how is Tektonic addressing this challenge? To understand our approach, it's helpful to first look at the typical interactions in a dynamic business process. Our initial focus is Sales and Revenue operations, so let’s ground it in this context. Imagine sales executive Jane (not a real person) staring at her screen, juggling between various applications and data: multiple CRMs, an inventory management tool, her email, Slack, the latest pricebook, and a spreadsheet with service packages. She's trying to put together an upsell quote for an existing client. Jane searches for the right configurations, tests different discounts, checks finance rules, and reviews previous contracts. She frequently asks for help and waits for responses from the deal desk, legal, and professional services teams. Just as she's nearly done, she needs her manager's approval, and the customer has already asked for updates twice this week. Despite her efforts, the process is slow and mistake-prone, costing the business and eroding client trust.

To sum it up, when approaching a dynamic task, the user needs to plan how to solve it across the relevant apps and sources of information, following the latest business guidance. At each step, they must gather the necessary contextual information to decide how to proceed, often relying on support from others in the organization. It's clear how such dynamic tasks (e.g., generating quotes, processing renewals, designing service packages) can quickly become inefficient, leading to delays and missed business opportunities. This also explains why traditional automation struggles with these types of processes.

Tektonic GenAI Agents aim to augment users with the superpowers they need to complete dynamic tasks more efficiently and accurately. These agents understand intent and context, gather and synthesize information, inform decisions, guide actions, and minimize the need for expert support. 

Let’s look at Jane’s task again, but this time using Tektonic. She starts the process with a message to the GenAI Agent explaining what she wants to do. The Agent extracts the entities from her request, looks for the related information about the client, the opportunity and existing contracts, and, if anything is missing, gets back to Jane for clarifications. With the inputs gathered, the Agent confirms with her the information, and triggers a symbolic solver to generate quote candidates. The solver optimizes product configurations and pricing, based on constraints, real-time inventory, and pricing data from the core systems, and applies the latest business rules. Jane chooses a quote that she likes and asks for services to be added and sets a desired total price. The Agent recomputes and flags that special discounts need to be applied, and offers to request the necessary approval. A final confirmation from Jane validates she is ready to move forward with the proposal and finalize the quote. What used to take days is now minutes.

The upshot? Tektonic has transformed Jane’s work from spending time juggling apps and collecting information, to focusing on key business decisions. She can now spend more time with customers and doing strategic thinking, increasing her chances of closing more and better deals. Her business results soar, as does her job satisfaction. For her company, it means higher conversion rates, reduced sales cycles, and increased revenue.

From a governance perspective, our approach is to facilitate fully controllable and transparent usage of GenAI Agents in the enterprise. Since Agents integrate with core systems, applications, and data stores, and play a vital role in critical processes, we prioritize comprehensive governance and control throughout the entire process. With our platform, your teams retain complete control over how your information is processed and used. This includes defining process specifications, business rules, data access and sources, AI model selection and deployment locations, and the actions that can be taken based on the data. Our Agents are designed to operate within the boundaries of your organization and will not utilize your data or information to generate insights or learnings beyond the scope of your business.

In conclusion, Tektonic aims to transform business operations, starting with Sales and Revenue processes. We are redefining efficiency with AI-augmented work environments, allowing employees like Jane to focus on higher-value tasks, thus accelerating business outcomes and enhancing job satisfaction. Let’s discuss how our GenAI Agents can address your challenges and transform your operations. 

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