During Quest Forum Digital Event: Emerging Technology Day, Carlos Chang, Oracle Product Marketing, presented how Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, Oracle Analytics Cloud, and Oracle Digital Assistant offer seamless conversational access to make ad-hoc queries like never before. Data is the fuel for AI – the 21st century equivalent to what electricity did for the 20th century. AI will change everything, and companies that aggregate data from multiple sources, enriched with AI, will have a distinct advantage.
Chang discussed the convergence of some very powerful digital trends, including the massive growth of data in and of itself, which some have referred to as the new oil for the century—the impact of that being the application of analytics, AI, and digital assistance. From this convergence of these trends, the resulting capabilities are being made available. It’s like superpowers for your organization! Admittedly, calling them superpowers is probably a bit of hyperbole; however, when you can reflect on what you can do with this technology, Chang expressed that you will find that some of the benefits from this are mind-blowing—things we only dreamed of just several years prior.
Growth of Data and Digital Engagement
To begin with, as a sort of baseline, let’s look at the evolving digital engagement channels. This is where, if you look back 20 years in time, we are really just getting started with digital engagement channels beginning with the World Wide Web. Everyone needed a website, and things simply escalated from there.
Then, 15 years later, digital engagement evolves even further with the release of the iPhone. Now as things have progressed, later on, we are seeing the need more and more for conversational AI. This came about from the emergence of all this data that grew with the World Wide Web and even further with the iPhone moment. The growth of data has been astronomical.
Back in the day in the ‘90s or early ‘00s, a megabyte was a big number. Today, data growth is on a whole different scale including megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes, yottabytes, and so on. The growth of data is tremendous. It’s not linear—it’s exponential for certain.
Thankfully, with the growth of data also came the growth of cloud computing. Computing, in and of itself, was not going to be held back by desktop systems or even the minicomputers that people had. The cheap and abundant cloud computing power along with the infinite amount of data storage in the Cloud that made all this happen—it allowed for the possibility of AI.
Here, we are referring to Enterprise AI—something that is perfectly in Oracle’s wheelhouse. This is what Oracle has done with data for the past few decades—known primarily for databases. At this point, however, Oracle has the depth and breadth in apps, platforms, and infrastructure now all shifting up into the Cloud over the last few years and trying to bring all of that together.
How to Leverage Conversational AI-Powered Data Analytics
So how do we make sense of all this data? It’s feeding in from CRM systems, HR systems, CRP systems, IoT systems, and various other applications. That is the growth of the data.
Oracle Autonomous Database
Autonomous Data Warehouse
Oracle offers a very powerful Autonomous Data Warehouse. Many may have heard of it with it being the latest and greatest in the Oracle world. For those unfamiliar, the concept of a data warehouse, as the name would imply, is a warehouse to store a large number of objects from different sources. In much the same way, a data warehouse can store all this information from different applications, third party applications—all stored in the Cloud.
Oracle Analytics Cloud
In order to make sense of all that information and make it useful, Oracle offers Analytic Cloud. The Analytic Cloud helps you slice and dice the data to make it relevant and useful. This is something a business offer can access to gain insights from that data in order to make good business decisions. It can be viewed on a desktop as well as mobile devices such as a mobile phone or tablet.
Imagine people being able to access this easily from their mobile devices. Obviously, they still have to download and become acquainted with the app, etc. But what if you wanted to make it more accessible? Is everyone going to download the app? Is everyone going to have access to the app? Should everyone have access to the app? You will most likely want to segment this somewhat to where some people will have access and some people will not. Some people have the capabilities to look into certain reports and such.
Oracle Digital Assistant
What Oracle did to make this more accessible is to bring in a digital assistant, which is where the Oracle Digital Assistant Platform shines. Oracle Digital Assistant is a platform for building conversational interfaces that can reach across pretty much any popular conversational channel. It could be something as simple as SMS, or it could be something more elaborate such as the collaboration tools that we have on our desktops these days. If you are using something like Microsoft Teams or Slack, you can drop in the Oracle Digital Assistant within those environments allowing you to ask questions.
Take it one step further looking at Oracle Digital Assistant’s compatibility with applications. The Analytics Cloud can grab information from the SaaS application or on-premises systems—loading it into and making it available in the Autonomous Data Warehouse. However, a unique aspect of Oracle Digital Assistant is that you can go directly to these other applications. With its increased capability and sophistication, Oracle Digital Assistant is a multi-purpose tool, which is proactive and predictive in engagement using natural, complex sentences.
Aside from Analytics Cloud, other systems that you could access include but are not limited to SCM, ERP, HCM, and CX.
The Oracle Digital Assistant Platform allows you to build specific skills. Think of the skill as chatbots or assistants that are specific for skills that pertain to the application. For example, if we are talking to an SCM system, it could be about purchase orders, inventory, or manufacturing. Those skills are made available within the Digital Assistant through the Skills Store, where apps are deployed, downloaded, etc. It can be compared to the Apple Store for the iPhone; however, the difference with the Skills Store is that when Oracle deploys selected skills to these conversational channels, they are shown within one Digital Assistant instead of them being separate. This allows you to have one, simple interface.
Oracle AI Voice
One last piece of technology we will touch on today is the Oracle AI Voice. Check out the video below to hear a recording of an Oracle developer going through complex scenarios with the upcoming voice technology.
Hopefully, the complexity of the Oracle AI Voice Platform is evident from this recording. AI Voice is an acquisition that Oracle made mid last year, and they are finally seeing the fruits of that labor within Oracle Digital Assistant. This is significant for several reasons. You are able to control and handle more complex sentences. You are also able to train AI Voice to understand the context of the conversation. If you are talking to an ERP system versus an HCM system, the dialog is going to be different due to different terminology, and AI Voice can understand that. It also means we maintain a certain amount of privacy as there are no third-party vendors who are selling ads. This is all within the Oracle ecosystem.
In summary, data growth is accelerating at a tremendous pace. AI is going to change everything with its superpowers. Chang explained that Oracle can confidently say that users have more power in their hands than ever before, and they want to expand that power to your teams as needed.
To learn more, check out the Quest Forum Digital Event presentation below.