PegaWorld 2017: A Day of Innovation, A Night of Fun

PegaWorld 2017: A Day of Innovation, A Night of Fun blog image
“Real intelligence is about melding AI with the human experience to optimize and not do false tradeoffs”

After a jam-packed day of talks and sessions, PegaWorld attendees gathered at MGM Grand's Hakkasan last night to let loose. The premium nightclub delivered an outstanding experience of dining and dancing — a great way to cap off the conference. 

That morning the thought leaders in customer engagement once again took the stage, presenting examples of successful problem solving and designing strategies for future endeavors. Then Alan Trefler closed PegaWorld until next year.

AI in Customer Engagement: Balancing Risk and Reward

Dr. Rob Walker, VP of Decision Management and Analytics for Pega, started the morning with a riveting discussion on cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI). He shared a completely AI-generated piece of beautiful classical music and a spot-on Rembrandt-like portrait. He discussed the current abilities of AI, its ability to pass the Turing Test, and whether or not we should be concerned about rogue technology. (One of his points was that we should only be concerned when AI pretends to fail.)

He posed a solution to the fears people have of AI — a technology called the T-Switch, with the "T" meaning Transparency and, also, Trust. If this "switch" is set to "Opaque AI," anything goes and you're allowing this technology to optimize your business automatically. This setting is high risk and is likely a liability. If the T-Switch is set to the "Transparent AI" setting, anything opaque will get blocked. Transparent AI can successfully "explain" itself to humans, meaning it can explain how it is using data to make a decision or a prediction. The T-Switch is very helpful when your work must meet government regulations and privacy policies. Dr. Walker announced that all of Pega's technology will contain this T-Switch in, of course, a more robust form.

Scotiabank: A Future Empowered Bank

Next spoke Jason Charlebois, Senior Vice President of Global Retail Banking Technology for Scotiabank, a Toronto-based financial powerhouse. Scotiabank is the third largest bank in Canada and serves more than 21 million customers in 55 countries. He discussed how the bank's digital transformation was critical to the Scotiabank's strategic agenda. The goal is to use Pega technology to engage with customers at a personalized level across all customer service channels. Charlebois said banking used to be a 9-to-5, five-days-a-week business, but now it's a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year business, and Scotiabank's technology infrastructure was not designed for this. In addition, issues concerning privacy and security were paramount.

Charlebois described how the company began what was essentially a SWOT analysis, and they began looking outside of banking to see what successful companies in other industries were doing. For example, the company is in the process of evolving its business to be an Agile-based work environment along with its technology infrastructure.

The bank saw that companies who failed at their digital transformation had fallen into two traps. One was that digital transformation was done in isolation as opposed to being done through integration. Two was that Charlebois and others saw that the digitization had to be part of the business from end to end.

The bank rolled out Pega technology in less than eight weeks. Using Pega's Customer Decision Hub, Scotiabank reduced the account opening process from 45 minutes to five minutes.

Transavia: Building a Customer Centric Ecosystem

Launching his talk by taking a selfie of himself and the crowd of attendees for his daughter, Mattijs ten Brink, Managing Director – Chairman of Transavia, titled his talk, "Me and My Plane." He began by describing how the low-cost airline measures success — not by the number of planes, but by the happiness of its employees and customers, something the company has done for its 50-year history. Brink emphasized that the airline views its employees as part of its product offering, and that how they treat one another and how they treat customers is often the same. There is just one flight journey. Friendliness is the company's weapon. Using Pega technology, the airline offers one system that provides relevant information services to each employee's work tasks, whether that person is a gate agent or a customer service agent. Flight data, customer data, and employee data are used on one platform and updated in real time.

Pega Empowers Your Journey to 2018 and Beyond: Alan Trefler's Closing Address

Alan Trefler, Founder and CEO of Pega, closed this year's conference by stressing how important it is that your organization's technology and your promises be real. "Real intelligence is about melding AI with the human experience to optimize and not do false tradeoffs," he said. He emphasized that using real intelligence, real automation, and products that give you a real choice will be what transforms your business.

He then highlighted the extensive Pega resources available as you begin your company's digital evolution:

  • Pega Express is entirely about simplifying and engaging whole new realms of citizen developers into Pega's platforms in a way that is linked to how you do business.
  • Pega University is a program in 20 universities globally that instructs and certifies thousands of students each year in process automation and in using intelligence processes on the Pega Platform. Trefler said that Pega is looking to expand these programs significantly and will work with you to bring Pega University to those schools you rely on for recruitment.
  • Pega Exchange is the program that works with third-party developers to broaden the Pega ecosystem with new applications. Pega technology currently works with hundreds of products developed by third parties, and Trefler said he hopes that number grows to thousands of new applications and technologies that integrate with the Pega ecosystem.
  • Pega Service Ventures is an investment program designed to accelerate the growth of startups and emerging implementation service partners. Pega is looking for companies with industry expertise and thought leadership to join its partner ecosystem and help its clients leverage the power of Pega software.

Behind each of these programs is Pega Academy, an online education center that offers more than 100 courses, with many suitable classes geared for the beginner, the expert, or both.

Trefler then announced that for the rest of 2017, Pega Academy course are now free.

He closed his presentation with an interview with Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution, where they both shared how their wives battled cancer. If you'd like to support Pega's Stand Up to Cancer efforts, along with Sheryl Crow and Robert Kraft,  you may donate until Wednesday, June 7th at 5:00pm (MT). Every $1 donated will be matched by $1 from Pega and $1 from the Trefler Foundation.

See you next year at PegaWorld 2018 in Las Vegas!

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