IBM’s upcoming artificial intelligence-powered automation offering Watson Orchestrate is an opportunity for partners to advance their practices around eliminating mundane work for customers’ employees and speeding up business processes.
That’s according to Dinesh Nirmal, general manager of IBM Automation. Nirmal told CRN in an interview that Watson Orchestrate and so-called “digital employees” are an opportunity for the Armonk, N.Y.-based tech giant’s partners because employers will continue to struggle not only to find highly skilled employees, but to pay them as well, resulting in a need to automate complex IT skills around cloud computing and 5G.
“I would say partners play the biggest role in Watson Orchestrate because they are the folks who can really multiply the impact of Watson Orchestrate across enterprises or small businesses or individuals,” Nirmal said.
“Automation has been there, but now it is taking it to the next level, which is automating the employee itself, which is the digital labor piece of it. And that’s where partners, everyone who’s talking about automation, can come in and play a huge role,” he said.
IBM will expand its access beyond preview on June 30 with some partners already exploring the possibilities of incorporating digital employees in their business. IBM will start inviting customers to use Orchestrate on June 30, but the software won’t be generally available just yet, according to the company.
Angela Hood, CEO and founder of Austin, Texas-based IBM partner ThisWay Global, told CRN that her company uses IBM automation software to integrate the company’s human resources recruitment technology into customers’ existing environments.
“I think that’s the part that got missed in the conversation about AI,” Hood said. “There is this whole argument of, ‘Is AI going to replace people?’ Nope. But if you’re a person that does not use technology to do a better job and to stay with the company, you might just get replaced by a person that does.”
IBM is hardly alone in exploring new ways for automation to improve work. In March, Chicago-based Microsoft and AWS partner Asperitas Consulting made its proprietary application modernization accelerator framework available for large and midmarket businesses to speed up cloud infrastructure adoption.
That month, ServiceNow released the first of its two major biannual upgrades of its Now platform featuring a significantly enhanced graphical user interface for improved productivity as well as new robotic process automation capabilities.
Here’s what else Nirmal had to say about the opportunity for IBM partners in automation.