We’re working on something new. Something exciting. And something challenging. It’s about time to introduce our most recent venture: Neohelden. Why do we – Kiryo Abraham, Maik Hummel und Philipp Csernalabics – develop Neo, a digital assistant for business? Who’s the team? And where are we headed to?
Alexa, what’s on for today?
Digital assistants and chatbots promise to make our lives easier and frictionless: “Alexa, turn off the lights”; “Ok Google, play something funky.”; “Alexa, give me a recipe for burritos” – you get the point. In the past months, we’ve used and played with digital assistants, and even developed some skills for Alexa and Google Assistant (you can think of skills as “apps for voice assistants”). However, there’s one thing that has been on our minds throughout the whole time: How can we apply this to our professional live? In which areas does it really pay off to delegate tasks to a digital assistant and use shortcuts?
If you were to hire Alexa
What’s easy in the comfort of your own home, is much more complex in a business setting: Can you actually talk to Alexa or Google Assistant in your office? Wouldn’t a text-based interaction make more sense? Why not both, voice and text? On which devices can I use my assistants? Which systems (e.g. SAP) can be accessed by them? What about data-security and data-protection? To make a long story short: You can’t simply put Alexa (and similar devices) in your office and use it for work (well, technically, you can – but you shouldn’t without doing your research!).
That’s why we took on the challenge: Why not build our very own digital assistant for business…? Meet Neo.
Neo, are we budget compliant?
Our digital assistant Neo assists employees and managers by summarising and preparing information and data from software-systems and machines.
Let’s break this down: 2 exemplary use-cases
If you work as a team-lead, you’re assigned an annual budget. Usually, this is hidden somewhere in SAP – if you’re lucky, your company provides you with a link to a dashboard. Anyways: Every other month, you’ll start looking for the budget-data, gather it in an Excel-sheet and measure it against the remaining budget: Are you on track, or are you overspending (even worse: underspending)? And where will your budget be at year’s end? With Neo, just ask “what’s my current budget?” and you’ll get the answer. Better yet: You’ll be proactively informed by Neo, if you over-/underspend on your budget to a certain extend, or if Neo predicts your budget-spending to bee too high/low. Based on that insight, you can then trigger actions and workflows using Neo.
Calling in sick #withNeo
If you’re sick, the last thing you want to be bothered with is organizing your leave. However, you are required to call in, get a doctor’s note, send it in, cancel your meetings and so on. With Neo, you’ll simply tell him that you won’t be able to come to work today. Neo will inform your manager and HR, will tell you whether you need a doctor’s note, and will automatically cancel or reschedule your meetings.
Neo acts as an additional filter between you and your software
Most enterprise software does an excellent job, from a functional point-of-view: It gets the job done! However, some of these systems are relatively complex and require extensive training.
With Neo, we do not replace any of the systems you’re currently using. We do actually build on them, and offer an easy-access to the system and data: Ask questions, get answers – powered by artificial intelligence.
In addition, data-protection and security are an integral part of our architecture and concept. Neo can even be hosted “on-premises”, so that your data remains under your control and on your servers.
For further information or seeing Neo “in action”, simply shoot us a message.
From idea to startup
If a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade.Tom Peters (Author and Consultant, e.g. “In Search of Excellence”)
Philipp Csernalabics and Maik Hummel met back in 2014 working on their first startup “Tippster”. In 2016, they got introduced to Kiryo Abraham at a startup workshop in Karlsruhe. We stayed in touch ever since and worked on some projects together: We exchanged ideas, discussed our scientific work and projects, and, more often than not, we ended up talking about simplifying systems and processes, making them accessible and understandable. In one of these sessions, Neo was born – but due to our workload, we never actively pursued that idea.
However, between January and March 2018, the three of us finished, sold and closed our previous projects – a window of opportunity opened. In accordance to Richard Branson’s slogan “screw it, let’s do it”, we’re now heading into our new venture.
Why us – and why now?
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of the United States)
Inspired by his studies, Maik Hummel got into the field of artificial intelligence, developed chatbots and smart companion-apps for employees – so our technical base is rock-solid. Kiryo Abraham is getting his PhD at Technical University Munich, where he looks into how large companies deal with and participate in disruptive technologies. For more than a decade, he worked in process- and management-consulting, and speaks “process-speech” fluently. As UX-Designer, marketing-consultant and ex-Googler, Philipp Csernalabics studied how people adopt and accept new technologies – and thus translates “process-speech” back to plain English (and German).
“Neo is alive”: Where we’re going
Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling.Bill Belichick (head coach of the New England Patriots of the NFL and 5 x Super Bowl champion)
Everybody deserves an assistant – Neo will become that assistant and make your work-live easier: Starting with meeting-preparation, database-queries and review-processes. Neo is available on the devices you’re currently using and connects your tools and systems. There’s a long road (and tons of work!) ahead of us – but even a marathon starts with the first step. If you feel like going a little way with us, shoot us a message or check out our job-openings.
With that, we wish you all the best and happy working!