Digital Skills as a Service (DSaaS)
Have you ever though about what is gonna happen in the future with your experience and skills that you are getting during your lifetime?
Have you ever thought about what is gonna happen in the future with your experience and skills that you are getting during your lifetime?
Chapter #1 - Knowledge is a dead asset
Have you ever thought about what is gonna happen in the future with your experience and skills that you are getting during your lifetime? We are working on average 40 - 50 years, and during this time, we are getting everyday new bits of knowledge. When we are talking about IT industry, people are working with some particular software or technologies, so with time they become experts.
In 40-50 years, all our skills are becoming dead assets. As a solution, we could train new people, and we could transfer part of our knowledge to them, but I wasn’t able to find any research regarding this, I believe if we take all our knowledge and skills in a 100% level, most probably we could transfer a maximum of 0.000001% of it. The rest of it would be a dead asset.
Few years ago, I started asking myself if there is a way to transform my knowledge into digital assets, so my expertise will work in the future, and it will not just disappear. I know that this is not possible today, of course there is no way to digitalize our brain but that is when I decided to try to transform some small part of my knowledge into a digital form.
Chapter #2 - Frustration
I worked as an SAP consultant for eight years. I have implemented new SAP projects for different customers and also worked in the SAP Support (Service Desk). The work in SAP Service Desk was terrible because my primary responsibility was to solve the issues from the end-users, so my brain was dedicated to retain and give maintenance to something existing and I was not able to create new things, and this was very frustrating. During this time, I found that up to 40% of all issues that come to the Service Desk were the same; they were easy to solve, and I felt like a monkey every time I needed to solve them again and again.
What I need to do was to repeat the same actions every month to solve the same issues, I was so stressed because of this. From one side, it was fine, I received the money and I didn't need to think and demand more to my brain but on the other hand, my motivation for working was less than zero.
Chapter #3 - Opportunity
The outcome of the work in the Service Desk was great. Even a bad experience can be turned into a good experience, this made me think: "If I am working in one particular company and doing the same repeated work at the service desk, most probably, there is a thousand of people like me, who are dealing with the same repetitive activities other companies around the globe".
My next thought was - "How can I copy myself and sell my copies to all companies in the world for covering repeated work?"
Right after, I started thinking not just about the Service Desk, but also about the enterprise software and it's users. In one substantial international company (FMSG). there is a sales department, the salespeople are not working in ERP (e.g., SAP) every day, and they are not spending much time in front of the desktop but they are using information from the ERP, and every time they needed information about credit limit, invoices or orders numbers, they need to use the system.
They had two options in how to get a credit limit or any other information required. The first option is to remember where is the SAP system, how to login to SAP, credentials, transaction and then find the field with a needed credit limit. The second option is to write an email to the finance department, because the people in the Finance Department can quickly check this information. Every time they selected the second option, why? It was easier for them to use natural language to get the information; they do not want to use a graphical user interface, because it requires more effort. But they forget that requesting this information from Finance Department, requires more time, their time and Finance Department colleagues' time.
If this same problem exists in one particular company, then most probably exists in all the other companies, in their salespeople and in the other departments. Thie is when my new thought come out - How to copy myself and sell my copies to all the companies in the world, so they can check simple information in the enterprise software and get the answers much faster and cheaper?
Chapter #4 - Solution
Three years ago, the first time I saw the demo of AI solution - Amelia from IP Soft. I got amazed by the capabilities of AI technology, especially in the processing of natural language. If the machine can understand natural language and the context of the request, then we can program the process flow (dialogue tree) to perform some actions using the formula If This Then That. There wasn’t too many AI service (NLP, syntax analysis) on the market that allows people without any knowledge in AI/ML to start building chatbots solutions.
Chapter #5 - Digital Skills
From one side, we had the problems that a business faces and from another side, the capabilities of AI technologies. To extract the synergy from the technologies and problems, I started thinking about how we can answer the main question: How to copy myself and sell my copies to all the companies in the world for them to cover repetitive work? The answer is simple - Digital Skills! After this discovery, I tried to split my knowledge in SAP into small pieces (atoms), and each small piece would become equal to a digital skill.
A simple example, I know how to reset the password in SAP, and I could start working in any company in the world that uses SAP, just resetting password everyday because this is part of my knowledge. The process of resetting passwords in SAP could become one digital skill.
As a result, by using AI technologies, we can understand the natural language and the context. By using our knowledge in SAP, we can build the APIs to reset the password. Finally, by combining AI technologies and technical expertise, we can create a conversation dialog with the end-user for resetting the password.
With this approach, we have answered our initial question. Of course, this is a high-level answer, and there are many questions regarding network integrations, security, etc. But the approach itself was evident and it gave us the vision to build a platform that allows us to create digital skills that can be published and shared with everyone.
Chapter #6 - Digitalization of the knowledge
I like a lot the overall concept of Amazon Alexa. The real value for the end-customers is not the device or technology, the Alexa Skills and plug&play installation are the value. You need to spend five minutes at home to install Alexa, and then you can start using your voice to get the weather, play music, etc. For me, as an Alexa customer, the real value are the skills, because they can simplify my life.
We decided to use the same approach. What if people from around the world can create the skills for enterprise software or IT products/programs, and then publish them on the marketplace? It will mean that any person/developer/consultant can transfer their knowledge by creating digital skills, and publish them on the marketplace (Skills Store), specify the pricing for the skills and sell them.
This takes us back to the initial question:
“Have you ever thought what is gonna happen in the future with your experience and skills that you are getting during your lifetime?”
The answer will be:
“Your experience can benefit the world and bring money to you even after your retirement or you could transfer these skills to your kids, so they can get a benefit from hem!.”