Zoom Turns to GPT to Update Tools, Sinequa Improves Enterprise Search, More News
Popular platform Zoom said this week it will be adding generative AI to Zoom improve its video conferencing experience. Its competitors are already there: Microsoft has already added it to Teams, Google has added it to Workspace, and a plethora of other smaller companies that have taken the GPT-4 plunge too.
Zoom made the announcement at Enterprise Connect during the week, saying it will bring OpenAI technology to Zoom IQ next month. Zoom IQ is a conversation intelligence tool that is available for users of Zoom Meetings.
Over the past year, Zoom has been extending its reach in the enterprise by providing smart meeting recordings, which allow users to access meeting information through chapters, as well as offering recording highlights and action items.
With the addition of generative AI, Zoom plans to up its productivity game by improving not only its collaboration capabilities but also some of the productivity tools Zoom introduced when it looked like it might have ambitions beyond video conferencing.
Among those improvements are the ability to summarize chat threads; the ability to draft text for chats, emails and whiteboard sessions; and the ability to create meeting agendas and summarize the proceedings of entire meetings.
The company also said it would use OpenAI to improve its federated approaches to building AI models, meaning Zoom will apply OpenAI’s GPT-4 to its own AI modelling along with the modelling offered by what it described in a statement as “leading AI companies” and the models of some of its customers. Zoom did not say who those customers are.
The three main additions Zoom intends to assist users with collaboration, content creation and work prioritization include:
Zoom IQ chat compose: This will enable users to write messages based on the context of the conversation that is going on and — Zoom claims — can identify the tone of a message and offer customized responses to specific comments or queries.
Zoom IQ email compose: This will do the same for email that GPT does for messaging. By using GPT in email, users will be offered an automatic response to a message they have received based on previous conversations from Zoom Meetings, Zoom phone calls and other email threads. The tool, as designed, “understands” all your previous communications in relation to the subject of the email and creates an appropriate response.
Zoom IQ meeting summary: This offers summaries of meetings and shares them through Team Chat, Zoom Calendar, and email. This does not require a recording of the meeting so that people who missed the meeting do not have to sit through recordings of everything that was said.
Zoom is making a few other small updates and additions as well: Zoom Spots is being renamed Zoom Huddles and offers a virtual coworking space; Intelligent Director offers better camera angles in a Zoom meeting room; and Scheduler finds the best time for a meeting.
Sinequa Improves Enterprise Search
There's no getting away from GPT-4 and ChatGPT right now. While enterprise companies have been making large-scale moves, smaller companies such as Sinequa are making many smaller, interesting approaches.
While everyone was watching Microsoft and Google jostling for top spot in the web search space by applying the new GPT-4 to their respective search engines, Sinequa made its own moves in the search space — but this time, for the enterprise.
Given that most enterprise applications and tools work off data or content, finding the right data to solve specific problems is often a major problem for digital workplace employees. Sinequa is offering a solution to this by fusing its Neural Search with the natural language interface and answering capabilities of ChatGPT.
Introduced in June last year, Neural Search is a new generation of natural language processing (NLP) technology based on the use of deep learning in enterprise search. It connects all the content in an enterprise (both text and data), assigns meaning to it, adapts to user interactions and presents information in context, all with a goal of solving content chaos and offering workers whatever data they need complete tasks.
Generative AI is a natural fit for a product that has this as its objective. Generative AI offers content summation and generation, but applications for enterprise search have to date often been limited by lack of access to any of the enterprise’s private information or context. Combined with Sinequa’s existing offering, it enables employees to converse with their content and obtain more accurate, fast, actionable and traceable answers in a secure enterprise environment.
In practical terms, Sinequa’s GPT takes the content that has been scrapped from enterprise silos and pulls it together into an interactive, digestible and usable format that responds to a worker’s specific needs. It also offers them a way to “converse” with their content, so that users can refine and polish their content based on questions that are sent to GPT using natural language.
Sinequa cites the example of researchers and engineers that need to respond to complex questions based on the information and data that is available to them in enterprise. In these cases, the GPT can offer nuanced answers that takes the context of the questions into consideration.
For example, researchers and engineers with complex questions that need nuanced answers can pull relevant snippets from articles using Sinequa’s Neural Search capability and augment the results with ChatGPT to create a focused summary of the research that captures the nuances, for fast, convenient and complete presentation of information.
There is clearly huge interest in these kinds of offerings: Earlier this week, Perplexity AI, which describes itself as a “conversational search engine,” closed a Series A funding round worth $26 million, less than a year after its August, 2022 founding.
Sinequa, for its part, was founded in 2002 and has raised $28.3 million in two funding rounds, according to Crunchbase.
Unravel Data Research Confirms Cloud Problems
All these technologies — and many more, for that matter — depend on an effective and, ideally, cost-effective cloud strategy. These tools also depend on companies managing their enterprise data in such a way that digital workplace employees can find and use data that is relevant for them.
Unravel Data has taken a deep look into these issues in its third annual survey, which polled attendees of the company’s Data Teams Summit earlier this year. Unravel surveyed 350 data scientists, data engineers and data team leaders in order to gauge their key priorities and biggest challenges.
While the research looks at a wide range of problems with cloud deployments, one of the major findings is that enterprises are looking to get more value and efficiency out of their investments: two-thirds of data teams said that cloud spending is now a KPI of high strategic importance.
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In addition to cloud spending being regarded as a top KPI, almost half (44%) of all respondents also reported they believe that they are paying too much for their cloud use because a lot of cloud computing power is being used. Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they were unable to even estimate what percentage of their cloud resources went unused.
The survey also found the use of DataOps methodologies has more than doubled in a year, with 44% of respondents saying they are actively employing DataOps methodologies — compared to less than a quarter (21%) reporting they used DataOps practices in 2022. DataOps is an integrated approach to data management that goes beyond technology and aims to combine agile methodologies, automation and collaboration across data professionals to improve the quality, speed and business value of data-related activities.
Some of the other findings are also telling about where enterprises are now with the cloud. For example, the survey found that FinOps practice, a key element in managing cloud costs, was not viewed as an immediate priority among respondents with just over 20% reporting that their data teams have an established FinOps process.
Incisive Offers Insights Into Low-Code/No-code
Low-code/no-code and open-source platforms and tools are also gaining considerable traction across the digital workplace. They have become increasingly popular in organizations that want to enable workers and take some of the burden off IT departments, where such a department even exists.
One of the major problems for organizations is that low-code/no-code technology has become so well designed that everyone can work with them and build what they want. It also means, of course, that the possibility of errors appear in enterprise content and data is rising.
As a result, controlling the spread and use these platforms and tools is also increasingly important to businesses, as more such tools are deployed in the workplace often with little management insights into what has been developed. To solve this problem, Incisive Software has just released Incisive Analytics Essentials.
Diane Robinette, CEO and president of Incisive Software, explained the company's thinking in a press release. “By providing optimal visibility, control and insights, we ensure security and accuracy in managing an organization's most complex, critical and sensitive data resources — crucial for regulatory compliance, internal controls and making confident decisions," she said.
There are five main elements in Essentials that may be particularly useful to give management visibility into low code/no code tools. They include:
- Change Management and Continuous Monitoring Concourse: This offers access to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as well as low-code/no-code and open-source analytic assets based on permissions. It offers visibility into any changes in the tool/platform and ensures the latest version is being used.
- Access Control: It provides an audit trial of who has checked into the system, what they have done and what they have downloaded. It offers single sign-on through Active Directory.
- Flexible Asset Management: Allows managers to see what assets are being used in what project as well as who is using them.
- Workflow Support: Enables the creation of predefined workflows or even ad hoc workflows.
- Comprehensive Reporting: Reports on everything that is happening with organization assets. These reports can be customized and filtered by project.
Avishai Sharlin, division president of Amdocs, which specializes in software and services for communications and digital enterprises, told Reworked recently that the current rise in interest in low-code/no-code technology is driven by the increased need for personalized tech applications to aid digitization.
Most low-code and no-code work focuses on ways of developing automation in enterprises where IT may already be stretched thin to significantly accelerate application execution speed and time-to-value due to digital market acceleration. Such tools are also well suited for small and midzise businesses where IT resources are scarce.
“You will find it more common in small and midsize business and mid-market or at the outskirts of big enterprises," Sharlin explained. "SMB and small enterprises do not have IT, which allows them to develop their mini-applications and address needs they used to buy from third parties or outsource. Now, with basic skills, they can take control of their own future.”
These kinds of scenarios are what Incisive is targeting with Incisive Analytics Essentials which, by giving organizations better insights into this technology, is making these deployments safer for organizations.
Hyland Lays Off 20% of Workforce
Finally, this week, Hyland, a developer of enterprise content management (ECM) and process management software, has said it will lay off around 1000 employees, or 20% of its workforce. The layoffs were confirmed by a letter on the company’s website from CEO Bill Priemer.
The statement reads: "We are restructuring our organization. We are removing layers of management, adjusting team sizes and reassigning responsibilities across departments and levels."
Priemer also said the changes would enable the company to become more effective at “developing, delivering and supporting cloud-based solutions," and would allow it to "respond more quickly" to customers' needs. He also said that this move had already been planned, but that in the current economic crisis the company had not anticipated the degree to which "inflation, rising interest rates and wage increases" would impact the company.
Hyland most recently announced a layoff round in January 2021, when 140 workers lost their jobs. Hyland is owned by private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
About the Author
David is a European-based journalist of 35 years who has spent the last 15 following the development of workplace technologies, from the early days of document management, enterprise content management and content services. Now, with the development of new remote and hybrid work models, he covers the evolution of technologies that enable collaboration, communications and work and has recently spent a great deal of time exploring the far reaches of AI, generative AI and General AI.