Deloitte is growing its set of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities with the launch this week of a pair of new services for its quartz AI offering.The quartz AI services include compass AI for logistics and frontline AI for customer care deployments.
The new quartz AI services are built with technologies from Nvidia, which Deloitte has partnered closely with in recent years to help advance its own AI initiatives.
The new quartz AI services follow an announcement from Deloitte earlier this month that the consulting firm was building a new generative AI and foundation model practice to help organizations benefit from the capabilities of large language models (LLMs).
Deloitte isn’t the only consulting firm investing in AI. PwC has announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years in generative AI.
In February, Bain and Company also announced a partnership with OpenAI.
“Deloitte’s overall strategy with AI is to take AI from a kind of a workshop from the back office to actually enhance front office processes to unlock operational value,” Goutham Belliappa, Deloitte managing director, told VentureBeat.
Bringing AI to the frontline of business processes
Belliappa commented that Nvidia provides the general purpose compute surface for AI and also provides software development kits (SDK) that can be used for specific purposes.
“The quartz AI solutions involve specific packages from Deloitte that embed Nvidia SDKs that solve very specific business problems such as route optimization or supply chain optimization or frontline enhancements,” said Belliappa.
The goal with frontline AI is to introduce technology that will improve frontline customer care processes.
Belliappa said that clients come to Deloitte knowing that they have a specific issue — or in some cases it’s an issue that Deloitte is able to identify.
For example, if there is a high call transfer rate in the customer support center, which can lead to low customer satisfaction.
With supply chain optimization, there are myriad of variables that can complicate and delay the flow of goods.
That’s where the compass AI solutions will help. Compass provides fleet routing and dispatch optimization, which is all about getting products to customers faster.
Deloitte outlines the challenges and opportunities of AI
While AI in recent months has been the subject of much hype, enterprises still often need a fair bit of education.
Belliappa noted that most of Deloitte’s clients have an idea of what AI is all about.
However, his firm has to educate by explaining the application of AI, where it can be real and where the maturity is not yet right.
“We have customers that think of AI as kind of science fiction, saying, you know, ‘I’ll be able to handle my customer service with zero touch without humans,’” said Belliappa.
“That’s aspirational; one day, we’ll get there but we’re not there yet.”
He added that there is still a need, particularly with things like the supply chain, for organizations to deal with physical machines and processes that humans need to touch.
Part of what Deloitte continues to do is help sort out the fact from fiction as it applies to an organization’s specific industry, solution and challenges.
Among the challenges that many organizations continue to face with the adoption of AI is both the quality and availability of data.
The second biggest challenge according to Belliappa is that of organizational alignment to actually benefit from AI.
In many situations for AI to be effective, Belliappa said that different parts of the organization come together and they may not always be aligned.
“What we’re hoping for is our customers will transform and embrace game-changing AI technologies so that they’ll be able to get the benefits that improve the customer experience while also lowering the cost,” he said.