Why automation is essential for the future of SMEs

From SME Technology Guide

You don’t have to look far to see an example of a company taking advantage of advanced technology within their business today. 

AUTTO founder, Ian Gosling looks at why automation is essential for the future of SMEs despite research suggesting that adoption rates among large enterprises are up to 10 times higher than in small businesses.  

 

Ian explainins how even the smallest of businesses can harness automation for better and why this is important as SMEs are operating in an increasingly challenging business environment, competing against larger players with bigger budgets and higher head-counts in turbulent economic times. 

Read the full article written by AUTTO founder Ian Gosling in the latest issue of SME Technology Guide

From Excel to interconnected workflows with new AUTTO feature

From Artificial Lawyer

It just got easier to streamline your data tables. 

Workflow automation company, Autto, has unveiled a new capability that allows you to leverage data tables to build multiple interconnecting workflows that update in real-time, rather than building isolated workflows, each with their own data source. 

As Autto explained to Artificial Lawyer, instead of using traditional, static spreadsheet platforms – such as Excel – in isolation, users of the platform can build and manage data sets within it. 

Co-founder, Ian Gosling said that corporate legal teams and law firms could take an Excel spreadsheet, perhaps that they had used in the past to record key data, move that into Autto’s platform and then run multiple workflows that connect to it. 

There is a growing interest in workflow systems – often referred to as no code or low code platforms – that include for example, Bryter, Neota Logic and Autologyx. 

In many cases these are used by clients to improve one very specific work process, and the ability to build an entire ecosystem of interconnected workflows would appear to be useful. 

As with other platforms of its type, Autto offers an intuitive visual interface that allows a user – without the need for any coding experience – to build a workflow. For example, creating a dialogue box on a desktop to guide a lawyer through a decision process to create a document, complete a form, or to approve an action and move a legal matter forward. 

Elements involved in these workflows can include, among others, triggers to send emails, or for esignature, to create PDFs, to introduce conditional gateways, and to connect to databases – as explored above. 

The goal is not to replace higher value tasks, but to provide ‘the plumbing’, as it were, to enable people to work more efficiently – and to leverage data already inside the business more effectively. 

But, what can be built is really up to the imagination of the users. Such tech can be leveraged to produce quite complex networks of workflows that are central to a business. 

Or, to sum up, as Max Cole, co-founder, said: ‘It has a transformative effect when data can be called on by different workflows.’

Beyond this new capability the company noted that the SME sector has not made much use of automation, even though in many cases it’s not that expensive to utilise workflow tools. 

Artificial Lawyer also asked Cole and Gosling about ‘no code’ i.e. zero coding needed vs ‘low code’ i.e. some coding input needed to build a workflow. 

Gosling replied that they prefer not to think in terms of either, though if they had to pick one it would be no code that best described them. The logic is that talking about code means looking at things from a developer’s perspective. The idea is to focus on data flows that a user is dealing with in their day-to-day work. 

For example, we’d never say: buy this phone, it’s a no-code phone – we just expect there to be no coding involved to use that piece of technology. In short, while there may be a ton of software beavering away behind the scenes, the user just wants things to work. 

 

View full article here

 

Legal Innovators: Max Cole, Autto – ‘Listen Very Carefully To Clients’

From Artificial Lawyer

Max Cole, co-founder of legal tech company, Autto, has picked up some important lessons about innovation on his journey. An English barrister, Cole formed the process automation company with SaaS specialist Ian Gosling and full-stack developer Krisztián Kerék, who serve as the company’s CEO and CTO respectively. The company specialises in the automation of legal processes, and also wants to make this type of technology more accessible to small and medium size businesses.The product evolved out of another piece of software they had worked on called affio, an easy to use online Wills platform, where they spotted the potential for something new.‘The principles that [applied] to that other piece of software could be extrapolated and made generally available,’ Cole tells Artificial Lawyer. ‘The realisation that we could put automation tools into the hands of lawyers, rather than coders, was a very exciting moment that has spurred us forward.’ Defining Innovation For Cole, innovation means finding a new way to deliver better services to clients. ‘I think of innovation as not necessarily requiring technology, and that it’s about doing things in a different and better way. Technology can be a means to doing that, but it isn’t always the case.’ And does he go along with the traditional trinity of ‘People, Process and Technology’ when it comes to driving innovation and change?‘You don’t jump to the technological solution, you have to involve people. You have to understand the process and then you decide what technology you can use to help solve the problem,’ he replies.‘I would say that in order of importance it’s: people, then process, then technology. If you do it the other way round, you end up with white elephants.’Knocking on Lawyers’ DoorsSpeaking of problems that need to be solved, he says one of the main challenges is that ‘lawyers … don’t always naturally understand or accept that there is an automation opportunity within their work.’He believes that most lawyers are trained to think of themselves as artisans and believe they are always providing unique or bespoke solutions to unique circumstances, ‘and that is not compatible with the notion that parts of what they do can be looked at as a process and automated’, he explains.

In addition, the business model of law firms, which is still generally to charge on the basis of a fee per hour, for the number of hours, ‘has been fantastically successful and remunerative [and] is not always compatible with finding innovative ways of doing things,’ he adds.So, how do you get over, or through, this deeply embedded cultural barrier? How has Cole approached what is in effect a request to think and act differently? How do you win a client’s confidence so you can actually change something about the way they work?‘The thing that we learnt very quickly was that you have to listen very carefully to your customer, and you have to be solving, or able to solve, real world problems for them,’ he says.‘It’s not good enough to simply say ‘look at my great technology, now you need to think about how you might deploy it.’’’Cole states you have to be a partner in an ongoing conversation with clients, listening ‘really carefully’ to what they are trying to do.Ultimately it seems that running a legal tech company is all about winning ‘hearts and minds’.The Road AheadLooking to the future, could there be a major change in how lawyers work as more innovation, such as automation of legal processes, beds down into firms? Cole believes, that inevitably, yes, it will happen.‘I think that over time technology is going to become more and more embedded in the core legal work that they are doing, rather than something that is just on the outside supporting it.‘The trend is definitely in that direction, because there are tools available which can make legal work easier, that’s the bottom line.‘But, I don’t think it’s necessarily a straight road, I think that lawyers are going to have to really be careful about identifying the problem they are trying [to] solve and then finding the right technology to solve that problem,’ he concludes.And, no doubt Cole hopes that one of the solutions they settle on is Autto. Of course, as he says, much will depend on winning their trust by listening very carefully to their needs and understanding the problems that they want to solve.By Irene MadongoMax Cole, co-founder of Autto, will be speaking at the Legal Innovators conference on 11 October, along with many other great speakers from law firms, inhouse legal teams, and tech companies. For more info see the link below. 

View full article here

 

Legal Innovators: Max Cole, Autto – ‘Listen Very Carefully To Clients’

From Artificial Lawyer

Max Cole, co-founder of legal tech company, Autto, has picked up some important lessons about innovation on his journey.An English barrister, Cole formed the process automation company with SaaS specialist Ian Gosling and full-stack developer Krisztián Kerék, who serve as the company’s CEO and CTO respectively.The company specialises in the automation of legal processes, and also wants to make this type of technology more accessible to small and medium size businesses.The product evolved out of another piece of software they had worked on called affio, an easy to use online Wills platform, where they spotted the potential for something new.‘The principles that [applied] to that other piece of software could be extrapolated and made generally available,’ Cole tells Artificial Lawyer.‘The realisation that we could put automation tools into the hands of lawyers, rather than coders, was a very exciting moment that has spurred us forward.’Defining InnovationFor Cole, innovation means finding a new way to deliver better services to clients.‘I think of innovation as not necessarily requiring technology, and that it’s about doing things in a different and better way. Technology can be a means to doing that, but it isn’t always the case.’And does he go along with the traditional trinity of ‘People, Process and Technology’ when it comes to driving innovation and change?‘You don’t jump to the technological solution, you have to involve people. You have to understand the process and then you decide what technology you can use to help solve the problem,’ he replies.‘I would say that in order of importance it’s: people, then process, then technology. If you do it the other way round, you end up with white elephants.’Knocking on Lawyers’ DoorsSpeaking of problems that need to be solved, he says one of the main challenges is that ‘lawyers … don’t always naturally understand or accept that there is an automation opportunity within their work.’He believes that most lawyers are trained to think of themselves as artisans and believe they are always providing unique or bespoke solutions to unique circumstances, ‘and that is not compatible with the notion that parts of what they do can be looked at as a process and automated’, he explains.

In addition, the business model of law firms, which is still generally to charge on the basis of a fee per hour, for the number of hours, ‘has been fantastically successful and remunerative [and] is not always compatible with finding innovative ways of doing things,’ he adds.So, how do you get over, or through, this deeply embedded cultural barrier? How has Cole approached what is in effect a request to think and act differently? How do you win a client’s confidence so you can actually change something about the way they work?‘The thing that we learnt very quickly was that you have to listen very carefully to your customer, and you have to be solving, or able to solve, real world problems for them,’ he says.‘It’s not good enough to simply say ‘look at my great technology, now you need to think about how you might deploy it.’’’Cole states you have to be a partner in an ongoing conversation with clients, listening ‘really carefully’ to what they are trying to do.Ultimately it seems that running a legal tech company is all about winning ‘hearts and minds’.The Road AheadLooking to the future, could there be a major change in how lawyers work as more innovation, such as automation of legal processes, beds down into firms? Cole believes, that inevitably, yes, it will happen.‘I think that over time technology is going to become more and more embedded in the core legal work that they are doing, rather than something that is just on the outside supporting it.‘The trend is definitely in that direction, because there are tools available which can make legal work easier, that’s the bottom line.‘But, I don’t think it’s necessarily a straight road, I think that lawyers are going to have to really be careful about identifying the problem they are trying [to] solve and then finding the right technology to solve that problem,’ he concludes.And, no doubt Cole hopes that one of the solutions they settle on is Autto. Of course, as he says, much will depend on winning their trust by listening very carefully to their needs and understanding the problems that they want to solve.By Irene MadongoMax Cole, co-founder of Autto, will be speaking at the Legal Innovators conference on 11 October, along with many other great speakers from law firms, inhouse legal teams, and tech companies. For more info see the link below. 

View full article here

 

Progressive Companies Recognized by 360Quadrants in the Legal AI Software Start-ups Quadrant

CISION 

CHICAGO, Aug. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Corporate legal departments and law firms around the world have begun using legal AI technology to streamline their processes. Among other functions, AI-powered solutions gather and analyze legal information and predict future outcomes. Some other applications of Legal AI software include e-discovery, legal research, document review, due diligence, Intellectual Property (IP) management, compliance, case prediction, contract lifecycle management, divorce automation, e-billing, and knowledge management.

360Quadrants, the most granular comparison platform, has released a startup quadrant on Legal AI Software to help businesses make quicker and more informed decisions. This quadrant has placed PracticeLeague Legaltech, Luminance Technologies and Ross Intelligence in the progressive company space. 360Quadrants are generated post analysis of the product portfolios and business strategies of all companies in a particular space. Quadrants are updated every three months based on market and regional analyses and developments in the Legal AI Software segment.

Legal AI Software Quadrant Highlights

360Quadrants covers 25 startup companies in the Legal AI Software space and places them in a quadrant based on their quality, reliability, and business outcome. 22 of these companies are categorized as Progressive Companies, Responsive Companies, Dynamic Companies, and Starting Blocks.

360Quadrants recognizes PracticeLeague, Luminance Technologies, Leverton and Ross Intelligence as Progressive Companies; Lawpavilion as a Responsive Company; LegalRobot, Pensieve and Autto as Starting Blocks; and BrightFlag and Nalandar Technology as Dynamic Companies. The 360Quadrants platform provides the most granular comparisons of Legal AI Software startup vendors.

View full article here

 

AUTOMATION PROVIDER AUTTO RAISES $1M

From Business Cloud

Automation provider Autto has raised $1m in funding through a combination of UK government grant funds, angel investment and participation from UK legal platform Tangible.

The funding will be used to evolve the London firm’s SaaS platform, which is designed to deliver simple automation.

The funds will also fuel further research, in partnership with the University of Exeter, into the adoption of ‘lawtech’.

Autto’s technology is designed to automate routine tasks, enabling staff, and is targeted at professional sector organisations keen to embrace emerging technologies.

Ian Gosling, CEO and co-founder of Autto said, “This funding announcement is a huge milestone in Autto’s journey. It signifies a growing appetite for our solution and an affirmation of the need for simple-to-implement technologies in the workplace.

“We have great ambitions for the company and this funding will help us to expand our capabilities and help our customers on their automation journeys.”

Robert Reynolds, Founder & CEO at Tangible added: “Autto provides a simple yet effective solution to the needs of our internal and external clients.”

Co-founders Ian Gosling, Max Cole and Krisztián Kerék have sustained interest from angel investors led by serial technology angel, Sean Phelan, demonstrating a continued confidence in the success of Autto.

New investment from Tangible was secured after the company trialled Autto’s solution on existing Fortune 500 clients.

“We’ve seen first-hand the benefits derived from the creation of its workflows, and we wanted to play a part in its future development.”

“Autto provides organisations with a dynamic platform to automate the necessary to enable the exceptional. To drive adoption, Tangible will be building out a library of workflows (what we call Catalysts) and launching them into the market in the coming months in partnership with Autto.

“We are excited about the possibilities of working with Autto to help drive the next stage of its journey.”

View full article here

 

From Excel to interconnected workflows with new AUTTO feature

From Artificial Lawyer

It just got easier to streamline your data tables. 

Workflow automation company, Autto, has unveiled a new capability that allows you to leverage data tables to build multiple interconnecting workflows that update in real-time, rather than building isolated workflows, each with their own data source. 

As Autto explained to Artificial Lawyer, instead of using traditional, static spreadsheet platforms – such as Excel – in isolation, users of the platform can build and manage data sets within it. 

Co-founder, Ian Gosling said that corporate legal teams and law firms could take an Excel spreadsheet, perhaps that they had used in the past to record key data, move that into Autto’s platform and then run multiple workflows that connect to it. 

There is a growing interest in workflow systems – often referred to as no code or low code platforms – that include for example, Bryter, Neota Logic and Autologyx. 

In many cases these are used by clients to improve one very specific work process, and the ability to build an entire ecosystem of interconnected workflows would appear to be useful. 

As with other platforms of its type, Autto offers an intuitive visual interface that allows a user – without the need for any coding experience – to build a workflow. For example, creating a dialogue box on a desktop to guide a lawyer through a decision process to create a document, complete a form, or to approve an action and move a legal matter forward. 

Elements involved in these workflows can include, among others, triggers to send emails, or for esignature, to create PDFs, to introduce conditional gateways, and to connect to databases – as explored above. 

The goal is not to replace higher value tasks, but to provide ‘the plumbing’, as it were, to enable people to work more efficiently – and to leverage data already inside the business more effectively. 

But, what can be built is really up to the imagination of the users. Such tech can be leveraged to produce quite complex networks of workflows that are central to a business. 

Or, to sum up, as Max Cole, co-founder, said: ‘It has a transformative effect when data can be called on by different workflows.’

Beyond this new capability the company noted that the SME sector has not made much use of automation, even though in many cases it’s not that expensive to utilise workflow tools. 

Artificial Lawyer also asked Cole and Gosling about ‘no code’ i.e. zero coding needed vs ‘low code’ i.e. some coding input needed to build a workflow. 

Gosling replied that they prefer not to think in terms of either, though if they had to pick one it would be no code that best described them. The logic is that talking about code means looking at things from a developer’s perspective. The idea is to focus on data flows that a user is dealing with in their day-to-day work. 

For example, we’d never say: buy this phone, it’s a no-code phone – we just expect there to be no coding involved to use that piece of technology. In short, while there may be a ton of software beavering away behind the scenes, the user just wants things to work. 

 

View full article here

 

Simple automations and the AI bubble

From Legal Tech Weekly

Simple automations can be even more beneficial than advanced artificial intelligence, especially in small- and midsize law firms.

Here is today’s good news: the next financial crisis seems just around the corner. Nouriel Roubini, who earned the nickname Mr Doom when he foresaw the last one, predicts it to come in 2020 and the latest update from Intensity estimates that there is 99.9% probability that a recession will happen within the next two years. With an ongoing US-China trade war and a British exit from the European Union in the pipeline, it is hard to Legal Tech Weekly to do anything about that. However, a global recession is not the only thing to fear. 

The AI bubble 

An article published in Legal Tech weekly explores the descrepancy between the enormous expectetions of what artificial intelligence (AI) claims to deliver and what it actually can deliver. According to the article’s author, Mikkel Boris, it seems that 40% of Europe’s artificial intelligence start-ups lack the AI they were pretending to have.

Autto founder Max Cole weighed in with a few home truthes: 

“Improving efficiency and productivity with automation does not require artificial intelligence. Autto’s software platform uses simple automation to help businesses improve their processes where it is not economical to build heavy-duty RPA API-solutions or train artificial intelligences. With Autto’s tool, law firms and legal counsels can build their own automated processes with configurable building blocks that can be stacked upon each other to create unique workflows.”

View full article here

 

Why automation is essential for the future of SMEs

From SME Technology Guide

We have been featured in the latest issue of the SME Technology Guide. Take a look below for an overview of what Ian Gosling covers in this informative article.

You don’t have to look far to see an example of a company taking advantage of advanced technology within their business today.

AUTTO founder, Ian Gosling looks at why automation is essential for the future of SMEs despite research suggesting that adoption rates among large enterprises are up to 10 times higher than in small businesses.  

 

Ian explainins how even the smallest of businesses can harness automation for better and why this is important as SMEs are operating in an increasingly challenging business environment, competing against larger players with bigger budgets and higher head-counts in turbulent economic times. 

Read the full article written by AUTTO founder Ian Gosling in the latest issue of SME Technology Guide