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It’s the dream of any business: Artificial Intelligence (AI) that recognizes where there is potential for more efficient processes, saves a lot of money and increases revenues. The potential seems huge and companies in all industries are currently feverishly looking for ways to use AI for their own purposes. According to the Boston Consulting Group, nine out of 10 companies are currently planning to introduce artificial intelligence within the next three years. However, in the same survey, more than one in three managers worldwide said that they lacked the necessary AI skills.
It’s a gap that boot.AI wants to fill. At the Düsseldorf-based start-up, the name says it all: Entrepreneur and founder Florian Schild and Tilman Walch – the head of marketing – have set themselves the goal of booting AI in companies. They want to activate, power up, get started; even in companies that, at first glance, don’t seem to process enough relevant data. "Not every company has a data or software-based business model," says founder Florian Schild. "But that doesn't really matter at all. Everyone can benefit from AI, no matter what a company does or what industry it belongs to.“
That is why boot.AI develops artificial intelligence that simplifies, accelerates or optimizes processes. For example, the supply chain at logistics companies, the service at restaurants and hotels, or the administration costs at service companies. "We are developing an AI that analyzes data and processes and identifies potential for improvement," says Schild. "The platform that we develop for this purpose often results in a completely new line of business for our customers, one that generates additional revenue.”
For example, an insurance company could use AI to optimize its printing costs. And because other office-based companies also have an interest in spending less money on printing or copying, the insurance company could also offer the AI platform to others – and thus earn additional revenue.
Initially, boot.AI had been using IT resources from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop and operate artificial intelligence platforms. However, one of the start-up's first customers – a company in the medical sector – demanded a higher level of IT security and data protection. "Companies that process highly sensitive data simply attach great importance to this," says Schild. "That's why we looked for an alternative."
The founder came into contact with Deutsche Telekom at a start-up event, where he learned about the Bonn-based provider's public cloud offering: the Open Telekom Cloud. “The multi-certified data centers, the high level of data protection and Deutsche Telekom as a reliable and reputable partner convinced us.”
Today boot.AI uses Bare Metal Server (BMS) from the Open Telekom Cloud. The "GPU accelerated p2.large" flavor offers 2 x 14 processor cores, 512 GB RAM and eight P100 Nvidia graphics cards. "This makes it perfect for creating neural networks," says Schild. "Thanks to the many Graphic Processor Units (GPUs), we can process millions of data sets simultaneously without loading them into the memory. In this way, the results we achieve are very detailed and therefore high quality. An important mark of quality that sets us apart from our competitors."
In addition, boot.AI benefits from the Document Database Service (DDS), which is based on the protocol of the MongoDB NoSQL database. This allows the start-up to use databases directly in the Open Telekom Cloud without having to book an additional server. "Before, we had to set up and operate MongoDB on our own server. Now we can simply book the service directly from the cloud," says Schild. The document-based database also scales automatically when data is added or removed. boot.AI only pays for the capacity that it actually uses.
In the meantime boot.AI has already supplied AI solutions to numerous companies in various industries, everything from SMEs to global corporations. Business is good, but Florian Schild has already set his sights on the next project: soon he wants to offer so-called Conversational Interfaces for virtual assistants such as Siri or Alexa. For example, to optimize ordering processes. The hotel industry has been selected as the pilot sector. It means that hotel guests may soon be able to order room service without even having to pick up the phone – all thanks to artificial intelligence from the Open Telekom Cloud.