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CIO Influence Interview with Joe Ramieri, VP of North America at Instabase

CIO Influence Interview with Joe Ramieri, VP of North America at Instabase

“Like any technology, artificial intelligence can be used for a variety of purposes, but at Instabase, we absolutely aim to leverage AI to augment human experience.”

Hi Joe. Welcome to our Interview Series. Please tell us a little bit about your role and responsibilities in your current company. How did you arrive at Instabase?

I currently look after the North American business for Instabase. In my role, I oversee teams focusing on our enterprise customers, corporate development efforts, and our global alliances function. I arrived at Instabase with a background that started in finance and operations, but ultimately led to running sales and business development organizations at firms like IBM and Microsoft. Instabase was an amazing opportunity to join a world class team and build elements of our GTM strategy from their foundations, but still focus on the enterprise global clients I had been fortunate to to work with for over a decade. It isn’t every day that a cutting edge start-up grows up partnering with the world’s largest companies, and solving some of their most complex, long-standing problems, so it was something I absolutely had to be part of.

What is Instabase and what are your core offerings?

Instabase has developed a platform that enables organizations to harness the latest market innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) through low-code tooling to automate their most critical business processes at massive scale. The technology brings together powerful language models (an advanced subset of AI) and a suite of composable building blocks to instantly transform high volumes of complex, variable documents into structured data, integrating seamlessly into the up and downstream systems enterprises use every day. Many of the world’s largest financial institutions, insurance companies, government agencies, and others rely on Instabase to rapidly build reliable solutions to automate the previously unaddressed bottleneck in enterprise processes – unstructured data. While we focus on enterprises today, we are always thinking about how to also make this innovation accessible and easier to use for everyone, especially as we enter an exciting new era in AI as we speak.

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What is the driving force behind introducing AI for automating unstructured data management?

The driving force behind Instabase’s technology and the underlying mission that drives our innovation really comes back to our CEO and Founder, Anant Bhardwaj. In 2015, Anant was an MIT computer science Ph.D. student, and he realized how painful it was to streamline document-heavy processes. The attempt to automate document processing new, but legacy techniques of templates, rules, and even early machine learning approaches were limited in their ability to scale in the real world. This was still a generally unsolved problem, and the pain of this problem was particularly prevalent with large enterprises, where document volume and variability required significant, costly human operations to process. Anant set out to create a first of its kind system to help these companies automate these bottlenecked processes, but take an approach that bet on AI as the frontier of innovation for this problem, and Instabase was born. Today, this passion drives our continued evolution into markets, and keeps us on the bleeding edge of the new AI revolution.

You recently announced GA of your Automation Platform for Unstructured Data for Azure Marketplace. Could you highlight the key benefits customers would generate from this development?

Meeting our customers where they consume new technology is incredibly important to us. We are proud to now be available in Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, and to bring the Instabase platform to a wider community of users. Our shared customers can now benefit from a simplified procurement experience, and also potentially decrement their Azure consumption commitment, a vehicle that more enterprises are using to optimize multi-year cloud spend. As a Microsoft alum, it is great to sit on the other side of the table as a business partner, and see the capabilities of the Azure Marketplace continue to advance for the benefit of our global customers.

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Which industries are still lagging in the adoption of an automation platform for unstructured data? What are the biggest challenges these industries face?

While adoption of enterprise automation continues to grow, the holy grail of unstructured data, we find, remains relatively unaddressed. To remain focused on where this problem creates the highest opportunity for impact, we continue to lean into financial services, insurance, and government. With that said, we have more recently been pulled into several new markets, namely – healthcare, CPG, and tech. Healthcare claims are still highly manual in their review, audit, appeal/denial, etc. CPG firms have document bottlenecks across their order-to-cash process, and up-and-down their supply chain. Tech companies, as well as professional services firms, are collectively realizing that embedding document automation into their solution will help them build better products, and make their operations more productive, ultimately helping them manage their costs while they drive growth. These are just some of many examples, and we continue to explore both direct customer engagements, as well as embedded distribution through strategic partnerships.

How does Instabase simplify the onboarding and investments of customers with its automation platform?

As an example, when a bank or wealth manager onboards a new customer, there is an essential due diligence and information gathering process to get to know the customer, verify their identity and income, and enroll them into the right programs tailored to their needs. Getting this process right, and streamlining wherever possible will result in an improved client experience, while maintaining high standards of compliance. Standing in the way of this mission exists massive amounts of documents – formats vary and quality is inconsistent, but clients expect a fast turnaround, or they will go elsewhere. This is where Instabase comes in. We help these firms instantly turn piles of messy documents into highly accurate structured data, which they will ultimately rely on to make key decisions on or for their clients. Our AI-approach is built for the real world of this industry. Our customers see hundreds of document formats, languages, and a quality spectrum, making this a particularly difficult computer science problem. Our platform is uniquely positioned to help with use cases like these, and bring our customers the best set of capabilities to build and scale solutions quickly, allowing them to turn technology into market differentiation like they’ve never been able to accomplish before. It’s game changing for them.

Do you think AI augments human experience, or does it reduce human-level personalization particularly when we take examples in the immersive no-code landscape?

It’s an interesting question, and could certainly depend on the application of AI. Like any technology, artificial intelligence can be used for a variety of purposes, but at Instabase, we absolutely aim to leverage AI to augment human experience. Our company, and our customers are ultimately collections of humans – starting from our own teams, we think about how AI can help humans be more productive, and operate more efficiently at the top of their license, but all without sacrificing human creativity, or attempting to create unmonitored computational inference. We are proud to work with some of the most regulated organizations on the planet, and they certainly don’t take the implications of technology lightly. This is why we have invested significantly in enterprise security, industry compliance standards, and an architecture that enables us to test and experiment with market-leading innovation extensively before putting anything into production. If you look at recent advancements in AI, like large language models (ie: GPT), plenty of companies will attempt to integrate these models into their products. Differentiation in this space will come down to how these models can be safely, and successfully operationalized for enterprises to actually use within their regulated business processes. This is where we will focus at Instabase.

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An event/ conference or podcast that you have subscribed to consume information about B2B technology industry: If invited, would you like to be part of a podcast episode on IT/ Data Ops, CX and B2B SaaS?

I am always happy to consider opportunities to speak with industry leaders, and about where our market is headed.

Thank you, Joe! That was fun and we hope to see you back on cioinfluence.com soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

Joe Ramieri currently sits on the executive team at Instabase, an venture-backed enterprise AI platform company, where he is responsible for their North American business, and various go-to-market functions globally. Prior to Instabase, Joe spent over a decade in leadership roles across Microsoft, IBM, and other firms in sales, corporate development, operations, and finance functions, with higher education degrees in Economics and Finance. Joe lives in the Boston-area with his wife Jacquie, and son Valentine.

Instabase Logo

Instabase provides a unified platform with artificial intelligence and workflow automation capabilities that allow organizations to solve their most pressing business challenges at scale. With an open ecosystem that combines AI breakthroughs from research labs and deep industry expertise, Instabase platform helps institutions embed intelligence into any system or business process and drive transformational outcomes. Today, many of the world’s largest financial institutions, insurance companies, governments, and enterprises rely on Instabase to automate their mission-critical business processes end-to-end. The business is backed by leading investors, such as Greylock Partners, NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Spark Capital, Tribe Capital, Original Capital, SC Ventures, and Glynn Capital.

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