TechBytes with Gregory Raiz, Chief Innovation Officer, Rightpoint

TechBytes with Gregory Raiz, Chief Innovation Officer at Rightpoint

Tell us about your interaction with new-age technologies such as AI, Machine Learning and Mobile Applications.

We’ve been working with new technologies for a number of years. We’ve been exploring new tech capabilities building things that use AR/VR, Machine Learning and a wide range of mobile applications.

How did you start in this space? What galvanized you to start at Rightpoint?

I started my own agency after leaving Microsoft back in 2001. I wanted to improve lives through technology and design and I saw a huge opportunity in mobile and emerging technology. The agency I started grew to over 80 folks and we were acquired by Rightpoint about a year and a half ago. Our depth in new technology and innovation was a great match for the marketing, content and IT technologies that Rightpoint had done. We’re now bringing these worlds together and looking to push the state-of-the-art across our offerings.

What is Rightpoint and how does it leverage technology in its Marketing, Sales and Customer Service? 

Rightpoint is a customer experience agency with technology at the center of our organization. We’re an experience agency in that we’re always thinking about how people use the products and websites we build and we do that with depth in technical expertise. We believe that some of the best solutions are a mix of art and technology and that’s how we think about our business. We work with organizations across their customer journey from marketing to product to customer services.

Tell us more about your recent enhancements to established healthcare practice.

We’ve been developing software for hospitals, doctors, and pharma companies for a number of years. We wanted to tie this together and have a well thought out approach and perspective on healthcare and how we can improve patient experiences. This has resulted in a concerted effort across our agency to align our capabilities around healthcare. Our agency also gained a key quality certification around medical software and devices, giving us a unique perspective on building software in this space.

Who are your customers and how do they leverage your products/services? 

We work with companies that want a customer experience edge from their products, websites or apps. They tend to be established brands and companies but also include many mid-market innovators. We’re typically working with VPs of product and heads of technology as well as marketing executives.

What is the biggest challenge to digital transformation in the market you cater to? How does Rightpoint contribute to a successful digital transformation?

The biggest challenge to digital transformation is typically not technology but getting organizational velocity. Getting companies working in an agile way to innovate and deliver new products and solutions is the biggest challenge to driving digital transformations. Many organizations want to change but have trouble taking the first step. When we get companies moving in the right direction it tends to be a snowball picking up speed.

Where do you see AI-enabled car journeys and other smart technologies heading beyond 2020?

AI-enabled cars are a great example of technology changing right before our eyes while also taking a decade. You can see the future of 2020 today by observing the beginnings of technology as it picks up speed. The beginnings of these new trends are out there today and improving day over day… from EV’s to audio applications to the advances of self-driving cars, innovation is largely happening out in the open. Tesla is moving the state-of-the-art of cars, Apple is putting health data right on your wrist, Amazon is enabling new breeds of voice and Google is enabling AI across a spectrum of things that we search for.

What is your opinion on “Weaponization of AI and Machine Learning”? How do you promote your ideas in the digital economy?

Software hasn’t changed that much and weaponized AI is just the new way to say ‘malicious software’. It’s important that applications of any new technology consider the use, application and potential ethical concerns of doing so. AI, just like any other software, can be used to get computers to do certain things. We’re not talking about HAL2001 or The Terminator, rather, software programs that can categorize, identify or filter information in a way that was previously difficult. As a society, we need to understand what these technologies can do and provide the appropriate security to keep things running smoothly.

It is equally important for us to consider how we can inadvertently train AI’s to have discriminatory biases. Recently, some facial recognition apps were identified that were only good at detecting predominantly white faces. As we think about AI, it’s important that we’re using training data that represents a broad and inclusive user-base.

What digital technology start-ups and labs are you keenly following?

I tend to follow a lot of interesting people, rather than particular technologies. Twitter is a great tool for learning about things outside your typical bubble. So, I try to follow folks from a number of industries. I’m particularly interested in AI, Robotics, VR, Healthcare, and Blockchain recently but it does change from month to month.

What technologies within your industry are you interested in?

I’m particularly excited about what’s happening with augmented reality and how it’s being applied to mobile apps, healthcare, and other industries.

As a tech leader, which industries do you think would be the fastest to adopt AI in car-making with smooth efficiency? What are the new emerging markets for these technology markets?

I think there is huge potential for AI in autonomous cars in trucking and agriculture.  These two industries could see vast adoption of these types of technologies to enable smoother operations and efficiencies.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

If you want to be productive for the day, it’s just two things. Don’t open email. Don’t schedule so many meetings. When you control your day and do what you need to get done you’ll be 10x more productive. If you live by your inbox or by your calendar you’ll be pulled in a million directions.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.

Would love to hear thoughts from Benedict Evans.

Gregory Raiz graduated from Tufts University and got his start as a Program Manager at Microsoft on Windows XP.  In 2003, Greg founded Raizlabs with a vision to improve lives through design and technology. Raizlabs hit its stride in 2007 with the launch of Apple’s iPhone. Since then it’s been an Inc 5000 fastest growing company for four years in a row and has launched hundreds of apps including many that have topped the App Store charts for their innovation and design. The products Raizlabs produces have utilized cutting-edge technologies and platforms starting with mobile but extending to Voice, IoT, AI, VR, and more.

Beyond helping start Raizlabs, AltConf, and DrinksOnTap, Greg actively speaks at events and conferences on entrepreneurship, innovation and new technology. Greg most recently joined Rightpoint’s Leadership Team as Chief Innovation Officer through the acquisition of Raizlabs. Greg is based in Boston and will continue building the culture of innovation throughout Rightpoint, and working with clients to help them digitally transform their businesses using design and innovation thinking.

rightpoint logoRightpoint is an independent customer experience agency with technology at our core. We create transformative digital experiences driven by insight, design, technology, and mobile innovation and emerging technologies via Raizlabs, to help organizations succeed at the speed of innovation. Rightpoint serves more than 250 Fortune 1,000 companies and has been named one of Crain’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Chicago for four consecutive years. Rightpoint is the largest independent agency with 450 employees across 10 offices.

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