Archive for May, 2019

What makes GTM different?

GTM is a specialised consultancy designed to support Small and Medium Enterprises, with a range of offerings specifically tailored for SME’s, from advisory, consultancy and executory services all focussed on helping those companies achieve or maintain success.

Initially starting in the Middle East, the firm will marry international expertise with regional experience, eventually scaling to a global platform offering accessible and affordable expertise  to all who needs it.  You could say expertise without the expert fees.

If we look at Dubai alone, then SME accounts 25% of GDP and 30% of the workforce, so they have a marked effect on both the economy and the community of Dubai. And these numbers increase in other areas of the world.

There are many management and business consultants around – what make GTM different? Yes, there are many management consultants around, but what makes GTM different is fore unique core factors

  1. it is designed specifically for Small & Medium Enterprises
  2. It offers executory services
  3. It is designed around your business – that can be fixed price off-the-shelf offerings or bespoke tailored packages allowing GTM clients the flexibility to request the right type of expertise at any given time.
  4. GTM have a vested interest in the success of our clients – with success, this leads to growth and expansion, which leads to job generation, which is purpose of the business.

What gap in the market do you see and why now?

There is a lot of scaremongering that half of businesses fail within the first year. Actually it’s not quite as bad as that.  In reality approximately a quarter of all business fail in the first two years, but 50% in the first 5, and 65% within 10 years.

So, we know more business fail between 1 and 5 years, and why is that.

Advisory, consultancy and research firms have lots of high end services tailored for the large enterprise and federal clients.  The big 4, their second tier global and smaller regional competitors focus on the same cash cow clientele, and for good reason – these clients have the time and the money to support large consultancy bills, with complex organisations and multi-faceted value chains. The 9-8-7 model as I call it (9 months, 8 people, 7 figure consultations)

There is a wide variety of advice at the start-up stage, from assistance reviewing and tweeking the initial premise and business plan, advice on angel, VC or crowd funding, a growing number of incubator and co-working ‘hubs’ – all focussed on turning an idea into a business proposition and a viable Micro business, geared at supporting [and milking] start-ups, whether bootstrapped or funded.

Once past this stage though, after navigating the harsh realities of start-up life with a company that is surviving, then there is little cost efficient advice available – the entrepreneurial advisors see that you have ‘made it’ from Micro to Small and are up and running, while business management and consultancy firms see you as Tiny fish, not able to offer the cash and resources they need to make it worth their while servicing you – they focus on the nine-month, eight-person and seven-figure projects.

So, those that do progress from a Micro to a Small Business tend to continue with a mentality of ‘I think I know what I’m doing, I got here, didn’t I?’, where they reach a plateau and sticking point on how to reach the next level – this is a vital stage, and one when the plan and the execution must align to the company goals and purpose…and those goals and purpose may have changed since start-up stage.

Yet ALL businesses would benefit from advisory and consultancy services throughout their journey, as

  • Management style,
  • Organisational Structure,
  • Formal Systems,
  • Major Strategy and
  • Business to owner relationship, all change and need to evolve through the company maturity.

How embracing AI, can help SMEs


AI is here to stay, you will already be using it! How to use it properly is what’s important.

Whether you believe the hype or not you are using Artificial Intelligence in many ways each day – with the auto spell on your Whatsapp, your Google search, asking Alexa to call an Uber, the chatbot conversation you had with your bank and the latest email you received as you’ve not ordered flowers for two months.

It’s here, it’s here to stay and there are many reasons small business should welcome AI in all its forms to create competitive advantage without breaking the bank.

Some examples of

Ai in Marketing – customer specific content, preference and behaviour based.

Ai in Sales – identify upsell/cross sell opportunities, capture leads.

Ai in HR – automatic candidate shortlists, synchronise leave requests.

Ai In Customer Service – automate customer handing and service management.

Ai in Manufacturing – planning for capacity, managing the manufacturing process.

Ai in Logistics – streamline logistics and supply chain.

Ai in Finance – automate reconciliation, auto credit decisions, cyber security. 

Ai in Operations – maximise resource utilisation, business process management.

As the heavy $Bn investments in AI has come from the Google’s and Amazon’s of this world, it is clear that the trickle down is becoming more accessible to the SME community. Mainly as Amazon and Microsoft, to name but two, allow their Ai technology to be used by all, secondly as a plethora of tech startups, innovators and entrepreneurs are using Ai to be competitive and fight on a level(ish) playing field with the big boys.

So, why haven’t SME’s yet fully embraced the potential of AI.

It is certainly not from a lack of hype about Ai – every day I receive multiple emails, see hundreds of Linkedin posts, read many social media snippets and even subscribe to Dubai’s Leader’s twitter feeds of the vision that Dubai will be the smartest city on the world driven by Ai initiatives.

I am sure the first farmers were cautious on how this new fangled tractor invention would be better than a horse drawn plough, or the accountant that saw easy-to-use finance software and thought his career was over.

And Yes, while the agricultural workforce of US has dwindled from 22% to less than 2%, the overall unemployment has decreased from 23% to 4% today – meaning more people are working and they have shifted roles…..and I also know there are more accountants now than ever.

Link to 

  1. SME and Ai is a perfect fit – busting 6 myths about Ai in SME
  2. Breaking down the Ai suitcase – a bitesize breakdown of Ai’s components

Footnote

There are ongoing questions regarding Ai ethicacy, morality and oversight, and those questions need to be addressed today, before the conditions are hardwired into our daily lives. But until Skynet takes over and we humans battle the machines, let us use them to help us be more than we can be without them, and SME are perfectly placed to receive more value from Ai than many others ….and if any of you are thinking, I am not a bot.

After studying Artificial Intelligence with MIT, I can recommend for all those interested a free online ‘course’ offered by University of Helsinki called Elements of AI which can be found at https://www.elementsofai.com

Breaking down the AI suitcase.


AI can be daunting, it is important to simplify and how you break it down is vital.

A bitesize breakdown of Ai main components

According to Marvin Minksy, Ai is a ‘suitcase’ term, meaning it can incorporate so many things, and by breaking this down it is easier to understand what the general phrase ‘Ai’ is made of.

The next paragraph or two is just a very headline overview of what Ai is – needed so it can be understood.

Narrow versus General Intelligence

Firstly, when people speak of Ai it is what’s known as narrow Ai, meaning an individual task to be completed. A self driving car is an example of multiple narrow Ai systems working together.  As humans, we exhibit general intelligence, where cognitive thought intakes multiple variables and our cognition interprets these variables and provides specific reactions – human nature…and all its idiosyncrasies.

Ai includes in its basic forms

Machine Learning – the most common form of Ai is the ability of a program to see patterns in a set of variables and alter a process according to desired parameters (we will leave the deep learning and neural networks to the engineers) – google advert pop-ups reacting to your latest search…

Planning and Search – another common everyday use.  A starting point, an end point, add in some variables and create a competition – google maps directing you to your next meeting..choose shortest route or quickest route.

Natural Language Processing and generation; NLP and NLG – the ability for a ‘program’ to interpret written or spoken language input or deliver output – ask Siri to tell you a joke…

Visual Recognition – the ability of a system to identify items from images, which seems easier than it is, as systems only ‘see’ in 2D, and are only now embarking on understanding 3D – Pinterest can search for products from a picture…

Robots – are not truly part of the Ai stable, however are spoken about in the same breath.  A robot is a physical execution of a program that interacts with its environment.  A robot doesn’t have to be Ai driven and Ai doesn’t need a robot, however the two work well together – Amazon Echo and Alexa

Internet of Things (IoT) – similar to robotics, this is not classed as Ai, but is used with Ai applications.  IoT is the use of remote connection to manage items or to collect many sensor status – your ‘connected’ coffee maker turning on when you are 5 minutes away from home or your Fitbit device.

For more information see other relevant posts

Link to 

  1. SME and Ai is a perfect fit – busting 6 myths about Ai in SME
  2. How SME can use Ai to beat competition

Footnote

There are ongoing questions regarding Ai ethicacy, morality and oversight, and those questions need to be addressed today, before the conditions are hardwired into our daily lives. But until Skynet takes over and we humans battle the machines, let us use them to help us be more than we can be without them, and SME are perfectly placed to receive more value from Ai than many others ….and if any of you are thinking, I am not a bot.

After studying Artificial Intelligence with MIT, I can recommend for all those interested a free online ‘course’ offered by University of Helsinki called Elements of AI which can be found at https://www.elementsofai.com

Why SME and AI are a perfect fit.


Why it’s important a business doesn’t ignore technology and understand the savings it offers.

6 myths about AI and SME explained.

SME’s are always seeking ways to create value, improve customer satisfaction, maximise sales opportunities and optimise operations. When faced with limited resources and finance, then embracing the capabilities of Ai throughout an organisation allows the business to focus on the business of business and be the best they can be.

Myth #1 Ai is not proven

This just simply isn’t the case.  Machine Learning and NLP form part of your everyday interaction with technology, and many of your purchases will be driven by intelligent marketing.

Businesses can take mundane tasks and automate them to become considerably more efficient.

Myth #2 Ai is only valuable for large organisations with lots of customers and data

True, companies with vast amounts of data need Ai to gain insights, however even small customer bases offer opportunities that are easily missed by the human ‘eye’, increasing sales opportunities, targeting specific marketing, simplifying system interactions and enhancing customer service.  Those that don’t utilise Ai will quickly fall behind those that do, especially at the SME level where competition is fierce.

Myth #3 Ai is expensive and complex to implement

There are many Ai technologies available that are built for simplicity – from chatbots capturing leads from a website to HR applications that screen candidates against desired attributes lowering hiring costs, to first-line automated support reducing service costs and increasing customer satisfaction.  Perfect applications for making SME more efficient and effective.


AI can save your business time and money – identifying how is the key to its implementation.

Myth #4 Ai needs an army of data scientist to manage it.

Again, simplicity is the key. Many Ai systems require, like most systems, a little setting up to ensure it delivers what a company requires – to define parameters like target customers or specific responses, but many can be almost out-of-the-box and the beauty of machine learning, is that the machine learns, so you don’t need to.

Myth #5 Companies already having systems will have disruption with Ai

Of course every organisation will have systems in use, however as efficiencies and opportunities can be driven though incorporating Ai then a strategy to introduce more intelligence into an organisation should never be overlooked.  Actually SME can be more agile and take advantage of Ai benefits quicker across multiple business functions.

Myth #6Ai will take jobs 

This should be rephrased ‘Ai will take tasks’…and that’s exactly what a startup, small or medium company should take advantage of.  By off-loading mundane tasks staff resources can be focussed on the most effective use of their time supporting the company in the best way possible.

For more information see other relevant posts

Link to 

  1. Breaking down the Ai suitcase – a bitesize breakdown of Ai’s components
  2. How SME can use Ai to beat competition

Footnote

There are ongoing questions regarding Ai ethicacy, morality and oversight, and those questions need to be addressed today, before the conditions are hardwired into our daily lives. But until Skynet takes over and we humans battle the machines, let us use them to help us be more than we can be without them, and SME are perfectly placed to receive more value from Ai than many others ….and if any of you are thinking, I am not a bot.

After studying Artificial Intelligence with MIT, I can recommend for all those interested a free online ‘course’ offered by University of Helsinki called Elements of AI which can be found at https://www.elementsofai.com