This month, we met with Queensland-based company Blackbook (dot) ai to learn more about their intelligent solutions that aim to unlock the value of their clients’ businesses using technology and AI.
Launched in late 2016, Blackbook’s aim is to use cutting edge emerging technology to solve business issues across four main offerings—Automation, DataOps, AI/ML (artificial intelligence machine learning) and Digital.
The Brisbane tech company are staunch believers in the power of AI and have a vision to improve anything from accuracy and reliability of data to analytical support and forecasting, while simultaneously improving business efficiency.
And to date, Blackbook has proven that they can deliver on their bold vision. Within six years, the company has grown to employ 170+ staff members in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. In 2022 they opened offices with 20+ staff in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Some of the work they’ve done includes automating the accounts payable process for companies, performing data platform health checks, modernising data warehouses, and visualising data and processes. This is just the tip of the iceberg—they tailor-make their solutions for the different companies they consult with.
Blackbook has also developed three products they provide—Blackbird, BlackFabric, and RecBuddy.
Blackbird is an AI powered platform that can help you automate your business processes, workflows, and forms.
BlackFabric is a centralised AIML platform that facilitates the use of AI in your organisation (which is a challenge for most businesses that are making the transition). It helps developers and data scientists to build, train, and deploy machine learning models faster.
RecBuddy helps companies modernise accounting processes with automated reconciliation.
The company has been very focused on providing local opportunities for talent so as to offer an alternative for Australian companies to work with local, hardworking, and capable consultants. They offer a Graduate Recruitment program for local graduates to become part of the largest Automation Solution (RPA & AI) provider in Australia.
Founder Thuy Lam, who was recognised as Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018, says, “By providing targeted practical training to students at secondary and tertiary levels through the AI Digital Hub, Blackbook is working on innovative ways to improve the knowledge, understanding and operationalisation of data and ML workloads.”
Not only is Blackbook passionate about providing local opportunities and training for students – a large part of our work is also training our clients. Philippa Black, Head of Enablement AI & Data, says, “We see a large part of our role in the AIML community as upskilling and educating, both our clients and those who want to step into the industry – from the first steps learning Python in our AI Digital Hub to handing over the reins of production AIML models to clients.”
Blackbook utilises AIML to help their clients innovate and find efficiencies to help stay ahead of the competition. They use a lean analysis, design, and governance to ensure that the AIML is a targeted business opportunity and DataOps so that the AIML model is embedded within the clients’ infrastructure. In addition, they use training, deployment, ongoing training, and re-deployment to ensure the client is fully empowered and the solution fully functional.
As you can see, a lot comes back to training.
Another focus of the company has been to create strong partnerships. According to Black, “Our strong partnerships with leading automation software, capture platforms and cloud providers, results in superior outcomes for our clients.”
Blackbook is an active member of the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Partner Network—they are an Advanced Consulting Partner and have over 20 AWS customer launches behind them. They are also a Microsoft Solutions Partner for both Data & AI and Digital & App Innovation. In addition, they are UiPath and Qlik partners.
As the leading provider for AI driven business solutions in Australia, Blackbook has a unique insight into the future of AIML. They believe that as businesses continue to migrate their data to the cloud, AIML efficiencies will continue to grow with the data connectivity and increased compute capacity.
Five years ago, AIML would generally have been considered only for the big tech players, and for those that were not, it was placed in the “nice to have” proof of concept bucket.
Over the next 5-10 years, AIML for all businesses will become a core business need, across verticals and regardless of business size. We will see a transformation in the workforce, moving away from repetitive tasks to becoming the “human-in-the-loop” and training/overseeing the AIML. These new workers will need to be code literate, creative, and empathetic to understand the AIML, and to guide the artificial intelligence with human intelligence traits that we cannot code for.
Again, it’s clear to see why Blackbook focuses so much on training – if the future is AIML, the people of the future are those who are training the AIML workforce.
We look forward to seeing what Blackbook will innovate next and how it will help Australian businesses – and businesses worldwide take the leap to AI.
For more information about Blackbook, please visit www.blackbook.ai