Predictions Series 2022: AiThority Interview with Artem Kroupenev, VP Strategy at Augury
Hi, Artem. Welcome to our Interview Series. Please tell us a little bit about your journey and what inspired you to join Augury?
My educational background is in political science and decision making, and I taught for a while in Israel after graduation. I then transitioned into technology entrepreneurship, co-founded a couple of startups, and worked as a growth consultant, building startups within large enterprises, like GE and Nike.
I gained great experience as an entrepreneur, product leader and innovator. I was involved all the way through, from concept to product-market fit, to category creation and beyond. I was also fortunate to work across multiple industries, although the majority of my work was focused on the enterprise, and across technologies, including software, hardware and artificial intelligence (AI).
I joined Augury seven years ago to lead Product, and my role then evolved to be more widely focused to lead Strategy for the organization. Augury enables me to combine the best of my past experience, as we serve enterprises in the industrial and manufacturing worlds using deep technology around AI, hardware and software. We’re building a great company that’s at the forefront of new categories of solutions, and we are seeing a very real and transformative impact on our customers and the industry at large. It’s a very gratifying place to be.
What is Augury and what are your core offerings?
Augury was founded roughly ten years ago, and we are now a $1B+ company, but our vision remains to build a world where the combined work of people and machines makes life better in every way.
Industrial machines and production processes are the backbone of our economy, but their impact is often hidden to the consumer, with many of us not even thinking about the work and equipment that goes into making sure we all have access to food, shelter and other basic necessities. When machines and processes fail, factories stop working, supply chains face pressures and we do not get the things we need.
Augury’s AI and IoT-based Machine Health and Process Health solutions help manufacturers avoid failures and produce more consistently, efficiently and sustainably.
We work with over 100 leading manufacturers that produce the basic goods and services we all need, including food, medicines, building materials, chemicals and energy. We also work with machine manufacturers (OEMs) to help embed the technology into the machines themselves. Our goal is to take the guesswork out of the production and maintenance processes for manufacturers. As a production health company, we drive industry outcomes by uncovering AI-driven insights into the interdependence of machines, processes, and operations. By leveraging these insights, businesses will make better decisions, improve outcomes, empower the workforce, and benefit the environment.
Please tell us about the major milestones Augury managed to achieve in 2022?
Earlier this year, Augury acquired Seebo, a leader in AI-based process intelligence. Their solutions help provide manufacturing teams with the insights needed to optimize processes amid multiple and conflicting demands like improving quality and throughput while limiting waste and energy consumption.
This acquisition enabled us to provide the first-of-its kind, AI-driven view into the relationship between various factors impacting production health. These insights help customers make data-driven decisions to improve asset performance, process optimization and sustainability in a holistic way.
What is production health? What kinds of companies leverage these solutions?
Process health empowers manufacturers’ operations and process teams to navigate the one-of-a-kind challenges that come with each production process, equipping them to understand previously disparate datasets and glean vital insights that were previously undetectable. In parallel, around-the-clock machine health will empower industrial users with real-time prescriptive insights to prevent machine failure and improve machine performance, in turn, reducing energy, improving efficiency and maximizing yield.
Together, these two solutions make Production Health. As a comprehensive, combined solution, Production Health tackles these two different areas of manufacturing and holistically brings together insights around machine optimization and production processes so operators and decision-makers have all the tools needed to navigate an increasingly complex industry and forge their way toward their business goals.
Production Health empowers manufacturers around the world with prescriptive insights into their processes and machines through AI-driven technology and industry-specific expertise that helps transform how they work, including the largest global beverage companies, CPG companies, food companies and pharmaceutical companies.
What are your plans for 2023? Tell us what major trends you have your eyes on in the new year for manufacturing?
Within the next few years, every profession will be enhanced with hybrid intelligence, and have an AI co-pilot which will operate alongside human workers to deliver more accurate and nuanced work at a much faster pace. These co-pilots are already being deployed with clear use cases in mind to support specific roles and operational needs, like AI-driven solutions that enable reliability engineers to ensure production uptime, safety and sustainability through predictive maintenance. However, in 2023, we will see these co-pilots become more accurate, more trusted and more ingrained across the enterprise. Executives will better understand the value of AI co-pilots to make critical business decisions, and as a key competitive differentiator, and will drive faster implementation across their operations. The AI co-pilot technology will be more widespread next year, and trust and acceptance will increase as people see the benefits unfold.
We think of Machine Health as an AI co-pilot for the reliability team, Process Health as an AI co-pilot for process and continuous integration engineers, and Production Health as a co-pilot for the wider manufacturing engineering and operations team. In 2023, we will significantly enhance the capabilities of these solutions and the way they work together to drive significant improvements in production. Many manufacturers are constrained by labor shortages, production capacity and the need to increase sustainability. We believe that Production Health will be key to tackling these challenges, and our goal is to enable as many manufacturers to take advantage of AI-driven insights as quickly as possible.
Do you have any advice for business leaders who want to use hybrid intelligence to bridge the skills gap during a period of economic slowdown?
One thing I’m focused on is how the economy will impact decision-makers in the industry. My take is that with a continued economic downturn, widening skills gap and talent shortage, CIOs, Engineering and Operations leaders are going to be more selective when choosing digital solutions.
We’ll see industrial leaders in 2023 investing in solutions that have a proven track record of showing fast operational improvements, lowering the workload on the existing workforce, driving adoption across production sites, and having an easy ability to scale across the enterprise.
Solutions like Machine Health and Process Health, that are purpose-built to combine AI with human intelligence, provide immediate operational impact and usability, and can scale without the need to alter existing infrastructure, will become even more attractive to manufacturers in the near future.
I believe that the manufacturing sector, an industry historically seen as lagging in digital transformation, will be responsible for some of the most rapid adoption of AI, IoT and Hybrid Intelligence solutions in 2023 and beyond.
An event/ conference or podcast that you have subscribed to consume information about the B2B technology industry: If invited, would you like to be part of a podcast episode on Automation / AI / NLP tech research?
I’ve recently found these podcasts insightful:
I’ve also been a guest on these shows recently:
Thank you, Artem! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
A product entrepreneur at my core, I specialize in product-market fit, go-to-market fit and category creation. I’m passionate about customer value and growth, and everything from identifying big counterintuitive opportunities, to building teams, to developing and brining disruptive products to market, to creating strategic partnerships and ecosystems, to growing companies organically and inorganically. I’ve helped start and rapidly grow companies in the US, Israel and West Africa.